Nowruz Somāq Flower {Tutorial}

Nowruz is the Persian New Year Festival that is celebrated all over the world on Saturday, March 20. We made sumac flowers to help our Iranian friends honor this day.

Nowruz is observed by some in the form of a Haft Sin (or seven s’s) traditional table in their home.  This table includes seven specific items starting with the letter ‘S’ or Sīn (س) in the Persian alphabet.  Items include:

We thought we’d try to make a flower paper version of the sumac, called somāq in Persian. We used this image as our influence & played around with tissue paper until we created something that looked similar.

Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.),


  • Red Tissue Paper
  • Straws
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors

The tissue paper that my daughter used was folded accordion style, then folded in half again. We cut out one of the accordion folds all the way across. The next step is to cut a diagonal slant along the unfolded edge. Towards the thicker end, we also cut off another smaller diagonal, in the opposite direction. In our image below, the piece we used is at the top & everything else we threw away.

Holding the folded side of the tissue paper towards us, we cut perpendicular lines, but stop before we got to the edge.

Once we’ve cut lines all the way across our folded tissue, place a small piece of tape on the unfolded end of the tissue and attach it to the top of the straw.

Start turning the straw and moving our tissue diagonally down the entire length. Take your time with this part, the paper may curl and you’ll just have to be patient with it folding on you.

Once we got to the bottom of the straw, we taped off the other end of the folded, cut tissue paper.

Now our somāq is finished and can be added it to a half-sin table.

As you can see from our final photo below, we made seven total. Once you practice on a few, they become very easy to make.


I am a Libyan American who creates art to promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture.