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How to Make a Paper Towel Flower Greeting Card

I've been crafting since I could hold a paintbrush. I love to repurpose random things. Most of my articles are about arts and crafts.

A paper towel flower decoration on the front of a card

A paper towel flower decoration on the front of a card

An Accidental Crafting Discovery

This craft came to me one day while finishing off a decoupage project. I had run out of decoupage medium and decided to ‘cheat’ by making some with white liquid glue and water. As usual, I made a big mess and cleaned up with some paper towels. The next morning the paper towel was still lying on my desk and I noticed how stiff it was from the glue mix but I could still cut through it with a pair of scissors.

It is super easy to make these greeting card flowers and is a really fun activity for young and old. I love the extra texture that the paper towel adds to the flower petals on this design.

How cute!

How cute!

You Will Need

  • White liquid glue such as Elmers
  • Water
  • Sheets of plain white paper towel
  • Card stock paper
  • A 1-inch wide paintbrush. If you don't have a brush you can just use your fingers.
  • Markers (colors of your choice)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Buttons (optional)

Step-by-Step DIY Flower Card Instructions

  1. First, mix equal quantities of the white liquid glue and water.
  2. Paint some of the glue on a piece of cardstock. This card will strengthen your flower petals. I used a white card in this project, but you can use whichever color you like. A nice bright red will shine through the paper towel for instance and turn your paper towel a pinky color.
  3. Lay a strip of paper towel on the cardstock. Press down so that the paper towel adheres to the glue.
  4. Smooth your hand over the paper towel to iron out any bubbles. Don't rub too hard because you will tear the paper towel.
  5. Now paint a layer of glue over the top of the paper towel. You should only paint one layer, but be generous. If the brush breaks your paper towel you could always use your fingers to spread the glue mixture. Make sure you coat the entire surface.
  6. Allow the papers to dry overnight. I like to hang mine up with clothes pegs, once they are semi-dry but it sometimes makes the paper curl. If this happens place the paper under some heavy books. It will straighten out again. If you are in a hurry you could use a blow dryer or heat gun to hasten the drying process. Your dried paper should be rigid.
  7. You could just leave the paper white as I did with the first two pictures in this article—the rose and the daisy—or you could draw on the paper towel side. I like to make stripes and squiggles because you never know what it will look like on the flower petal after cutting them out.
  8. Now draw a petal on the reverse side (card stock or smooth side). You don't want to see pencil marks on your petals.
  9. Cut it out and use it as your template so that all your petals are the same size and shape.
  10. Trace more petals onto your paper and cut out around 12. You can use any shape. Diamond, balloon shapes, or triangles all make great-looking flowers.
  11. Once you have all your petals, fold some card stock in half to make the actual greeting card. You can buy pre-cut and pre-folded cards from your local hobby store to save time.
  12. I like to put a darker color on a lighter card to showcase my paper towel flower. So I sometimes paste a darker square piece of paper on the front of the card. Then glue my petals in the center of the square. It could be a circle or diamond shape. Do whatever you want.
  13. Place a generous amount of hot glue in the center of the square and start arranging your petals around it, inserting the ends into the glue.
  14. Put another dollop of glue in the center of your flower and arrange more petals around it, covering the joins of the lower level. I usually place 4 petals in a layer.
  15. Once done you could put a bead or button in the center to add to your flower.
  16. When the glue is dry, gently bend the tips of the top 2 layers up to give your flower a 3-dimensional appearance.

More Options

You can build paper towel flowers on other surfaces too. It doesn't have to be on cardstock only. I craft a lot with teabags and used this paper towel flower craft on a teabag-wrapped canvas.

© 2013 Celeste Wilson


Celeste Wilson (author) on June 06, 2013:

Hi Careermommy, it is super fun. You could even dip the paper towel in water tinted with food coloring for a solid color effect. Then hang it to dry overnight.

Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on June 05, 2013:

Celeste, this is a very good idea. I love making homemade cards, but never thought of making one from a paper towel. I just need to get a hot glue gun and I'm on my way!

Celeste Wilson (author) on May 14, 2013:

Thank you very much. It is a ton of fun to make. Thank you for voting as well. Kindest regards

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on May 12, 2013:

When I saw your title.... I was hooked! What a neat idea!

It's simple! It is a great way to create a birthday card and there is plenty of room to use creativity!

Voted up, useful and awesome :-)

Celeste Wilson (author) on April 16, 2013:

Thank you very much. This is what happens when I get bored on a sunday afternoon, but they turned out well. I hope your friend has fun with them.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on April 16, 2013:

Very creative and clever. A good friend of mine makes adorable homemade cards, I'll have to share this idea with her. I might even attempt it myself.

Celeste Wilson (author) on April 14, 2013:

Hello Emma, thank you very much. I loved making them for my Mom. It's a lovely rainy day activity.

Emma Kisby from Berkshire, UK on April 14, 2013:

What a cute idea. I am always looking for different materials to use on my handmade greetings cards. This is one I will try - thanks. Up and pinned!

Celeste Wilson (author) on April 11, 2013:

Oh PeachPurple, she is going to love it! I made them for my Mom for her birthday in February. Have fun with them.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 10, 2013:

i love your paper towel greeting cards. Unique and beautiful. Gonna make one for my mom this mother's day. Voted up

Celeste Wilson (author) on March 28, 2013:

Thank you Mama Kim, I loved these. I made a bunch for my Mom's birthday and handed them out to family. My Mom receive a bouquet of cards :0)

Aloe Kim on March 27, 2013:

These are adorable ^_^ I love the idea and how they hold a great shape with good texture. I'm most certainly pinning this to do soon and voting a bunch!

Celeste Wilson (author) on March 21, 2013:

Hello SweetiePie, it is lovely to meet you. Thank you for your lovely comments

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on March 21, 2013:

Your paper towel craft idea is resourceful, and just goes to show people can make cards out of anything. I am going to tweet this hub!

Celeste Wilson (author) on February 27, 2013:

That is wonderful! She will have so much fun and it really doesn't matter what shape the petals are, the flower will look gorgeous.

Tammy from North Carolina on February 27, 2013:

What an adorable idea! These would be great for my daughter to make. Love it!

Celeste Wilson (author) on February 27, 2013:

Thank you, much appreciated.

Celeste Wilson (author) on February 27, 2013:

I agree and they're a ton of fun to make. Thank you

Priyanka Estambale from United States on February 27, 2013:

I love these ideas! Pretty :)

Thanks for sharing!

europewalker on February 27, 2013:

How creative, those are so pretty:) They are so much better than a store bought card anyday!