I love paper crafts, especially paper flowers! With the help of the Silhouette Cameo and some talented designers, I created this beautiful paper poinsettia centerpiece. This tutorial will show you how to make your own.
This is a creative piece, so yours will probably look different than mine in the end. Feel free to substitute supplies and techniques to match the materials you have available and what you feel comfortable working with. You’ll see that some of my supplies and techniques differ from the designers who created the files. I hope you enjoy this project!
- Silhouette Cameo® or Portrait®
- Silhouette Studio® – Basic Edition or higher
- 1mm blade or AutoBlade
- Cutting mat
- Long planter box – mine is 12 in. x 4.72 in. x 3.5 in.
- Centerpiece base – dry floral foam brick or rice and chicken wire
- 65 lb. cardstock in red and various shades of green
- Colors and applicators – stamping ink, Pan Pastels, etc.
- Gold acrylic paint
- 6 mm balls – foam, spun cotton, beads, clay, etc.
- Floral berry sprigs
- Floral moss
- 24-gauge green paper-covered wire
- Thick stem wire or wooden skewer
- Bind wire (optional)
- Green floral tape
- Hot glue gun
- Tacky white glue
- Wire cutters
- Design ID #334219 by Maison Gregoria
- Design ID #339506 by Maison Gregoria
- Design ID #352931 by Amanda McGee
Step One: Cut
The cutting part of this project is easy with the right cut settings; it just takes some time to cut all the leaves and petals. I cut everything at 100% size, with the exception of the eucalyptus leaves in Design ID #352931. Because I was not creating a wreath, I wanted to make the leaves a little bigger.
Begin by opening the eucalyptus wreath file. I only used the rounded and narrow eucalyptus shapes from this design, so you can drag away the darkest green and lightest green bunches and delete them. Select the remaining leaves and open the Transform Panel.
Go to the second tab for Scale, manually input the Scale at 130%, and click Apply.
Ungroup and rearrange the leaves to fit your paper size. I worked with letter-size paper, and I was able to nest almost every leaf onto four pages. I had some leftover leaves at the end of the project, so don’t worry if you can’t cut every leaf in the design.
Because I did not alter the scale for the other designs, all I needed to do was arrange the elements I needed to fit my paper. I used 65 lb. cardstock in red and various shades of green for all the poinsettia leaves, ferns, and eucalyptus leaves. With a new blade, I had success with a Material setting of “Patterned Paper, Medium (65 lb)”, which is as follows:
- Blade Depth = 3
- Force = 30
- Passes = 1
- Speed = 5
Always check your cut settings with a test cut. As your blade dulls over time, you’ll need to increase in small increments the force, blade depth, passes, and/or turning on overcut. You will have best results cutting with a sharp blade and a mostly-new mat that’s plenty sticky and doesn’t have much debris from prior cuts. This is especially true for the more intricate elements of this project like the fern leaves.
Here is the full list of elements you’ll need to cut for the full poinsettia centerpiece:
- Cut 2 letter-size sheets of round eucalyptus shapes from light yellow-green cardstock
- Cut 2 letter-size sheets of narrow eucalyptus shapes from medium yellow-green cardstock
- Cut 20 poinsettia leaves from dark green cardstock. This is the same green I used for the ferns, so you can fit some on the empty areas of the fern pages.
- Cut 2 full ferns (all except the pair of largest segments) from dark green cardstock. Cut 4 partial ferns (top segment plus next 3 pairs). Cut 2 sets of largest fern segments and one set of next-to-largest segment. If you cut too many, you can stick them in the arrangement to fill in empty space.
- Cut 3 sets of poinsettia bracts (red leaves) and rectangular strips from red cardstock. I was able to fit one full flower on each letter-size page by tightly packing the pieces on the page.
When removing your delicate cutouts from a sticky mat, be sure to bend the mat away from the paper instead of tugging and curling the paper itself. Flip the mat over, if that helps.
Step Two: Shape
Both of the designers for these files have video tutorials that can be accessed after you purchase their designs. Simply go back to the Design Store, find that design again to pull up the details, and click on the Instructions button. Not every design has this feature, but many 3D designs do.
I recommend watching the tutorials by Maison Gregoria for her poinsettia and fern designs, but here’s how I shaped my leaves. If you already know how to shape paper flowers and leaves, you can use your favorite shaping method.
For the poinsettia leaves (both red and green), use a scraper tool against each leaf on a soft background, like a foam pad or mousepad, to press a center line and veins into the leaves. Do this before adding color or adding wires.
For all of the eucalyptus leaves (round and narrow), press a scraper tool along the center of each leaf against a soft surface to put a center crease. Do this after adding color and before adding optional wires.
Step Three: Color
There are many ways to add color to your flower and leaf pieces. Some of this is necessary to completely recolor things like the center balls, but I mostly used color to add depth and dimension for visual interest.
