Craft thoughtful homemade gifts with print

From a pretty paper bouquet to a fun pop-up card, find out how you can make meaningful gifts using Canon Creative Park and your PIXMA printer.
A homemade papercraft bouquet of flowers is passed from one pair of hands to another within a living room setting.

Sometimes, just a simple, homemade present can mean the world to family and friends. Whether they're going through happy or difficult times, they're sure to appreciate a gift that is personally made by you with love and attention over a shop-bought pick-me-up. Plus, you get to flex your creative print muscles.

Canon Creative Park is full of papercraft templates, which means you can print and assemble a papercraft bouquet of flowers whatever the season, and a card to match, in a style of your choosing. Not only will these gifts be more meaningful because of the time put in to making them, but they will last a lot longer than actual flowers – and brighten up any room.

Papercraft is also a more affordable way of gift-giving and it can double up as a mindful activity – and your creations can always be recycled (always check your local recycling guidelines) if you change your mind on the subject matter or make any mistakes along the way.

With the above in mind, Canon challenged papercraft enthusiast Martin Stone to create the perfect gift for his partner using Canon Creative Park, a PIXMA printer and his own creativity.

Choosing your templates: gift ideas

A pair of hands holds a smartphone with flower templates from Canon Creative Park on the screen, with petal templates emerging from a Canon PIXMA printer below.

Canon Creative Park has a huge selection of templates that can be used to make homemade gifts. Papercraft enthusiast Martin Stone opted to make a flower bouquet and selected individual flower templates to make his craft look unique.

A young man sits at a table cutting out a card template printed from Canon Creative Park.

"Roughly cut the shapes out before going in for the precision cut," Martin advises. "By doing this you will be reducing the excess card from around the shape. This should make the images easier to cut out, as you won't have much card getting in the way."

You could make almost anything as a gift for a loved one using Canon Creative Park templates, it doesn't have to be flowers. Have a sibling or a niece or nephew who loves dinosaurs? Then make them some paper models! Or why not try a music-themed craft for that rock band-obsessed friend?

For this project, Martin chose to make a papercraft bouquet and card. "From looking at the flower designs you might be led to think these were rather complex to complete," says Martin. "But the key is to be organised – there are simple and easy-to-follow illustrated instructions."

Printing your templates

A print emerges from a Canon PIXMA printer which sits on a table, surrounded by plants, paper, and crafting material and tools.

"The colours achieved with the Canon PIXMA printer were incredible. From start to finish, the printing was consistently good," says Martin.

Once you've selected the templates for your gift, it's time to print. You can do this by connecting to your PIXMA printer via the Canon PRINT app on your smartphone, or via a laptop. And if you've got a compatible printer, you can subscribe to the PIXMA Print Plan1 – a cost-effective printing solution which offers flexible plans and delivers ink right to your doorstep so that you never run out.

Martin found Creative Park easy to navigate, and did so by accessing the website on his smartphone before downloading and using the app.

Each template comes with a suggested paper type to use, so make sure to read the instructions. Here Martin used Canon Matte Photo Paper (170 gsm), which is thicker than average printing paper and makes for a sturdy final model.

How to make a papercraft bouquet

A pair of hands carefully folds the inner part of a papercraft flower.

Approach each flower as an individual template, suggests Martin – this will make the task easier to tackle and you can take your time. Cut around your templates carefully and make sure to score them before folding as this will ensure a better overall shape. You can do this with the side of a ruler.

A pair of hands places the first papercraft petal on to the stem of a flower. Further petals can be seen on the cutting board below.

"I didn't think the templates would be so easy to make," says Martin. "The hardest part was waiting for the glue to dry." He thought carefully about the type of adhesive he needed to use. Liquid glue worked well for the petals, however he found double-sided tape was better for applying the petals to the stem. You could also use glue dots, a glue gun or glue sticks.

Martin says he always takes a methodical approach to crafting. Once he had printed off all the templates, he organised the prints into piles for each flower so he could keep track of which template was for which bloom. "I kept each separate template in these piles throughout the process so things didn't get muddled up," he says.

Then Martin cut all the templates out before folding them. He used a homemade scoring tool to mark the edges where the instructions indicated, to make the folding easier. "These score lines are very small, and precision is key," he says. "I used a generic fine-tipped pair of tweezers to score along these lines. It's also important to burnish [polish] these scores to ensure clean lines."

