DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Waxed Paper Magnolia Branch

by Grace Bonney

Design*Sponge | DIY Project: Waxed Paper Magnolia Branch
Magnolias are one of my favorite flowers. When magnolia trees are at their peak they’re stunning, but before you know it, they’re gone. With a just a bit of paper and patience, you can enjoy branches of magnolias all year! This quirky version of the flower combines dyed, sculpted paper and a real branch. A finishing dip in hot paraffin wax gives the petals a dewy, lifelike texture. This is a great way to dress up your entryway or dining table without having to change the water every week. –Elise Dee

Click through for the full DIY after the jump!

What you’ll need:

-1 found branch
-Rit dye in petal pink
-Low heat hot glue gun & glue sticks
-1/2″ flat head nail
-Bristol paper
-Crock pot of hot paraffin wax
-Small paint brush
-White and yellow acrylic paint


1. Draw and cut out a template of your large petal – all your templates should have straight bottoms (You can download Elise’s template here!).

2. Trace your template onto your Bristol paper three times to form a triangle with the straight edge of the petal. You should have three connecting petals. Repeat this step until you have two sets of three petals for each flower you intend to make.


3. Repeat steps one and two for the smaller, inner petals.

4. Cut out all of your traced petals, leaving the centers connected.

5. Gently erase any remaining pencil marks.

6. Mix your petal pink Rit dye into some warm water. Do some tests with Bristol scraps until you’ve reach a desired color.

7. Set up a small bowl of clean warm water. Dunk your first three petal bunches into the clear warm water. Then, pinch the center so the petals are facing down and dunk them halfway into the pink dye bath. Lay flat to dry on a paper towel. Repeat this process for all your petals.


8. Once dry, bend each individual petal down the center and slightly curl the rounded edge.


9. Assemble your flowers by stacking two of the large petal pieces and one small petal piece.

10. Pierce your stack with a small flat head nail. Arrange your stack so the petals are all staggered. Use a couple dots of hot glue at the center of the petals to secure your arrangement.


12. To make the flower center, use your glue gun to make a small 1/2″ puddle of glue over and around the nail head. Let dry. Build up your puddle of glue with more layers until it’s about 1/2″ high. Then, start dotting the top of your puddle with the glue gun to form small beads.


13. Using your acrylic paint, paint the dried hot glue center of your flower white at the base and pale yellow at the center. Let dry.


14. Hold the nail at the base of your flower and dip the whole flower into the hot wax. Quickly remove and let excess wax drip off over your crock pot. Let dry.

15. Carefully use your scissors to split the tips of your branch. Put a bit of hot glue in the split and insert the nail of your flower into the branch. Repeat this step to attach all your flowers.

It’s important to remember that while precision is a good quality to have, there is no need for perfection. Don’t worry about cutting your paper out perfectly or dyeing everything perfectly. Nature is imperfect and beautiful.


Processed with VSCOcam with n1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with n1 preset

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  • These are seriously lovely! What a great alternative to the old lady fake flowers (those things make me shudder).

  • I did a diy paper magnolia project last month but it’s totally different than this one! It’s interesting to see a new technique. I wouldn’t have thought to use pariffin wax but I bet it gives the paper a nice translucency. Thanks for sharing!

  • Just pinned this so I could find it and do it once I move into my new place. I think these would look great resting on a bookshelf.

  • I love Magnolias flowers and I am going to try to make these beautiful flowers as soon as possible – I like the tip about hot paraffin wax.. thank you for sharing it with us

  • I make flowers from coffee filters. This is another way I cam make flowers. The magnolias are beautiful.

  • Elise, your paper flowers are always so gorgeous but these are particularly stunning. I cannot wait to recreate it for my home. And I’m with Ms. Weatherbee. I can never remember to water plants so paper is the way to go.

  • Love this! Could use these flowers for a whole bunch of things, I think they’d make a nice wreath. Never heard of using wax before, great idea.

  • Oh my, I have been saving some branches from a rose bush, beautiful dark red, and these will look amazing on them!