Friday, August 20, 2010

Paper Towel Roll Flowers—Tutorial

Puppy puddle? Chips not strong enough to hold the salsa? Drippy pancake batter? I am constantly reaching for paper towels. Inevitably our recycling bin has it’s fair share of craft paper cylinders that make up the core of paper towels and toilet paper rolls.

For years my idea of repurposing the tubes was to use them as an amplifier and howl in them, driving my dogs crazy and earning an eye roll from my husband. However, recently I was struck with an idea. The curve of the cardboard would lend itself well to making paper flowers, hence this tutorial was born.

Sorry it is a little lengthy…

Tools & Materials
  • 1- paper towel roll core
  • Scissors
  • Button
  • Paper glue
  • Page of paper (can be recycled from an old book or magazine)
  • Brown paper shopping bag
  • 28 gauge wire (or wire that you can bend and manipulate that is heavy enough to hold up a paper flower)
  • Wire cutters
  • White craft paint (optional)
  • Small paint brush (optional)
  1. Cut the paper towel roll lengthwise (fig. A).

  2. From the cut, measure 1” and mark. Cut off the 1” marked area (fig. B).

  3. Cut four strips from the roll anywhere between a .5” and .75” wide (fig. C).

  4. Take the remaining roll and measure, mark and cut 1.5” from one of the edges (similar instruction number two).
  5. Cut two strips from this roll approximately .5” wide.
  6. Take the six strips and free form cut the petals similar to the shape shown in fig. D. These petals do not have to be exact, just make sure that the center tapers in.

  7. Glue two of the larger petals at 90° angles. Repeat with the remaining petals keeping the larger and smaller petals grouped together (fig. E).

  8. This step is optional! If you would like to add a bit of texture or color to your flower, take some craft paint and dry brush some paint on the tips of the petals. On the smaller group of petals I added some paint to the center also
  9. After the glue has dried, glue the groupings on top of each other, keeping the smaller petals for the top.
  10. Glue a button to the center of the flower (fig. F).

  11. From a piece of recycled paper use the pattern from fig. G to cut the calyx for the flower.
  12. Curl the ends of the calyx by wrapping them around a paint brush, pencil, etc.
  13. Take the wire and cut it double the length that you would like your stem. Fold the wire in half and twist together. Take one tip of the wire and bend it about a .25 at a 90° angle (fig. H1).

  14. Cut a strip or two from the brown paper bag. Starting at the straight end of the wire stem, glue the end of the paper to the wire and start to wrap the paper to cover the wire (fig. H2). Make sure to add a dab of glue here and there to keep the paper secure to the wire stem (fig. H3).. Stop wrapping short of the 90° bend.

    * BEFORE CONTINUING TO THE NEXT STEP, please make sure the glue on the flower is completely dry.
  15. Turn over flower and glue one of the calyx pieces to the bottom (fig. I). Let dry.

  16. Take the stem and glue the bend to the bottom of the flower by taking the second calyx piece and gluing it to the flower bottom sandwiching the metal bend between the calyx and the flower. It will be necessary to hold the wire in place until the glue dries (fig. J).


  1. this is great! My only change would be to poke holes through all the layers (with an awl) and thread the wire through and around the button to secure it in place and create the stem <3

  2. I love these, and have been needing a project just like this, to display some re-purposed bottle/vases I made-- thank you for the tutorial, and for the perfect timing!!

  3. Good idea bean, I will have to invest in an awl.

  4. Great tutorial!!! I hope you don´t mind if a feature on my blog.
    Thanks for sharing
    Hugs from Brazil

  5. Olá flor,

    Adorei o tutorial!!
    Me tornei sua seguidora.
    Que Deus lhes abençoe...abraços

    Sorteio do blog...participe!!

  6. Rosana, I would love for you to feature it on your blog! Thanks

  7. Parabéns pelo blog!!!
    Vou seguir!!

  8. I like your creation of paper towel, that is beautiful paper flower.
    paper towel dispenser

  9. Hi!

    Wanted to let you know I posted a link to this tutorial today on my blog, PaperFriendly.

    Nancy Ward

  10. Just to let you know, I featured you today on "Recycled Get Crafty" - Thank you for a fabulous craft idea!

    If you like you can grab a Featured button here:

    Many thanks


  11. Oh, this is so good! I am going to give this one a try. I especially like the book page calyx....

  12. i have sooo many rolls as well! i have more toliet paper than paper towel rolls. This could possibly work on a smaller scale for them I am thinking. VERY AWESOME CRAFT!! can't wait to try it out. Thank you!!!!

  13. Loo rolls!!! we have loads in our house I'm sure I could adapt your pattern..

  14. Brilliant! I love it! I'm going to be making a display of information about recycling and environmental issues at work, and I needed something to pretty it up... this fits the bill wonderfully! Thank you! :D

  15. These are so cute! I've made something similar for a blog challenge, but not as perfect as yours. You can check them out here:

  16. This is great, prettiest recycling project ever.

  17. Absolutely adorable! Putting together and article right now and linking to you...

    Tonya Lee Guide to Budget Decorating

  18. Mi piacciono molto queste dalie e penso proprio che proverò a farle, grazie!

  19. I glued some beautiful scrap booking paper to mine, before I cut them out. Then you can make some really cool ones!

  20. Saw this tutorial on pinterest and it's on my to do soon list. Thanks for sharing!