DIY Project: Paper Flower Bouquet

Paper Flower DIY by Kelsey for Design*Sponge (2)
Despite my recent good luck streak with growing plants at home, I still have a soft spot for paper flowers because of their relative ease of care (minus a little dusting now and then). I rounded up 14 of my favorite DIY Paper Flower Projects earlier this spring and shared these waxed paper magnolia branches last week, but today I’m happy to share one more “forever” flower project from paper artist Kelsey Elam of MOON flora. I first discovered Kelsey’s work on Instagram, where she was sharing gorgeous photos on our #DSLOOKING feed, and I have been a fan ever since. I love the bright, vivid colors she works with; they’re a nice break from all the muted florals that seem to own Instagram these days. Kelsey has been papercrafting since she was 5, so her projects are time-tested and easy to follow. Today she’s teaching us to make a full bouquet with paper dahlias, peonies and vines. Thanks for sharing your paper expertise, Kelsey! xo, grace

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

*Note: this project makes a 19-piece bouquet, however, each blossom could be made and displayed singularly, or multiplied for larger arrangements and statement decor*

Bouquet includes:

– 5 peony blossoms

– 3 peony buds

– 3 dahlia blossoms

– 3 vine stems

– 5 large leaves


– glue (I prefer Aleene’s tacky glue, but any craft glue will do!)

– a pair of wire cutters

– a sharp pair of scissors

– ruler


– 3 cotton balls

– yarn + embroidery thread in a similar tone (you will need 50” of each per peony)

– 4 sheets of tissue paper (I used 4 colors for this project, but the color options are truly unlimited)

– craft wire (28 gauge silver wire is my favorite to use and available at any craft store)

– floral wire for stems (20 gauge floral wire is my go-to for most blossoms and comes in 18” lengths)


Tips from Kelsey:

– “When cutting the tissue paper into the shapes needed, I always fold multiple layers of tissue together depending on how many pieces I need per project and keep a good grasp on the stack as I cut the shapes free-handed to get organic and uneven edges. You could also paperclip the layers together and trace a shape, which will give you the ability to get a very precise shape and gives you the chance to cut quite a few pieces if you are making large quantities.”

– “While glue is still wet, I’ve found that I can usually move petals and leaves around slightly by very carefully pulling the paper in the direction I want.”

– “If you find that the tissue paper is wrapped too loose when covering stems, start at one end and twist the paper tighter between your fingers working your way to the other end of the stem. Make sure you twist the same direction.”

To make a large leaf (x5)

You will need:

5 – 12” lengths of floral wire

5 – 15” x 1/2” strips of tissue paper

5 – 3 1/2” wide x 5” long leaves creased down the center

First, take the strip of tissue paper and run 2 lines of glue down the length and a dab at each end. On a diagonal, place the floral stem on one end of the tissue paper and fold the corners over the stem. Using a twisting motion, grasp the stem in one hand and guide the tissue around the wire with the other hand. When you reach the end, fold the edges over and twist the tissue paper to smooth over the stem. Next, take your leaf and fold in half at the crease, then accordion pleat along the folded side, keeping in mind that imperfect folds look more natural than even pleats. When you open the leaf it should be textured. Gently dab glue down the crease, but try to avoid smoothing the leaf because that reduces the striped texture. Lay the stem over the crease and adjust the pleating to your liking as you attach the leaf with your fingers on the underside. After adjusting the leaf, pinch the base of the leaf around the stem. Once the glue on your leaf is completely dry you can gently bend the stem in a curve where the leaf is attached and it will create a curling effect.

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To Make Vine Stems (x3)

You will need:

2 – 12” lengths of floral wire

1 – 15” length of floral wire

3 – 15” x 1/2” strips of tissue paper

16 – 1 1/2” wide x 2” long leaves creased down the center (12” stems get 5 leaves each + 15” stem gets 6 leaves)

To start, cover the stems using the same technique as the stems for the large leaves. Next apply a small dab of glue to one end of the crease on each leaf. Attach your first leaf to the tip of the stem by pinching the leaf at the crease around the dab of glue. Then, working in a zig-zag pattern down the stem, use the same technique to attach the other leaves at a slight angle to the stem.


