Apr 26, 2011

Paper flower tutorial

If you read my last post about being crazy for paper flowers, you'd know that I had promised you a tutorial on how I'm doing it. Well, here it is! I'm using coffee filters. Why? Well, mainly because they're cheap and easy to work with. The one's Martha Stewart recommends are a bit more expensive (I think the #2 filters?).

I'm just using plain old traditional coffee filters that you can buy in bulk. I've dyed mine several different shades of pink and ivory to give them a more romantic / aged look.

The Ingredients:
- Coffee filters
- water
- tea bags
- food coloring (i used the neon colors)
- a few small bowls
- lots of drying space
- floral wire
- floral tape (or regular clear tape)
- scissors
- martha stewart pattern


  1. Separate your coffee filters into groups.  For example: Dark, medium, light.  Or Pink, Purple, white.  However you want your colors to go.
  2. Put out your bowls of water.  In my case I did two bowls.  One with 1 drop of pink food coloring and another with a tea bag.  You can obviously tailor this to however you want your colors to look, even mixing tea with dye.
  3. Full Color: Dip your groups of coffee filters how you want them to look.  You can dunk all of the "dark" group into the dye all at once and let it soak up the dye.  Separate each filter to let dry out.
  4. Tips or Edging: In my case I only wanted the "edges" of the petals to be colored darker so I made sure to only dip the tips in the colored water.  You can also do double dips on some of your filters to get even more variation to your colors.
  5. Make sure you let all filters dry completely.
  6. Step 6A.  Fold your dried filter in half
    Step 6B. Fold coffee filter in half again so you get a fan shape.
  7. As you can tell I did not use the #2 filters she she shows.  I took a regular round filter and did the following.
Step 7. I sort of mishmashed patterns together to make petals.

7. Now you're ready to start drawing your pattern out. I did not use every petal shape in the martha pattern. I ended up using a mix of petal 2, petal 4 and petal 7.  In most cases I just winged it.  As you can see in the photo below, this is how I arranged the petals to be cut out on the filters.

8. Start cutting.  I find it easier to cut out petals from several filters first, so you don't stop attaching to cut more.

9. Grab your wire and take the smallest petals you have and wrap them around the tip of the wire.  Attach to the wire with floral tape or clear tape.

10. Take the next size up in petals and wrap around, taping as you go.  Repeat this with larger and larger petals as you go around.
11.  Another tip to mix and match your petals for the closest look to real flowers is put the sharpest edge petals in the center and put the softest on the outside.  You don't have to do it this way at all or do all soft and all sharp petal flowers.

So what can you use these lovely flowers for other than decorations?  How about centerpieces, favor box decoration, corsages, and more!

A completed paper rose!  Don't you love the variation in color?


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