DIY Craft Tutorial: How to Make a Decorative Branch With Paper Flower Blossoms
This tutorial shows you how easy it is to make a lovely floral decoration for your home using a branch and adding paper leaves and tissue paper blossoms. These beautiful budding branches are the perfect way to accent a mantle or side table, or create a charming centerpiece for your dinner table.
I used bright yellow for my flowers to create a pop of color in my room, but you could easily change the color combination and a few details to make this flower craft into a holiday decoration. Change the blossoms to pink and red, and add little paper hearts instead of leaves and you've created a wonderful decoration for Valentine's Day! For the winter season, use white flowers and add silver and gold stars to your branch for a festive and sparkly holiday display!
This craft can be used as a wonderful art or nature camp project for children with some adult supervision. Depending on the age of the children, you can make these flowers as easy or an intricate as you want.
Materials for Making a Decorative Branch with Paper Flower Blossoms
- A branch: if you can't find a branch that is the size and shape you want, try putting two branches on top of each other and either tie them together or wrap and elastic around the base of your branches. Just be sure that this area is hidden by your vase when you display your decorative branch
- Tissue paper: one sheet of tissue paper in each color that you wish to use. You can use as many colors as you choose and you can mix up the colors of your flower blossoms if you wish.
- White craft glue that dries clear
- Basic craft supplies: scissors, pencil, etc.
Optional — Supplies and Directions for Adding Leaves to Your Decorative Branch
I wanted to add more fullness and interest to my branch decoration, so I created some paper leaves to attach to wire stems on my branch. This is optional, but you can add leaves, hearts, stars, or other attachments to your branch by following the instructions below:
- A few sheets of decorative paper: this can be magazine pages, some pretty stationary, gift wrap, wallpaper, etc. Your paper should have a little bit of thickness to it and not be floppy.
- Some soft wire: I used 24 gauge copper wire because I liked the color and it's what I had on hand
- A template: for your leaf, heart, star, or whatever detail you want to add to your branch. I cut out my leaf shape from a cardboard box.
- Glue stick that dries clear
- wire cutters, scissors, and a pencil
To Begin Adding Optional Leaves or Other Decorative Elements To Your Branch
1. Using wire cutters, cut your wire into 6 to 8 inch lengths. How many decorative elements you add to your branch is up to you, but you may want to start with 10 to 15 lengths of wire.
2. Holding one end of wire firmly against your branch with your thumb, use your other hand to tightly wrap your wire around your branch to create a wire stem that looks like it is growing from your branch. I found it easier to wrap my wire starting from the natural v's my branch (see photo above). Be careful not to wrap the wire so tight as to break your branch.
Wrap each length of wire 4 to 8 times around your branch, leaving at least 4 inches of wire to create the stem. Once you are done wrapping your wire, you can trim your stem with your wire cutters, but keep in mind that you'll want about a 1/2 inch of extra length that you will tuck inside your leaf or decorative attachment.
3. Place your wire stems along your branch wherever you choose to fill out the shape.
4. Next, use your template to trace and cut out your decorative elements from your paper. You will need 2 pieces (back and front) for every stem you have created on your branch.
5. Place one of your paper pieces face down on your work surface and cover the back of the paper with glue stick. Position this paper element on the backside of one of your wire stems with the glue side up. Be sure to capture at least 1/2 inch of your wire stem in the glue on the back side of your paper element.
6. Then put another one of your decorative elements on the top of your glue (right side facing up) so your wire stem is sandwiched inside. To hold your pieces together, you can pin them with a paper clip while they dry.
7. Continue adding your leaves or decorative elements to all your wire stems. You can also add leaves or decorative elements to the thin tips of your branch. Once you are done adding your paper elements, let your branch dry completely, preferably overnight.
Making and Attaching the Paper Blossoms to Your Decorative Branch
1. Using your scissors, cut your tissue paper into squares that are about 1 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches. If you'd like to make larger blossoms, you can cut your tissue paper into squares that are 3 inches by 3 inches.
You will need one paper square for each of your blossoms, and you can add as many blossoms as you want to your branch. If you find your blossoms are a little bit too big in the end, you can trim them once they are attached to your branch.
2. Taking each paper square, cut a small v of of each side so that you create a central X shape, being careful to maintain the center of your shape. Your v cuts do not need to be perfect, nor do they all need to be the same size.
3. If you'd like to add a paper stamen to the center of each of your flowers, cut little strips out of a different color of tissue paper that are about 2 inches long and 1/4 of an inch wide. These little strips can be approximate and do not need to be all the same size.
4. To form your blossom, take your stamen and lay it across your paper X. Working from the back of your paper, pinch the center of your X (making sure to capture your stamen too), and twist the paper to bring the four corners together to form your bud. Your twisted center will become the base for your flower.
5. To attach your blossoms to your branch, first pour out a little puddle of white craft glue on a paper plate or piece of foil. Dip the twisted base of your flower into the glue and place your flower where you want it on your branch. Hold in place for a few seconds until your blossom sticks. If you have problems getting your flowers to stay on the branch, apply a little more pressure with your thumb and hold for about 20 seconds.
You can place your blossoms on your branch wherever you choose. I found that my branch had little nodules every couple of inches that seemed like natural spots to position my flowers.
6. If you'd like to put flowers on both sides of your branch, work on one side until you like the way it looks, then let it dry overnight. When you branch is completely dry, turn it over and lean it against a box or pile of books so you can decorate the other side without crushing any of your flowers.
Displaying Your Decorative Branch
You will probably want to display your branch in some type of vase or vessel. There are two ways to hold your branch upright in your container.
1. Use a piece of floral foam in your vessel and stick your branch into it.
2. Wrap the end of your branch in a long piece of bubble wrap to make the base wide enough to stand up in your container. You can either secure the bubble wrap with an elastic or tape the end.
Whichever you decide to use, you can cover your structure with some glass pebbles, some small stones, or with floral moss so it is hidden. If you are using a clear vessel to hold your branch, you can also fill in around your structure with pebbles, stones, or moss, or hide it with some artificial leaves. Once your branch is in place, you can carefully adjust your wire stems in whatever arrangement you think looks best.
I hope this floral branch craft adds some colorful cheer to your décor or to the center of your table!
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© 2015 Donna Herron