Paper Napkin Dahlias: Flower Making

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I recently tried this new technique of flower making. These beautiful candy-colored Dahlias have been made with paper napkins, and they are currently decorating my bedroom, but they will look absolutely amazing as Party Décor for baby showers, birthdays of little girls, and in wedding anniversary celebrations. They can be used for both indoor and outdoor décor.

They are fairly easy to make, though they DO require a bit of patience. If you'd like to make them for decorating your kid's room or for a party, you can follow this simple tutorial below.

I used 30cm by 30cm double-ply paper napkins for these flowers. But you can use single-ply napkins too, or even tissue paper (available at most craft supplies' stores) cut into the desired size. The finished flower will be of approximately the same width as the size of your paper.

  1. You will need yarn, scissors and paper napkins. For a big Dahlia, take 6 double-ply napkins or 10 single-ply napkins. For a small Dahlia, cut 2 double-ply or 3 single-ply napkins into quarters, giving 8 or 12 pieces respectively.

  2. Layer the napkins one over the other, and then fold into accordion folds (about 3 cm width for big flowers and 1.5 cm for the smaller ones).

  3. Tie a thread in the center of the folded bunch to hold it tightly together. Leave an extra bit of string at one end for hanging the flowers once they are finished.

  4. Cut the ends of the folded strip to give a shape to your petals. I tried a "U" shape for the big yellow flower, "V" for the big pink one, and a forked look for the big white flower.

  5. Now comes the tricky part. You need to separate all these layers of paper into the shape of a Dahlia. If you're using double-ply napkins, you'll need to separate the individual plies. This is where you need a mountain of patience, because if you try to rush through this step, you'll end up tearing the sheets.

  6. If you manage to complete the above step carefully enough, this is what you should get in the end.
Pictures 7, 8 and 9 are just to show you the finished small flowers. It's best to hang them somewhere as you finish them. The petals become a bit tussled if you leave them on the bed or floor.

Variation: I hung these handmade flowers individually, on a spare curtain rod in my bedroom. But you can also make a full-length curtain out of them. In Step 3, when you tie the string, leave it hanging out on both ends. Then you can use these extra bits of string to connect the flowers to each other in a chain.

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