Martin was able to start crafting as soon as his prints were ready. "The ink dried instantly so I could proceed without fear of any smudging," he says.

When it comes to glueing the designs, Martin recommends leaving the templates for a few hours to make sure they are fully dry and there's no moisture in the paper. Once you have your selection of crafted flowers you can assemble them together using string, wire or even glue in the arrangement you think looks best.

A top-down shot of a Canon camera sitting atop a Canon PIXMA printer, with a collage of photos in the background.


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Making your gift personal

A pair of hands holds assembled papercraft flowers, with more placed on the table below. Next to them, a smartphone displays a picture of a papercraft bouquet on the Canon Creative Park app.

"The flowers are brilliantly designed, but I preferred to make my own stems using green paper straws," says Martin. He already has ideas on what other gifts he could make in the future with these templates – for example, adding the flowers without stems to a box frame and placing a photograph in the centre.

Although there is a bouquet template on Creative Park, you can also choose your own flower arrangements if you're after something more unique, or if your recipient is a big fan of sunflowers for example.

"I loved how the flowers turned out," says Martin. "When I first sat down to look at the bouquet of flowers, I considered the different types I wanted. The large range of templates really allowed me to customise it as freely as I wished. This made it so much more enjoyable, as I could choose the flowers I liked most as well as having the option to think about what the recipient would like."

Handmade cards

A young man sticks pop-up flowers to a card. There are glue, scissors and a pack of Canon paper on the surface next to him.

Martin used a Canon Creative Park template to make a flower-themed pop-up card to gift alongside his bouquet. The website and app feature a wide range of cards to add that final touch to your homemade gift.

A pair of hands places a card inside a handmade envelope. On the table below are scissors, glue and a pack of Canon paper.

Martin's idea for his envelope design was that it could be used again – perhaps to store favourite photos or flat keepsakes like concert tickets. "For example, I plan on adding some train tickets from a journey my partner and I took together," he says.

Martin went for a fun pop-up card to make next, which complemented his floral designs. "The pop-up card was really simple because of the step-by-step instructions," he says. "What I also loved is how many straight lines there were in the template, so I could quickly cut it out with my guillotine."

When making the card, Martin decided to put his own twist on the envelope. "Envelopes tend to be the disposable element to any greeting card, and this was something I wanted to change due to how pretty the envelope design was," he explains.

Martin created his very own fastening for the envelope to prevent it from being torn open – he used two of the daisy images from the bouquet design. "I attached one to the envelope flap and the other to the base of the envelope," he explains. "I did this with foam adhesive, so they were raised up. Under the foam pad on the envelope flap I attached a length of twine, which could then be used to wrap around circles in a figure of eight to fasten the envelope together."

When you're creating bespoke cards for more than one person and time is of the essence, you can use Canon Double-sided Matte Paper MP-101D which comes with an envelope.

Finishing touches

A colourful bunch of papercraft flowers sit in a vase in the centre of a living room.

Papercraft gifts can be displayed as home decor and act as a reminder that someone special is thinking of you.

Martin says he would make a papercraft gift again. "Everyone I've shown the paper bouquet to was so impressed and they all want one. It's the perfect gift and the best bit is that it will last a long time. No more buying fresh flowers just for them to wilt after four days!"

He's also been inspired by Creative Park to make his own wreath to hang on his front door. "While this would be for personal use, I know my friends and family will be wanting one as well and it could make for a nice gift."

Like the idea? You could make one from scratch as a lovely present or use the Creative Park wreath templates for a simpler design. Depending on the time of year, you could try a seasonal garland for summer or a festive winter display.

Brighten a day

A Canon PIXMA printer and several jars and candles are positioned on a black desk. On top of the printer is a handcrafted bouquet of paper flowers.

Make someone's day by giving them a gift you've crafted yourself. For inspiration, check out our Pinterest page.

Once you've completed your own gifts, of course, it's time to give them away. Whether you want to wrap your paper bouquet in brown paper to give to a friend, or pop it in a vase to brighten up their home, gifting through printed crafts is a thoughtful and creative way of showing someone you care.

So why not give it a go? Just don't forget to share your creations on social media using the #MadeWithPIXMA hashtag. And if you're looking for more inspiration, like how to create a personalised memory box, join Canon Club for more crafting tips and techniques!

Tamzin Wilks
  1. Requires compatible printer and subject to availability in your region

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