I never really did decide what type of flower this most closely resembled, but whatever, they’re purdy. Last post, I talked about how I reached this design. Now, I’ll tell you how you can make them too.
- coffee filters (I used #4 white cones, though you can probably do it with the round ones too.)
- flower template
- acrylic paint
- hot glue gun/glue sticks (I recommend the minis.)
- stem (I used silver pearl head pins), but I’m not sure that’s the best solution. I recommend using floral wire or paddle wire, which will make your lives easier for putting into bouquets later. The head pins might be more useful for things like pomanders.)
- gloves (if you hate getting your hands dirty)
- oven (w/ warm mode)
1.) Prepare the template. I downloaded the PDF from the website above. Though it’s not obvious, there are seven different sized petals. I used two of each sized petal for my flowers. For some of the flowers I made up to size-five petals, and for some I made up to the size-six petals (to give variation in sizes). I didn’t use the size sevens because I thought it got way too big.
I cut the templates out of a shipping envelope, but a cereal box works as well. A stiffer template means you’re less likely to mess up the template when you’re tracing it out.
2.) Trace out shape and cut. If you put together the smaller petals with the larger ones, you can fit more than one kind of petal on a coffee filter. I think I used four filters (one and four, two and three, and five and six by themselves). I put seven or eight coffee filters together for cutting. I kept them together with binder clips and cut out the overall shape before cutting out the individual petals. This will save you so much time.
3.) Dye the filters. I used a water and acrylic paint mixture. I bought the cheapest acrylic paint I could find in the correct color (two-ounce containers) and then diluted it a lot with water. Remember, the paint dries a lot lighter than you think it will, but you really don’t need much paint. I did approximately two to three tablespoons of paint in a cup of water. I just dumped the petals into the paint/water mixture and squeezed as much of the water out as possible.
Then I spread them on a foil-wrapped cookie sheet in my oven to dry. I had my oven on warm mode, but I’ve also done it at 200 degrees F as well. Depending on how tight you pack the flowers, and how often you flip them around, I would say it takes about 10–30 minutes for them to dry in the oven. (As always, if you’re using the oven with paper, you should keep an eye on it.)
4.) Organize the petals in order of attachment. Until now, I had all of the petals organized by number groups. Thus, before assembling the flowers, I had to reorganize the petals into individual flowers. I just put them in order from one to six, put two petals from each group into another group, and clipped them together with binder clips.
5.) Crumple the petals to give them more of a natural feeling.
6.) Glue the first petal on. For this flower, I used paddle wire with a bead at the end (to prevent the whole stem from coming out). I punched the wire through the middle of the petal and glued it in place. Then, I started gluing a petal to the petal next to it. See where I put the glue? By putting the glue on the side of the petal, you can create a tighter bud.
Once you’ve gone all the way around, roll one side all the way in and glue it together. This will create a tight bud for you to create the rest of the flower around.
7.) Glue more tight petals on. I continued to glue more of the petals on like this. I usually did the first four to six petals (numbers one through three) this way to get a tight bud in the middle.
8.) Glue the looser petals on. Note how the glue is now in the middle of the petal instead of on the side. This will help create a more open bloom effect.
9.) Make a million more of them. I highly recommend that you do each step in batches. Because I was making approximately 200 flowers of three different colors, I did them in six batches of 30-ish flowers each. More than that, and I got sick of each step. I made these flowers over a six-month period.
A million more. I’m not sure why the peach ones are photographing so orangey, though.
Anyone else thinking of making paper flowers? Did you have a good way of adding stems onto them? How did you store them?
- Boston, MA
- Graduate Student
- Wedding Date:
- June 2013