These steps below for adding color are my own techniques and specific colors for this project, but you may choose to follow the designers more closely.
For the gold poinsettia centers, hot glue a short 24-gauge wire (about 2.5 in.) into each small ball. Paint the balls with gold acrylic paint. Multiple coats may be necessary. Make 7 for each poinsettia, 21 total.
For the poinsettia leaves, rub red ink along the edges of the red poinsettia leaves and green ink along the edges of the green poinsettia leaves. Color the top side only.
For the round eucalyptus leaves, use Pan Pastel color “Chromium Oxide Green Tint” (#660.8) or a pale mint green ink. Only rub the color partially onto the leaves; this is not a full color change.
For the narrow eucalyptus, use Pan Pastel colors “Chromium Oxide Green Tint” and “Bright Yellow Green Shade” (#680.3) at the base of each leaf. This is a subtle effect similar to what I did for the round eucalyptus.
Step Four: Assemble
For the poinsettia center, place the 7 balls together with 1 in the center and 6 surrounding it. Pinch a little below the base—the wires can bend a little. Use green floral tape to bind them together. Stretch the tape while wrapping to activate the self-adhesive properties.
For the red poinsettia leaves, trim pieces of 24-gauge wire to approximately 5.25-in. lengths. Using white tacky glue, glue the wire between the back-side fold and the folded paper strip. Bend the wire at a 90-degree angle near the base of the leaf so the wire points down.
For the green poinsettia leaves, trim pieces of 24-gauge wire to 3-4 in. Add a dab of hot glue to the base of the leaf and pinch a small segment of wire into the hot glue, about 1/4 in. Bend all of the wires to a 90-degree angle.
Now, add the leaves to the center of the poinsettia and build down. Add one leaf at a time to the gold center and bind with floral tape, starting with the smallest red leaf and working your way down. Leave gaps as you work downward so the leaves have space between levels. Maison Gregoria’s video tutorial for Design ID #334219 may be helpful here. Look from the top to evenly distribute the leaves’ spacing so you don’t have big gaps.
Use 5 green leaves on two of the poinsettias, and wrap floral tape all of the way to the base of the combined wires. These two poinsettias will be at each end of the finished centerpiece.
For the center poinsettia, use 9-10 green leaves to make it taller than the others. Also add 6 inches or more of thick stem wire or a wooden skewer to the base of the combined wires and wrap it all with floral tape so this single stem will sit taller in the arrangement than the other two poinsettias. You can trim down the height later, if necessary.
My instructions to assemble the fern are faster but less stable than Maison Gregoria’s. You may wish to use her instructions for Design ID #339506 instead.
Glue green paper-covered 24-gauge floral wire to the back side of each fern top segment, along most of the stem. You may use hot glue or white tacky glue. Then, use a dab of white tacky glue at the base of each stem segment to attach them along the wire. Let dry completely.
Assemble two large ferns using the top segment and all except the pair of largest leaves. These will be added to the ends of the arrangement. Create four small ferns for the four corners of the arrangement using the top segment and the next three pairs of leaves.
For the remaining individual fern leaves, hot glue a short segment of bind wire or 24-gauge wire to the base of each remaining individual segment. You’ll use these to fill in the sides of the floral arrangement. Leave the floral wire long until you may need to trim or bend it later to fit the arrangement.
To add length to the base of each eucalyptus leaf, glue a few inches of bind wire or 24-guage wire to the back side. This extra length will help secure these filler leaves in place when adding them to the arrangement and won’t be seen.
Step Five: Arrange
To hold the flowers and leaves in place, you have a couple of options. First, you can use a piece of dry floral foam inside your container. It does not need to completely fill the container because you can stick the end poinsettias into the ends of the foam.
The second, more eco-friendly option is to trim down chicken wire to fit a curved shape into the planter box. Then, pour in rice to fill at least half the depth of the planter box.
Place the two long ferns so they extend beyond each end of the planter. Stick the wires into your base of either foam or rice. Poke the smaller ferns’ wires into the base at each corner. Then, use the remaining large individual fern leaves to drape out from the sides.
Add floral moss to hide the foam or rice. This can be done before adding the ferns, if you find it easier.
Insert the shorter poinsettias at an angle at each end of the planter. Then, place the tall poinsettia into the center of the planter, stuck straight down into the foam or rice. Bend the wire or skewer as necessary so the top is taller than the other poinsettias and the leaves mostly fill the empty space above the top of the planter.
Add the remaining eucalyptus greenery to fill in the center and cover any visible support structure. The binding wire extensions may not stick into the foam, but as they weave together it will all add to the stability. Just try to poke the stems under the moss to hide the extensions.
You may have extra greenery left over, or you may wish to cut more to fill in the arrangement. This is your personal creation, so feel free to change it however you want! Add the berry sprigs last, and with that, your paper poinsettia centerpiece is complete.