What you need is shown above: 3 x 6 red paper petal shapes, 35 green painted paper leaf shapes, 3 small red dots, 10 pieces of paper wrapped floral wire, railroad red apples, tea leaves, tools, yellow paint, tacky glue and a prepared pot. You also need a blunt tapestry or wool needle, and a piece of craft foam for a shaping surface.
The bottom of the pot has a piece of lead split shot from the fishing dept. in the bottom, and then a plug of floral foam. I find the lead gives the pot a little heft, and makes it less like to tip over.
The red paper is commercial paper, while the green paper is hand-painted, darker on the bottom and lighter on the top. The little railroad apples were purchased at a model railroad store.
Step 1: Dip the end of 3 stems in tacky glue, stick onto the centre of a red paper dot, and allow to dry.
(Optional: Draw red veins on the tops of the petals and green veins on the leaf tops; I use a sharp colouring pencil.) Now using a blunt tapestry or wool needle, "draw" a central vein and 2 V-shaped veins on the bottom of each petal and leaf shape, echoing the coloured veining.
Step 2: Dip the tops of the red dots on the stems in tacky glue, swirl on wax paper, (this spreads and thins the glue), then dip in tiny red railroad apples. Use your fingers to push them lightly into shape. Allow to dry. The red petals and the green leaves in the photo above have been shaped with the needle. If they curl up too much, you can gently push them down over a fingertip.
Step 3: Dip the end of each petal in tacky glue, then glue to the underside of the red dot, 6 petals evenly spaced for each flower. Dip the end of each leaf into tacky glue, then place 1 on tip of each stem, and 2 pairs facing each other just below. Allow to dry. Touch the little red balls with a tiny spot of bright yellow paint; you can use a fine brush, pin, toothpick, or just the end of your finest ball stylus. Drop tacky glue on foam in pot, dip in tea leaves, push into shape and clear off edges of the pot. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Step 4: Cut the stems of your flowers to size, and plant in the centre of the pot by dipping the bottom of the stems in tacky glue. Cut the stems of your leaves to size, and plant them around the poinsettia flowers. I have also made poinsettias in hot pink, salmon pink, and pale ivory with green veining. To dress up your pots, you could wrap them in coloured foil or cellophane.
These leaves and petals were punched with dollar and craft store punches. I used a leaf with a curled tip and a stem for the coloured bracts, and a holly leaf shape for the leaves. In actuality, the leaves should all be the same, as what we think of as flowers are in fact the bracts of the plant; the real flowers are the tiny red and yellow balls!
All paper flowers should be kept out of direct sunlight, as paper will fade over time. You can spray the finished plant with a matte spray. The pink and salmon poinsettias are both several years old.
I hope you enjoyed this flower tutorial! I taught poinsettias in a class some years ago, when I was still working for our local public library. If you would like more flower tutorials, let me know and I will prepare some other plants - or, you could suggest plants and I could try to "invent" them.