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How to Make Tissue Carnations

Picture of Tissue Carnations

When I was a kid, these tissue carnations were very popular to make at school during recess or other non-busy times, especially if it was raining or cold, and we couldn't go outside.

We usually used bobby pins to hold the tissue carnations together then as we already had the bobby pins in our hair so they were handy. Then we would wear our creations in our hair.


  • 1 Tissue, double ply or two layers, white or other color
    (the kind you blow your nose on)


  • Tissue Paper

    (For a Tissue Paper flower, you will need four layers of the same or different colors, all the same size rectangle. The size of the rectangle will determine the size of the flower. 4x6 inches is a nice size.)

  • Something to Tie With - Use one of the items below:

    1. Bread Wrapper Twist Tie
    2. Garbage Bag Twist Tie
    3. Bobby Pin
    4. Wire
    5. String
    6. Ribbon

Take the tissure from the box.

Fold it in half along the fold that is already there.


If using tissue paper, line up the four pieces of paper.

From the short side, start making accordian folds or fan folds back and forth about 1/2 inch wide until you have used up the whole tissue.

Tie it in the middle with the tie you have from above. Twist or tie it tight so it will not come out.

Tear off close to the edges on each side. Just pull out on each section and tear off just a little bit leaving a ragged edge.

You can also cut it with scissors for different looks. Cut a rounded edge for a petal look. Cut the ends with pinking shears for a zig-zag look. Cut just in a bit across the edges for a fringed look. Experiment. You may find your own new look.

Be sure to unfold each section slightly as you pull on the edges. On the one side you will actually be tearing off the fold. The other side will have two double layers to pull off.

Then very, very gently start pulling the layers apart toward the center. There will be four layers. Don't worry if it tears a little bit. It will blend in with the other layers.

Repeat with the other side.

Hold the tie with one hand and make an "O" shape with your thumb and index finger in the other hand around the tie. Then pull your flower through the "O" in your hand. This makes the flower come together.

You can leave it plain like it is, or you can take a marker and tip the ends of the tissue carnations like some of the real carnations.

  • For Valentine's Day, use a red marker.

  • For St. Patrick's Day, use a green marker.

  • For Easter, use a yellow marker or pastel marker.

  • For Memorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, or Veteran's Day, use a blue marker.

  • For Halloween or Thanksgiving, use a yellow or orange marker.

  • For Christmas, use a green or red marker or a combination.

If you want longer stemmed tissue carnations, use some florist wire and florist tape to add on to the ties you already have. Then the stems will be long enough to stand in a vase.

Get creative. See what tissue carnations you can come up with. Share your ideas or pictures with us so we can see them too.


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