Several years ago while attending Pinky's Gospel Clown School, Mike "Captain Mike" Heidtman taught us to make paper napkin roses. We have found the roses to be a special treat for our clowns to give. The roses make good rewards for helpers or they make excellent tokens to give hospital patients, nursing home residents, or anyone to whom you wish to give a token gift. The roses are excellent replacements for balloon creations in situations when the dangers associated with balloons are not acceptable. Stickers make excellent handouts in the same kinds of situations, but the rose is special because the recipient watches you make the rose, it encourages interaction between the maker and recipient, and it is more special because you take the time to make it for the recipient. The roses take a little practice, but they are easy to make. They can be made from any type of napkin, but we prefer the nice colored cocktail napkins that are two or three ply and can be obtained in beautiful colors. We usually buy the rose pink or deep rose colored two or three ply cocktail napkins. At a local discount party store, we purchase two ply napkins in packages of fifty for about 98 cents. We separate the layers of each napkin, therefore, we make 100 roses for a cost of approximately 1 cent each. Can't beat that for economy.

After you separate the layers of the napkins, the rose is made as follows:

Rose 1

Open the layer of the napkin out and fold the top edge down about two inches. Catch the fold between the index and middle finger approximately 1 inch from the end. Wrap the napkin around the index and middle finger so that the folded down portion stays on the inside.

Rose 2

Keep wrapping the napkin around the index and middle fingers until it is completely wrapped around the two fingers. Wrap securely but not too tightly, because in step 3 you will remove the napkin from the fingers to complete the rose.

Rose 3

After you have completely wrapped the napkin around the two fingers, index and middle, pinch the napkin together with your opposite hand. While the two fingers are still in the napkin, give the spot at which you have pinched the napkin a firm twist or two. You can remove the fingers from the wrapped napkin at this point. The cup shaped upper portion is the rose bud and the lower portion is the stem and leaf. Continue to twist the napkin downward from the point at which you pinched below the twist. Twist firmly and evenly to about half way down the lower portion of the napkin.

Rose 4

After you have twisted the stem about half way down, hold the twist securely with one hand and with the other hand, find the lower outside corner of the napkin. Work the corner loose and gently pull the corner up to the twisted portion to form a leaf. Pinch securely at the leaf and continue to twist the remainder of the napkin securely and firmly. When you reach the end of the napkin with the twisting, the rose is just about complete.

Rose 5

Your rose is ready for the finishing touches. Hold the rose securely at the base where the flower joins the twisted stem.  Reach into the center of the flower and pinch the center with two fingers and give a twist in the direction of the turns. This will separate the layers slightly and give a pretty effect to the center of the flower. Gently position the leaf, and the rose is ready for your special presentation to the recipient.

I hope you enjoy the roses as much as we have. You can find many uses for the roses and you don't have to be a clown or in a performing arena to enjoy making the roses for casual acquaintances or special people in your life.

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