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DIY: Paper Roses

January 29, 2011

One of the projects the girls at Twilight have me and Ellen working on is re-doing their window display. We’re going to design a couple of displays for the upcoming months and then build as much of them as we can in advance so that they can easily be installed when it’s time. For valentines day we’re making a bunch of wax paper hearts to catch the afternoon sun (yes this is Seattle, but when it is sunny, it’s real sunny and our storefront is pointed right at the sunset) and accompanying them with a couple suitcases full of handmade paper roses. Ellen and I did a couple of days of research looking for the best tutorials on paper rose making, and let me tell you, it was slim pickings. There’s lots of beautiful pictures, but as far as instructions go, one seems to have a choice between paying for good tutorials or struggling through mediocre ones.


We eventually chose the latter and, as a bonus, have decided to share our new knowledge in our very own tutorials. Here is my interpretation of the paper rose; look at Ellen’s version also.

For paper roses, you will need paper, glue, tape and scissors. You can use pretty much any kind of paper; some types hold the shape of the rose for longer or are easier to work with. For this, I used an old Sears catalog.

Step one:
Cut out a few half circle pieces of paper. They should be of varying sizes/lengths, because you need to make a couple different pieces that will fit together:
As you can see, what you want to do next is roll these strips up to make the center of the rose. Wider strips will make longer rolls, tighter curves will make wider flares, and of course longer strips will make more layers. Roll the paper strips around their inside edges so that the outside edge flares out:
You should make about 3-4. Tape the end of the strip so that the roll doesn’t come undone.
Make sure that the smaller rolls fit inside of the larger ones; you’ll glue them together in the last step:

Step Two:
Next cut out a heart shape:
As you can see, the base of the heart has a slit cut in it to make two tabs. Take one of the tabs and use it to begin rolling this piece into a cone shape:
Roll the first one quite tightly and secure it by putting a piece of tape on the second tab and winding it around the base of the cone:
Next, turn down the ends of the heart to make them look more like petals:
The largest of the rolls you made in step one should fit snugly inside of this cone:
Cut out a bunch of hearts to make the rest of the petals. They should increase in sixe as you go, but only very gradually:
Wind each heart into a petal piece one at a time:
When you are done with each heart piece, attach it either with glue or tape to the one’s you’ve already made.
They should stack like Russian Dolls. I usually find it easier to glue the smaller petals and tape the larger ones.

Step Three:
Eventually, when the rose is looking nice and round and full, you’ll want to finish it up by attaching the rolls from step one. Fill the middle petal piece with glue:
Insert the largest roll so that it sits snugly inside of the flower:
Add more glue to the center and insert the next smallest roll:
Keep repeating this until you have glued in all of the rolls:
Now just let the flower sit until the glue dries and you’re done!

We’ve experimented with extras like glitter spray and watercolor to make the roses look more interesting.

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