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How-To

How to Make Crepe Paper Poppies2

Craft a bouquet of graceful 3-inch crepe paper poppies in red, pink and white for Valentine’s Day enjoyment far beyond the few dollars required to purchase supplies.  This is a great way to team up with younger kids if you combine the handmade flowers with your handmade glass vase.

The crinkled crepe paper will cover flaws, eliminating any need to make them perfect or even identical.  Just be neat and creative.   Both preparation and cleanup are minimal.  Instructions follow.

Tools:

  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Wire snippers
  • Pliers

Materials:

  • Spray adhesive
  • Florist’s wire (16-gauge for stems, 22-gauge for petals)
  • Florist’s tape (1/2-inch)
  • Crepe paper
  • Small black purchased flowers and Christmas-corsage balls for poppy centers

Steps:

1.  Cut a heart-shaped cardboard petal template from a 3-inch square.  Trace the template lengthwise along the “grain” of the crepe paper.  Cut 12 petal components for each poppy you want to make. 

2.  Cut a 4- to 5-inch length of 22-gauge wire for each petal.

3.  Lay petals on newspaper and clean paper towels.  Spray adhesive lightly but thoroughly to coat each petal.  Don’t saturate them or you’ll have a sticky mess.  Align a petal wire from the dip in the top of the sticky heart to its point.  Press the second petal’s sticky side on top with clean hands to make a heart-shaped “lollypop” on a wire.  Make 5 more.  Let the glue set for a few minutes to adhere well.

4.  Bend the petal wire at the top of the heart into a 1/4 inch curve with pliers.  Use fingers to finish wrapping the wire and petal in a loose roll around a smooth pencil, stopping at the heart’s bottom point.

5.  Scrunch the crepe paper inwards from both ends of the pencil, compressing the petal into an inch-long crinkled tube without tearing the paper.  Slide the pencil out gently and set the crinkled petal/tube aside while you wrap and scrunch the remaining petals.  

6.  Stretch the tubes/petals slightly and unwind the wire petal gently, leaving plenty of crinkles.  If the paper sticks and shreds, you applied too much glue.  The crepe paper will feel almost elastic.

7.  Disassemble the corsage to get an individual wire with a colored-glass bulb on the end. Remove plastic stem components from purchased black flowers for the poppy centers.  Thread the wire on the glass bulb through the flower and secure both to a 16-gauge stem wire with florist’s tape, pulling and stretching the tape as you wrap.

8.  Position the wire and 1/2 inch of the paper petal base (at the heart’s point) immediately beneath the black poppy center with the rest of the petal above.  Wrap with florist’s tape around the stem.  Position and tape two more so that you have three equally-spaced petals with gaps between them.  Center and tape three remaining petals beneath the gaps.  Tape the rest of the stem.

9.  Arrange the petals artfully, pulling gently to curve and shape the crepe paper while leaving lots of crinkles for character.

 

photos and text by Sandra Simmons

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Comments / Discussion

  1. Jennifer
    Your poppies are so gorgeous!!! What kind of spray adhesive do u recommend?
    March 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink
  2. Sandra
    Jennifer, thank you! I certainly had a good time making them, as I always did as a child--only then, we used to make them about a foot in diameter! As for glue, I have no preference in brand. However, I did select the one that said it was crystal clear, acid-free, all-purpose, and permanent. On colored crepe paper, anything that dried white would ruin the flower. Acid-free is something I always look for in craft supplies and paper for painting. All-purpose and permanent just had the right sound! So, are you goin' to try some poppies? It's March, and I've been thinking about daffodils. Does anyone sell yellow crepe paper?
    March 5, 2011 at 7:52 am | Permalink
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