Poppies to make for Anzac Day or Remembrance Day
Making poppies is a lovely way to involve children in a local ceremony or personal commemoration. You can make a paper poppy on Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and other important days. We do this to recognise and remember the service and sacrifice of our veterans and serving personnel.
Making a paper poppy
There are lots of ways to make a commemorative poppy. Painted cupcake papers can produce lovely flowers. This craft activity can teach children about red poppies as a symbol of remembrance.
You can download these instructions as part of our Remembrance Day Kitbag.
What you will need
- Cupcake papers (4 per flower)
- Water-based red and black paints
- Craft glue
- Drying rack (e.g. a cake cooling rack)
What to do
- Lay down some newspaper to protect the surface from paint and glue.
- Flatten and paint red 3 cupcake papers.
- Flatten and paint black another cupcake paper.
- Lay the papers on a rack to dry.
- Once dry, play around with crumpling and twisting the red papers to create a textured look. You can cut a petal shape from the papers if you wish.
- Gather the first paper in your hand and pinch the middle.
- Glue each paper at the centre of your pinch so they stick together in the middle.
- Cut a piece of the black paper and roll into a ball, then glue it into the centre of the flower.
- Play around with the papers to create your perfect ‘petals’.
- Secure a safety pin to the pinched middle of your poppy and attach it to your shirt.
- Wind a green pipe cleaner tightly around the pinched middle to create a stem.
Making a cardboard poppy
This is one way to make commemorative paper poppies. You can download these instructions as part of our Anzac Day Kitbag.
What you'll need
- Thin cardboard
- Red crêpe paper
- Green pipe cleaner
- Black paper
- Pencil or fine pen
What to do
- Use scissors to cut out a poppy shape on cardboard to make a template (see our diagram overleaf).
- Place the petal template on red crêpe paper and trace around it with a pencil or pen.
- Cut out the poppy shape with scissors.
- To make the stalk, take a pipe cleaner and bend the end over twice at 1cm lengths (see our diagram).
- Push the straight end of the pipe cleaner through the middle of the petal shape; continue to push until the bent end sits in the middle of the poppy.
- Cut a small circle out of the black paper and glue it onto the centre of the poppy; it will secure the pipe cleaner to the crêpe paper.
- Bend and shape the petals of the poppy.
Template for petals and stem
Combine many poppies in a circle to make a wreath.
Why we make poppies
During World War I, red poppies were among the first plants that sprouted on the battlefields of Belgium and northern France.
The poppy's popularity stems from a poem written by a Canadian medic, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, in 1915. His poem, In Flanders Fields, recalls the red poppies on the war graves of soldiers who died on the Western Front in Europe.
Learn about the poem and the red poppy as a symbol of commemoration.
Where to buy poppies
You can buy Anzac Day poppies and Remembrance Day poppies in many places across Australia and online. Proceeds from the sales of RSL Australia poppies support Australian veterans and their families. See if your local RSL branch website sells them online. Look for RSL poppy sellers in your local shopping centre. Check for RSL poppies in major supermarkets and stationery supplies stores.
You can also buy from the Australian War Memorial Shop.