Introduction: Mexican Paper Flowers

These tissue paper flowers are lovely and exuberant, surprisingly easy to make, and infinitely customizable. I think I was taught how to make them in elementary school, but I had completely forgotten about them until a few years ago when I was getting ready for a party. After a few misfires, I got the hang of it again. 

Step 1: Materials

6 Sheets tissue paper
1 Pipe cleaner

Step 2: Select and Stack

-Select six sheets of tissue paper.

-These flowers are all about so choose a combination that suits your event. You can use bright, contrasting colors for a particularly festive look (pic 2), or soft, related colors for a pretty, natural effect. (pic 1)

-Stack the paper neatly.

-The color that you want as the center of your flower should be on top.

-Likewise, the color on the bottom will be the back of the flower. I usually make this layer green to look like leaves.

Note: Using whole sheets of paper makes a fairly large flower. If you would like to create smaller flowers, You can cut your stack in half, lengthwise. (pic 2)

Step 3: Fold

Now you will fold your stack in a 1 inch accordion fold (pic 4). This is just like making a paper fan.
-With your stack in portrait position , take the bottom, short side of your stack and fold it up, about an inch. (pic 2)

-Flip your stack over, take your preexisting fold, and fold it upwards another inch.

-Flip the stack again, fold and repeat until your stack is a one inch strip. (pic 3)

Don't Worry,  folding tissue paper is not an exact science, so don't worry if your folds aren't completely parallel or exactly an inch.

Step 4: Tie

-Take a pipe cleaner (the color doesn't matter as it won't be seen) and fold it over the middle of your strip. (pic 1)

-The pipe cleaner should fold over the side that shows your top color. (The line of pink in both pics)

-Then twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together so that it is securely fastened around the center of your paper strip. (pic 2)

Note: If you are having trouble finding the middle, simply fold your strip in half, and secure the pipe cleaner at the fold.

Step 5: Cut

Here is where you get to be creative! 

-Cut each end into a petal shape.

-Petals can be rounded (pic 1), jagged (pic 2), pointy (pic 3), fringed, square, whatever. You can even make a lace edge, like a snowflake.

Important:  Be sure that your cuts are at least an inch deep, toward the pipe cleaner at the center. This ensures that the flower will fan out properly.

Step 6: Unfold

.-Hold the strip so that the pipe cleaner ends are pointing down.

-Unfold the stack on both sides of the pipe cleaner, the same way you would open a fan.

-The two sides should open into a circular shape, as pictured.

Note: If yours does not open widely enough, you probably need to make deeper petal cuts.

Step 7: Peel

-Being careful not to tear the paper, separate the top piece of tissue. (pic 1)

-Peel the layer up and towards the center. It should stand up in a nice ring. (pic 2)

-Repeat with each layer of paper. (pic 3)

Step 8: Enjoy


-Use the pipe cleaner to attach your flower to whatever you would like to adorn.

It is really fun to play around with different color combinations and petal shapes. Mixing large and small flowers also gives a nice effect. Tissue paper is pretty cheap, so stock up and go wild!