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The Art of Paper Flowers: Creating Realistic Blossoms from Ordinary Papers

The Art of Paper Flowers: Creating Realistic Blossoms from Ordinary Papers

The Art of Paper Flowers: Creating Realistic Blossoms from Ordinary Papers

The Art of Paper Flowers: Creating Realistic Blossoms from Ordinary Papers




Now an Amazon Editors' Holiday Gift Pick for Design, Construct, and Create!

Fill your home with paper flowers! They're easy to make, lovely to look at, and best of all—they'll never wilt!

Paper is pretty much the least expensive craft material you'll find. It's also one of the most versatile. With a pile of colored sheets, a pair of scissors, and The Art of Paper Flowers, you can create gorgeous bouquets to give away or keep for yourself. For anyone who's an avid home crafter or future home-decor online vendor, this book will get your creative juices flowering, err, flowing.

The Art of Paper Flowers makes it easy for anyone to create beautiful roses, orchids, tulips, and more—completely out of paper. There are thirty-five flowers included in the book, and each pattern is accompanied by a complete list of materials required, step-by-step instructions for creating the flower, original paper-folding techniques from the author, full-size patterns, and color photos for reference. Additionally throughout the book, there are interesting bits of trivia, myths, or folklore for each delicate flower. The book also includes a foreword by Rosie O'Donnell.

All the basic information is here in The Art of Paper Flowers for readers to make their own impressive paper flower bouquets. From mastering the skill of paper manipulation to achieving seamless gluing and coloring practices, you'll make flowers look incredibly realistic. Whether you're creating gifts, decorations for an event, or home decor, The Art of Paper Flowers will have you arranging stunning flowers in no time!

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589239364
Publisher: Quarry Books
Publication date: 08/15/2016
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

BOBBY PEARCE has been a craft lover since he could hold a pair of scissors and has either mastered or dabbled in every craft (except knitting), which is exactly why Rosie O'Donnell featured him on her shows. As a designer Bobby received nominations for both the Tony Award and Outer Critic's Circle Award for the costume designs of the Broadway production of Taboo starring Boy George. Most recently his design work could be seen in THE CHILDREN OF EDEN at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, as well as the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi on numerous ice skaters including Evan Bates. Bobby lives in New York City.

ROSIE O'DONNELL is an Emmy Award-winning television personality, actress, and comedian, a New York Times bestselling author, a mother of five, and a wildly enthusiastic crafter. She's also the founder of Rosie's For All Kids Foundation, which supports early childhood care and education programs, as well as Rosie's Broadway Kids, a program that brings musical theater to New York City public school children.

Read an Excerpt

The Art of Paper Flowers

By Bobby Pearce

Creative Publishing International

Copyright © 2016 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. and Bobby Pearce
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-58923-936-4


I remember many a rainy South Florida day, sitting at Grandma Ruby's kitchen table making flowers. My grandmother was very proud of her floral creations. From a foot or two away, you honestly couldn't tell one of Grandma's flowers from the real thing in her garden. The secret to Grandma's lifelike petals was a product called "wood fibre."

Wood fibre was made from the pith of Aralia papyrifera, a species of bamboo that grew in the swamps on the Island of Formosa in the China Sea. Sheets of the plant's pith, resembling a moist rice paper, were dyed beautiful colors. From the 1950s through the '70s, you could easily find wood fibre in craft stores; unfortunately, it is not manufactured today.

After Grandma passed away, her wood fibre crafts were packed up and set aside for me. Some forty years later, I found myself sitting at my own kitchen table, staring into the crate of Grandma's wood fibre flower supplies. Wire, floral tape, artificial leaves, stamens, Grandma's treasured flower patterns, and even rare blocks of unopened wood fibre were staring back at me. I was eight years old again.

Grandma's flower patterns were a labor of love. She would work for hours on the details, often pulling apart real flowers to check the petals against her own renditions. Once she was happy with her patterns, my grandfather (who had owned a roofing company) would cut the shapes out of tin sheets so his wife's patterns would last forever.

