How to Make Vintage Paper Roses

DIY Paper Roses Made from an Old Reader's Digest Book
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Over the weekend, we took another trip to our favorite antique show/flea market in Round Top and we came home with another truck load of goodies!

Some of my favorite finds were vintage books that I picked up for $2.50 each and a $5 milk glass vase.

I have a lot of ideas for things to make with the pages from the vintage books, but I was most excited to make a bouquet of paper roses for our bookshelf.

How to make paper flowers from old vintage books.
(The finished bouquet.)

There are a lot of different tutorials available online and several different kinds of flowers that you can make, but I was most-drawn to paper roses.

I tried a couple of different tutorials and techniques before settling on this one. The first rose took me almost an hour to make, but by the 4th or 5th flower, I was done in 12 minutes.

Here’s how I made these beautiful paper roses.

Gather Your Supplies

These paper flowers are pretty inexpensive to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • book or paper of your choice
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • floral wire
  • wire cutters
  • floral tape
  • a pretty vase
Supplies needed to make paper roses.
(The supplies.)
Vintage 1955 Readers Digest collection of short stories.
(The book I used was a 1955 Reader’s Digest collection of stories.)

Prep the Pages

The first step to making paper roses is to prep the paper. Which is pretty easy.

Simply tear 4 pages out of the book and cut it into squares.

**Pro Tip** Make sure the squares are at least 4 inches across. Anything smaller would be really hard to fold and roll.

**Pro Tip 2** Instead of cutting the top or bottom of the page (like I did) cut the square in the center of the page so there are no empty margins showing.

Make the Folds

Next it’s time to make the folds.

Fold the square in half to make a triangle. Then fold it again. And then fold it again.

Consequently, you will fold each square 3 times.

Cutting Corners

The next step is to cut a tiny hole in the center of the page. This is where the stem will be as the pages become a rose.

The corner you will cut is the corner that has 2 fold going to it, with no loose edges.

Make sure you make a super tiny cut. If it’s too big, the flower will be too loose and wobbly on the stem.

Making Petal Shapes

This is the point where you see where you can kinda start to see how these little triangle might become a flower.

On the edge of the triangle that you cut for the hole, draw half of a heart with the tip of the heart being on the end that you snipped.

Cut the folded paper along that line.

As you can tell, I didn’t cut exactly on the line that I drew, but used it more as a guide.

Make More Cuts

Unfold the pages.

From the first page, cut out one petal. Cut out the area from one crease to another, down to the hole in the center of the page. (Only cut one ‘hump’ at the top, not two!)Cut out two petals from the second page. (Two humps at the edge of the page.)From the third page, cut out three petals. (Three humps.)Finally, cut the fourth page in half.

SAVE ALL OF THE CUT OUT PETALS! These will be used to make the center of the flower.

Roll the Center of the Rose

Starting with the smallest petal that you cut out, roll it into a cone shape and glue the edge to secure it.

Likewise, roll the second and third smallest petal into cone shapes and glue them ‘shut’.

(When you’re done you should have 3 little cones.)

Create the Larger Petals

To create the larger petals, start with the half page.

Instead of rolling it like the smaller ones, overlap one whole petal over another and glue it together. So, instead of 4 petals, there will be 3.

Repeat this process with the other three pages.

As a result, you will end up with ‘cones’ with 3, 4, 5, and 6 petals on them.

(These are all the pieces you’ll need to make a beautiful paper rose.)

Assemble the Rose

To begin assembling the paper rose, you first need to make a stem. Cut a long piece of wire and double it over.

Next, place a glue dot on the stem’s looped end and slide it into the smallest cone. Pinch it lightly until the glue sets.

Apply glue on the base of the cone near the stem. Then put the stem into the two-petal cone, slide it up to the attached cone, and pinch it lightly until the glue sets.

Continue this process with all of the cones, from smallest to largest.

Don’t forget to apply glue between each ‘cone’ to keep the flower secure.

Wrap the Stem

The last step is to wrap the stem with floral tape and you’re done!

When making roses don't forget to wrap the stem.
(The finished product!)
DIY Paper Roses Made from an Old Reader's Digest Book
(I added some greenery to my bouquet to make it a little fuller and hide the stems.)

This paper rose bouquet turned out absolutely perfect!

I didn’t like the look of the bare stems, so I added some stems of greenery around the bottom and throughout the bouquet.

These paper roses are the perfect addition to our bookshelf. In addition to being gorgeous, what could be more bookish?

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This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may make a commission at no extra cost to you. For more info, please see my full ad & affiliate disclosure.

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