How to Make a Palm Rose for Palm Sunday
How to Fold a Flower from Your Palm Sunday Palms
Folding palms for Palm Sunday has been a tradition for many years around the world. While many traditionally fold a cross from their palms, I always like to fold some palm roses as well. I often wear a corsage made from palms to church on Palm Sunday.
Learning to make a palm rose may seem tricky at first, but you will quickly find that it is a very simple fold that even a child can master.
I've written out the step-by-step instructions I use for making palm crosses.
Give it a try to let me know how it turned out!
Watch this Quick Stop Motion of the steps, then get started with directions below!
Step By Step Instructions for Making a Palm Rose
Click a photo to see it more clearly.
Choose pair of palm fronds from your bud that are still attached along the spine. The size of the frond (both length and width) will decide the size of your rose. You want to choose one that tapers toward the end.
Separate the two fronds along the spine leaving them attached at the base just a few inches (where it is too stiff to fold). If you remove the spine, the fronds will be easier to manipulate.
Holding the stem of the fronds in your left hand, use your right hand to fold the top frond behind the bottom one at a 90° angle. This is the first fold and won't be visible in the end product, so just make it work - it doesn't have to look perfect.
Next, fold the frond that is now on top behind the other, this time at about 120°. You are looking to get the same angle as the corners of a hexagon. It's okay if it's not perfect, you'll get the swing of it. This is the angle you'll use on all further folds.
Repeat the same fold over and over - folding the top behind the one below it. As you work it will form a circle (or more like a hexagon) and you will cross over your stem.
TIP: If you are finding it find it difficult to hold, once you make it one circle around, you can put one staple through it so it stays still. You will likely only need this for that first circle. The staple will not be visible when you are done.
Continue the same fold - top behind the one below it as until it is too difficult to go further because your circle has closed up. You will now have a coil of sorts. It's okay if the rose is not centered - this is caused by one palm being a little wider than the other, or your angle being a little off. Sometimes they look great a little off center, but if you can correct it when you are done if you choose.
You should now have a rose form with your ends sticking out from the middle. Fold them over each other a couple more times, even if you are just twisting them together.
Push the two ends down through the center of the rose through the hold that goes down the middle of the coil. If you can only get it though two layers or so, do so, and then pull the end around the coil like you are turning the hands of a clock. This will wrap it down the layers to the stem. As long as they are tucked under it's fine.
You could call yourself done right now. If your flower is a bit too off center for your liking, you can put one more staple through the bottom couple (2-3) layers. This is usually enough to correct the problem. Just make sure to staple where you can't see it.
The Making of a Palm Rose
What are Fronds For? - They're for folding and weaving!
Do you fold your palms for Palm Sunday?
5 Tips for Making a Great Palm Rose
- As the palm dries out, the shape will change. The rose will loosen up and not look quite as good as it did that first day. If you are making your flower ahead of time, submerge it in water with a couple drops of lemon juice. This will keep it hydrated for a few days and looking like new.
- Make several roses. Some just don't come out as nice as others simply because of the way that particular frond tapers off. Make several so you can pick out your best.
- You can weave into your flower some of the thin strings that are hanging off your bud to make give it a wispy look.
- Don't be discouraged if a frond cracks or if something else happens that you weren't expecting. Just go with it until it's done. Sometimes weird bits sticking out end up giving the flower character and make it more beautiful. You never know until you're done.
Palm Roses on Palms
What Can You Do With Palm Roses?
Once you learn how to make a rose out of a Palm Sunday palm frond, you can make beautiful displays to decorate the sanctuary or even to wear. The one shown here will be hung on the entrance door to the chapel at my church.
Here are some ideas for what to do with the palm roses you've made:
- Add a few leaves and maybe a sprig of baby's breath to make a beautiful corsage for a man or woman.
- Pin a palm rose in your hair with a bobby pin, or hot glue one (or a few small ones) to a barrette.
- Make a palm floral arrangement in a vase with several palm roses. Use to decorate your home or your worship space for Palm Sunday.
- Make a display for the pulpit (like, perhaps, the one shown here).
- Decorate the table where the palms are being distributed from.
- Deliver to shut-ins with their palms or a palm cross.
- Give it to a friend and invite them to church for Easter.
- Make a door display for Holy Week. You can add some roses to a few long palms or add glue many onto wreath base for a beautiful Holy Week wreath.
How to Make a Palm Rose Bud
Here is another style of flower you can make. If you are putting together a palm floral arrangement, adding some of these will help make it beautiful.
- How to Make a Rose Bud from Palm Leaves
Palm roses are one type of craft made out of palm leaves for Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is a Christian holiday that falls on the Sunday before Easter, marking Jesus's arrival in Jerusalem...
Another Variation of the Palm Rose
Palm roses have been a tradition for years and years and in different places, they are created differently.
These amazing roses were made in a very similar way as the rose above, however four palm leaves are used.
To make this rose, start about 6 inches from the stem of 4 attached leaves, and use the same directions as above. The first fold is a 90° fold, and then the rest are at an angle. When you get to the end of this one, bring the stem around to the top and stick it down through the hole. Then twist the rose so that it becomes full. You can then tie another leave around stem just behind the rose to keep it held together.
The directions for this are demonstrated in the video below.
A Few Great Books on Palm Weaving
If you are serious about folding palms and want to make more advanced items, check out these two books filled with palm frond projects.