I decided not to open or use the rare and precious wood fibre; instead, I chose to craft Grandma's flowers using colorful scrapbooking, craft, and construction papers. Ironic if you think about it: paper was once a plant, and I am using paper to craft a plant once again.

This book contains Grandma's original patterns (which I have adapted to be used with paper) and my complete instructions for each flower. I hope bringing these flowers to life gives you as much joy and as many memories as this craft has given me.

The Basics

Before I begin any craft I like to make sure I have everything I need right in front of me. There is nothing more frustrating than getting to a certain point in a project only to discover that you are missing a tool or material needed to complete what you started!


It is not necessary to have a scientific knowledge of a flower's anatomy to create these paper flowers. However, it is helpful to be familiar with some of the basic terms used in this book.



Scrapbooking glues are designed to work best on paper. A quick-dry adhesive that is photo safe and acid free is perfect for paper projects.


I prefer to use high-quality paper from the scrapbooking section of a craft store, but any kind of colored paper will work for this craft. Don't be afraid to experiment — after all, it's just paper. Card stock, a thicker paper similar to poster board, will be required for some projects and is perfect for making patterns that will last. Tissue (or tracing) paper will also be used to trace the patterns included in this book.

Floral Tape

Floral tape comes in white, brown, and shades of green. It has a waxy feel, it stretches, and it's easy to tear by hand. As you wrap a stem wire with floral tape, the tape will stick to itself, giving the stem a smooth, lasting finish.


Suitable wire can be found wherever floral or craft supplies are sold. Wire is sold by the thickness, or "gauge" (the thinner the wire, the higher the gauge number).

Eighteen-gauge wire makes the perfect stem wire. Some craft supply companies manufacture an 18-gauge stem wire that is covered with paper. This type of wire is my favorite — it's great for making flower stems because the paper makes the wire thicker and more believable as a natural stem.

Twenty-two-gauge wire is perfect for the backs of petals and leaves. Look for white cotton–covered wire, which is easily colored to match the petal and leaf colors with markers.

Thirty-two-gauge cotton-covered wire usually comes in 10-yard (9.15 m) spools. You can find it in craft stores in green or white. This wire is helpful as a wrapping wire for making the flower centers and tying petals to the stem wire.


When flower stems are visible in an arrangement (as with long-stemmed roses), it's a good idea to add girth to stems to make them seem more realistic. You can do this easily by slipping the stem wire into tubing and wrapping with floral tape. Your local pet shop with aquarium supplies will have a variety of silicone tubing. I find the 3/16"-diameter (0.5 cm) tubing is the best: it's the perfect size to create a realistic-looking stem, and it's soft, pliable, and very easy to use.

Paint and Markers

A few of the projects call for using paint to add details to the flowers. Any acrylic craft paint will work. Colored permanent markers are also an easy way to add details to your blooms or to color white wire to match the petals or leaves of your project.

Basic Tools


Household scissors will be fine for the projects in this book. Smaller scissors can be useful for small cuts and details. Scrap-booking scissors made to create decorative edges (I especially like the scallop, pinking, and ripple ones), while not required for any of these projects, can be fun to experiment with to give your leaves and petals interesting edges.

Wire Cutters

Whatever you do, do not try to cut wire with your paper scissors! Always use wire cutters to cut wire. Wire can leave little dents in scissor blades, and these dents will make for messy cuts when you try to use the damaged scissors on paper.

Paper Crimper

Some projects in this book call for folding the leaves or petals to create texture (see pages 105 and 151). Although not a necessary tool, a paper crimper will create a very beautiful outcome.

Paper Clips

Regular paper clips are perfect for holding the wires to the paper while waiting for glue to dry.

Common Techniques

Shaping Petals and Leaves

Some of the petals and leaves in this book require shaping to make the finished product look realistic. Most often these shaping techniques are simple — just folding or curling — however, some may be a little more involved. Here are some of the shaping techniques you will encounter.


