Origami flowers are usually easy to make and have the added benefit of not wilting –as quickly anyway, as natural flowers. They can be perfect gifts or used as festive decorations.
This six-petal flower is made with three rectangular units tied together with a piece of wire or pipe cleaner. It is informally known as the ”Pipe-cleaner Flower” and can be completed in the blink of an eye.
The following video demonstrates how to make this model. Additionally, you’ll learn how to embellish the flower and pick up a few tricks on coloring various papers for striking results.
Some History of the Pipe-Cleaner Flower
The exact origin of this flower is not known, but according to several sources, it might have Mediterranean roots.
Gay Merrill Gross, a well-known author of origami books, learned a version of this flower in Israel, in 1976. That model was made with three squares and a long strip cut from the silver paper that lined cigarette packs. The three squares were used for the petals and the strip was twisted around the petals to hold them together and form a stem.
In a meeting at Lillian Oppenheimer’s Origami Center in New York City in 1979, Gay taught the flower to several people. Subsequently, the flower was made with rectangular pieces of paper and tied with a pipe-cleaner. The idea of using a pipe cleaner was most-likely implemented by Becky Berman, an art teacher.
Diagrams for the version shown here appeared in the OrigamiUSA 1991 Annual Collection. It is listed as a Modular Flower (Neo-Traditional) with diagrams by Mark Kennedy.
The flower from cigarette paper appeared in 1986 in the Italian book Fiori in Origami, by Guido Gazzera and identified by the name Margherita (Daisy). In this book Guido shows the petal units folded from three squares of paper, and the stem made from a twisted strip of the same paper. He also shows another unit, added below the flower, to make two leaves.
Yet another version of this model –made with cigarette foil paper, is found on the British Origami Society website. The caption reads: This design was folded by a barman in Cyprus! Diagrams by David Brill, 2000.
In her book Money-Gami, 2014, Gay Merrill Gross has featured some lovely versions of this flower under the name of “Mediterranean Daisy”. She shows how to make the flowers with different kinds of paper currency.
In another blog post here at Origami Spirit, I feature an origami sunflower of my own design based on the pipe-cleaner flower. The petals of my model have additional folds, and features a large octagonal center and a stem leaf.
Tips and suggestions for making the pipe-cleaner flower
- This six-petal origami flower is made with three rectangles of paper in the proportion 2:1, and a piece of wire.
- In the video, the flower is demonstrated using kami paper, a thin paper made especially for origami.
- All kinds of papers can be used to make this origami flower: recycled paper, regular office paper or fancier papers such as “Tant” or onion skin would make good choices.
- The finished flower shows only one side of the paper, so it is not necessary to use paper with a different color on each side.
- To learn the model try using three rectangles of 6 × 3 inches (15 × 7.5cm)
- Cut in a half a square of paper to obtain two of the desired rectangles.
- Three squares, cut in half, result in six rectangles which is enough for two flowers.
- Pipe-cleaner, craft wire, or any other flexible wire is perfect to use for this flower.
Flowers made with colored recycled paper and beads at center
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Flowers made with black-and-white patterned papers and beads at center
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Paper to make these flowers was colored following a process described in the following video.
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