a paper flower project

Who doesn’t like an afternoon of crafting (otherwise known as the crafter-noon)?! A few weeks ago I decided to venture into unknown territory: Paper Flowers. I give this craft an E for easy! I did experienced a few errors along the way, so decided to document the process so that I could share with you the techniques I thought worked best.

Making paper flowers is relatively simple to do and doesn’t have any prerequisite for artistic skill. Just a desire to make something pretty coupled with an ability to not get deterred when using a hot glue gun (ouch!).


A GUIDE TO MAKING EASY PAPER FLOWERS (THAT LOOK GOOD!) IN 8 STEPS

STEP 1: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT SUPPLIES

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You’ll need: Coffee Filters (Yes! You read that correctly), Scissors, Hot Glue Gun + Glue, Floral Wire (size doesn’t matter, but I prefer to use the straight wire) and Floral Tape – the last two of which can be found at any craft store… and sometimes even at the Dollar Store!

Optional items: Water Color Paints + Paint Brush. I’ve also seen people use food coloring!

STEP 2: PREP THE COFFEE FILTERS

There isn’t much to this step, but if you choose to add color, you need to first decide what size flowers you want! For this project I used anywhere between 3-5 coffee filters for each flower. Here are some examples of what that looks like in flower form:

In nature, flowers come in a variety of sizes, so my advice would be to make different sized flowers! Once you’ve determined what size you want your flowers to be, divide your filters into groups and fold them in half.

STEP 3: ADD COLOR (OPTIONAL)

As I mentioned, this step is optional. White flowers are beautiful. But in case you want to make flowers that are a little more vibrant, adding color is fun and simple.

First, I used my water color paints and brush and added hints of color. Realizing that once the filters dried, the colors were faint, I started to get more adventurous. I tried a lot of different patterns and what I found is that you can’t really go wrong! So don’t be afraid to experiment.

I painted both sides of the coffee filter, but didn’t open them up to paint the inside. Filters absorb water well, so I don’t think this is a necessary step. If you’re interested in unfolding and adding more color, I’m sure the extra effort will result in an even more colorful display!

An alternative to using water color paints is to use food coloring. Take a bowl of water, add a few drops of food coloring and stir. Fold the coffee filters into quarters and dip them into the water, letting the color absorb!

STEP 4: LET DRY

Believe me when I say that it is a mistake to try and move forward in the process if the filters are even a touch wet! Truth bomb: I actually let my filters dry overnight. So I guess I stretched a little when I said this project took a crafter-noon. Really, it was two crafter-noons. To help speed the drying process along, I opened up the folded filters and turned on a fan.

STEP 5: TIME TO CUT

Once dried, grab your scissors – it’s time to start cutting out the flower petals! Fold your filter into quarters (first photo), cut equally spaced sections down the filter starting at the wide edge (second photo), and then round out the tips (third photo)!

Play around with the shape of the petals that you cut… You can’t really go wrong. Here are a few different varieties that I tried, all of which (I think) turned out awesome:

STEP 6: PREPARE TO ASSEMBLE

This step is really a combination of a few different parts:

PART A) Plug in your hot glue gun – usually these take a few minutes to warm up.

PART B) Gently open up your cut filters and create a small cut in the center, no bigger than half an inch. This is also a good time to do some petal clean-up if necessary!

PART C) Fold your floral wires in half, like this:

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STEP 7: ASSEMBLE

One at a time, slide each coffee filter sheet onto the floral wire. Place a few dabs of hot glue on the top part of the filter nearest the wire and *carefully* fold/pinch it over the wire. Repeat this process, one sheet at a time until all sheets are glued.

Don’t be afraid to make a mess at the base – this will eventually be covered by the floral tape!

STEP 8: MAKE THE STEM

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Use the floral tape to wrap the base of the flower, moving all the way down the wire to cover the length of the stem. It’s easiest if you do this at an angle, and uses less tape. Truth be told, I found this part to be the most difficult. The tape is only kind-of sticky, so it can be frustrating to make it stay in place. But after a few attempts, I finally got the hang of it and… VOILA:


A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE

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For those of you willing to make a paper flower that is slightly more difficult, check out this slideshow that demonstrates how I used a different cutting & gluing technique to create a more rose-like flower:

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And there you have it,  beautiful paper flowers in just two fun-fulled crafter-noons!

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