Paper Flower Centers With No Templates

CENTRED on the middle

Paper flower centers work as contrasts of extension; and that’s whether they’re bold and beautiful or fine and delicate. Observe any open flower and notice how your eyes are drawn to the middle. Regardless of size, it’s hard to miss the delicateness, elegance and/or striking exuberance that separates the middle of a flower from its counterparts. Even when surrounded by masses of flamboyant petals, they never fail to draw the eye.

Take a cue from nature and use the same concept to create your centers. Start with simple buds and fringe; and follow wherever your creativeness leads. I’ve found when I think of them as smaller flowers I never run out of ideas. The examples below detail how to create multiple centers with a basic fringe.

If you are unfamiliar with the term contrast of extension, it is a design principle used in colour theory. Learn more at https://www.canva.com

 
Above: A bunch of brightly coloured centers make a spectacular show.

Above: A bunch of brightly coloured centers make a spectacular show.

 

No templates needed

All of the featured centers can be used as flowers. For now though, let’s label them centers. Their sizes range between I” and 5” in diameter and they are all made the same way.

Note: There are 5 featured centers - Simple buds; Simple fringe centers; Composite centers; Double layer centers  and Cleaning brush centers.

Paper Flower buds and centers

Simple buds can be used on their own

Simple fringe centers are made with stems and fringe -no bud

Composite Centers combines a bud and a fringe

Double layer Centres are structured with two layers of fringe of same or varied sizes

Cleaning brush centers are an elongated form of the simple fringe centers

There are many ways to make paper flower centers but this post focuses on fringe. It’s easy and the method is template free.

 
 

Materials needed to create centers listed above

Hollow Q-tips

Assorted papers: Napkins, tissue, Construction, other

Wire stems

Floral or other tape

Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks; glue sticks craft glue

Scissors

Fringing shears (Optional)

Edge scissors (Optional)

Note: The above listed adhesives anticipates how separate papers behave in the process of being stuck to another sheet or different type of paper. Soft papers like tissue and paper napkins need adhesives that will not compromise their structure. On the other hand, sturdier, thicker papers, need strong glue to hold them. You won’t need every type for each center.

 

Simple Buds

Materials

Scissors

Floral or other tape

Hollow Q-tip

Glue gun and glue sticks

Craft wire stems able to fit in the hollow of a Q-tip

Instructions

Step 1. Cut Q-tip - Cut off Q-tip about ¾” long

Step 2. Apply glue and attach bud - Apply a small amount of hot glue to one end of wire stem and insert into opening of cotton swab.

Step 3. Cover stem – finish by attaching end of tape to the base of Q-tip on a diagonal angle; continue winding tape and slightly overlapping.

Note: You may also use narrow strips of paper or fabric to cover stems. Ensure bud is firmly secured to stem; it’s the foundation of your center/flower.

 

How paper types affect design

Different papers produce unlike results even when using the same technique. That’s mainly due to weight and texture. Generally, firm papers maintain an upright structured look. In contrast, softer papers tend to curl or droop and have an untamed appearance. That’s especially so if the fringe is longer.

In the photo below left: All the centers are made with the same size and style of fringe. Notice how the sizes seem to vary? Now, take a look at how the seemingly largest pink and gold center has spread. That’s because it’s made of the lightest paper of the lot. The one second from left has kept a stiffer form because it’s made of glossy flyer paper. Use Contrasting textures to create interest.

 
 

simple Fringe centers

Materials

Scissors

Wire stem

Ruler & pencil

Needle nose pliers

Floral or other tape

Glue gun and hot glue sticks, glue sticks, craft glue

Paper (Tissue, crepe, paper napkin, or other)

Instructions

Step 1. Cut paper – Cut a strip of paper 12” x 2 ½”

Step 2. Mark or eyeball - You can choose to mark cutting guideline near the base of paper strip. If you are confident though; skip it. If you want to be precise, draw a lengthwise line about 1/2” in from one edge of paper.

