The situation in Ukraine is distressing and heartbreaking. We are so shocked and saddened by all that’s happening. Sometimes it feels like there’s not much we can do to help when we’re on the other side of the world, but we’re looking for ways. Today’s tutorial is a tribute to Ukraine. Maybe this is our way of trying to connect with Ukrainians from wherever we are. Here’s our tutorial on Ukrainian paper sunflowers. We hope they can brighten your day and give you some hope!
The sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower. This beautiful flower has a long history with Ukraine, it turns out! Aside from sunflower seeds being a popular snack, Ukraine and Russia are some of the world’s largest suppliers of sunflower oil. Then there’s its historic message of peace, like in 1996 when it was used to celebrate Ukraine giving up nuclear weapons. Currently, as well, it’s become a bright beacon of hope and peace amidst all the turmoil and we want to do our best to show support. It seemed only fitting to make a Ukrainian paper sunflower in honor of the Ukrainian people. If you’re interested, click here to read the full article about Ukraine’s history with sunflowers.
Ukrainian Paper Sunflower
Here’s how to make your own Ukrainian paper sunflower:
Prepping the Paper
- First, download the paper sunflower template found here.
- Next, cut out the template pieces in crepe paper. We used about 30 yellow petals, 7 green back pieces, and between 2 and 4 green leaves of varying sizes per flower.
- Cut each side of the leaves separately. Make sure to cut out the leaves so the grain of the crepe paper angles up slightly on each side (like the veins on the leaves).
Making the Center
- To make the center of your paper sunflower, cut some long strips of crepe paper that are roughly 1″ wide. We used green, pale yellow, and orange.
- Cut slits in the strips to make a fringe.
- Securing with hot glue, wrap the fringe tightly around the top of a piece of floral wire. Make sure the wire is thick enough to hold the weight of the heavy sunflower blossom. Start with green, then move to yellow, then orange.
- Continue wrapping and gluing the fringe until it’s as thick as you’d like. Also, make sure the orange layer is set a bit higher than the rest.
- When the center is as thick as you’d like, fluff the orange fringe so it splays out a bit.
- Now, gently paint a gradient of green to yellow on the center you just made. See step photos for reference. Alternate option: You can use black or brown for the center, too, if you’d like! The center of most sunflowers varies in color.
Assembling the Sunflower
Now you’re ready to add the petals and back greenery to your paper sunflower!
- Gently shape the petals (see step photos for reference), then glue one around the center. We spaced them roughly 1/4-1/2″ apart.
- Next, add in a second row, this time staggering the petals behind the first row.
- Now you can add the back pieces. For this, shape the green pieces according to the step photos, then hot glue them around the stem. They should fan evenly around the back.
Leaves and Stem
The last steps of your paper sunflower are the leaves and stem!
- For the stem, cut a piece of crepe paper that’s roughly the length of your wire piece and 2-3″ wide, depending on how big your sunflower is.
- Securing with hot glue, wrap the crepe paper strip around the wire stem to thicken it.
- Next, start at the top just overlapping the back greenery of the sunflower. Wind floral tape all the way down to cover up the crepe paper.
- For the leaves, glue the two sides together, making sure the grain angles up slightly on each side to mimic the leaves’ veins.
- Now flip the leaves over and hot glue a thin piece of floral wire to the back. Make sure the floral wire extends a few inches past the stem of the leaves. Once the hot glue is dry, you can shape the leaves however you’d like.
- To attach the leaves to the stem, simply wrap floral tape around the wire.
Styling Your Paper Sunflowers
We varied the length of our sunflower stems, then arranged them in a pretty vase. We love how they turned out! They would make a bright addition to any room. Set them on a table, counter, mantlepiece, or side table. We also think they’d be a lovely accent for a bathroom or home office.
More Ways to Support Ukraine
We’re trying to do our part to support Ukraine. One way is through our shop! We currently have three art pieces in our shop made specifically to support Ukraine. We’re donating all the profits to the Ukrainian war effort. Special thanks to Amanda Jane Jones, who donated this print. Another special thanks to Nathalie Lètè, who donated this one and this one.
Loved this paper sunflower tutorial and want more paper flower tutorials? Step right this way. We recently came out with this paper orchid tutorial we think you’ll love. Also, try our DIY Paper Hollyhocks, or these Poppies, Peonies, and Posies. Have a spring or summer wedding coming up? Here, here and here are some beautiful bouquets to choose from. You can also check out this holiday flower roundup if you’re interested!