How to Make Mexican Paper Flowers

Mexicans celebrate traditional fiestas with a myriad of colors. Different colors can be seen from everywhere, from the colorful clothing of men and women, the buntings, lights, streamers and things from nature such as fruits, flowers, vegetables and plants. The whole effect is one of fun and merriment for which Mexico is known. Even if there is no event to celebrate, most Mexican homes are decorated with paper flowers, another Mexican tradition, to enliven the home and uplift the spirit of the people living in it. The art of making paper flowers was brought to Mexico from East Asia and traditionally made using Chinese tissue paper in bright colors. Today other materials like crepe paper and dyed corn husks are used. Below are the steps on how to make Mexican paper flowers.

Place four sheets of Chinese or Japanese tissue paper one on top of the other, making sure that the edges are aligned. With a straight ruler measure several strips twelve inches long by six inches wide. Secure the sheets in place with paper clips.

Get one set of strips and start folding the short side into an inch wide fan fold. Place something heavy on the finished strips while you work on the rest.  Round the top and bottom corners of each folded strip with a straight edge or decorative scissors.

Fold the strip in half to mark the center and secure it tightly by wrapping a piece of green pipe cleaner bent in the middle and the ends twisted.

Bend the folded strip upwards so the petals will be close together. Start arranging and spreading out the layers of tissue paper, starting from the outermost layer, until the layers resemble a round flower blossom.  Use the pipe cleaner as the flower stem.

There are different materials and methods you can use when learning how to make Mexican paper flowers.  You can use crepe paper, which has more “give” allowing you to add more natural shape to the flowers by stretching the crepe paper. You can use floral wires instead of pipe cleaners for securing and adding stems. You can add another color for the center of the flowers. And you can make the flower petals spiky by getting more creative when cutting the ends of the layers of paper.

The following steps on how to make Mexican paper flowers are very basic. Use your imagination to create variations and make different flowers that will last for a long time. Embellish them with artificial leaves and spray them with a light, floral scent.

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