Learn how to make a paper calla lily using a free printable template! These stunning watercolor paper flowers can be done with other paper flower templates as well. Thank you to OOLY for sponsoring this post – make sure to scroll to the end for a super fun giveaway!
Flowers are probably the most popular subjects of watercolor painting and paper flower bouquets are the absolute coolest thing to make if you ask me (or read this blog…)
So I thought “wouldn’t it be cool to combine the two?”
In this post, you’ll learn not only how to make a paper calla lily, but also a cool new watercolor trick that you can use with any paper flower template!
Instead of using cardstock papers, simply paint your own using watercolor paints for some beautiful texture. And the best part? You don’t even have to know how to paint!!
These paper calla lilies are such a sweet Mother’s Day gift that blend arts with crafts and are loaded with fun.
Alright, on to the tutorial.
Wanna know how to make a paper calla lily? Simply use the template to assemble your own. But the first step, the painting stage is the one you’ll have the most fun with, because there’s no pressure, just do whatever you want.
Cool tutorial, no?
To make these, I experimented with the OOLY Chroma Blends line. Their new neon watercolors were my first stop. I made a calla lily using the classic pale greens and yellows you’ll find in most tutorials. The colors are vivid and brilliant.
I also tried them on black paper.
And once I had the black paper out, I tried Chroma Blends Pearlescent watercolors as well. Instead of first cutting out my template with this one, I had fun just painting away on a piece of black paper.
You don’t need to make your paper calla lilies look realistic – just have fun!
Next, I switched things up.
I took out the Chroma Blends travel watercolor palette. And OH MY GOD, it’s the coolest. It’s got two water brushes inside, a full palette of watercolor paints – and an artist’s palette inside! I guarantee I’ll be taking it on my big family vacation this summer. Sorry family, but I’m checking out.
For a change, I combined the travel watercolors with Chroma Blends watercolor paper.
Throught this tutorial I tried the following four papers:
- Regular (too crumply)
- Cardstock (didn’t behave well with watercolors – on some flowers it pilled a little. I think that’s because it can’t handle that quantity of water).
- The black paper which is in between card stock and regular copy paper (handled the water well, less crumply)
And finally, I tried Chroma Blends watercolor paper. To be honest, I wasn’t even going to try it on this as it’s very very stiff. However, I decided to give it a go and it ended up being my favorite because:
- It handled a large quantity, multiple layers of wet well.
- It obviously didn’t crumple.
- It wasn’t as stiff once I painted it, so I was able to shape it more than I expected.
- And finally, a calla lily doesn’t need a lot of curves, turns, and ruffles. So I didn’t need something so soft.
This one I painted in deep indigo and purple shades. It’s my favorite flower from the entire bouquet that I created.
I played around with the mechanical watercolor pencils and watercolor brush markers as well. They are a great option if you want to use card stock, or want to make less of a royal mess than I did. But I love making a mess (I get it from my little guys) so I mostly stuck with paints. The markers are way too cool – they have real brush tips, not stiff felt tips!
Calla lilies are famously white with some pale yellow and green, but they actually come in many beautiful, vivid shades. You can choose if you’d like to paint your calla lilies more realistically, or if you want to use your imagination and just be inspired by their majestic scale and minimalist silhouette.
Whichever way you choose to explore how to make a paper calla lily, Mom will be so touched that you created these from scratch!
What you need to make a paper calla lily:
- The template – download it here.
- Paper – I recommend Chroma Blends Watercolor Paper
- Chroma Blends watercolor paints by OOLY
- OOLY paint brushes – you can use the ones included in the sets, however this pack has a wonderful large flat brush that’s great for the scale of this project.
- 1/4 x 12 inch wooden dowels
- Paper wrapped wire floral stems for the leaves
- Paper tape in an appropriate shade of green and/or black (NOT floral tape. You’re using this to really hold things together so you want a strong tape.)
- Recommended: dimensional foam mounts
How to make a paper calla lily:
I used a lot of different techniques and experimented for days when working out how to make a paper calla lily. You’ll see different flowers in the images below because I featured the best way from each of my experiments in this tutorial.
1. Use the template to cut out the main flower shape. The leaf is optional, as are the stems on the last page.
2. Paint your parts! On the cardstock one, I did wet-on-wet painting.
On the leaves, you may want to add some detail.
When it’s dry, paint the other side of your leaves and flowers.
3. Wrap your stamen. There are two ways to do this. With card stock, you can use the template and wrap it around the end of your dowel. Glue it and round off the tip.
If you’re using watercolor paper, you’ll want to trim it down to the exact size to fit your dowel (the template has a bit of overlap). Glue the base around the tip of your dowel.
When the glue has set, flatten, glue down, and trim your stamen tip.
4. Use a dowel to roll the ends of the petal inward.
5. Tape the bottom squared-off tip of your petal around the dowel. Position it so that your stamen pops up as much as you’d like it to.
My favorite way to close off the front of the lily was using a dimensional foam mount. It kept it in place but left it looking “casually closed” and not too stiff.
6. If you’d like, you can wrap your stem with watercolor-painted card stock (as featured on the template). Or, use paper tape as pictured.
7. If you’re making a leaf, simply glue your paper wrapped floral stem down the center and hold it until it sets. When it’s totally dry, you can bend this into a more natural shape.
Your calla lilies are complete and ready to gift!
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a paper calla lily! Now try watercoloring other paper flower templates!
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- Chroma Blends Mechanical Watercolor Pencils
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