Paper-folded lotus flowers are a form of simplicity and carry a kind of magic with themselves. Falun Gong practitioners happily give them to others as a symbol of the practice’s beauty, purity and principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance.
Folding and distributing the paper lotus flower is part of the global Petals of Peace campaign for kids as well. Practitioners let others know about innocent children and families who are affected by the brutal persecution of the spiritual practice in China.
To fold a lotus flower you will need the following:
Colour paper, tough string and a bookmark, which can be substituted with a piece of paper, with a message written on it.
Colour paper preparation:
Cut twelve pieces of 13.5cm X 7.5cm colour paper rectangles. An A4-sized page should be precisely enough to make six. The size of the pieces can be changed, according to the desired size of the lotus.
Eight of the pieces (for illustration purposes let’s say they’re red) are used to make two-part petals and the remaining four make the four-part (green) petals.
How to fold the petals:
Fold the paper pieces in-half parallel to the longest edge. The four corners are folded as if making a boat. Then the two longer edges are folded inwards and the paper is folded in-half (as shown on the first photo). Repeat the same steps for all eight (red) papers. You should end up with all the necessary petals.
How to fold the leaves:
Folding of the leaves is actually quite similar to that involved for petals. Once you’ve reached the stage illustrated in the fourth photo, simply fold the two outer edges to the middle (as shown in the second photo). Then fold all four (green) papers in the same fashion. With this, we will have the necessary leaves.
Folding the petals and the leaves:
With the leaves complete we begin by placing petals on them. The second petal should completely cover the first petal’s four corners (see third photo). In the same way we add the remaining petals to the leaves. We should be left with four petals with leaves. These four petal-leaf clusters are placed next to each other, and held together with string at the centre (see fourth photo).
The flower petal and leaf folding:
The flower petal-leaf clusters are folded into eight directions (see fifth photo) and we begin folding the flower’s first layer. We can achieve this by folding the highest standing paper petals as shown in the sixth photo. How high the paper is folded depends on the individual. The flower can be made taller or flatter.
The petal folding continues and once the first layer is complete the second layer can be added (see seventh photo). With the second layer of petals folded the leaves can then be folded out. Each leaf is folded carefully using one’s thumb and index finger (see eighth photo).
A bookmark or personal note can be attached to the finished lotus flower. Don’t forget to make it a positive message, because that’s the only way the flower can carry a beautiful and precious meaning.
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