This can also be called an accordion or zigzag fold. To make a fan-fold, start at one edge of the paper, fold the edge back, and crease. Turn the paper over, fold in the other direction, and crease. Continue turning the paper over, folding the edge back, and creasing to create a series of consecutive convex and concave folds. You can also use a paper crimper to create an interesting and tighter fan-fold look.

When working with leaf pieces, first fold the blade in half lengthwise. Beginning at the bottom of the leaf, fan-fold the entire piece on the diagonal. This will create a texture that resembles the veins in a leaf once the paper is unfolded.


Curling petals is easily achieved by folding the petal piece over a rigid cylinder-shaped tool, such as a pen, wooden skewer, or knitting needle. The smaller or tighter your desired curl, the thinner your tool should be.


To give a petal a cupped shape, place it in the palm of your hand and press a spoon into it as shown, cupping the piece. Experiment with different-sized objects to make the cupping tighter or looser and to give your flowers the exact look you want.


Most often used for the carnation, this technique involves crunching the petal piece as if you were wadding a piece of trash, and then slowly opening the paper, leaving much of the creases intact.


Here's the secret to gluing: don't overdo it! Just a small dab is all you need in most cases. If you've ever had those grooves or bumps show up on your craft projects, chances are you are using too much glue. Plus (an added bonus), the less glue you use, the faster the glue will dry. Using a brush is an easy way to keep from applying too much glue.

Wrapping with Floral Tape

To wrap a stem with floral tape, hold the end of a piece of tape against the end of the wire and twirl the stem, gently stretching the tape and overlapping as you work your way down the wire. Practice on a couple pieces of wire, and you will have the hang of it in no time.

Coloring Petals

You can create the marks or special coloring on flowers such as the dogwood, orchid, tiger lily, and pansy with markers or paint. It's best to do this before you shape or wire the petal.

Making Stamens

The center of almost every open flower requires a stamen and/or pistil of some type. You can make your own stamen by knotting one end of a 3" (7.6 cm) piece of heavily starched button thread and then dipping the knotted end of the thread in paint, creating a ball on the end when the paint dries. But that's a lot of work for something that can be found premade. I prefer to purchase artificial stamens and pistils: You can usually find them in the cake-decorating section of your neighborhood craft store or millinery-supply shop, or online. If necessary, it's easy to adapt the color of store-bought stamens with paint or markers.

For the flowers that require a special stamen not readily available at craft stores, instructions for the stamen will be included with the project instructions.

Use 32-gauge wire to tie the stamens together and create the center for the flowers.

Transferring Patterns

To keep the book intact, use tracing paper to trace the patterns and cut templates from card stock.

The patterns are all at their actual size, so there is no need to enlarge or reduce them. You can change the size of a pattern to make a larger or smaller flower by scanning the pattern into your computer and changing the scale in the print menu before printing it.

NOTE: If you alter a pattern piece, remember to change all the pattern pieces for the same flower by the same ratio.


Excerpted from The Art of Paper Flowers by Bobby Pearce. Copyright © 2016 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. and Bobby Pearce. Excerpted by permission of Creative Publishing International.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Dedication and Acknowledgments 6

Foreword Rosie O'Donnell 7

Introduction 8

The Basics

Parts of the Flower 11

Materials 12

Basic Tools 14

Common Techniques 16

The Flowers

Red Rose 22

Sweetheart Rosebud 26

Carnation 30

Easter Lily 34

Violet 38

Dogwood 40

Peony 44

Gardenia 48

Chrysanthemum 52

Daffodil 56

Sunflower 60

Dahlia 64

Lily of the Valley 68

Daisy 70

Hyacinth 74

Lilac 78

Apple Blossom 82

Water Lily 86

Purple Orchid 90

Yellow Orchid 94

Phalaenopsis (Moth) Orchid 98

Poinsettia 102

Tulip 106

Calla Lily 110

Tiger Lily 114

Purple Iris 118

White Iris 122

California Poppy 126

Red Poppy 130

Hibiscus 134

Pansy 138

Sweet Pea 142

Anthurium 146

Gladiolus 150

Bird of Paradise 158

Patterns 162

About the Author 190

Index 192

Customer Reviews