Forget store-bought faux flowers. Create lilies with crepe paper and cotton swabs

If you like the permanence and price tag of faux flowers but aren’t a fan of the look, try making these crepe paper and cotton swab lilies. A quirkier approach to fake flora, these lilies add whimsy and charm to any bouquet. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder what other flowers you can craft out of crepe paper. Short answer: Anything you want!
Few flowers are as lovely — and beloved — as lilies. This crepe paper version brings the beauty of the blooms to your table year-round. They’re more budget-friendly than the real deal, too. Use cotton swabs from your medicine cabinet and leaves left over from a previous project to help keep costs down.
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Materials
- Cotton swabs, 18
- Wire cutters or heavy-duty scissors
- Acrylic paint in bright red
- Acrylic paint in brown
- Craft stick
- Mixing bowl
- Small paintbrush
- Crepe paper in yellow
- Crepe paper in white
- Fake leaves
- High-temperature glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
DIY Everywhere
Instructions
1. Cut one tip off the end of a cotton swab. Discard the tip, and keep the longer piece. Repeat for all 18 swabs.
2. In a small mixing bowl, blend a quarter-sized dollop of bright red and brown paint with a craft stick. Paint the tips of the 18 swabs from step 1. Allow the paint to dry.
3. While the paint is drying, cut a strip off a roll of yellow crepe paper. Cut six petal-shaped pieces out of the strip.
4. Take a petal and put a small line of hot glue along the bottom-right edge. Take a second petal and place its left edge on top of the glue. Repeat, this time putting the glue on the right edge of the second petal, then placing the left edge of a third petal on top of the glue. Glue together all six petals in this way until it looks like you have half of a two-dimensional flower.
5. Put a small line of hot glue along the bottom-left edge of the first petal. Carefully bend the other petals, and place the right edge of the sixth petal on top of the glue. The petals should now be in a cone shape that's reminiscent of a three-dimensional lily.
6. Slide the lily onto a bare stem of the fake leaves. Put a small amount of hot glue inside the lily around the stem. Allow the glue to dry.
7. Put a dollop of hot glue inside the lily. Stick the blunt end of a cotton swab into the glue. Be sure to let the glue dry completely before adding the next cotton swab. Repeat until you’ve glued six swabs inside the flower.
8. Stretch and curl the crepe paper petals to give them a more natural, realistic look.
9. Repeat steps 3-8 to create two more lilies, one with white paper and another with yellow.
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10. Place your new bouquet in your favorite vase and enjoy!
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