Make crepe paper peony flowers that look realistic! Great home decor, party decorations, and gift toppers. Complete step-by-step tutorial and free pattern/SVG file included. #paperflowers #peony #cricut #silhouette #crepeflowers #svgcutfile

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 Make crepe paper peony flowers that look so realistic you’ll forget they’re not real. Crepe peonies make gorgeous home decor, party decorations, and gift toppers.

Every year I look forward to one special day. The day that my peony bushes bloom. It’s usually the first week of June — this year it was a few days early thanks to the plentiful sunshine in May. I love peonies so much I’ve already made rolled paper peonies and giant peonies, but I still wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to make a peony that looked nearly identical to the real thing. And I did it! Let me show you how to make a crepe paper peony that will fool everyone into thinking it’s real!

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Make crepe paper peony flowers that look realistic! Great home decor, party decorations, and gift toppers. Complete step-by-step tutorial and free pattern/SVG file included. #paperflowers #peony #cricut #silhouette #crepeflowers #svgcutfile

In the image above, one peony is real and one is made from crepe paper. Can you tell which is which? (Think about it, and I’ll reveal the answer later in this post.)

To make my peony look as real as possible, I picked one of my Sarah Bernhardt double peonies and studied it carefully. The delicate pink Sarah Bernhardt peony is one of the most popular varieties. I have several bushes with this peony and it’s a classic. Here are some of the peony bushes in my front yard. (You can see our DIY birdhouses in the background there.)

My actual peony bushes are the inspiration to make crepe paper peony flowers that look real!

Here’s one of my Sarah Bernhardt peonies:

A delicate pink Sarah Bernhardt peony flower in a vase is my inspiration to make crepe paper peony flowers

I carefully removed every single petal on the peony. I pulled the petals off gently and placed them on a table in the order I removed them. Then I took a photo, brought it into my illustration software, and traced every single individual petal.

Actual petals from my Sarah Berhnardt peony are the inspiration to make crepe paper peony flowers

Did I need to trace every petal? Likely not. But the result is amazing and very realistic. And I now know its petals are identical to what actually grew in nature. Here’s my finished crepe paper peony flower:

Make crepe paper peony flowers that look real like this pale pink peony in an amber vase

And here’s what the crepe paper peony looks like out in my peony garden:

A faux crepe paper peony flower in a real peony bush

Not sure you could make one? You absolutely could! Reader Annie Shan made this gorgeous bouquet using my pattern and tutorial!

Bouquet of crepe paper peonies in a white vase made with the JenniferMaker tutorial and pattern - Project by Annie Shan

So let me show you how to make crepe paper peony flowers that last and last! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  Read my full disclosure policy.

Materials to Make Crepe Paper Peony Flowers

How to Make Paper Crepe Peony Flowers

First, cut out your crepe paper using my free SVG, DXF, or PDF files (Design #103) found in my resource library. You’ll be cutting petals from peony-color crepe paper (two sheets), leaves from one piece of green crepe paper, and the stamen from one piece of yellow crepe paper. No scoring or layer grouping/ungrouping is needed.

IMPORTANT CUTTING MACHINE NOTE: Crepe paper can only be cut on the Cricut Maker with the rotary blade, not on any other cutting machine (including the Cricut Explore). If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG file to Cricut Design Space, or you’re having issues (such as getting a message that says “unsupported file”), please watch my free training series, SVGs Made Simple. It will help you SO much! If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, check out my post on How to Upload SVG Files to Cricut Design Space on iPhone & iPad!

My double peony flower SVG uploaded to Cricut Design Space to cut out and make crepe paper peony flowers

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cricut Design Space changed the way SVG cut files are uploaded in summer 2019 and is auto-resizing everything to 11.5″. That means if you upload the crepe paper peony design, it resizes it way down to a super small size. Thus, I created and uploaded a new ZIP file for the double peony and put it in my resource library. The updated zip file has two new folders inside it — separated and stacked. Use the files in one of those two folders instead of the regular SVG to avoid the design resize issue.

Tip: Just make sure that when you cut your crepe paper, the grain of the paper is vertical, not horizontal.

