I’ve been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather! Would you believe it was nearly 70 degrees here in Ann Arbor yesterday? It’s only February! And it feels like spring, which makes me think of flowers. It’s way too early for real flowers, but I love papercrafting and I’ve learned how to make pretty rolled paper flowers. And unlike real flowers, these paper flowers will last much longer and require neither sun nor water. One of my favorite flowers is the peony, which grows on bushes in my front yard. The problem with peonies, however, is that they only last for about a week or so in June. Then they drop their petals in a gloriously messy explosion all over my lawn. So I set out to figure out how to make a rolled paper peony. I looked up the exact petal shape of the peony (it turns out the inner and outer petals are slightly different) and I created a pattern in Adobe Illustrator. It took a few tries to get right, but I believe I’ve made a simple pattern that is easy to roll and looks pretty.
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Fun Fact: These paper peony flowers were my very first Cricut design and tutorial, created less than a week after I got my cutting machine!
Anyone can make one of my paper peonies — you don’t need to have special tools. That said, it is so much fun to use my new Cricut to cut out the pattern. I am in love with my Cricut. So I’m giving you both the cut file for the Cricut or Silhouette, as well as a simple pattern if you use scissors to cut it out instead.
Tip: I’ve made my FIRST craft video that features this project! Check it out here or at the link later on in the article.
Rolled Paper Peony Materials
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- My free paper peony template and SVG cut file – Design #17 (free in my resource library—get the password from the form at the bottom of this post)
- Paper (you can use regular paper or 65 lb. card stock, white or colored, plain, printed, or painted)
- Scissors or a cutting machine, such as a Cricut Explore Air 2
- Flower rolling tool (or tweezers, long-nose pliers, a toothpick with a slot cut into it, or just something skinny and cylindrical)
- Glue (I used Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue)
- (Optional) Watercolors (if you want to paint your flower petals and stamen as I did)
Oh! Have I mentioned yet that I bought a Cricut Explore Air 2? Oh my … it’s amazing. I bought a rose gold version from Joann Fabric & Craft store that came with some extras. I’m having SO much fun with it! I am now making my own designs (as you can tell from this post) and it’s really powerful. You can expect to see a lot more projects that involve the Cricut in some way in the future, as well as more cut files!
How to Make Paper Peonies: Step-By-Step Tutorial
If you plan to cut out your peony using scissors, download my free patterns (Design #17) from my Resource Library (you’ll need the password, which you can get my subscribing for free to my newsletter—see the signup box at the very bottom of this page). I have two—one is just the flower outline (a peony flower SVG), the other is the flower outline (peony paper template) with pre-painted petals and stamen, like shown in the video I made. If you plan to use a cutting machine like a Cricut, I also put the peony SVG cut file and DXF cut files in my Resource Library.
UPDATE: In July 2017 I updated this file to include the circle at the end, which helps finish off the flower and keep it all neat and tidy. You will not see that end circle reflected in my images or the video, however, as they were all taken before I modified it. But I have updated the directions in this post to account for it.
Here’s what the paper peony flower looks like in Cricut Design Space:
Cut out the peony pattern using your preferred cutting method. If you’re using a Cricut, cut yours as big as possible — real peonies are pretty huge. You can optionally color your flower, as I have done. Water colors look very pretty, because you can mimic the soft graduation of color from the inside to the out. Markers would also make a statement. You can leave it plain—it’s your choice.
You can also optionally distress the petals for a more natural look. Real peony petals have texture and curves. I like to distress them in one of two ways. One way is to put the petals on a piece of foam and use the blunt, curved end of a tool to rub the paper. But another way is to simple ball up and crumple the petals (leave the stamen untouched), then smooth it all out. Works like a charm.
Now it’s time to roll the flower! If you have a quilling tool, insert the loose end of the pattern (where the stamen are) into the slot at the end of your tool and begin rolling toward you. If you use pliers or tweezers, just keep a firm grip on them so the paper stays in place as you roll them toward you.
Try to keep the bottom edge of the paper aligned with itself as you wind the paper. It will get a bit more difficult to wind it as you get more and more paper on the tool. You can use your finger to guide it as you wind it. Eventually, the paper will resist staying aligned with the bottom — this is fine, so long as you keep it on the tool and mostly above the handle.
Once you’ve wound all the petals onto the quilling tool, fold up the bottom petal.
Now release the paper and your flower will unfurl before your eyes. You can keep it in a bud shape, but I prefer to encourage it to open up more by gently twisting the center in the opposite direction it was wound.
When you have your flower opened up the way you want it, put some glue on the bottom CIRCLE (updated July 2017), fold it so it tucks under the flower itself, and gently press down on the stamen and petals to make sure the bottom touches the flower while the glue sets.
