Crêpe paper flowers

A shop on the beach selling crêpe paper flowers? This is something you could only find on the Flemish coast.

As a child, did you ever walk around on the beach carrying a bucket full of shells, so that you could buy these flowers? If so, you’ll get the idea. This is a fun and educational beach activity for children. When you start telling other people about it, the memories will come flooding back...

This is usually a job for younger children, because they have the smallest hands.

Receiving stock
This is a job for older children, because they have the biggest hands.

Buying and selling
If you’re going to buy flowers from a shop, you need to make sure that they come to your shop too.

Carrying your ‘money’ about
We used to use in buckets and there was a time when children used to walk around with empty washing powder boxes ... Now they tend to go for empty Nesquik boxes.

The shells have to be rinsed in a sieve, thoroughly dried and empty - there shouldn’t be any mussels mixed in with them! Don’t forget that only Couteaux  are accepted as legal tender in Knokke-Heist.

Payment method
You can pay for flowers in different ways, depending on where you are. In some seaside resorts, you pay for flowers by the handful. In other places, you pay for a specific quantity of razor clam blades (Couteaux), or other shells like turret shells or pea urchins …

Paper type
Use good quality crêpe paper. Making flowers from paper napkins is definitely 'not the done thing’.

How to make beach flowers?

Stage 1 – The heart of the flower
Cut out a piece of crêpe paper measuring about 30 x 30 cm. Fold it four times to make a small square. Now take a wooden stick and place it the middle of the folded crêpe paper. Fold the paper around one end of the stick and secure it with a piece of wire.

Stage 2 – The flower petals
Choose some coloured crêpe paper, cut off a strip measuring about 5 cm x 30 cm. Pull on one end of the paper strip, stretch and wrap it around the stick, so that it wrinkles. Fasten it tightly with wire. Repeat the process several times using different colours of crêpe paper, each piece wider than the previous one. Use your imagination to make a beautiful flower!

Stage 3 – The stem
Take a piece of green crêpe paper, measuring about 2 cm x 30 cm – or use green sticky tape – and wrap it around the flower stem. Start above the wire and secure it at the bottom with a piece of sticky tape.

All you have to do now is sell your flower!