Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Paper Poinsettias

So, it's Christmas.  Man, where does the time go!?!  I know this is too late for anyone to make any paper poinsettias in time for Christmas this year.   But I'm posting this anyway since I spent the time taking the how-to photos.  Or maybe there's someone out there who has plenty of free time today for a last minute Christmas crafting project.... bwahahaha!  Yeah, yeah, I know.  That's funny.

I have a thing for paper flowers.  We made these paper bag poinsettias at my crafty Christmas party the other weekend.  I have made several of them that are currently drying in the front yard and will be made in to a wreath later today- apparently I have enough free time for a last minute project.  Or maybe I'm just crazy.  I am determined to finish it at this point.  I'll update this post with a finished photo later.  But here are the folding instructions.

All you need is some brown paper grocery bags, or kraft paper.  Just something with some weight to it.  Some wire and some spray paint.  You could even nix the spray paint if you want because I think the brown paper bag is pretty on it's own.  I made a bunch of these for a wreath.  But they would also be pretty stuck in a Christmas tree, as long as you have LED lights that won't catch the paper on fire.  We don't.  We have those big, colorful lights, including bubblers, from the 1960's that would probably burn your house down.  I love them.   Or these paper poinsettias would be pretty on top of a wrapped package.  I came up with these after wanting to make a paper version of a poinsettia that wasn't flat.  I wanted some dimension.  When I looked at real poinsettias, I liked how the leaves sprang forward from the center of the flower.  I left off the the actual flower part of the poinsettia- the little yellow and green nubby looking bit in the middle.  But you could add that in pretty easily if you wanted.  Fun fact: Did you know that red and pink part of the poinsettia plant is not the flower?  They are actually modified leaves called bracts.  So I just focused on recreating the bracts.

I drew a template before I started of three different leaf shapes.  Each bract is shaped like a spade with a long stem on it: a big one, a short and squat one, and a skinny one.  The stem on the end is what gives the flower some dimension.

The pictures are pretty self-explanatory.  I cut a few of each bract shape.  I think for this flower I cut five big ones, three skinny ones and three short, squat ones.

Next, I folded each bract.  I folded in half lengthwise.  Then while the leaf was still folded in half, I folded the ridges.  I just folded back and forth like a fan.  When you open up the lengthwise fold, you can see the pretty ridges, much like the texture on a real poinsettia.  I did this to all the bracts.  It didn't take to long.  

Then I twisted each stem part of the bracts.

Finally, I assembled the flower.  I started with the smaller shaped leaves in the middle and put the bigger ones on the outside.  I wrapped wire all around the stem part, like a bouquet of flowers.  I'm sure there is a much prettier way to do this but I knew mine would be attached to a wreath form anyway.  I left a piece of wire hanging to help with the spray paint.

Then just a healthy dose of spray paint and they were done.  I did spray a few times to make sure I covered all surfaces.  I used Krylon's shimmer spray paint followed by some glitter blast for extra sparkle.

And there it is!  I was pretty happy with the shape of these paper poinsettias.  They really do have a nice three-dimensional shape and will make a nice wreath that can be packed away and used year after year.

Merry Christmas!


  1. How clever and creative are you!!! No time left this year to whip these up, but I have bookmarked them for next year. Enjoy Christmas ... J

  2. Merry Christmas! I'm just taking a break from the endless cooking that seems to have popped up - but these look lovely!

  3. Just beautiful, simple but stunning. Merry Christmas r should I say season;s greeting to you, hubby and gorgeous bubby.

  4. So lovely! Merry Christmas Liza Jane!

  5. Beautiful flowers! I hope you had a lovely first Christmas with your precious little girl :)

  6. These are so pretty! I'll bookmark this for next year-- I didn't have the time to make much this year! Hope you and baby Jane had a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Well, it's closer to New Year's and I'm finally caught up to this post! I love these flowers, though, and will definitely keep them in mind for next year! Hope you had a very happy christmas!

  8. Very pretty! I should make some next year, because my boyfriend gave me a pointsettia early in December and I kinda sorta let it die within a couple of weeks...