Hey there!

Whilst I was making my wedding invitations I used a lot of paper towels to blot up excess dye. They looked so pretty I couldn’t throw them out, instead turning them into paper flowers.

This would be a great activity to get the kids doing! Especially after absorption experiments such as walking rainbows, colour mixing and colour separating. Personally, I just had tonnes of fun splashing dye around!

You will need :

  • paper towels
  • Food colouring
  • pipe cleaners
  • scissors
  • paint brushes/pipettes/spray bottle
  • jars or paint tray

To start, rip your paper towel off in squares. Then have fun colouring them. Use droppers to drop spots around, use brushes to brush colour on, use a spray bottle full of water to encourage the colours to move. Experiment. Have fun. I watered the dye down slightly, use glass jars, yogurt containers, plastic packaging to dillute colours in. If you need to move them around, be very careful as they will be fragile whilst wet. Leave them to dry before doing the next steps.

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Once your towels are dry, make stacks of four.

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take four paper towels

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and make a stack

You will then need to concertina fold them. Fold all layers in about an inch along one side. Flip it over and fold it back the other way, the same distance as the last fold. Continue folding like this until you run out of paper to fold.

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To begin the concertina fold, fold along one edge of the stack about an inch

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flip it over and fold it back in the opposite direction

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continue folding until you can’t fold anymore!

Using a pipecleaner, secure your papers by wrapping it around the center. Twist ends together.

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Using the pipe cleaner, secure the folds by wrapping it around the middle

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paper towels all secured with pipe cleaner

Cut the ends into a curve.

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cut the ends so they are curved

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and you should end up with something that looks a bit like this…

Gently tease the papers out. The paper towel I used was two-ply, so I separated those layers out too. You need to be very gently with this step as it is easy to tear the paper.

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start gently teasing the papers out

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gently tease all the layers out

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gently tease and fluff out the layers, being careful not to rip the paper. Fluff until your happy with the results.

Fluff out the layers, and wala! you have a paper towel flower!

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Make a bunch!

Use them as decorations, or make a bunch to give to some one special!