As you know, I am always saying that the best present you can give someone is your time. And with the most special time of the year coming, it is also a most special period to create. To show the people you love how important they are to you by giving your time during this crazy period when you never seem to have enough time. No digging around in the shops to buy, buy, buy but creating something special to make memories for you and for them – shopping just makes clutter, sorry.
The Crepe paper poinsettia I am offering you to make is perfect for Christmas. You can make a big one, to put in the dining room or a home entry, a smaller one, to wrap as a bouquet, a little one to stick on the Christmas cake, very little ones to decorate the serviettes or to give your guests as boutonnieres. And I am sure you will find many more ideas, so just explore your imagination. You can also involve your children. Maybe they are looking for a present for their lovely teacher…
To create your Crepe paper poinsettia you will need high quality crepe paper, paper wire, a thin wooden barbeque stick and PVA glue. Also, if you have time, acrylic paint.
I am saying, “if you have time”, because I know November and December are very busy months. But if you have time, I suggest colouring your crepe paper with acrylic paint, rather than using the industrially coloured variety. Unfortunately, even the best coloured crepe paper fades in the light over time.
Last Christmas I made a beautiful crepe paper poinsettia plant for our coastal holiday home. Because of the ambience of the place with the amazing blue sea all around, I wanted the poinsettia to be turquoise blue. You can see the original plant in my Instagram account: Turquoise Poinsettia. This is how it looks now. The bright colours have faded to greyish white even though the plant was always in a shaded place.
I am not saying it is not still beautiful, because the high quality of the paper kept the shapes of the leaves in perfect condition even with the high humidity close to the sea. Also, again because of the good quality of the paper, the colours faded in a very elegant way, somehow decadent and they still look good together. But this is not my bright poinsettia.
If you decide to colour the leaves yourself, you still can save some time. Buy red and green crepe paper and – following the veins – make strokes with acrylic paint in another shade of red. When the colours start fading, you will still have beautiful bright colours and some interesting lighter spots.
Let’s make the leaves now…
Here I am showing you how to make your plant with industrial coloured crepe paper. Mainly you will need red and green, cut in squares as shown in the first row:
I am not giving you exact sizes, because you will decide how big your plant should be. Don’t worry if some pieces are not perfect squares. Some leaves will become longer, some shorter and this only adds more authenticity to your creation.
The only “rule” is that the green squares should be the biggest ones and you should have not less than two sizes of red ones – bigger and smaller.
Cut each square diagonally as shown.
You will see that the veins (or as I often call them “wrinkles”) of the paper are all in one direction. So, you can turn one of the triangles to make leaf-like veins.
Put glue on the edge of the longer side of the rectangle and glue both pieces together as shown.
Do the same with all the square pieces and leave them to dry very well. Do not go to the next stage of the leaves before the glue is fully dried.
While waiting let’s work on the stamens. Here you will need the small rectangles from each colour.
Glue the yellow and red together as shown.
When the glue is still not fully dried, cut thin fringes and twist them to look more like stamens.
Glue them around a piece of the paper wire.
Use the green rectangle to cover the bottom of the stamens as shown.
Cover the wire to the bottom with a string of green paper. Even if you are working with green paper wire, this is important for it strengthens the stem.
You will need at least five separate stamens like this to create the skeleton of the plant.
Glue them together around unsharpened edge of the wooden barbeque stick. It is important to keep the sharp edge on the bottom. This will help when it comes time to stick the plant in a pot with soil or in a cake. If you are making serviette decorations or boutonnieres, it is better to cut the sharp edge, to cover it with paper and then to stick the stamens around it.
Back to the petals
Meanwhile, the glued triangles should already be completely dry. Open the glued part very gently as shown, put glue in the area under the thin part and put a piece of paper wire there. Press carefully to glue it well. This will be the bottom of your petal. Leave it aside to dry.
This is how the top of the petal must look:
When you have glued all the petals the same way, cut the triangle edges to create real leaf shapes.
Then gently stretch all the edges of the leaves.
Also, with a string of red paper, cover the whole paper wire. If you look at a real poinsettia, you will see how the leaf gradually changes to a stem before connecting with the main, thick stem. Do the same with the green ones too.
Creating the poinsettia plant
Now is the time to put everything together. For me, it is always the most exciting part, because even after just the first petals the plant starts looking gorgeous and very realistic.
Start by gluing first the small red leaves around the stamens. First 3 and in the second, lower level, between them, the other 3. The way to do this is with a string from crepe paper with drops of glue on it. Stretch gently and wrap.
Do not worry if you have to do 2 or 3 rounds around the stem as this will only give your plant more strength.
Keep the “star” shape when gluing the leaves.
Finish with the green leaves and cover the wooden stick, but not all the way to the end.
And your Crepe paper poinsettia is ready! I wish you beautiful and magical pre-Christmas days!
For more flowers for Christmas decoration see my article How to make your own cotton flowers
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