Introduction: Make Realistic Paper Tulips

I have a confession: I am lousy at origami! All those intricate little folds, with my stubby always ends up in a crumpled ball on the floor of my studio! I wanted to make a paper tulip (my favorite flower) that would both look realistic and be easy for a paper novice to make! The stem and leaves are quite simple, but getting the look of the curved petals of a tulip when using paper seemed difficult...until I used this template! There is a little assembly required, but the result is a beautiful paper tulip with the curved bloom we all recognize!


Craft paper, pink and green

Spare chopsticks or wood skewers (you could even use a pencil!)

Glue or tape (I used a combination of both)


hole punch (optional but helpful)

Step 1: Stem and Stamen

  1. The stem is the easiest part, by far. The template piece is a straight strip, printed on green. Roll the stem wrap onto your chopstick/skewer and glue or tape into place.
  2. Either poke a hole into the center of the base circle or use a hole punch. I could not find my darn hole punch, so I just poked a hole with the chopstick and slid it through. Slide the base circle down onto the stem, approximately 1 1/2 inches from the top.
  3. Cut out the Stamen.  One side has a rounded bumpy look to it - you are going to cut down in between each one approx. 1/4 inch. Just a quick little snip! Then wrap around the top of the stem, making sure the bottom of it meets the base circle, and glue/tape into place.

Step 2: Petals (Part I)

4. Cut out all 6 petals. 3 will be interior petals and 3 will be exterior petals. Cut the little "tabs" at the bottom of each one, this will help us form the "cup" of each petal.

5. Using your stem, or a pencil, curl each petal slightly. The interior petals should bel curled inward, the exterior petals curled outward.

Step 3: Petals (Part II)

6. Take an interior petal, and fold the two middle tabs over on each other, secure with tape or glue.

7. Repeat until you have 3 interior petals, with the center tabs secured to each other and the outer tabs still loose. We will use those to attach the petals to the base circle.

Step 4: Assembly

8. Glue the petals onto the bottom of the base circle, making sure they are evenly spaced.

9. Now add your exterior petals, making sure to overlap them over any gaps on the interior petals, the way a real tulip is formed. Glue them to the bottom of the base circle.

Step 5: Leaves and Presentation

10. Cut out your leaves if you have not alreadydone so, and curlt hem with a pencil or a skewer.

11. Add a dab of glue to the bottom of each leaf, and attach to the stem. For realism, slightly overlap them and wrap them around the stem, like a real tulips leaves form. Tulips have long leaves that reach their blooms, so place them on them stem where the curled part meets the bloom.

12. Let everything dry, then you can continue to form the leaves and petals as you like, to get the look you want.


My daughter painted me a mini flower pot and we filled it with dried black beans, to simulate dirt. You can also stick them down into floral foam and top the foam with fake grass or moss, or even more green paper. The paper tulips look great in a simple vase or even a mason jar, too! Grouped together, they would make a simple yet elegant centerpiece for your Spring/Easter table.

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