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How to Make a Palm Rose for Palm Sunday

Updated on April 8, 2017

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 Your Palm Sunday Palm Fronds
Choose Your Palm Sunday Palm Fronds


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 your Palm Sunday Palms but leave them attached.
Separate your Palm Sunday Palms but leave them attached.


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.

Fold the top frond behind the bottom
Fold the top frond behind the bottom


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.

Fold the un-bent frond behind the other
Fold the un-bent frond behind the other


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.

Go back to the first and fold it behind
Go back to the first and fold it behind


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.

Keep Going!

Keep going...
Keep going...


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.

...and going...

Starting to see a palm flower!
Starting to see a palm flower!


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.

By golly, I think you've done it!
By golly, I think you've done it!


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.



You're done!

The Making of a Palm Rose

Watch a palm rose be made. Each step of the process is shown here (quickly) so you can see the progression of how the rose takes form. Here is another video of how to make this palm rose, and watch how fast this kid can do it.

What are Fronds For? - They're for folding and weaving!

Do you fold your palms for Palm Sunday?

See results

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

Palm Roses on Palms
Palm Roses on Palms
Palm Sunday Rose Display
Palm Sunday Rose Display | Source

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.

Three Palm Roses
Three Palm Roses | Source

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.


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    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 months ago from Upstate, NY

      I don't see why not. Call your local florist.

    • profile image

      Nona Rudianto 8 months ago

      I live in California, Los Angeles to be exact. Could I have these coconut fronds shipped to me? Please advise...

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      Palm leaves and coconut tree leaves are really great for craft works, very nice lens!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      While I celebrate Passover rather than Palm Sunday, this doesn't prevent me from admiring the beauty of these palm roses. It would be nice to try doing something like this for the beauty.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Beautiful! I never thought of making them into a rose. Great idea!

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      These are pretty! Palm Sunday is important to me. Thank you for showing us how to do this.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Nice lens and great tutorial. Thanks for sharing

    • ologsinquito2 profile image

      ologsinquito2 4 years ago

      These are beautiful. I always wondered how to make a palm cross, and now I've found instructions on how to make a palm rose.

    • hotsquid profile image

      hotsquid 4 years ago

      Ah, I will try to make one. Thanks for sharing the tips.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 4 years ago from Western Mass

      great tutorial, kab. happy easter!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a great idea! I would never have thought of making ANYTHING from them, much less palm roses. Very creative, kab!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to see these folded palm leaves when I was growing up. Some are really beautiful and well crafted.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      There are some very elaborate creations here. Happy Easter and Easter Blessings to you.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      This looks complicated! I don't think I'd have the patience to learn it, but it sure looks cool!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 5 years ago from Upstate, NY

      @squid-pinkchic18: While it does have many folds, they are repetitive and once you get the swing of it, you can do it really fast.

    • vetochemicals profile image

      Cindy 5 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      What a great idea! Thanks, I'm going to try making a rose from my palms!

    • Mim Art profile image

      Mim Art 5 years ago

      Very creative! Great lens! Congrats on being Showcased in the Spring and Easter Crafts. Happy Easter!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I learned something new to make a palm rose. All these variations are so beautiful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love this idea and just have not seen it before...congratulations on that lensrank!

    • nyclittleitaly profile image

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      This was great. I never thought of a Palm Rose before. I have always made crosses. Thank you for this lens.

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 5 years ago

      I love to put them in my daughters hair on easter :O)

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      How creative! So glad you decided on making a video, too - it always helps to see a craft in action.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      A very crafty tradition. Looks a bit confusing, so it is good you've got the videos there to explain too.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 5 years ago

      I'd never seen the palm roses. Very pretty!