To make Peony blossoms (x5)

5 – 50” pieces of yarn

5 – 50” pieces of embroidery thread

5 – 4” sections of craft wire

5 – 9” lengths of floral wire

5 – 12” x 1/2” strips of tissue paper

5 – 2 1/2” tall x 3” wide sections of 5 smaller scalloped petals

10 – 3” tall x 7.5” wide sections of 3 larger scalloped petals

To make the stamen first, hold your ruler and 4” piece of craft wire in one hand and line up the yarn and embroidery thread perpendicular over the wire. Hold the wire, and ends of yarn and thread under your thumb and wind the length of yarn and thread around the ruler. Once you reach the end, hold the bundle between your thumb and index finger and use your other hand to pull the wire ends down to the edge of the ruler and tightly twist the wire. Slip the bundle of loops off the ruler and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the loops to create a mini pompom. Twist the wire tighter if you can, so the yarn doesn’t slip out. Then attach the yarn stamen by twisting the craft wire ends around the floral wire stem.

Now to make the peony blossom, gently scrunch the bottom of each section of petals and apply glue along the edge. Center the yarn stamen over your first petal section and wrap the edges over the top to meet in the center. Hold the petals around the yarn in one hand and use the other hand to scrunch the bottom around the stem. Using a twisting motion, keep moulding the tissue paper until it is secured to the stem. Making sure to stagger the petals, repeat with the next section of larger petals. Then add the smaller petal section to create the sepal. Next apply 2 lines of glue down the length of the tissue paper strip and a dab at each end. Holding the end of the strip at a diagonal angle to the base of your peony, fold over the corner. Using a twisting motion grasp the stem in one hand and guide the tissue around the wire with the other hand. When you reach the end, fold the edges over and twist the tissue paper to smooth over.


To make Peony buds (x3)

You will need:

3 – cotton balls

3 – 9” lengths of floral wire

3 – 12” x 1/2” strips of tissue paper

3 – 2 1/2” tall x 3” wide sections of 5 smaller scalloped petals

3 – 4” x 4” pieces of tissue paper

Start by putting a small dab of glue on the end of the floral wire and twist into the center of a cotton ball. Apply a light yet even amount of glue on the tissue paper square. Place cotton ball end of your stem on the tissue paper and gently cup your hand around the cotton ball, guiding the paper to adhere to the cotton. Grasp tissue paper around the stem and manipulate with your fingers, working in a twisting motion. Scrunch the section of scalloped petals and apply glue. Arrange petals around the bud to create the sepal and using the same technique, carefully adhere the glued section to the stem. Cover the stem with a strip of tissue paper.


To make Dahlia blossoms (x3)

You will need:

3 – 9” lengths of floral wire

3 – 12” x 1/2” strips of tissue paper

3 – 2 1/2” tall x 3” wide sections of 5 smaller pointed petals

9 – 3 1/2” tall x 5” wide sections of 5 larger pointed petals (6 pieces of darker color + 3 pieces of lighter color)

First, gently scrunch the bottom of each section of petals and apply glue along the edge. Attach the first layer by folding one petal over, sandwiching about 1/2” of the floral wire and then scrunch the petal section upon itself while slowly twisting the wire in your hand. Once you get the entire section adhered to itself, use your fingers to twist the paper even tighter around the stem. Then repeat the same steps to attach the other two layers of larger petals and then the smaller section of petals to create the sepal. Cover the stem with a strip of tissue paper.



  1. Kate says:

    These are such beautiful flowers! I may be a biased observer (Kelsey is my sister), but I am so impressed with them.

    My favorite parts of this bouquet are the leaves and vines.

  2. Stacy says:


  3. Kelsey says:

    Thank you so much, Grace!! I’m so happy to share the paper flower love!

  4. Tiffany says:

    Oh my gosh! I’m in love, and will be attempting paper flowers this weekend!!! Thanks!

  5. Cool. nice work. I wondering where can I get the material to do it myself.

  6. This is so pretty and perfect for doing with kids! As a little girl I loved making paper flowers, so I am sure there will be a lot of children (and adults :) ) who would enjoy this little project. Thank you for the idea. x

  7. Thank you for detailed description! Very beautiful paper bouquet!

  8. baguspedia says:

    look simple.. but i think its so difficult to do, need accuracy to make it right


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