I like to use my quilling tool to curl the outer petals outward and the inner petals inward, just like the petals of a peony.
You can make peonies with different kinds of paper. You can crumble or wrinkle the paper before you quill it for a more natural look, too. Try experimenting with different colors and sizes!
Want to see how to make the paper peony in real-time? Check out my video below—and please subscribe to my channel while you’re there to be notified of other awesome craft videos!
Like these rolled paper flowers? I have made more patterns — I have a rose, tulip, daisy, magnolia, carnation, and sunflower. I also have a project planned that uses all these flowers together, too! (Update: I made it — it’s a paper flower wreath! See it on my paper daisies post.)
Free Cut Files for the Rolled Paper Peony
You can get the password to my resource library that has ALL of my free cut files in it by filling out this form:
P.S. If you’d rather make giant peony flowers, I have a tutorial for those, too!
I also have a crepe paper peony!
More Paper Flower Tutorials & SVG Cut Files
View all my paper flowers here.
Like this paper flower tutorial? Please pin it on your favorite Pinterest craft board!
this is so cute. You know, i love making crafts and art designs like this. This so simple yet pretty. Even a little girl could do. Thank you for that great idea.
Thank you so much, Rojielyn!
Cecilia Cannon says
this is not only super crafty but amazingly done! i don’t think I have the patience to do it but you recreated these to perfection!
Thanks, Cecilia! The good thing is these are really easy to make!
These are lovely, and your instructions are great. I’ve tried without success to make many different rolled flowers, and I have spotted a couple of tricks in your instructions and pattern that make me willing to try again.
As soon as I get home (I read craft blogs at lunch at work) I’ll be downloading this pattern!
Really? Hmm… I’d love to know what things you have issues with so I can address that in this blog post. Please let me know if you try again, Susan!
Just to be clear – I have had trouble with other patterns, NOT yours. I’ll report back once I try this, but I can already see that the last little piece of your flower covers the rest of the wound up bunch, and that’s where mine usually come apart (literally) so I’m absolutely going to the try this. Also, I regret to admit I never thought about winding them up on a tweezer, and I know that’s going to be a big helper.
And it is finally Crafterday and I tried it. Awesome!! The pattern cuts great, and the video showed me exactly where I was going wrong. My test flower is no where as nice as yours, but I am totally going to do this one again on better paper and with water colors. Thank you for posting this and please keep up the videos because that was a huge help.
Oh, I am so happy to hear my video helped! I am working on more videos, and I really appreciate the feedback and encouragement. 🙂
Alyssa Ruane says
Wow, I’d never be able to do that! You’re so talented. The flowers turned out absolutely beautiful!!!
Brandi with Big Fit Fam says
Wow these are amazing! I wish i had a printer like this so could make some for my daughter!
This is such a cute, fun craft idea! It would be so pretty for spring.
Katharine Mead says
I love this and I have a cricut! I tried to download the SVG file and opens as a pdf. Can you help?
Hi, Katherine! So sorry about that! I just linked the PDF by mistake. Please try again — I linked the zip file this time. 🙂
Katharine Mead says
You’re welcome! Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m working on the rose now. It’s very pretty. 🙂
tracey garth says
I tried to download the file and it says password protected. What is the password?
Hi, Tracey! I keep all my downloadables in my Resource Library, and the password to the library is given to all my subscribers (free) by filling out the form here: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/145985?v=6
Omg these flowers came out so beautiful!!!!! I really should make some for my daughters bedroom. She would love them as decor
Blythe Alpern says
These peonies are gorgeous. I wish I had the skillset to create such a beautiful DIY, but I do better with cooking than cutting and drawing.
That came out beautiful, and your tutorial is so awesome. I wonder if I would be able to pull it off. I love crafting, but I’m not great at it. Still, it’s fun and this is perfect for spring!
Bill S says
What a pretty flower!! I am not sure i could make this, this almost looks real not that it’s made of paper.
Angela Ricardo says
These paper flowers are really cute! I really love your step by step tutorial on how to make these peonies. The are absolutely lovely!
Ana De- Jesus says
Wow you are so creative and your rolled paper peonies look lovely. Thank you for the handy tutorial, I think this would make a nice gift!
i have always wanted to own a Cricut machine so I can do fun projects like these! I love this and thanks for the step by step instructions.
Krystal // The Krystal Diaries says
These are so cute! I’m not really a DIY type pf person but this would be fun to try.
Hello almost neighbor (I’m a MI westsider) and I too have been enjoying this unseasonably warm weather and looking forward to flowers! Knowing it is only February in Michigan (snow is not over yet) I think you were wise to make some paper flowers to decorate your interior with. They are beautiful! I think my older kids will love trying this out with me. Glad I came across your blog!