Place your crepe paper on your cutting mat with the paper grain running vertical

When you take your cut crepe paper pieces off your mat, try to keep the petals in the same order shown in the file.

Note: If you decide to cut your crepe paper by hand, use the PDF pattern provided, which has simpler pattern shapes in the order you’ll want to use them.

Watch my assembly video, which goes through the entire assembly process.

Crumple up one sheet of your scrap crepe paper (I used the sheet that I printed the first set of petals on) into a ball.

Crumple up some scrap crepe paper into a ball to make crepe paper peony flowers

Then cut a 12″ long piece of floral wire and glue it into the center of this crepe paper ball.

Glue floral wire into the center of a crepe paper ball to to make crepe paper peony flowers

Place the ball and wire in the center of the crepe paper circle you cut out. Place a line of glue around the perimeter of the circle.

Glue the crepe paper circle around the ball and wire to make crepe paper peony flowers

Now wrap the circle around the crepe paper ball, pressing down along the edges you’ve glued. This creates your crepe paper peony bud that we’ll form the flower around.

Wrapping a crepe paper circle around a crepe paper ball to form a crepe paper peony bud

Tear off a piece of floral tape a few inches long and wrap it around the bottom edge of the crepe paper circle to tuck everything in neatly.

Wrap floral tape around the crepe paper bud to make crepe paper peony flowers

Here’s the finished crepe paper peony flower bud.

The finished crepe paper peony bud ready for petals.

Now let’s turn our attention to the petals. There are two sets of petals, one for each of the two “blooms” of the double peony. The first set we want to attach to our peony bud are the simpler petals that look like the image below. (Note: If you are cutting your crepe paper by hand, you’ll be using the inner petal set, which is 30 petals of the same shape.)

Petals for the inner bloom of the double peony flower made of crepe paper

Each petal needs to be “cupped” by gently pulling the edges of the petal. To do this, grasp the middle of the edge of each petal and pull carefully. The crepe paper will stretch and form a depression in the paper. It’s super cool!

Stetch the petals gently side to side to cup them for the crepe paper peony flowers

Here’s what the crepe paper petals look like after they are all cupped. They look like real petals, don’t you think?

Stretched and cupped crepe paper petals to make crepe paper peony flowers

It’s also a good idea to ruffle the top sides of the petals, just like real peony petals. I do this with my fingers and fingernails.

Ruffling the top edge of the crepe paper petals with my fingers

Once you have all of your petals cupped and ruffled, it’s time to begin gluing them to the bud. You’ll glue ALL of the first set (shown above) to the bud. Be sure to glue them so the petal’s cup matches the curve of the bud (you want the petals curving inward toward the bud, not outward). I like to glue the first four or so to the side of the bud so the petals stick right to it, like a real bud.

A crepe paper peony bud with petals glued around it

Continue gluing the bottom of the first set of petals to the bud in a circular fashion around the base. Keep going around the flower until you run out of the first set of petals. Your crepe paper peony flower should look something like this.

The first bloom of a double peony made with crepe paper

But wait… we have more petals to add! First we need to glue on the stamen. A double peony has two sets of stamen. One set is inside the bud, so you con’t see it in this flower. But the other one would be visible.

Prepare the stamen by twisting the long strands of your cut yellow stamen between your fingers to make them look more realistic.

Twist the lengths of crepe paper between your fingers to shape them into stamen for your crepe peonies

Once the stamen are shaped and look less like strips of paper and more like something natural, glue the base around the base of your crepe paper peony.

Gluing the stamen to the base of the crepe paper flower

Now it’s time to glue the rest of the petals onto the crepe paper peony. Start with the smaller petals in the second set. If possible, put them on in order from top left to bottom right, as this is the exact order I took the petals off the real peony. (Note: If you cut your crepe paper by hand from the PDF, you’ll be using the outer petal set — 60 petals of three different sizes. Work from the smallest to the largest.)

Order to glue the petals onto the peony

I attached each petal to the peony by dabbing glue at the base of the crepe paper peony flower than sticking the bottom of the petal to the glue. This simulates the way real peony petals are attached at the base.

Applying glue to the base of the crepe paper peony

Gluing the outer petals onto the base of the crepe paper peony

Now just continue gluing the petals on the base of your peony in a circular fashion. You want to build up the petals to create a big and beautiful flower.

