Opinion

February 13, 2013

Liz Swafford: Show your love with a newspaper rose

To celebrate Valentine’s Day (which is tomorrow!), let’s make an upcycled single stem rose from today’s newspaper. Once you know how to make a basic flower shape you may want to go beyond a single stemmed rose and make a whole bouquet, make bigger flowers, or go stemless and use only roses to decorate a gift box or photo frame. Read on for three simple flower-making techniques that are ideal for newspaper but can also be used for other types of paper.

You’ll need newspaper from your recycling bin, a pen or pencil, a pair of scissors, a ruler and an adhesive such as glue, glue dots, hot glue gun, glue stick or tape. For the stem you’ll need a twig from the backyard, a pencil or a tightly rolled sheet of newspaper. Optional is a stapler and a set of markers or paints to color the rose once you’re finished making it. Even adding a little bit of color to the edges will make the flower pop. Also optional is a flower vase, depending on how you want to present the rose to your loved one.

 

Newspaper rose technique No. 1, The Spiral:

Using your ruler and a pen or pencil, measure a 7 by 7 inch square on your sheet of newspaper. Fold the newspaper or add more sheets to cut out multiple squares at once. You can use any size square you want, however, the smaller the square, the smaller your rose will be.

On one of the squares draw a spiral shape with a pen or pencil. Start at the center of the square and continue until you reach the edges. The spiral doesn’t have to be perfect, but do try to leave an even amount of space between each line. Cut out the spiral shape by starting at the outer edge and cutting along the line that you drew until you reach the center. Cut off the excess paper, like the corner edges of the square-shaped paper. If you have stacked several sheets and cut them together, be extra cautious. The spirals will get tangled up.

Place the end of your stem at the outer edge of one of the spirals and tightly roll up the strip of paper, following the spiral shape until you get to the center. Lift up the stem and flower and let the paper unwind slightly. Pinch the bottom of the flower and adjust the width of the petals. When it’s the size you like, add glue to the bottom and any loose edges that may cause the flower to fall apart. To give it a more natural feel, gently push back the edges of the petals. Once you’re comfortable making a rose from one spiral shape, try making one with three or four stacked spiral cutouts for a thicker flower.

Bonus tip, leaves: Make leaves for your flowers by cutting out a diamond shape from leftover pieces of newspaper. Curl back the edges of the diamond cutouts and squeeze one end together to give it a more natural shape. Glue to the stem or just underneath your new newspaper rose.

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