1. Peonies have an almost egg-shaped petal that is slightly fringed at the top. Using patterns found on the Internet or from the images here, trace petal shapes onto crepe paper. Place each petal pattern so that the paper grain is vertical—this allows you to be able to spread and stretch the petal as needed.
2. Cut petal shapes in three sizes: small, medium and large. No need to be too precise—nature is full of imperfections. Pull each petal slightly from each side to spread open the grain. This will result in a more rounded cup shape, giving the paper a natural petal look.
3. To prepare the stem and stamens, cut a standard length of floral wire in half. Using yellow construction or scrapbook paper, cut a rectangle about 1- by-2 inches long. Fold in half width-wise and make cuts all along the open top edges, fraying the paper to form the stamens. Cut a 1/2-inch slit into each side of the folded crease—you will use the middle portion to anchor the stamens to the wire. Bend the top three inches of the floral wire into a U-shape and slide the U-bend over the middle portion of the fold of the paper stamens. Twist the wire around to secure the paper in place. Roll the fringed paper into a tube, tape in place and separate the frays slightly to give the appearance of stamens.
4. Use the small cut-outs to form the first row of petals, orienting the fat-fringed side of the petal at the top. Surround the stamens with about four petals, overlapping each petal as you go. Hold in place while you wrap floral tape around the base of the stamens to secure the petals. Wrap any excess floral tape tightly around the wire, easing it down toward the end of the stem.
5. Repeat with each petal size, forming two rows of the medium petals and two rows of the large petals, and wrap excess floral tape down along the stem. You may need to hot glue the petals in certain spots at the base and midway up the petal for the larger sizes. This keeps the paper from bending backward and still allows the peony to hold its fluffy ruffled shape.