Hey there, Erin! I know, I’m sure we’ll have snow again. I hear it’s going to get chilly again tomorrow. Oh well. I am going to keep cheering myself up … today I am making roses.
Stephanie Lee says
That’s such a lovely flower! What a fun craft, and how cute are these for around the house!
Your nails match your flower! Such a pretty paper craft.
You noticed! Thank you, Heather!
Wow these are so beautiful! I’d love to make a few for some upcoming flat lay projects. Bookmarking this and will be back!
Oh my gosh, these flowers are so pretty and effective! I would definitely like to try and make some myself. Thanks so much for sharing, I look forward to seeing what you make next!
Thank you, Jean! 🙂
Thank you for this fabulous SVG to make this absolutely realistic and beautiful peony. I love making rolled flowers and the edges that you have created on this one or divine. What a wonderful idea to add the stamens! Why did I never think of that before?I am so glad to have found you on Facebook and I’m now following your blog and looking forward to your future inspirations.
My pleasure, Leslie! Check out the rose I just posted, too!
This is such a cute craft. I love how easy it is to make and how beautiful the finished product turns out.
leslie rossi says
wow at first glance they look real! pretty cool little DIY, i’ll pin it.
Thank you, Leslie!!
I’m sorry to be such a pain, but after an hour of signing into your resource library (crafthelove) I was never able to get any cut files. The videos are really well made and very easy to follow, but I didn’t want to have to figure out the patterns. I can follow instructions (usually) better than I can make patterns. I would REALLY love to make your flowers. HELP!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Elizabeth
Hello, Elizabeth! I’m happy to help in any way I can. Can you give me more information about how you cannot get the cut files? Were you unable to download them? Did they not open? Are you unsure how to use them? Let me know and I will help. Thank you!!
Elizabeth D Irwin says
Good morning! Love your flowers sooo much. I get signed into your page, I get to the tutorial, but cannot ,for the life of me, find where to download the cut files! Making the them seems to be an easy process. I’m not worried about that part ,at all. Your instructions are terrific! Thanks!
Hi, Elizabeth! You’ll find ALL my cut files (and other cool things) in my resource library at https://jennifermaker.com/library — get the password to the library by subscribing to my newsletter which is linked around my site, but you can also subscribe directly at https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/175463. Once you’re in the Resource Library, click on the hyperlinked ZIP file — it will download to your computer. Open the zip file and you’ll find the SVG cut file(s) inside. Go to Cricut’s Design Space, click Upload, click Browse to find the SVG file, then upload and insert it into your design. Please let me know if you have any issues!
Sorry, It turned out I was leaving a letter out of the password..EVERY SINGLE TIME! Can’t wait to start! Thanks again for your patience and creativity!
Glad you figured it out! Which letter were you leaving out?
I was leaving out the second “t” lol
That’s what I suspected! I’d change the password, but then everyone would have to re-enter it. Thanks for letting me know!!
Wow, such a nifty craft work. Love the colorful treat of these paper flowers. So will my little girl.
The cut files for this project are gorgeous! They came out so clean and amazing! Thank you for sharing! I have been having a hard time with the ‘end’ part where I attach the base to the rest of the flower. For lack of a better term, it almost feels like its going to constantly yo-yo out away from the base. Does that make sense? Do you have any tips on how to make it more secure? Am I not using enough glue, do you think? I was hoping to find a way to attach these to a stem and make a bouquet but the yo yo action is making it difficult.
Kelly, this was the very first EVER Cricut project that I designed, two days after I got my Cricut. Looking at the pattern, I see it is missing the round circle I added to the end of my other rolled flowers. That round circle gets glued to the bottom and makes it all neater, eliminating that weird end part. So I just opened up the file, added it in, and I’m reuploading it to the library now. You’ll know you have the new file because it has “jennifermaker” instead of “jenuinemom” in the name. If you want to modify the flower you already made, cut that last petal into a circle (keeping part of it attached), then tuck the circle under the flower and glue it down. Please let me know if you have questions!
Downloading now! Thank you for the CRAZY FAST reply! This is one of my first ever attempts at a project and I’m so glad I found your stuff! Will let you know how it goes. Thanks again!
Awesome! Do let me know if the modification help. And if you want to share a photo of your finished project, I’d love to see it!
I made dozens of these and included them with other flowers in my bridal bouquet! I’d love to share a pic but not sure how to add it to comments!
Hi I love your flowers and have downloaded some to make for my sister’s wedding but it says can’t open file it is on my phone. Keep coming up with fantastic ideas to give us inspiration..
Hi, Callie! SVG files cannot be used on phones or iPads, because neither of them have a file system that you can access. You need to download these on a desktop or laptop computer. 🙂