Happy Cinco de Mayo and Teacher Appreciation Week

It's totally by coincidence that I decided to make Mexican paper flowers with my daughter's class on Cinco de Mayo, but hey it works. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so today, another mom and I entertained the class with this project while their teacher got to enjoy a long lunch.

It's a really easy project, but it takes some patience and a gentle hand. I bought the brightly colored tissue paper and pipe cleaners from Dollar Tree. The tissue paper I got was red, pink, yellow, green and blue. They have a large range of colors and prints, so that can really expand the range of flowers that can be made...or what ever you would like to do with the paper.


  • Tissue paper in multiple colors
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pinking shears
1) Using pinking shears, I cut large squares (about 6" x 6") out of colorful tissue paper. I thought the pinked edge would give some interest to the flower made from otherwise basic squares.

2) I neatly stacked 10 squares of paper, alternating colors for a more exciting flower.

3) I accordion folded the tissue paper stack using about 1 in folds. That small size seems to have the best final result.

4) I took a pipe cleaner, laid it on the middle of the folded paper, with about 2 inches hanging over. I bent the pipe cleaner over the middle of the folded paper and twist the ends together as close to the other side of the paper as possible. This secures the folds and provides a stem for the flower.

5) Starting with the top piece and one side, I gently pulled it up towards the middle. Once I have it up, I like to put my fingers at the bottom of the piece, closest to where the pipe cleaner is, to make sure it's pulled tightly towards the pipe cleaner secure. Do this for each of the layers and the flower will become full. I was very gentle with the paper during this step because tissue paper breaks easily if you are too rough with it.

6) After I was done pulling the pieces up, I adjusted some of the pieces until the fullness and overall look of the flower was to my liking. That's all there is to it.

Optional changes:
- use different colors and prints of tissue paper
- instead of squares, cut circles, ovals, diamonds, petal shapes...this will change the final look
- increase or decrease the size of the layered pieces
- increase of decrease the amount of layers (I used 10)
- use different fancy scissors to cut the edge or leave them smooth by using regular scissors
- add leaves to the stem
- shorten the pipe cleaner and add an alligator clip to the bottom of the finished flower...hair accessory of course!

This was a project that wasn't too hard for most of the class. Some caught on and finished faster than others. Not everyone knew what an accordion fold was or could easily do one, so some needed more help than others. The ones that didn't totally understand from my demonstration or didn't have the layers pulled up tight enough, needed a bit of help with the pulling, but understood once I did a few layers for them.

They all had different ideas for what to do with the finished flowers. My daughter and some others gave theirs to their teacher. While others, gave them to their moms, siblings or dads. 1 decided her dog would like it. 1 wanted to plant it outside, but bring it inside every time it rained. I love this type of open thinking.

I gave them all the same amount and colors of tissue paper that I used. I let them pick out their pipe cleaner color. The results all varied, but the flowers were all very pretty and the kids were all very happy with them.


  1. Love this kids craft for Cinco de Mayo. So colorful. Will definitely be sharing it on our site!

    all the best,
    Sherry + Wendy @ Kiboomu

  2. Awesome. Just link back this original post for proper credit.


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