I believe this copy paper flowering Oleander decoration can inspire you to do craft even in places which are away from your craft room. Maybe when traveling, or maybe when you are at the office and an emergency gift need arises. Or maybe when you have to find something to attract your children to spend less time online? Maybe you don’t think that copy paper, the simple white one you can find in every office, can be used to create flowers? I will try to convince you otherwise. In this article, I will show you an idea on how to create – very easily – a paper Oleander decoration using commonly available materials.
Easy to find materials
First, if you don’t have any wire at home, don’t worry. For this project I am not using wire, but only simple paper masking tape. Of course, I don’t suggest using your washi tape, because it is very precious, but just simple single coloured masking tape, normally used to define edges when painting walls or furniture – this is your special material! And you can even find it in green colour, which is perfect for this application!
Tear off a piece of tape, not longer than 20 cm, and twist it, keeping the sticky side inside the twist. This will give you a short and relatively thick “stem” on which you can later attach leaves and flowers.
Here is another very special material – a white kitchen paper towel. The ones on the photo are my favourites, because they are even a little bit stretchy.
And you can also colour them very easy.
If you use alcohol-based wide (broad or chisel) markers, colour a part of the kitchen paper towel as shown.
Then spray or spread an alcohol-based hand disinfectant on the folded area and then quickly fold and press. This immediately doubles the coloured area.
You can also do this with water-based markers, but be careful, because the water dries slower than the alcohol and it is easier to tear the paper when wet. You can dry the kitchen paper towel in your microwave (20 seconds at 600 W) or with your hair drier.
The coloured kitchen paper towel is great to cut in strips and later use as a wrap for the stems of your Oleander plant. It can easily substitute the crepe paper when have to wrap stems and attach small leaves, flowers or small branches.
How to use the copy paper
Cut some leaves and colour them with the markers in different shades of green.
Then cut some square pieces of paper, fold them in 4 and draw a flower like the one shown.
If you don’t feel like drawing and cutting, click on the banner below and use my free Cricut and printable hand-cut templates.
Then colour these with markers in different shades. I chose the reds, but you can use any colour you like. Thinking about this, maybe the green-turquoise markers for highlighting text will do a great job! Just to remind you, there are also glitter beige and pink ones.
Don’t worry about making precise symmetric lines, because later the flower elements will be folded again and twisted, so only the colour shades will remain visible
Also, if you don’t have time to colour lots of flower and leaf elements, click on the banner and use my free Print then Cut templates for Cricut
If you decide to use the Print then Cut files, print first the background on one side – the green for the leaves, the red for the flowers. Wait for a minute or two, especially if you have a ink jet printer. The ink makes the paper a bit damp and later the Cricut knife can tear some paper areas. After the paper is fully dry, use the white side of the sheet with the Print then Cut option.
How to make the Oleander flowers and buds
I suggest making at least 5 flower elements if you create a small piece for a greeting card or a gift wrapping decoration, for example.
But if you want a bigger flower branch, make not less than 12. This is how many flower elements I used.
Then just fold and twist each of them to make the petals look more natural. This way you can create Oleander flowers in different stages – from a bud (just don’t open the twisted element) to a fully blooming one.
How to assemble the elements
Using PVA glue, put glue on 1/3 of the bottom of the leaf and then glue the bud element on the top as shown.
Here you see the little free area on the bottom of the leaf which later will be fixed on the Oleander’s stem.
You can also glue a partially open bud in the same way on the leaf (left) and can glue two flower elements next to each other to make an even more open flower.
You can even add three flower elements: first glue two next to each other and then put a drop of glue on the bottom and add the third element. Press well.
Assembling the paper Oleander decoration
When you have all these elements just start adding them to the masking tape stems. First add the buds – the bottom of the leaf has to “hug” the masking tape stem.
Spiral wrap the stem gently with the kitchen paper strips and PVA glue to hide the masking tape and to make the stem green. Also – the PVA glue in combination with the paper makes hard, untearable constructions. If you add these strips, later, when your Oleander branch is dry, the stem will be harder than it is while you are working on it. Normally this will be the next day (to fully cure, the PVA glue needs 24 hours), so if you need a plant with a hard stem, give yourself one day for the PVA glue to dry.
Under the buds, glue the partially opened flowers and on the bottom of each stem add the fully opened ones, which have three elements.
Connect the different branches together by spiral wrapping with kitchen paper towel strips and PVA glue as previously.
And your plant is ready!
You can use it as a table or work desk decoration, as gift wrapping, as a garland, as a single framed gift piece…the opportunities are endless. I can only hope that this project will inspire you to be braver with the materials. Don’t limit yourself and don’t stop yourself from creating just because you don’t have the “proper” materials at your disposal. Everything can be your craft material.