Step 3. Create fringe - Use scissors to cut slits from top edge of paper to within 1/2” of base edge or to marked line.

Step 4. Bend the stem - Use needle nose pliers to bend one end of the wire stem

Step 5. Attach fringe and stem - Apply a spot of glue to base of fringe at one end. (b) Place bent end on top, add a bit more glue over stem and tightly roll to finish. (c) This applies especially to longer thicker paper strips: To prevent paper from slipping off roll, frequently apply appropriate adhesive at base .

Cover stem as in Step 3. - Simple buds above.

Note: Use hot glue to anchor papers to stems; other glues might not be strong enough to hold wire to paper.

 

Composite Centers

Materials

Simple bud

Fringed strip of paper 12” x 2 ½” or desired dimensions

Glue gun and glue sticks

Instructions

Step 1. Attach fringe to bud - At base of fringe, put a small bit of glue on one end. (b) Position the base of Q-tip bud at marked guideline on bottom of fringe. (c) Hold fringe in one hand and twist stem toward fringe with the other. (d) Secure layers of fringe by gluing at base every couple inches.

 
 

Double layer centers

Materials

Simple bud

Strips of paper 6” x 1 ½” (Narrow fringe)

Strip of paper 8” x 3” (Wide fringe)

Glue gun and glue sticks

Floral or other tape

Instructions

Step 1. Attach double layer fringe

(a) Attach, roll and glue narrow fringe to bud. (b) Glue wider fringe to end of narrow fringe and roll till finished.

Note: Fringe sizes are design options; feel free to use strips of the same dimension and match or contrast colours.

 

Cleaning Brush Centers

Materials

Strip of paper 6” x 1 ½” (Narrow fringe)

Wire stem

Floral or other tape

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Instructions

Step 1. Attaching fringe and stem - Apply a spot of glue to base of fringe at one end. (b) Place bent end of stem to fringe on a diagonal angle add a bit more glue over stem and roll.

Step 2. Maintain your angle - Continue by holding fringe between fingers and twisting stem with other hand. (b)Maintain a diagonal angle with a slight overlap; wind fringe downward around stem to finish –add glue to secure.

 
Above: Four different looks of cleaning brush centers - Flyer paper, Paper napkins, Light weight colored paper and pink construction paper

Above: Four different looks of cleaning brush centers - Flyer paper, Paper napkins, Light weight colored paper and pink construction paper

 

Create Your own unique papers

Variety and harmony is easy to achieve in your designs when you make your own papers; you don’t need to start from scratch.

All of the papers used below were laminated/glued together. Any paper works with suitable glue; I used paper napkins, newsprint paper and gold tissue paper. A glue stick was my adhesive of choice; because it contains less moisture and left fewer chances of ripping the tissue paper during application.

 
 

Making laminated papers

The process is simple: Lay out the more substantial paper on a flat surface and apply liberal amounts of glue all over. Assuming your are working with a rectangle or square, place the tissue on top of the glue-smeared paper and smooth out. You can start from one edge and finish at the other. Or start from the middle; and with a gentle smoothing motion, push top layer outward to all edges and let dry.

To prevent having to reapply glue, use manageable pieces of paper. Glue sticks dry quickly.

 
Above: Gold tissue paper fused to red paper napkins make a bold, contrast. Still, the bright yellow simple bud takes its share of the spotlight.

Above: Gold tissue paper fused to red paper napkins make a bold, contrast. Still, the bright yellow simple bud takes its share of the spotlight.

 

More than 40 years ago, I saw my mother making the same type of centers with crepe paper. She used them as fillers for her paper flower arrangements and called them fringe flowers. To date, it remains the simplest way I know to make centers/fringe flowers.

Thank you for sharing your time. I’m so happy you stopped by.

I hope you found some ideas to take into your next creative pursuit.

In the meantime, I plan to surround each featured center with some compatible petals. Looking forward to sharing them with you.

If the Lord will, see you next time.