A paracord poppy started from a modification of a basic flat knot. You'll need a bit of experience with general knotting for this - working with paracord, 'dressing' knots, and tying the basic stopper, square sinnet, and a multi-strand stopper of your choice. ABOK (Ashley Book Of Knots) reference numbers are given where appropriate.
The remembrance poppy has been used since 1921 as a symbol of remembrance - starting with the American Legion and then adopted by military veterans' groups all over the Commonwealth.
The symbolism was inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields" (by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae). The opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow on soldiers' graves in Flanders:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
In the UK, in the run up to Remembrance Sunday, artificial poppies are distributed by The Royal British Legion in return for donations to the Poppy Appeal, which supports all current and former British military personnel. The poppies are worn on the lapel.
Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November (nearest to 11 November, Armistice Day to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.
The national 'act of remembrance' ceremony is held at the Cenotaph (Whitehall, London) though many acts of remembrance are held all over the county at local war memorials. Wreaths of poppies are laid on the memorials and a two minutes' silence is held at 11am.
Please, if you make this, consider making a donation to the poppy appeal.
Poppy Appeal website
Step 1: The Petals pattern.
This is a knot diagram for the petals, tied with two lengths of red paracord. The lengths I used were about a meter long, but longer would make things a bit easier - say 1.5 meters. There will be a bit of wastage, but it's probably worth it.
Thickened lines show where one strand crosses OVER another.
The top and bottom sections on the diagram are identical, just flipped both horizontally and vertically. You can actually just use the top half of the diagram to create the two petals.
Make each one single strand first, and leave one long working end on each one. Use this working end to double the pattern in the opposite petal.
The pattern started out as ABOK #2360 but I modified it to work in this.
Step 2: Make the poppy centre
The poppy centre is made from a multi-strand button, which means that the strands are returned 'below' the knot and don't show at the front of the poppy. I'd recommend a four-strand button and you can pick whatever variation you like. In the pictured poppy I used ABOK #880 as it's easy to dress into a nice round button with a flat rear.
Cut off and tidy (melt - be careful!) the returning working ends, but leaving the 4 core standing parts long as these are threaded through the petals and used to secure the stalk.
Step 3: Thread the poppy centre
Push the four standing end strands through the centre of the petals. Don't tie the rear yet - it's easier to secure the petal stalk first.
Step 4: The Stalk!
Use four strands of green paracord to create a stalk using Square Sinnet (ABOK #2999). Whip, trim, and tidy the bottom of the stalk whip the top, leaving the strands long.
Tie the top ends of the stalk around the standing parts of the centre button at the rear of the poppy. In the picture I've put 2 one side and 2 the other, then continued the square sinnet for a couple of plats, then whipped all four ends together. This way the stalk grips the button strands quite tightly.
Step 5: The stopper...
Now tie a stopper at the rear to prevent the stalk coming off. The knot shown is an Ordinary Stopper (ABOK #674).
After this, tidy the ends of the red and black paracord lengths. As a scout I did manage to turn this into a woggle by using the remaining black strands as cores for short Solomon Bars (AKA Cobra Stitch, ABOK #2496) which are then joined in together (or you could put a snap buckle in. However, a simple loop tied in one or two of the black strands will allow easy use as a button hole or on a lanyard.