Last year during a visit to my local library branch, I noticed the cutest pin wheel rolled paper roses bouquet made from the pages of an old book. When I asked about the bouquet, the librarian kindly gave me the instructions for creating my own paper roses from a book. Now, I’m not wanting to remove pages from one of my books, however I did pull my old book titled The Works of Shakespeare: Complete circa 1944 that has suffered a bit of flood damage; it’s one I’ve already replaced from eBay, so I decided to use the pages from that to make my roses. You can use newspaper or an old Reader’s Digest if you have those available. While the rolled paper roses were cute, I wanted something that looked as close as possible to a real rose, so I searched for other instructions. I found so many videos out there with a lot of repetition. I tried a few methods but failed. So, I discovered an easier way to make my roses with just a few cuts, a little bit of glue, by combining a few different elements from the many videos, and through trial and error. My glue gun is in my classroom closet, so I used white glue, and it worked just fine but was a little messy. I love my Shakespearean rose bouquet alongside some of my favorite books!
- old book pages, newspaper, scrapbook paper or Kraft paper
- white glue or glue gun and glue sticks
- skewer or floral wire
- floral tape (optional)
- bowl or mug for circle guide (I used a coffee mug with a diameter of 10.5cm.)
*If you prefer, you can skip steps 1 and 2 and Download this Flower Template in PDF format, instead. You will need four flowers per rose.
• Step 1: Cut Circles
You will need four flowers per rose. Use your larger circular guide and trace around the circumference onto your paper. Layer your paper and cut out four circles at one time. I’ve found that using four circles makes a nice, full rose and gives an organic look.
Style tip #1: If you have decorative-edge scissors, use them to add a decorative edge to your roses. Otherwise, you can create a scalloped edge with regular scissors if you like.
Style tip #2: If you are making several roses, create an assembly line and work through the steps one step at a time on each rose.
• Step 2: Fold and cut your flower shapes
Fold your circles in half. Then fold your half circle into thirds accordion style, making sure to get the edges as even as possible. Using your scissors, cut out a petal shape by rounding the top corners at the wide end. Snip the point at the bottom to create a small hole. When unfolded, you should have four flowers with six petals.
Style tip #3: If you want your flowers to look vintage, you can take a small sponge and black or brown paint or ink to buff the edges of your flower shapes. Brush a coat of white glue across the shapes to seal the edges and prevent it from rubbing off. Let dry for approximately 30 minutes.
• Step 3: Shape your rose
At this point, I sponged my flower petals with a light coat of white glue and let dry for 30 minutes because my pages were thin. The glue added body to help with curling the petals. Adding the glue isn’t necessary but helps when shaping the rose and adds a layer of protection.
With scissors, cut your first flower along a fold line to the center as shown. Cut off one petal from your second flower as shown. Cut off two petals together from your third flower as shown. Cut off three petals together from your fourth flower as shown. You should now have seven flowers. The flowers in the bottom image are numbered for identification in the following instructions and show what your flowers should look like at this point.
• Step 4: Build your rose
Add glue to the petal beside your cut on flower 1. Overlap the next petal and hold until set. Repeat this with flowers 2 through 5. Your flowers should resemble a little bowl or cup.
Using a skewer, curl the petals downward and outward on flowers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Using a skewer, curl flowers 6 (heart-shaped piece) and 7 (single petal) from side to side into tubes as shown.
Add glue around the center hole in the bottom of flower 2 and layer on top of flower 1 and alternating the petals. Be careful to not cover the holes with glue. Hold until set. Add glue around the center hole of flower 3 and layer on top of flower 2. Repeat these steps for the remaining flowers. You should now have a beautiful rose.
• Step 5: Make a Bouquet
To make a bouquet of roses, insert the skewer (pointed side down) into the center of the top of your rosebud (flower 7) and working through the holes in the bottom of each layer. You can then add hot glue around the base of the flower at the skewer to hold the skewer in place or wrap tape around the skewer.
Style tip #4: If you prefer, you can cut a leaf shape from a piece of green paper and glue it to your rose or skewer. You can also use the leaves from a fake flower.
Style tip #5: Instead of making a bouquet, you can glue your paper roses onto picture frames or a gift-wrapped package as a special decoration. Just add a little ribbon accent, perhaps a green paper leaf or two, and your frame or package will have that added special touch.
• What I learned:
My book pages were much thinner than most paperback or hardcover pages, so I think the roses would have been easier to handle and look better if I had glued the pages onto light-weight card stock or craft paper and used my template. Also, a glue gun is much faster and less messy than using hobby glue or any liquid glue. I’ll be bringing my glue gun home from my classroom next week or buying another to use at work.
I think I’ll print some sheet music and create a musical bouquet to sit on top of the piano. Perhaps even create a wreath or topiary. The possibilities are endless.