My mom lived in San Antonio when she was younger. In school, they would make tissue paper flowers for the Mexican/Texas culture. They would actually use a box of facial tissues. You can use gift tissue and pipe cleaners. They are very easy and inexpensive. We used this craft for a non-messy and cheap and satisfying craft for Valentine's Day Party for my child's school class.
Stack at least 8 sheets of paper.
Start on the short side and fold them back and forth like a paper fan.
Wrap a pipe cleaner around the center and twist tight like a bread bag twisty.
'Fan' out the paper and carefully pull each layer upwards close to the center pipe cleaner.
Make sure you do the layer on both sides before doing the next layer.
Do this all the way until the last layer, being careful not to rip them.
You can make all sorts of beautiful color combinations. Have fun!