Friday, July 30, 2010

Paper Peonies

How I adore these flowers and the way they burst forth with such a glowing explosion of color and beauty. Here is a simple way to recreate them so that you can enjoy their sheer magnificence all year round!
I think  these would look lovely as a party decorations, as a centerpiece for the table, or a top a many possibilities!

Here is what you will need
~ tissue paper
~ pipe cleaners
~ scissors

To begin,  take 3 sheets of your tissue paper and place them on top of each other. Next  cut your stack of  3  sheets into 3 strips. Then cut each pile of strips into 3 squares. This leaves you with 3 piles of squares with nine in each pile. I must mention though, this is flexible depending on the size of flower you want to end up with ~ big and bold or small and sweet...

Then take one of your piles of tissue paper squares and fold it accordion style ~  folding it over 1/2 inch to 1 inch then folding it back the other way. It should look similar to a fan when you open the folds.

Next, use your scissors to form the shape of the petals, by rounding off each end of your folded "fan" ~ the deep curved ends will make petals much like that of a peony.

Tie the middle together with a pipe cleaner ~ leaving the majority of the pipe cleaner for the stem.

Now you are ready to open your flower.  Gently pull the top sheets away from the others up towards what will be the center of the flower. Work gradually and gently, as it is easy to tear the tissue paper during this step. Repeat this step with each subsequent layer of tissue paper until you have done this for all of them.
After you have separated the layers play around...fluff them up and bring them to life!

We enjoyed the outcome so much that we were inspired to make an abundance of then ~ a big bouquet of all white, a handful of soft and bright pinks and next we plan ignore the traditional peony colors and make a vibrant rainbow bouquet! 
I must also mention we had fun dipping the edges of each flower with glue and shaking on some glitter ~ a sparkly flower...who can resist?!

I shall end my ode to the peony with this poem I came across by Mary Oliver. Her words describe the magnificence of peony with such eloquence.  Enjoy...

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open ---
pools of lace,
white and pink ---
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities ---
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

In celebration of the succulent  peony
~ Shanti~

PS.  We're pleased as punch to announce the winner of our giveaway is...
angelina of Norwood Walkabouts!!!!


  1. funky flowers...lucky, lucky Angelia!

  2. Congrats to Angelina! And I LOVE peonies!! They are by far my favorite flower in the world! My grandmother used to have several big gorgeous peonies by her front porch (we called them piney roses...that's what she called them, love that country slang ;) She used to cut us a bloom or two then wrap the cut stems in wet napkins so they wouldn't wilt before we got them home. I will never see a peony without thinking of my Granny and those piney roses in the front yard...thank you for the wonderful tutorial.

  3. We used to make these in the 70s and 80s, out of that wonderful coloured kleenex they used to make...for weddings! Scotch taped all over the bride and groom's car. It's crazy to remember that. These ones are much prettier!!

  4. We made flowers like that for my oldest son's last birthday. We still have three of them hanging up almost exactly a year later! (:

  5. Hello ladies ! i just wanted to say that i love your blog and that it among others have inspired me to start my own. I live in Canada and i provide waldorf inspired early education to 5 lovely souls, full time in my home and homeschool my 2 school age children. What i am wondering is may i reference your little felt mushroom toadstools in a link on my blog. I love them and we all loved making them! Thanks for all the inspiration and love.

    Love and light to you !

  6. hi again ! forgot to give you my email thanks again !

    light and love

    autumn mama

  7. Oooh, these are so pretty. Peonies are one of my favourite flowers.
    And my blog is littered with Mary Oliver :)
    Love her!
    Thank you for sharing this. I'll look forward to doing this with my girls sometime during these rainy day holidays we've been having!

  8. Seen these flowers around the blog world a lot lately. Love them.
    Very cute.

  9. we are planning on decorating an empty lemonade jug as a birthday gift- paper peonies would be perfect for it. thanks! and you can never have enough glitter. ;)

  10. waHOO!! I AM so so stoked. what a lucky duck i am today, yeah! thank you so much guys. i cant wait to cuddle the little gnome by candlelight! :))) xxxxx
    ps. i have a making waldorf dolls tutorial of sorts that i just finished posting if anyone is keen...

  11. Oh wow! These are so beautiful and look just like the real thing! You are amazing Maureen!
    Have a great weekend,

  12. hi guys..still no little gnome..i hope it isnt lost ! x

  13. Thank you for this gem. It is 1:20am and I just had to try it. I must say it is so easy and truned out so pretty. I'm sure I will use your pattern many times in the springs and summers to come. May even use it for Christmas wreaths. I plan to make a spring wreath tomorrow in yellow and pink.

  14. I have these wonderful colorful flowers in my yard


We ((LOVE)) your comments!!! Thank you with all our hearts for visiting us here at Twig and Toadstool. xo



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