Carte Fini floral crepe paper in desired colors (about a quarter roll per flower), hot glue gun and glue sticks, scissors and a circular base plate. The base plate can either be cut from cardboard or from the end of a paper mache balloon. Paper mache is my preference as it is stiffer and I have tons of it around left over from these. You will also need felt to line the bottom of the base, and fabric covered elastic headbands which you can find at the drug store.
My favorite colors for dahlias and marigolds (shown here from top to bottom): 548, 584, 572, 576/9 and 574).
Begin by preparing your base. If using cardboard, cut out a 3 1/2″ diameter circle, cut a slit to the center as shown below, and overlap the cut edges, gluing to secure. This creates a concave side that will contour nicely to your head.
Or as I mentioned above, you can use the end of a paper mâché balloon. Cover any holes with crepe paper (stretch the paper out and coat well with glue). Find the center point, or peak, of the end of the balloon shape and measure down 1 3/4″ from that point all the way around, so that you end up cutting out a convex disk about 3 1/2″ in diameter.
Cover all inside and outside surfaces of the base with (stretched) crepe paper, making sure there is glue on much of the paper. After both sides are covered with paper, glue a strip of paper around the rim to finish it.
Now you’re ready to start the center of the dahlia. Cut a strip of paper about 2 1/2″ wide by 1″ tall. Fold the strip over on itself twice, then cut wedges out of the sides of the strip as shown so you are left with four attached triangles.