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How to Make Mexican Paper Flowers

Whether you're celebrating Cinco de Mayo or el Dfa de los Muertos, paper flowers are a recognized part of Mexican tradition. The craft of making paper flowers was originally brought to Mexico from East Asia; this is why the tissue used to make them is called "papel de china."

A 12-inch-wide section of tissue paper will make a flower about 9 inches wide. Cut it narrower to make smaller, tighter flowers.

Use a few more layers of tissue for fuller flowers.

1. Make a tidy stack of six pieces of tissue paper or crepe paper.

2. Cut the stack so that it's 12 inches wide. It can be any length 12 inches or more.

3. Begin at the top and make 1-inch folds in the entire layer, accordion-fashion, to form a fan.

4. Secure the center of the fan with a wire twist tie.

5. Trim the ends with scissors. You can cut an arch shape for a regular round flower or use fancy scissors for ruffled edges.

6. Bend the fan in half at the twist tie and separate each layer of tissue carefully, beginning with the outside and working your way in.

7. Add a stem made of pipe cleaner or artificial foliage.