I have a confession.
While doing a fact check for this paper flower tutorial, I uncovered a startling discovery.
I’ve been mispronouncing the name of this flower for years! Obviously, since it’s my favourite flower, one I carried on my wedding day, it’s a cringe-worthy mistake.
Gur-br-uh, not Gerber like the baby.
But in my saving-face-defence, the plant is named for a botanist named Gerber. And the flower is cute, a celebrity even – being the fifth most popular flower in the world!
A flower that blooms in every color of the rainbow, there are countless reasons to love this flower.
Did you know the Gerber Daisy not only looks like mini Sunflower, but is a sun-trackers too?
These vivid flowers close their petals at night and open up in the daytime to follow the light from east to west. The light-loving Gerbera Daisy is a symbol of joy, happiness, cheerfulness, and positivity.
But the flower holds a deeper meaning of joy and happiness.
Hundreds of itty-bitty flowers make up the bold and striking center of the Gerbera Daisy.
How is this connected to happiness and joy?
Happiness is a habit that you have to cultivate. Built by gathering hundreds of light-filled moments, one-by-one, and purposefully saving them in your heart’s core. Facing the light each day is a choice, and one that is within anyone’s reach.
This reminds me of a quote I lean into often (best read in a British accent):
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”Albus Dumbledore – Harry Potter
Hits you right in the feels, doesn’t it?
You might wonder why you’ve never heard of the Joy Gerbera Daisy.
Because I made it up. The floral world calls this a fantasy flower; a flower create by your own imagination. Besides, why not? It’s fun.
Ready? Let’s make a paper flower.
This tutorial is loaded with information, from shaping techniques to how to build this paper flower step-by-step. For easy reading (and referencing), the steps for this tutorial are split into sections. The quick links to each section are listed below.
- 3 shaping techniques used to make the Joy Gerbera paper flower
- Paper flower template pieces
- Outer petals
- Inner petals + flower center
- Adding the leaves + putting the Joy Gerbera paper flower together
- Finishing the Joy Gerbera paper flower – putting it all together
- Download: Joy Gerbera paper flower template
- Glue gun (low temp)
- PVC glue (Elmers, Mod Podge)
- Scissors (small)
- Round-nose pliers
- Cutting pliers
- Soft mat (optional)
- Round ball tool (optional)
- Creasing tool (you can use Cricut scraper, scissors, old debit card, anything that will make a crease)
- 20 gauge floral wire
- 16-18 gauge floral wire
- Floral tape
(3) – 8.5 x 11 sheets of text weight paper for the outer and inner petals.
(1) – 8 x 6-inch piece of text weight paper for leaves and stamen.
(1)- 4 x 4-inch piece of text weight paper for flower center.
I make most of my paper flowers with text-weight paper – shimmer paper is a favourite so I buy it in bulk. In this tutorial I use Stardream text weight paper (81lb) that I purchased from Paper Papers.
You can use light or medium cardstock, but I prefer text weight because it gives the flowers a soft, realistic look, and is easier to mold shapes without noticeable wrinkles.
3 shaping techniques used to make the Joy Gerbera paper flower
Hold a skewer between your thumb and index finger. Starting at the base of the petal, apply gentle pressure as you slide the skewer to the tip of the petal. Apply more pressure at the base of the petal and ease off as you move toward the tip of the petal.
You’ll need a soft surface to make the creases in the petal. I use a piece of foam, but you can use anything, a towel, yoga mat, mouse pad, or your hand.
Also, you need a creasing tool. I use the Cricut scraper, but debit card will do the trick too. Work from the inside of the petal out, place the crease tool in the middle of the petal and gently slide out.
Now, some people just press down – you can do that too, but I like the slide motion method because it adds a nice crease without wrinkles.
Rolling the center of the template gives the flower a cupped shape and adds dimension – no one wants a pancake flat flower, do they?
I use a metal ball tool used by cake makers for shaping fondant for rolling my flowers. While this is a “nice to have”, if you don’t have one you can use anything similar. Before purchasing this tool, I used the round end of wooden knitting needles.
Place the ball on a soft surface and apply gentle pressure as you move the tool in a circular motion. As you swirl the tool, you’ll notice the petals coming alive and the flower taking shape.
Make small snips around the perimeter of the circle, and then I like to give the ends a bit of a curl by bending and pressing over the skewer.
Paper flower template pieces
- 4 outer petals – 3 large and 1 medium size center piece
- 4 sets of inner petals ( 4 sizes, 8 pieces total)
- 2 leaves
- 1 stamen
- 3 circles for flower center
At the bottom of this post, you can download this paper flower template. I cut all my paper flower templates on my Cricut Maker (game-changer), but if you don’t own a cutting machine this template can be cut by hand.
- Curl the petals of each of the four outer pieces.
- Crease the petals of each of the four outer pieces.
- Dab PVC glue to the bottom of large petal and glue the 4 outer pieces together. For this step I like using regular glue because it has a longer working time and I have time to place the petals exactly how I want.
- Nest the pieces together! After gluing and nesting each piece, I take my index finger and hold the center of the template while I twirl it around to find the perfect alignment of the petals.
*note: I only use PVC glue on for this part of the flower. The rest of the tutorial I use a low temp glue gun.
Inner petals + flower center
- Curl each of the inner petals and roll.
- Nest and glue the two same size template pieces together – you’ll end up with 4 sets.
- Starting with the smallest size set, pinch top of petals together and nest and glue inside the next size up. Because the petals curl inward, I like to work from the smallest to the largest because it keeps the stack shaped nicely. By going from largest to smallest you have to open the petals up, and it weakens the paper, and the flower doesn’t look as nice.
- To make the flower center, fringe the outside of the circles, curl the ends, and roll. Then nest the three center piece together and glue.
- Nest and glue the flower center piece to the inner petal stack to complete the inside of the paper flower
- Fluff time! Work from the outside in, unfurl the petals with your finger or a toothpick. Stop on the last row in the center, so the small petals curl towards the flower center.
- Glue the inner petal stack to the outer petal stack.
Adding the leaves + putting the Joy Gerbera paper flower together
Adding leaves to your Joy Gerbera Daisy is optional. Often you see Gerbera Daisy bouquets without leaves, but I added them to the paper flower template to give the option of adding them if you’d like.
Making the leaves
- Crease the leaves down the center, and on each side of the crease pointing upwards.
- Cut 2 pieces of 20 gauge wire to 4”.
- Glue the bottom of the petal, add the wire, and pinch the paper around the wire. Make sure you only apply the glue to the bottom, or the glue may spill out and create a blob.
- Tape the stem with floral tape.
- With the round-nose pliers gently bend the wire just below where the leaf starts. This make the leaf look more natural when added to the main stem.
- This is optional, but to add stability, I like to glue the two leaf wires together before wrapping together.
Finishing the Joy Gerbera paper flower – putting it all together
- Roll the center of the stamen piece – this step helps the stamen cup the flower head.
- Round the tip of a 16-18 gauge wire and bend so the circle is facing up.
- Take the wire with floral tape.
- Slide the stamen onto the wire, and glue the wire to the center.
- Glue flower to stamen.
- Add the leaves just below the flower head. To add stability, glue the leaves to the stem, and then wrap with floral tape.
Download: Joy Gerbera paper flower template
Gerbera Daisies can be found in a rainbow of colors, so you can create whatever palette your heart desires. Below is my inspiration and color palette for this paper flower template.