Bougainvillea – a home made flower

paper bougainvillea

Do you have a bougainvillea?

I was born in that part of Europe, when if you want to have a bougainvillea, you have only a flower pot with a plant, keeping always an eye on it, fighting with the late spring or early autumn cold, feeding the soil, and even then you have to accept that one day your beloved plant will die. With no explanation and with no reason. I even wrote in my other blog about the passion and sadness to have a bougainvillea. You can see in the link how beautiful it was…

“But that died, too…”, as Jonny Cash sings…

So, when I started to work seriously with paper, one of the first projects was – of course – the bougainvillea.

Here I am sharing my very, very easy tutorial on how to make your own bougainvillea. Even small kids can do it, so enjoy!

See how it works

First you need – if possible – a branch of a real plant. Be careful with the thorns! If it is impossible to find a real plant, find the best picture you can online! It is important, because success comes with observation and understanding – how God made the leaves, how the branches and the stamens look… With observation you can find your way easily to make every flower! And believe me, this flower will be amazing beautiful!

paper bougainvillea

Keep the branch or the picture with you when you start making the elements.

I am using white coffee filter paper for the colourful leaves and think it is the best paper for making bougainvillea because of it structure. Do you know that the beautiful colourful flowers of the bougainvillea are not actually flowers – they are colourful leaves, surrounding the real flowers – very small white, yellow or green, hiding, almost invisible.

If you will use the bougainvillea only inside your home, you can use watercolour pencils. But if it is possible to move it outside, I suggest you use acrylic paint.

home made bougainvillea

For the green leaves is better to use watercolour or other good quality cardboard.

Observe how the leaves look and try to make absolutely the same shape.

instruments for paper bougainvillea

Shape the veins of the leaves first with a knife…

bougainvillea green leaf

… and after that, twist them using pliers. This is a very personal moment – some instruments I am using are not comfortable for my friends and opposite. So be curious and try different ways – there is not only one “proper” way to make things.

shaping green paper leaf

In the end you will have almost real bougainvillea green leaves. Don’t worry if the first one is not very good, believe me – the last ones will be perfect!

bougainvillea leaves

Make a few green leaves of different sizes.

bougainvillea leaves

After that, using thin paper wire, glue their stalks.

paper leaves

And now is the time to make the white leaves and the real flowers.

Sometimes it is very difficult to make such small elements, so you just have to give the idea of these flowers.

Twist some filter paper around a piece of paper wire.

And colour it with green and yellow.

paper bougainvillea fllowers

While the “flowers” are drying, you can make the white leaves – this is the easiest part.

Just cut the proper shape from the filter paper and rub and shape it, using the hard end of a pencil. This will create an illusion of the leaves veins.

paper bougainvillea leaves

Before or after the shaping you can colour the bottom of the leaves and the small leaves with light green. Do you see – the small leaves of the real plant are darker and greenish than the bigger ones.

After that, when the “flowers” and the white leaves are already dry, glue them together to make the big “flower”.

paper leaf

When all the elements are already prepared, you can create the whole branch by twisting the paper wire stalks.

twisting wire stalks

And in the end your paper bougainvillea branch is ready – as beautiful as a real one!

paper bougainvillea

Craft information

Materials you need: white coffee filter paper, thin paper wire, watercolour pencils, watercolour paint or acrylic paint, scissors, brush, pliers and all other “instruments” which will help you to shape the leaves, glue, hot silicon glue;

Time you need: around one day.

If you want to see more flower crafts:


6 Comments Bougainvillea – a home made flower

  1. kikipappy April 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing your tutorial for this beautiful flower! I look forward to trying my hand at making it!

    1. Vihra June 1, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Thank you! ♥

  2. Galina November 24, 2017 at 9:43 am

    The attention to details you put in your work is just amazing!

    1. Vihra November 24, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Thank you! I just adore bougainvilleas – this is my big problem 🙂

  3. Jamie May 29, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Absolutely beautiful and so realistic! I also love using coffee filters for my paper flowers! Great job!

    1. Vihra May 29, 2020 at 10:04 am

      Thank you very much! ♥ I love using them too! 🙂


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