Paper Succulents

How to Make Paper Succulents
Bonus project for my Creative Live workshop, Paper Crafting: Skills & Techniques
RSVP to watch FREE on July 14 & 15, 2014

Green colored text weight paper
Cardstock or lightweight cardboard for the templates

Pencil or pen
Bowls, cups or lids to trace for templates
Paper clips
Hot glue gun with glue
Pots to display finished succulents (optional)

1. Begin by creating templates for your leaves. Fold a piece of cardstock in half and cut out half a leaf. Alter the shape of your template to reflect the type of succulent leaves you’re creating – some have pointed tips, other rounded. Depending on how large you’d like to make your succulent, create this same shape petal template in three to four sizes. The succulent demonstrated utilizes three different sizes (small, medium and large).

2. Next trace your templates onto text weight paper. The succulent demonstrated requires 3 small leaves, 10 medium leaves and 10 large leaves. To avoid having to cut each leaf out individually, stack three to five sheets of paper, trace the template on top sheet, clip the paper together and then cut. The clips will prevent the paper from shifting while you cut.

3. When you’ve finished cutting out all of your leaves, stack the respective sizes together, take your scissors and create a small (roughly 1” – 2”) vertical cut in the center of the tapered leaf base. Take the tabs of paper on either side of the cut and overlap them — you’ll see this causes the paper to cup and stand creating a three dimensional leave. Begin with five of the large leaves first – as the exterior portion of the succulent we want these to be fairly open – so overlap the two sides slightly and then hot glue them together. Repeat this step with the next five large leaves overlapping the twp sides just a bit more. Moving on to the medium sized leaves – we want these to sit up higher than the large leaves – so take five medium leaves and overlap the two sides even more and then hot glue them together. Repeat this step with the next five medium leaves overlapping the two sides just a bit more. Finally the small leaves – we want these to sit up almost vertically – so overlap the two sides even more than the medium leaves and hot glue together. Now trim the overlapping ends of the medium and small leaves.

4. To assemble the leaves together and construct the succulent, begin with first five large leaves – overlapping each leaf slightly at the base and securing them with hot glue. Add in the final five large leaves, positioning them between each of the previous leaves. You’ll see that a cup like begins to form, creating the exterior of the succulent. Then apply hot glue to the underside base of the first five medium leaves, pressing them into the interior of the cup-like form, positioning them between the previous leaves. Repeat this step with the final five medium leaves. Finally add in the three small leaves creating the interior center of the succulent.

5. Some succulents have leaves that curl slightly forward or backward most notably in the interior or outermost rings of leaves. To achieve this effect, gently run the blades of a pair of scissors along the top or underside of the leaves to give them a slight curl.

6. Consider constructing your plants in a variety of sizes and displaying them in decorative pots, creating your own evergreen succulent garden.