Hi, I’m Corrie and I’m excited to be sharing how to make paper plants with ya’ll today! We’re announcing the launch of my new book, Handmade Houseplants, and to celebrate, I put together this DIY Paper Caladium tutorial just for you.
I am in awe of all the diverse varieties of caladiums … there are over 1,000! These showy plants can be found in nearly every color of the rainbow, and I love their big, heart-shaped speckled leaves. These beauties don’t typically survive indoors… which is why a paper version is essential!
I created a large plant, but you could also craft just a few stems and place them in bud vases. Or, make a single leaf and use it to adorn a gift box in lieu of a bow. The instructions that follow are inspired by a cultivar often called “Miss Muffet”. No amount of googling has informed me why it’s called that, but I just LOVE the pink and green combo!
Of course, I loved the idea of styling it with the Sugar & Cloth shop party supplies, so they were the perfect tabletop pair…
HOW TO MAKE PAPER PLANTS | A DIY PAPER CALADIUM
PDF templates from the Handmade Houseplants book
Regular household bleach and newsprint or a drop cloth to work on
Isopropyl alcohol (just like in a first aid kit)
Cotton swabs and containers (empty yogurt or take-out containers work well)
Spray bottle filled with water (dollar store find!)
Aleene’s quick-dry tacky glue and small paintbrush to apply it
Step 1) Using the templates provided, trace and cut out each leaf. Keep the scraps … we’ll use them later.
Step 2) In this step, we’re using bleach, so be sure to work on a safe (or covered) surface. Start by misting each leaf with water. Using a cotton swab soaked with bleach, draw on the vein pattern, a simple line down the center with approximately four sets of lines branching off. No need to be perfect here, and the water will allow the bleach to bleed in organic ways, which we want. I treated the pale-green paper this way as well, even though it is a subtle effect.
Step 3) Once the leaves have FULLY dried, it’s time to work with the alcohol markers and isopropyl alcohol. Using the lines you created with the bleach as a guide, draw on veins with the pink marker. Trace the edge of the leaf with the pink marker and add a smattering of dots in various sizes. Moving on to the green marker, add a dense area of green dots at the top center crevice of each leaf and a few green dots among the pink in the rest of the leaf. Next, using a cotton swab soaked in isopropyl alcohol, trace over each mark you made with the markers, allowing the ink to spread and further soak into the paper.
Step 4) Using the scraps you created in Step 1, cut paper strips approximately 3/4” wide by 2” long. Place a wire along the center of the leaf’s back and coat a strip with tacky glue. Cover the wire with the glue-coated strip and secure it in place by running a bone folder along the contours of the wire. After the glue has dried, grab your markers again and connect the veins, drawing on the paper strip.
Step 5) Bend the wire stems so the leaves are pointing down. Next, fill your pot with foam and cover the foam with the gravel you chose. Insert the stems into the foam and carefully arrange your paper caladium so it’s balanced but not perfectly symmetrical. Lastly, adjust the angle of the leaves to your liking.
You can find 30 more paper plant tutorials in Handmade Houseplants: Remarkably Realistic Plants You Can Make with Paper! (https://handmadehouseplants.com/)