Make Your Own Paper Tissue Flower Arrangements

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Paper flowers made of tissue are a staple of Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and these two-toned flowers add eye-popping color to your table. Placed in Mexican beer bottles, they create a whimsical arrangement that will certainly bring good cheer to your festivities.

Things You'll Need

  • Tissue paper in assorted colors
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Empty beer bottles
Tissue paper flowers
Tissue paper flowers (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 1

Cut one color of tissue paper into a stack of eight pieces that are 5" x 8" in size. Select another color of tissue paper, and cut two pieces that are 2 1/2" x 8" in size.

Cut the tissue paper in two sizes
Cut the tissue paper in two sizes (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2

Take the two narrow strips of tissue paper, and cut slits along the length, on both sides. Be sure not to cut all the way across the paper.

Cut slits along the edges of the narrow strips
Cut slits along the edges of the narrow strips (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3

Center the two narrow strips of tissue paper on top of the eight sheets of wider tissue paper.

Stack the tissue papers
Stack the tissue papers (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4

Starting at one end, fold the paper about 3/4" to 1", and continue making accordion folds until you've reached the other end.

Accordion fold the paper
Accordion fold the paper (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5

Keeping the narrow strips of tissue paper toward the top, tie a pipe cleaner around the middle of the accordion stack to secure it. The pipe cleaner also serves as the flower's stem.

Tie a pipe cleaner around the middle
Tie a pipe cleaner around the middle (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6

Round the ends of the wider tissue paper stack with scissors. Use the narrower strips of tissue paper as a guide, cutting deep into the center up to the point where the narrow paper sits.

Shape the petals
Shape the petals (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 7

Spread the accordion fold apart, and pull the narrow strips of tissue paper forward, toward the center of the flower. By pulling the paper forward, the back petals stay in place.

Pull the narrow strips toward the center
Pull the narrow strips toward the center (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 8

One by one, peel the wider tissue layers forward toward the front of the flower. As you separate the tissue layers from each other, the petals reveal themselves, and the flower becomes fuller. The tissue paper is delicate, so be patient. If the paper tears, don't worry about it. Real petals often fall off the flower.

Peel the larger petals forward
Peel the larger petals forward (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 9

Make flowers of different colors, and arrange them in Mexican beer bottles – the perfect bud vases. If you still have the six-pack cardboard case, that's even better. Place the bottles in the case for an arrangement that's ready to go, as a centerpiece or even a hostess gift.

Arrange flowers in beer bottles
Arrange flowers in beer bottles (Image: Jonathan Fong)

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Tips & Warnings

  • Make flowers of different sizes by varying the width of the tissue paper.
  • Alter the shape of the petals by cutting the ends at sharp angles instead of curves.
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