You might remember this picture from my original theme/inspiration board:
So wonderfully whimsical/ via Studio DIY
No matter where I was in planning, this image kept creeping back into my mind”¦big, beautiful, vibrant flowers made from crepe paper danced in my mind until I finally caved and ordered the materials from Castle in the Air to make a trial bouquet. As a side note, let me just say how glad I am that Castle in the Air is across the country from me because I would be there EVERY DAY if it was nearby. They were the sweetest, most helpful business and they send their packages with a pretty sweet little newsletter listing all of the their many classes and offerings. Seriously, better than candy.
I used the tutorial from Studio DIY and I will never be able to explain the process better than her, but I will try to give you some tips I learned along the way.
The first few flowers were tough to say the least. Fortunately, I had the help of trusty MOH M to get me started. We created one giant paper rose in about two hours and while it was beautiful, I won’t lie to you—I was a little concerned about how doable this project would be. I mean, TWO hours per flower?
Preach it, Mrs. Brown. / via Making Love in the Microwave
Determined not to be defeated though, I went home that night and made two more flowers and each and every time it took me a little less time to do it. As I began to make more, my flowers began to look better and better”¦they were tighter and neater and by the end of the night, I had a bouquet in my hand that I was completely happy with!
I ordered the rest of my supplies and within a week I was cranking out three to four large flowers a night, usually while sitting on the couch watching Grey’s or Vampire Diaries. It was hard labor I tell ya. With four bridesmaids and myself, I needed three flowers for each arrangement for a grand total of 15 large flowers (I also decided to make a few extra to swap in for the earlier ones). My mom was working on alter arrangements and requested twenty or so medium sized flowers for those. We had nine men who needed boutonnieres and flowers for four corsages so that required twenty small flowers/rose buds. By the end of a couples weeks I had all my flowers done and I was fairly confident I had developed carpal tunnel syndrome but it was worth it for these:
My pretties! / personal photo
After Mama O worked her magic! / personal photo
SIL E showing off her wrist wear! / personal photo
My mom decided to take some of the greenery and baby’s breath and work it into the arrangements as well, which ended up looking amazing and made her feel a little better about me deciding on paper flower bouquets (kids these days, I know). I will never get over how much I loved them!
If you decide to do this yourself, here are a few of the things I learned:
1. Hold TIGHT. As you are taping each petal or layer of petals together, the tighter you push them together, the better your flower will look. Squish the petals, who cares? They’re SUPER easy to reshape and your flowers will look full and awesome. I didn’t do that on my first few so they ended up looking like this”¦
Not bad for a first attempt, but it definitely needs to be tighter to look like a rose. / personal photo
…which is fine, but it could definitely be better.
2. Look, I don’t pretend to be some DIY diva. If I had a crafting/home blog tagline it would be “The laziest way to accomplish any given task.” So it when I first started cutting out my petals I did it in the way that I could get the most petals out of each sheet of doublette crepe paper”¦which meant the creases were going horizontally instead of vertically. Which meant when I went to stretch the paper I couldn’t stretch it the way I needed to. Don’t do that. Suck up the wasted paper (or reuse it making smaller flowers like I did) and make damn sure your creases are vertical.
3. Cut all your petals first. Floral tape is sticky. Sticky fingers and crepe paper = total disaster. Not that I know from experience. Also, when working with floral tape don’t touch your cell phone, hair, or clothing. Really, don’t touch anything but your flowers. It’s not pretty.
4. Drink wine. (Is this on every tip list I give? I don’t care—it helps!)
5. To do my biggest roses, I blew up the template to 150% as Kelly suggested. For the medium size, I blew it up to 75%. For the smallest, I used the template at its original size and only used the small petals. For the corsages, I used the original size but with a few of the heart shaped petals as well.
6. Ditch the leaves and the calyx. You really don’t need them, especially if you’re going to wrap the stems or incorporate fresh greenery/fillers.
7. These flowers take up a lot of space! Clear a large work space.
8. When flowers are complete, store them hanging or sitting upside down so the stems don’t bow.
9. Speaking of stems, most floral wire is about 18 gauge. The larger the number, the thinner the wire. I didn’t know that. Honestly, any size wire will do if you’re willing to wrap several pieces together. I taped anywhere from 6-9 pieces of 20 gauge wire to make several of my stems. Don’t go less than six though. It’s not good.
10. Walmart sells CHEAP floral tape (.98 a package) and honestly, I ended up liking it BETTER than the stuff I bought online or at Michael’s. You use a LOT of floral tape—don’t be a hero…buy the Walmart stuff. You’ll still end up with these beautiful roses!
The girls’ bouquets done up all fancy! / personal photo
A peek at my bouquet right before it got its final touches. / personal photo
I cannot even begin to tell you how many compliments we received on our flowers and how happy I am to have such a lasting keepsake from our special day, but my favorite part of this project was just how much fun it was to work on with Mama O. She seriously knocked it out of the park with all her little ideas and touches.
Project cost breakdown (not including the fresh fillers because they were just extras we had anyways):
It took three sheets of doublette crepe paper per large flower—I could get approximately one to two smaller flowers or eight extra heart shaped petals from the leftover scraps. Each sheet of paper was $2.50, so I spent a total of $120.00 with shipping for about 42 sheets of paper, which made ALL of my flowers and I still have a good bit left. I spent all of 15 bucks on floral tape and floral wire stems, for a grand total of $135.00. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!
Did you have a budget that forced you to get creative? Any other paper flower brides out there?
- Morgantown, WV
- English Teacher
- Wedding Date:
- November 2013
- JacksonÃ¢Â€Â™s Mill