Unusual Paper Flower Gifts of Love

An orange and white hanging paper semi-sphere of lilies on a purple satin background.

     I'm usually one those people who collects Christmas gifts between Christmas and the next Christmas, spending time agonising over what gift would suit which person and leaping into sales or, more recently, spending hours trawling DIY blogs. Telling people this often brings out a delicate shudder and occasionally, a Look. It's possible they don't fully understand the gifting obsession.

      Last year, however, it all went awry and I had nada when it came to December AND my partner's work Christmas party was 'S' themed. Luckily I was already knee deep in pretty paper and lots of ideas. I'll just post a couple of those here.

A handmade paper flower gift that hangs from a yellow ribbon.

     My friend Joy is very easy to please and love bright colours, so I promised her this hanging lily semi-sphere. The structure is simply large lilies made from magazine pages; magazine paper varies hugely in quality, so if you are thinking of using it, here's what you should consider:

* Thick, natural paper is better quality and usually only comes in more expensive publications that come out as quarterlies or annuals. Usually the subjects are art, design or high fashion. For example, the paper used here is from the Frankie magazine. Of course, those can be worth collecting for selling years down the track or using as resources if you are an artist or designer.

A structure of paper lilies- paper flowers- made from origami paper and magazine pages.

* Common magazines and cheaper ones usually have very thin pages that are also coated and appear shiny. These are not so suitable for durable, long lasting paper flowers. However! They are common, easy to get cheaply or free secondhand (waiting rooms, opshops, friends and family) and fairly high cost for local councils to recycle if they do it at all. So they are excellent for turning into other crafts, like rolled paper bowls, or for practising new origami guides on.


* Magazines are very unlikely to be acid free and will therefore disintegrate and discolour more quickly than other things, especially without you adding a protective coating of something. Direct sunlight will speed that process.

The back of the paper flowers with glass stones for weights.

    So the Frankie magazine pages each yielded one large square for the 12 - 15 lilies in the structure. I touched them up with a shimmery orange mica spray, then used a range of smaller oranges squares from my stock to double the lilies and colour up. Then a lemon ribbon to the back with a couple of small glass stones to have it sit better against the wall, and an atrocious wrapping system with sweets so that Joy could pretend she didn't know what she was receiving for Christmas. :)

The opening of a gift bag showing yellow paper flower earrings.

For my sister Caitlin, I found a pretty blue ornate bowl that inspired these earrings. I made them from acid free card stock and coated them with a quality varnish to prevent discolouration over time. They hang more than halfway to her shoulders, but hey! She can pull them off (figuratively).

Bright white and yellow paper lily earrings as a Christmas gift.

A paper flower twisty rose with patterned stripes.

Just another twisty paper rose! From the top of a paper stack, which shows a strip of most patterns in the stack. I liked how it turned out and used it to hide Caitlin's gift in the bag.

A Christmas setting on a my coffee table, including fabrics, Christmas baubles and red paper flowers with purple glitter.

Easy Christmas decorations! A large bowl of baubles topped with my practice lilies- red paper with purple glitter lining. And a purple glitter scalp for my pains.

Handmade Sailor Mars steampunk costume accessories including red origami star earrings.

The Christmas party costume accessories with Scrumptious On Summer work crew! Sailor Mars, with a slight  steampunk bent. I put it all together with the exception of the gloves. Not much origami, but this is only place I get to brag! The only piece of origami is the pair of earrings, which include a paper star each. I'll have to do a proper post on those stars at a later date. Fortunately, I don't have any (decent) pictures of me wearing the whole costume.

Beautiful bright red shoes with red ankle ribbons for a Sailor Mars costume.

The SHOES. I didn't make them, but I did find them for $6 in an opshop and manage to walk forward in them. I LOVE THEM.


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