This text was inspired by a lady who bought my coffee filter Peony hairclip tutorial. She asked me if it is possible to create a crepe paper Peony the same way and with the same purpose. My answer was: of course it is possible, but there are some difference because of the different type of paper. Which prompted me to share my way of making crepe paper flowers for head accessories with you. It is Christmas time and a beautiful flower is always a great gift idea.
For this Peony you will need crepe paper, thin florist’s wire (0.6mm), transparent universal gel glue, scissors (for the paper) and side cutters (for the wire), cotton thread, a sharp needle and beads. Also a wooden barbeque stick for shaping the petals. I leave to you the decision of how to wear the flower – on a hairclip or attached to a tiara or hairband. The principles of attaching are the same in each case.
Making the crepe paper Peony
First you will have to make the petals and the leaves for your flower.
Cut a rectangular piece of crepe paper with vertical (as I call them) “wrinkles”. Then cut the piece on a diagonal trying to have straight line. It will not be a problem to mark the diagonal with pencil or a pen to ensure a good, straight cut line.
Flip one of the pieces over to create a leaf-looking construction when they are joined along the cut line. And then place one piece on top of the other and cut an outline on both together to give the future petal the shape you prefer. Here I am making a Peony petal and so I’ve cut a rounded shape. If I was making a Poinsettia petal, I could leave the sharp top of the triangles and only round the sides. This technique is transferrable ot any number of flowers.
If you want to also add green leaves, start with green paper and make the same same starting steps and shapes as if you were making Poinsettia petals.
Put transparent glue on the long side of one of the petals. I prefer transparent glue for this, because it is invisible and so hides all my possible gluing mistakes
Then glue the two elements together along this long edge as shown below. The glue will need some time to work, so leave it aside and start making the other petals of this type. You will need about 6-7 petals with similar shape.
These are very important, and you really should not skip them because they will be the foundation of your construction and will make the flower lie beautifully on your head.
Cut a long rectangular piece as shown and fold it half lengthwise to make a double petal shape. You will need 2 or 3 different lengths with 4 double petals of each length.
A bit more work on the petals…
First, we need to finish the main (bottom) petals. Shape them well as shown on the photo below.
Then go back to the thin gluing line and put a wide line of transparent glue on the whole overlapped area from the bottom to the top. Look at the photo – all the paper on the right side of the wire piece should be covered with glue.
Then position the wire on the fold line.
Cover with the area with the glue and press.
This is how the result should look. This step is very important, because it will guarantee that the wire is well fixed inside the paper. You will touch this flower often and you’ll move your head and maybe dance, so it needs to be secure… Press well until the whole area is well glued and the wire is not moving.
Later we will shape these petals in the way, shown on the photo below. I suggest not to shape them before the flower is ready, because it will be a lot more difficult to attach the different elements.
And some more petals…
The last step of the preparations is to make the small petals (and stamens) which will be at the centre of the flower.
Cut little double petals following the same steps as for the bigger main ones. You can make them thinner or wider – whatever suits your idea of how the flowers should look.
Also, cut a small crepe paper circle piece. Later this will be the base which will hold the little petals and the bead stamens.
Time to assemble the crepe paper Peony headpiece!
One little trick I am sharing with you is this eye mask. They make an amazing base for holding different types of flowers – paper or textile ones. The double fabric area creates a strong base for sewing on the petals, even the wired ones. The elastic makes the mask great for using it as a kid’s tiara. It also can be work on hats…
But if you don’t have an eye mask, a simple piece of felt is also a great base. Start attaching first the wired petals. Here the most important thing is to connect them securely to the felt base. Sew them close to the wire so it will not punch through the paper. Also, secure the end of the wire. If this end is too long, trim it and leave a piece not longer than 1 cm (1/2”). Sew very well around the wire end too.
You will not need a lot of stiches – 2-3 is enough for a petal. This is because when you put the next petal, it will cover part of the one under and the new stitches will secure the bottom petals more and more.
But don’t forget to securely stitche the end of the wire of every petal. This will prevent poking and scratching of the sculp or tearing the paper petals.
This is how all the bottom petals look when attached to the textile base.
The next step – adding the double petals
There is no big secret here, just sew them on with 1-3 stitches if the flower will be small and more stiches if the flower will be big. You can make this headpiece really big, bigger than your head, but then the number of stitches should increase too.
Attach the double Peony petals in a cross-shape, trying to cover all the empty spaces in between and to make a rich, “messy” Peony flower.
Making and adding the centre
Normally I love using PVA glue for my paper flowers, becaue it creates a great connection between the paper layers, but here I suggest the transparent universal only because it dries faster and all the sewing can tear the paper if it was wet from PVA (water based) glue. Also, around all the big holidays we never have enough time as you well know, so anything that speeds up the process is welcome.
Glue the little petals again in a cross-shape on the top of the round crepe paper piece. Then sew in the centre a bunch of colourful beads to make the stamens.
When the beads are sufficently well fixed, cut the thread, but not too close to the paper, leave it a bit longer as shown. This will help it to be well glued and to not start moving and allowing the beads to come loose. Put a good amount of glue on the back and stick to the centre of the flower. Press strongly and hold for about 1 minute to help the glue do its job.
Now the first step is finished and you can have a cup of tea and prepare the other materials at aare necessary for the next step – the band, the tiara base or the pin…
Last steps and shaping the crepe paper Peony
The first step is to attach the flower. Look at the red ribbon. This is how you will have to attach the flower to the band or the tiara. Glue together the three elements – the band (tiara, pin), the base of the flower and the top piece. Then sew well the two felt pieces all around the edges to make the base look beautiful and also to secure the band so it does not move. My suggestion is: always double secure the elements with both glue and sewing. This will help your flower to look beautiful and to live a long life.
When the flower is well attached, it is time for some pleasure – shaping the petals!
Roll the petals in different shapes by rolling them around the wooden stick while pressing with your pointer finger and thumb.
Gently stretch the crepe paper of the bigger petals and twist the wire to follow the curve of your head.
And your flower headpiece is ready!
Creating a headpiece gift like this – I am sure – will make a lot little girls very happy, and add a lot of joy to every holiday or family party! ♥
While having fun at home with your children, why not try this: Christmas paper cookie embellishments. Because Christmas is coming! ♥