How to make a paper rosette

Updated March 23, 2017

Paper rosettes make the ideal adornment for a gift. They also are popular in home decor and are a charming party favour. In Mexico, the making paper rosettes is an art, and people use them on altars during Day of the Dead and in place of real flowers in giant vases and bowls. The paper flower trend has travelled northward to the United States, too. In a recent article in the hip home design magazine "Domino," Laura Cramer said that Mexican paper rosettes are among the top things in the world that give her joy. Making a paper rosette is a quick and easy proposition.

Lay out sheets of tissue paper to determine a vivid colour combination. Some people make paper rosettes in only one shade, while others may combine light blue with indigo, pink with poppy orange, red with purple, light green with lemon yellow, navy blue with white, and other bold contrasts. Tissue paper also comes imprinted with patterns or embedded with glitter.

Start simple. There are many complex ways to make paper rosettes, but the simple approach results in a stellar flower. Stack several sheets of tissue paper and smooth them out so that there are no wrinkles. Trim the sheets into 6-inch-by-12-inch rectangles. Save the little scraps of leftover tissue paper for another Mexican craft, such as a pinata or cascarones.

Work lengthwise, folding the sheets of tissue paper accordion-style. The folds should be evenly spaced at about one inch wide. Pick up the folded paper and trim the ends so that they are rounded. If you want to go Martha Stewart with your paper rosette, use scissors with interesting blades to trim the paper edges in a pattern.

Create the centre of the flower. Wrap a few inches of florist wire or a pipe cleaner (preferably green chenille) around the centre of the folded paper. Squeeze the middle of the paper to produce a bulbous shape. Then, gently separate the layers of tissue paper. The edges will be particularly fragile. If you pull the layers apart further, the bloom will be fuller.

Embellish your garden. Hold a thin felt-tipped marker gently against the edge of an outer sheet of tissue paper and let the ink bleed in a jagged line across the petal. For a gift bag, sprinkle glitter or sequins onto the paper rosette. You can also add a dab of rose essential oil to the centre of the bloom.


Paper rosettes can also hang in windows, be glued to cards or be used as ornaments on a tree.


The tissue paper fades quickly in the sun.

Things You'll Need

  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Florist wire or pipe cleaners
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About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.