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How to Fold a Tissue Paper Flower

Paper flowers are fun and easy to make, lovely for everyday decor or special occasions, and last as long as you'd like. Also called pom poms, they can be hung from the ceiling, clustered on tables or displayed in vases as centerpieces. You can easily create different looks by customizing the petal size and shape.

Step 1:

Open and lay the stack of eight tissue paper sheets flat on your work table so that the 30-inch side (longer one) is horizontal. Cut the stack of eight sheets in half so you have two stacks measuring 20 by 15 inches. Remove two sheets from one stack and place them on the other stack. Set aside the stack of six sheets; you will use the stack of ten sheets for this project, which makes a lovely, full flower.

Step 2:

Rotate the stack of ten sheets so that the 15-inch side is horizontal on the work surface. Start accordion folding the 15-inch side with folds about 1 1/2 inches deep. Alternate the folds on the front and back until you have a folded stack the same width as the fold -- 1 1/2 inches -- and 15 inches long. Fold evenly and crease well as you work.

Tip

An accordion fold is simply a series of valley and mountain folds, easily created by folding up an edge on the front, turning the paper over and turning up that folded edge at the back, turning it back over and folding on the front.

Step 3:

Fold the stack in half to find the middle and release. Tie a string, wire or ribbon around the middle. If you are going to hang the flower, you could add a long wire or ribbon now.

Step 4:

Trim both ends of the folded stack to create a petal-like edge. Make the cuts about 1 inch deep to create natural-looking, loose, floppy edges to the petals. A pointed edge was cut in this project, but you could round the edge or cut a wavy edge with decorative scissors.

Step 5:

Open the folded stack so you can start to separate the layers.

Step 6:

Pull each tissue sheet up and away from the stack to separate each petal of the flower. Pull firmly but gently; you don't want to tear the paper. Tissue paper is delicate, but also somewhat forgiving. Pull the tissue away from the stack, right down to the center, to create the fullest flower.

Step 7:

Finish lifting and separating half the sheets from one side of the middle, then work across the middle on the other side.

Step 8:

Fluff the petals and smooth into a ball.

Tip

Though you can customize the fullness of each flower simply by using more or less sheets of paper, any fewer than eight sheets might look skimpy unless you make a smaller ball.

Displaying the Flowers

To hang the pom pom, simply tape the wire or ribbon to the ceiling or a chandelier, or insert hooks in the ceiling and hang the pom pom from the hooks. For porous ceiling material, push pins or thumb tacks would work, or you could wrap the wire or ribbon around the ceiling support grid mounts. Another possibility is to hang the flowers from a wide ribbon banner strung across a section of the ceiling. If you'd prefer not to hang them, you can attach stems to the flowers using three floral wires wrapped with floral tape and stick the flowers in vases.

About the Author

Writer, editor, and independent book producer, Leslie Carola has a degree in theatre from Marymount College. Author of many successful books on how-to crafts, cultural history, lifestyle, and food, she is married with children who have always asked intriguing questions.