How to Best Use Tutorials from Paper Flower Books

being a paper florist Dec 30, 2020
purple paper flower orchid

Jumping into the world of paper flowers can be intimidating. After all, nature has provided us with hundreds of thousands of flowering plants that come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, and colors. Even an expert paper florist can’t be expected to know how to craft all of them. 

So how can you learn to make more of these amazing varieties of flowers?

No matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, I highly recommend purchasing paper flower books. A book will bring together a wide range of tutorials and include big, beautiful photos that make it easy to follow along with the instructions. The best paper flower books out there come from professional paper florists who have been instructing for years. You can literally hold a huge chunk of their knowledge in your hands.

Before we delve into some of my favorite books, though, I have some tips for you on how to best use these paper flower books. By the end of this post you’ll feel ready to conquer any paper flower tutorial because you’ll learn how to set yourself up for success and learn from your mistakes. You’ll be able to get the very most out of a paper flower book.


Follow the Instructions Exactly

If you are a creative soul like me, this might sound counterintuitive. Paper flowers are art! You should imbue them with your creativity.

But before you trod into groundbreaking territory, you need to learn the basic techniques of your craft first. Just like painters frequently copy the work of the old masters in order to practice and glean valuable knowledge, you too should learn from those who have come before you.  

Paper flower books are perfect for this! Even an expert paper florist who has been crafting with crepe for a long time can benefit from following the instructions in these books step by step. Whether it’s a new technique or flower or paper, you should master the tried and true method first before making modifications.

Here’s how I recommend approaching a paper flower tutorial as you follow those instructions:

  1. Read the entire tutorial before beginning. Before you pick up a single piece of crepe, familiarize yourself with the process from the first step to the last. This includes the supplies list—you don’t want to find yourself halfway through only to realize you can’t finish without an important tool or material! 

This is also the perfect time to highlight any techniques or words in the instructional text that you don’t understand. Take a moment to look them up or ask another paper florist so that you have a general idea of what the new technique entails. Don’t be embarrassed! We all had to learn at one time or another.

  1. Visualize the flower. Take a moment to look up the fresh flower you’re making. Nature is the ultimate inspiration for us paper florists, so go straight to the source and see what Mother Nature created. 

I like to choose one photo that represents what I want to recreate in paper form. I’ll prop up my phone or tablet and display that pic right next to the paper flower book I’m working from.

  1. Work in an organized and clean space. Gather everything you’ll need before starting so that you won’t have to leave your workspace to hunt down something and subsequently lose your creative groove. Keeping things tidy and neat while you work will help with the same problem. You don’t want to waste time shuffling through crepe scraps to find that tiny bottle of glue.
  2. Don’t worry if your flower isn’t perfect. This is your first time making this particular bloom. It’s okay if it doesn’t look just like the photo in the book. You’re learning something with every step. Which brings us to…
  3. Keep a journal. After I’ve finished making my paper flower, I will compare it to the book. This isn’t to put myself down, but to figure out how I can improve going forward. I ask myself these questions: 
    1. What’s different about my flower compared to the book’s?
    2. Are those differences good or bad?
    3. Did I misinterpret the instructions?
    4. Did I not let the glue set or not cut the paper properly?
    5. How could I have done better?

I keep my journal private so that I can be brutally honest with myself and so that I don’t have to worry about being perfect. It’s my space to learn and grow.

Practice the Tutorials Over and Over

Now that you’ve worked through the tutorial and taken note of what went right and wrong, you need to practice! I don’t know anyone who can make a new kind of flower perfectly the first time. Even professional musicians need to practice, and paper florists are no different.

Make that flower again, and see if things improve. Keep journaling about your successes and failures. Each time you make that bloom, your technique will improve and your knowledge will grow.

After mastering that tutorial from the paper flower book, you’ll be ready to get creative! Modify here or there. Add something. Try something new. This is how new methods are invented, by building upon those solid foundations of what came before.

I recommend setting aside 30 minutes a day to practice your craft. Or if setting a timer sounds awful for you, set a goal instead: finish 3 centers or cut 50 petals. Whatever gets you consistently crafting is wonderful.

Share your practice on social media. You’ll be able to connect with other paper florists and learn from each other, plus you can easily look back and see your paper flower journey with just a few clicks. Nothing is more motivating than seeing how much you’ve improved over time!

Recommended Paper Flower Books

If you’re not sure where to start with paper flower books, I have two recommendations that are worth every penny and more. They feature fantastic photos, which is always helpful when creating a visual art form like ours, and step by step tutorials that are easy to understand and follow. The authors are two of my favorite instructors and paper florists.


Flower Art: Create Beautifully Realistic Floral Arrangements by Jessie Chui.

Uncommon Paper Flowers: Extraordinary Botanicals and How to Craft Them by Kate Alarcón.

Looking for crepe paper how to books? Here's a collection of books that you can order from Amazon:


These two paper flower books will keep you busy for ages and ignite your creativity as you work through the tutorials. I also highly recommend following Kate and Jessie on Instagram for even more inspiration.

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