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Tissue Paper Flowers

The Tissue:

  • Like the previous leis, most of this tissue came from paper mart
  • 2.5" squares = .75" diameter flower
  • 3" squares = 1" diameter flower
  • 3.5" squares = 1.25" diameter flower
  • (these diameter measurements are approximate)


  • You'll need 2 squares of tissue for each flower. Line them up as best as you can, and fold them in half from corner to corner.
  • Fold the tissue again, into quarters, and then fold it one more time, into eights. Clip top of the tissue off, so that the two longest sides are equal in length.

  • At this point, you're ready to make some petals. I only went with 2 shapes of petals, but there are endless possibilities. sharp scissors are key to getting the corners cut out neatly.
  • Open both pieces halfway, and then the outer piece all the way. Rotate the inner piece so that the petals are offset. Then fold the outer piece over the inner piece's bottom edge.


  • This part takes some practice, but once you've mastered it, the rest will come together mechanically.
  • With the petals facing your hand, wrap the tissue around your index finger to create a cone. There should be a few petals overlap, so the final piece stays together securely.
  • Keeping your finger inside the cone, pinch around the bottom to soften up the paper. Very gently twist the bottom of the paper, while the finger inside pushes out the base of the flower.

  • What's left is a pretty cute shell of a flower. The inside is a bit empty, which is great when you're trying to sew it into a lei. It enables you to grip it well, without smashing all the petals. Once they're sewn (or if you're not planning to sew them at all), fluffing up the guts is very easy.
  • Take a dull toothpick or skewer, and carefully poke between the petals, pushing the bottom in towards the center. Viola!


  • Cut long strips of tissue, 3" wide, and fold in half, across the width. Accordion fold the paper at 1" intervals.
  • Clip the top and bottom of the paper, into vaguely "leaf-like" shapes.
  • Open up the pleats, and cut every other fold. Two layers of tissue are used for each leaf.
  • Very gently, and slowly, twist the center of each leaf. When sewing into the lei, stitch right through the center twist.

Sewing them in a lei:

  • The flowers can be sewn in both directions: vertically, and also through the stem.

  • When sewing vertically, I had trouble keeping them from stacking together and looking like 1 long flower. A leaf between each flower, held them apart a bit.
  • When sewing through the stems, the best way to hide them is to cluster flowers together. A minimum of 4 flowers in each cluster, and some leaves added to each end, kept all the stems tucked away. You can add as many flowers to a cluster as you want, but bear in mind that they are delicate and have a tendency to get squished with a lot of neighbors. They also take a while to go through and fluff up, so the more flowers, the longer it will take to finish.


  • Don't waste the clippings, it makes fantastic confetti!
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