How to Make Recycled Paper Flowers

Recycled paper flowers

Recycled paper flowers

If you still have snow on the ground and it’s 20 dang degrees, here’s a project that may lift your thoughts to spring. It reminds me of one of my favorite paintings: “Bird Singing Flowers While Awaiting Spring” by Richard Kirsten Daiensai.

We love flowers and we love bits of paper so this is the perfect little project for us – and maybe for you! It’s definitely spring-like and can be used in a lot of different ways:

Gift Wrap:

A String of Lights:

And now we’re thinking Easter centerpieces, place-settings and wedding decor…

What You Will Need:

  • Paper (see below)
  • Scissors
  • Bamboo Skewer or other similar shape
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • X-Acto Knife (if making string lights)
  • Hole punch (if making string lights)
  • A pad to work on to protect your surface from hot glue and/or X-Acto cuts (We use thicker cardboard scraps)

The flowers are fairly easy to make,( for everyone but Heidi that is. So she made leaves. She is a leaf expert. ). The first task is to find the right kind of paper to work with, and this may be up to your personal taste. We found newsprint to be a little too fragile; magazine covers a little too thick. Cook’s Illustrated magazines (How to Stir-Fry Tofu!) turned out to be just right, along with tracing paper, an old dictionary, and oddly, the gaudiest wedding gift wrap in our closets. We’re still looking for sheet music that can be cut up. Paper that looked nice on both sides worked best – if the contrast was severe (ie: stark white with a colored side) – it was really ugly. I’ll post some of our “failures” so you can judge for yourself…

The best way to explain this process is thru pictures, it really is zen-like once you get the hang of it ( but no zen for Ms. Heidi ):

A Few Tips:

  • Mixing and matching patterns and materials is fun and pretty. Try things that you think might not go together – you may be surprised!
  • Try lots of different papers – the kid’s drawings (you can always work with copies), homework, receipts, old books/magazines, crumpled paper, yellowed edges are cool, paper bags,etc…
  • Save time by cutting multiples
  • Make different sizes
  • The light strings can take quite a lot of time to make, so I would consider alternating flowers with plain lights or leaves or other. LED lights don’t put out a lot of heat; I’m not sure about other types of lights so do your homework regarding fire potential.

Here are a few photos of our flowers that didn’t work:

Flower trials 2

Too big, wrong paper, and just plain ugly.

3 thoughts on “How to Make Recycled Paper Flowers

    • Funny! I really like the soft grey and printed ones – weird because they’re not flower colors…now I want to try some with the kid’s homework because Lord knows we have a lot of that hanging around and plus I like their handwriting…Thanks for the comment, it’s always nice to chat :)

  1. I really like the light idea a lot. I have a number of scrapbook dies to making paper roses (no big surprise right, ha) but I never thought of using them this way. Where did you hang it up? I have a few of these battery operated strings of mini-lights and they’re awesome.

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