Did you ever make those tissue paper flowers in grade school? You know, where you fold them up like a fan and then pull the petals back?
Yep, that’s what we’re doing here! But by using paper napkins, instead of tissue paper, the flowers have a more structured hold. They almost look like fabric.
And the white ones look like real magnolias to me. So pretty.
These are very easy to make and add a lovely touch to any sort of celebration or even your day-to-day decor.
Let’s get started!
I used nice 3-ply, party-style paper napkins for this project. Of course you can make them with tissue paper as well but I wanted to see how it would work with napkins. You can purchase packages of napkins at most stores: Target, Walmart, Party City, Hobby Lobby, etc.
I purchased my napkins at IKEA because they usually have unique colors, such as the Chartreuse below. They usually only carry about 5 colors at any given time (and once they’re gone, they’re gone). So when I see a color I like, I buy a pack or two and keep it in my stash. At $2 each, it’s worth it. That gorgeous blue below is currently in stores. So grab them!
You can use any size of napkin you’d like but I really liked the large over-sized look for a wall, so I used the largest size IKEA napkins (and some smaller ones for the centers).
Okay, no rocket science here. And there are so many variations you can do on this project. So, I’ll show you the basics and you can run with it.
Grab about 4 Large napkins:
Unfold them and lay them on top of each other in a pile:
If you’d like to add a contrasting center to your flower, place a different colored napkin on top. It works better if the center napkin is slightly smaller. Or just take a large napkin and trim it down. ALSO, I realized this after the fact, but you may want to scallop the edges of your center napkin right now (but that will make more sense in a bit).
Now start folding your stack of napkins up like a fan, or accordion:
Just keep flipping it over and folding, flipping over and folding the next piece on top of that,
until everything is folded up like this:
Then pinch the center of your flower together and kind of smush it down where you’re pinching together:
Then use string, pipe cleaners, staples, whatever you want to hold the flower together in the center. THE BEST THING TO USE is wire twist ties (the kind you find on bread bags or with garbage sacks)
Cut a small semi-circle at each end of your fan, so that the napkins become “scalloped”:
Should look like this:
Then very carefully (so you don’t rip the napkin), start to peel each layer of the flower up. You may need to carefully pull the petals out a bit at the center of the flower so that they come together better in the middle.
If you didn’t scallop your center napkin, you can do it now. In fact, I always take a pair of scissors to each flower when I’m done, just to trim things here and there, for a pleasing look.
Shape your petals the way you like it, and you’re done! You have a gorgeous over-sized flower to decorate a table, hang on your wall, or you could even downsize it and make a corsage.
* Reverse Scallop and Tissue Paper look. If you cut the edge off of your napkin, you’ll be able to peel away the individual ply-s of each napkin, so that it looks more like tissue paper:
And if you cut a reverse scallop on the ends…..
You get a cool spiky look:
* Stripes. It’s fun to use striped napkins for the outer flower, or for the center. I varied the direction of the stripes:
and put a bright color in the middle:
* Pom Poms – By pulling the layers all the way around to the back you can create a Pom-Pom look. It’s cute to hang them from the ceiling or from an outdoor patio cover. (sorry, no photos but something similar to what Martha’s done).
* Flowers on a stem. If you have left-over dowels from your No-Sew Flowers, glue a little napkin on there and stick them in a tin can. Simple. Place it on your desk!
* Magnolias. This is probably my favorite version of these flowers. Because of the thickness of the napkins, the petals look so much like a real magnolia. If I were as craft-minded 5 years ago as I am now, I may have made a ton of these to decorate my wedding reception.
Just follow the directions above and….
Blossoms are everywhere.
Of course to truly make them Wallflowers, you should hang them on the wall! Grab some twine, rope, whatever you’d like to use:
If you’ve made your flowers with twist ties, then just open the tie a bit, lay the rope down, and twist it back up:
String a whole bunch together and you have the perfect Wallflower Garland:
Or link your large wallflowers and hang them vertically. It’s adds nice accent to a big plain wall:
They’ll be a conversation starter when visitors come to your home.