Attaching the larger outer petals to the base of the crepe paper flower

By the time you get to the end, you should be gluing on the largest petals. Here’s what your crepe paper peony should look like once all the petals are on.

All petals glued onto the crepe paper peony

Turn the peony over and glue the three green sepal petals to the underside.

Glue the sepal petals to the underside of the crepe paper peony

You can glue on any leaves you want now. It’s typical for a peony to have a leaf just underneath its blossom, then more further down the stalk.

Gluing on a leaf on the underside of a crepe paper peony flower

If you want your leaves to look more realistic, glue a strip of floral wire to the underside to give them more structure

Gluing wire to the underside of a crepe paper leaf

Finish your crepe paper peony by wrapping floral tape around the stem.

Wrap floral tape around the stem of your crepe paper peony flower

And that’s it! Here’s my crepe paper peony side by side with a real peony, freshly picked from my garden:

Two peonies in a vase -- one is real, one is a faux crepe paper flower

And the great thing about this is that your crepe paper flower is going to last and last. And yet it looks so genuine, as you can see in the photo below. The real peony flower I picked less than 24 hours ago is already wilting.

Make crepe paper flowers that look like the real thing

Free Cut Files to Make Crepe Paper Peony Flowers

You can get the password to my resource library that has ALL of my free cut files in it by filling out this form:

If you make paper peonies, I’d really LOVE to see them! If you make one, please share a photo in our Facebook group, email it to me at [email protected], or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.

If you are interested in learning how to design your own paper flower, this is something I teach in the CUT ABOVE SVG Design Course. You learn how to design beautiful and cuttable files on a whim. Enrollment is currently closed, but click here to get on a waiting list to be notified when enrollment opens again.

By the way, in the very first image on this post, I told you one peony flower was real and one was made of crepe paper. Did you figure it out? The one on the left is real, the one on the right is crepe. Not bad, eh?


More Paper Flower Tutorials & SVG Cut Files

Rolled Paper Rose Flower | Quilled Flower | Make Paper Lily Flowers to Celebrate Easter with free SVG files and PDF patterns #cricut #paperflowers Paper Tulip | Rolled Flower | Quilling | DIY Paper Magnolia | Rolled Flower | Quilling |  Paper Daisy | Gerbera | Rolled Flower | Cricut Stunning! Make a DIY Paper Marigold | Day of the Dead | Dia de los Muertos | Autumn and Fall Flowers | Papercraft Tutorial Quilled Paper Gardenia | Paper Flower SVG File and Pattern | #paperflowers #weddingflowers How to Make Paper Cherry Blossom Flowers with a free pattern and tutorial #papercraft #paperflowers Rolled Paper Peony Flower | Quilled Flower |

View all my paper flowers here.

Want to remember this? Save the Crepe Paper Peony Flowers to Your Favorite DIY Pinterest Board!

Make crepe paper peony flowers that look realistic! Great home decor, party decorations, and gift toppers. Complete step-by-step tutorial and free pattern/SVG file included. #paperflowers #peony #cricut #silhouette #crepeflowers #svgcutfile

Make crepe paper peony flowers that look like the real thing! This step-by-step tutorial offers a FREE pattern and SVG cut file so you can create crepe peonies that last year round. This is an original designed, modeled after an actual peony picked from my garden. #cricut #cricutmade #cricutmaker #cricutexplore #svg #svgfile

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  1. Wow! Even knowing one of the flowers in the photo wasn’t real it took me a white to work out which one! Amazing. And thanks for sharing!

  2. Your attention to detail is incredible!!! I can’t wait to try one of these. My husband might not mind them in the house like the real ones (ants lol)

  3. Thank you for the video, you are a very talented lady. Can your giant rose be made out of crepe paper as well? Or any of your other flowers?

    1. The giant rose requires some stiffness to it in order to maintain its shape, Sherry, so we’re not sure how well it would work in crepe paper! That being said, it sure would be worth trying, wouldn’t it?!? As well as any other flower in our library you think is pretty – just because we have made them first out of cardstock, that doesn’t mean you can’t try crepe paper and see how you like it! 😉

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