TUTORIAL: Picture Perfect Crepe Paper Rosettes

I’ve been making, and crafting with crepe paper rosettes for a while now.  Actually I started with PAPER rosettes, then progressed to crepe paper.  I assumed that the ‘material’ used didn’t make any difference; and I made my first crepe paper rosettes using the exact same method as I had used on regular paper ones.

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EPIC FAIL!!  What the heck happened?!?!?  I folded it SO perfectly!  As soon as I glued on the backing though, it went all ‘cattywompus’ and smooshed up.  sigh.

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Trying as best I could, I just could not get them to look any better than this; looking like they’ve been stepped on by an elephant!    Heavy sigh!

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I wanted them to be PERFECT, like this paper rosette.

dsc00073And these!

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The ‘smooshed’ ones weren’t entirely unusable; and by the time I added other embellishments the smooshiness was less noticeable.  Still, the perfectionist in me wanted to make PERFECT ones.

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This is how they look BEFORE gluing on the backing.  I wanted them to STILL look like this AFTER I added the backing.  The problem was that the crepe paper is so ‘delicate’.  Whereas regular paper ‘held up’ under the pressure of having the backing ‘pressed firmly into place’; this pressure was enough to smoosh and displace all those perfect little folds.

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So, I continued the TRY to make perfect ones, and continued to get not so perfect ones; but used them anyhow!  (I mean, it’s not like anyone was complaining that my crepe paper rosettes were too smooshed!)

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They were ‘passable’ . . . .but I still wanted perfect!

Yes, I realize that I am really dragging this post out!  Intentionally so; to emphasize my long-term frustration and ‘trial and error’ in perfecting this process.   

Yes, I finally DID figure out hot to make ‘picture perfect’ crepe paper rosettes.  Drum roll please . . . . .

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For the sake of those whom may not have made rosettes at all before; I’m starting at the VERY beginning.

 *** Cut a 30″ piece of crepe paper.

*** Fan fold the entire length in 1/4″ folds.

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I find it easiest to do this part ‘on my thigh’ as opposed to on a table or hard surface.  BUT, you will need a hard surface for the next steps.  That black with white dots thing in then picture is my little ‘lap desk’ that I use for my hard surface.

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*** Keeping your folds as uniformly as possible, fold the entire piece; trim off any extra end piece that hangs over the last fold. 

***  Hold your completely folded piece between both pairs of index fingers and thumbs and squish it together with all your might, to really crease those folds tightly.P1250859

*** Glue your fully folded piece, end to end, using the SMALLEST amount of TACKY glue possible.  Apply your glue to one end of your folded piece, then bring it ‘full circle’ to the other end; gently pinch between your fingers  to get it to hold.

 DO NOT use hot glue or regular white glue.  Regular white glue is too ‘wet’.  That, and/or too MUCH tacky glue will end up gluing together several LAYERS of your folds.  You want all your folds to ‘separate nicely’.

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NOW you will need your hard surface to work on.  I keep my little lap desk next to my ‘working chair’ within easy reach.

THIS is how your folded piece will look if you DON’T ‘crease your folds’ tight enough.  ‘Some’ crepe papers are thinner and less ‘crepe-ish’ than others, and those will also ‘sprawl out’ like this.  You will need to go around the circle the reinforce your creases if this happens.

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THIS is what you want your piece to look like when you lay it flat, after gluing the ends together.

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You will need a round piece of paper or card-stock for your backing.  I prefer card-stock; and I use a scalloped edge paper punch to make my backings.  Keep in mind that your backing might ‘show through’; so you might need to have it cut from a matching color.

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***With your rosette laying flat on your hard work surface; fully cover your backing piece with PLENTY of tacky glue.  This ‘seemingly excess amount of glue’ is KEY to making PERFECT crepe paper rosettes!  Don’t skimp on the glue on this step.

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This step can be a tad tricky, because you almost need THREE hands for it!  With practice you  will  learn how to maneuver your rosette so that the center is completely closed using just one hand.

*** Still working on your hard surface; With your glue covered backing all ready to go, after you have your rosette ‘closed tightly’, VERY GENTLY lay your glue covered backing onto your rosette; very gently tap around the edges to be sure the glue has ‘grabbed on’.

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IMPORTANT!!!  DO NOT PUSH HARD ON YOUR BACKING!!  That is what will smoosh all those perfect little folds and displace the spacing of them.  IF you have used enough glue on your backing, it will hold well enough for the next step.

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Your center might re-open a tad when you flip your rosette over.  Don’t worry, it’s fixable; as are any folds that are too clumped together or too spread out.

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***  THIS is another reason that you don’t apply too much pressure on the backing; you may need to ‘adjust the spacing of your folds’.  I use a small paint scraper for this.  With the scraper, gently move your folds as needed to evenly distribute them.  (You won’t ALWAYS need to do this; sometimes the folds are already perfect!)

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Once you are happy with the spacing of your folds, it’s time to make them stay that way.  Again I use my paint scraper, but a piece of stiff cardboard would probably work just as well.

THIS IS THE KEY STEP TO MAKING PERFECTLY SPACED AND ‘FLUFFY’ CREPE PAPER ROSTETTES!

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*** Place your paint scraper between each perfectly spaced fold, as close to the center as possible, and press down.  THIS is what makes the backing stick tightly to the rosette WITHOUT smooshing them. 

This might seem a bit tedious, but it really only takes a few seconds, and makes ALL the difference in creating a PERFECT rosette.

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*** Lastly, press FIRMLY in the very center with your index finger.  

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Look at those perfect folds!!

*** Let  your rosette lay flat for a few hours for the glue to completely dry.  

You might notice that the glue ‘bleeds’ through the crepe paper and leaves the whole thing a bit damp.  Just don’t stack them yet and they will dry just fine.

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Once completely dry, I store my rosettes on their side, like this, in a box.

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I like to keep a stash of rosettes ‘ready to use’ for when inspiration strikes.  I’ll usually make them while I watch TV in the evening.

Please let me know if this tutorial was helpful to you.

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very helpful! And inspiring! Thank you!

  2. Great tutorial! Thanks – this helps a lot! 🙂

  3. Yes! A great tutorial, thank you for sharing. Might have to try making rosettes now. You always inspire!

  4. Waaay too many years ago, my Mother sewed a dress out of crepe paper for a school pagent. (apparently this was a big trend in the 1930s and 1940s.) I wonder if a needle and thread through the folds on the inside and then gathered would work??? Looks like you’ve perfected the glue method very nicely.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.


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