How to Make Paper Flowers: Hibiscus
Photography: Addie Juell
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2014
4 sheets of watermelon- or peach-colored doublette crepe paper, 5 by 6 inches, dip-dye bleached
1 sheet of bright orange doublette crepe paper, 11⁄2 by 5 inches
1 yellow bottlebrush stamen, wrapped in floral tape, for the stem
Green floral tape
2 leaves with stems
- Place the petal template on a 5-by-6-inch piece of crepe paper, so the top of the petal is at the bleached edge of the paper. Trace the template onto the crepe paper, and cut out the petal shape. Repeat with the remaining pieces to make a total of 4 petals. Then, take the 11⁄2-by-5-inch piece of orange crepe paper, cut a 1⁄2 inch of fringe down one long edge of it, and position it 1 inch below the bottlebrush on the stem. Attach fringe using green floral tape, wrapping down the stem 2 inches.
- Working on a smooth, low-friction surface, gather the bottom edge of one petal into a fanlike shape with your fingertips. (It will be wide at the top, as hibiscus petals are, and narrow at the bottom, which should be long enough to attach to the stem.)
- Place the gathered end of the petal on the stem, just below the orange crepe paper fringe, making sure it covers up no more than a quarter of the stem. Attach with floral tape, wrapping it down and around the stem to about 1 inch below the base of the petal.
- Position a second petal so that it overlaps the edge of the first by 1⁄2 inch, and attach it with floral tape, as you did for the first. At this point, an overhead view of your flower should look like a spiral. Repeat with the remaining two petals.
- Firmly bend petals outward at base until they are nearly flat. Because crepe paper is thick, it will resist and try to return to its original shape. Continue to fluff and bend flower until it resembles a completely open bloom with lots of body and dimension. Gently bend the yellow bottlebrush top of the stem so it has a slight arch that mimics the shape of a natural stamen.
- An inch down from the flower, bend the stem at a 60-degree angle. Place the leaf stems flush along the main stem, and position the leaves at the base of the flower. Attach the leaf stems to the center stem with floral tape, wrapping the tape to about 4 inches below the base of the leaves. Using wire cutters, trim the flower stem to the end of the floral tape. Turn the hibiscus upside down and wrap the cut stem end with floral tape to finish.