How to Make Tissue Paper Flowers

This craft project is easy and kid-friendly with beautiful results

Tissue paper flowers are an easy-to-make craft that's perfect for a variety of holidays and occasions. Kids of all ages can participate in this craft with stunning results. School-age kids will particularly love this craft because it allows them to create decor that can be used and admired.

The materials for tissue paper flowers are easy to find, and kids can use their growing dexterity to help trim and pull out the tissues to make a whole bouquet of these beautiful flowers.


Gather Your Materials

tissue paper flowers materials

 Katherine Lee

To make a single stemmed flower you will need:

  • 1 green chenille stem/pipe cleaner
  • 1 sheet of green cardstock paper or construction paper
  • 3 sheets (12-by-6-inch sheets or larger) of colored tissue paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue

If you don't have some of these materials, there are plenty of alternatives that may be lying around your house. For example, straws or chopsticks work well for the stems, and any thin paper that can be crumpled without tearing will work in place of the tissue paper.

You could even color a piece of white paper with markers or crayons and create a one-of-a-kind multicolored flower.

Additional materials can be used to decorate your flowers, such as washi tape, ribbon, small pom poms, and sequins.


Prepare the Tissue Paper

prepare tissue paper

 Katherine Lee

Before making your flowers, you will need to prepare the tissue paper by cutting all of the sheets to the same size. Then you'll be able to stack and fold them into petals to make a flower shape. Be sure to follow the measurements listed below.

If you cut the paper into squares instead of rectangles, for instance, the flower may end up looking different than you had planned!

  • Take the tissue paper out of its package, stack three sheets on top of one another, line them up, and cut into 12-by-6-inch sheets. (For larger flowers, use bigger sheets and cut to your desired size).
  • Once cut to size, be sure your sheets of tissue paper are stacked and lined up once again before you begin folding your tissue paper.
  • Start with the shorter side (in this case, the 6-inch side) and make a 1-inch fold to start off an accordion fold.


If you are making several of these flowers, lay multiple tissue paper sheets on top of one another at the same time before cutting to size (at least six to 12 sheets is ideal).


Make Accordion Folds

make accordion folds

 Katherine Lee

Turn your tissue paper stack so that the short end is in front of you on the table, portrait-style.

  • Once you have made a 1-inch fold in your stacked tissue paper edge, turn your tissue paper stack over for the next fold, then turn it back for the fold after that.
  • Keep folding and turning over the paper until you have an accordion-style narrow strip of tissue paper.

Round the Edges With Scissors

Round the Edges With Scissors

 Katherine Lee

In this step, you will ensure that the flower has the desired shape by trimming the ends to look like petals.

  • Take your scissors and trim the ends of the stacked tissue paper strip so that you have a rounded edge. This will help your tissue paper petals have a rounded appearance, like the petals of a real peony, when you unfold the flower later.
  • Be sure to trim both ends of your folded tissue paper stack.

Add the Stem

add the stem

 Katherine Lee

  1. To ensure the stem is centered, fold the tissue strip in half and place the green pipe cleaner or chenille stem at the fold.
  2. Loop the "stem" around the middle of the folded tissue paper strip.
  3. Twist the pipe cleaner onto itself to hold the tissue paper strip in place.

If you are using more than one color of tissue paper, you can create variations in the finished flower by changing the position of the pipe cleaner.


Gently Peel Open the Layers

Gently Peel Open the Layers

 Katherine Lee

Be careful with this step as you pull the layers apart. Tissue paper is fragile and can rip if it's not pulled apart gently.

  • Starting on one side, begin opening up the tissue paper folds you made.
  • Be sure to pull apart the folds evenly from both ends.

If your paper does tear a bit when you pull the layers apart, don't worry. Those rips will most likely not even show, and you may be able to tuck them into the other petals to hide them in the next step.


Separate the Tissue Paper Sheets

Separate the Tissue Paper Sheets

 Katherine Lee

  • Gently separate the tissue paper sheets to unfold the petals of your flower. It will quickly begin to look like a beautiful blossom.


Very young children may have a hard time with this part, so you may want to do this step and then have your child fluff the petals once you are done. But even if it doesn't look perfect, it will still be pretty, and your child will love showing off their flower.


Cut and Add Green Leaves

Cut and Add Green Leaves

 Katherine Lee

This step is optional, although having green leaves lends the blossoms even more of a realistic look.

  • Make a 2-inch fold in a piece of green cardstock or construction paper.
  • Draw leaves on the folded edge. If you used 12-by-6-inch tissue paper for the flower, the leaves should be at least 4 inches long and about an inch at their widest point.
  • Cut out the leaves.
  • Glue one or two leaves to the stem of each blossom, placing them wherever you and your child decide they look best.

Arrange Your Paper Flowers

Create a Flower Arrangement

 Katherine Lee

Once you have made a few tissue paper flowers, you can arrange them in a vase or give them as gifts for Valentine's Day, Easter, or any other special (or "just because") occasion.

Children may also enjoy attaching the flowers to a headband, decorating their bedroom curtains or doorframe with them, or making a wreath with a circle of flowers.

By Katherine Lee
Katherine Lee is a parenting writer and a former editor at Parenting and Working Mother magazines.