How to make DIY Paper Roses for Valentine's Day

Everyone loves roses, but you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on flowers this Valentine's Day, that will wither and die. Instead, do the environment and your wallet a favour and upcycle an old book into something precious you can cherish forever.

While a bunch of roses is the go-to gift for Valentine's Day, recently, I was shocked to read about the huge carbon footprint of cut roses and flowers. Transportation, refridgeration, water usage, and once the flowers have withered and died, there's the methane gas released. Then there's the fertilisers and pesticides that are used to grow them - not very romantic! 

This year, why not upcycle an old book and craft something from the heart that says 'I Love You' for ever! Best of all, these roses are so simple to make and you can even get the kids involved. 

What you’ll need:

Some old paper, cardboard or old books work well
A pair of scissors
A pencil
A skewer
Some craft glue or PVA
Sticky tape


1. You can use any paper you like, but make sure it’s not too thick. I chose an old music score I found in an op shop. You’ll need a large square. The bigger you want your rose, the bigger the square.

2. Using a pencil, draw a spiral. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact, some irregularities will make it look more authentic!

3. Once you have your spiral shape, start from the outside and cut all the way to the centre.

4. Start from the outside, and wrap the paper around your skewer. After you’ve wrapped it a few times, you can use your fingers to continue curling if that makes it easier. Go all the way until you reach the centre.

5. Let the paper unfurl. See that bit in the middle? You’re going to wrap it around itself to make a cone shape. Secure with a small amount of sticky tape. This is the flower’s base.

6. Using craft glue or PVA, fill the cone with a good dollop. Then, place your rose in the centre, holding for a few seconds.

7. You can leave as is, or for something a bit extra, fill a small dish with some food colouring and water, and drop the rose in upside down. You could also use shellac, gold leaf or varnish, or even burn the edges for different effects.

8. Using a skewer, pierce the bottom of the rose – this is your stem, or, use smaller toothpicks and use a styrofoam ball to create a pomander ball. You’re all done! Give to someone special, keep them for yourself or use them in a pretty hair piece.

Are you giving something handmade to your beloved this Valentine's Day? Leave a comment below and let me know!

For more great upcycling and craft tutorials, head over to

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