Paper flowers are a beautiful addition to your wedding décor, or can be used to create a wedding bouquet you can keep forever.
We asked Tia, the owner of north London-based company A Crafty Alternative, to give us a step-by-step guide to help you make paper flowers at home. As Tia describes her business as ‘a bit like real-life Pinterest’, she was the perfect person to ask. You can find out about classes with Tia (they’re ideal for hen parties, as well as for making your wedding décor) by visiting the website for A Crafty Alternative.
What You Will Need
Heavy weight crepe paper such as Italian Crepe Paper or Doublette Crepe Paper (normal craft crepe paper is too flimsy) in the petal colour, green for leaves and stalks
Florists wire (18 gauge 14 inch—1 per flower and 22 gauge 14 inch—2 per flower)
Hot glue gun or a tube of UHU glue
A round pencil/pen
Template (this one is for a large rose, for smaller roses just reduce the petal size)
What to Do
Cut out your petals (15 big, five small), calyx (about five) and leaves (two) using the template. Make sure the grain of the crepe paper goes from top to bottom (as shown on the template) as it needs to be able to stretch sideways. Depending on the thickness of your paper, you can layer up to 3 sheets and cut out the petals and calyx. The leaves should be cut out individually as they are a bit trickier to get the finer leaf details if cutting too many.
Once you have all your pieces cut out you can now begin stretching them. Starting with the small petals, stretch them outward from the middle to create a slight cupping (don’t go all the way to the edge as that will make them flat again). Then use the pencil to roll the top over (opposite to the indentation).
Do the same for the big petals.
Using your glue put a small amount near the bottom of one of the small petals on the side which is cupped in (so basically when stuck onto the wire the petal will bulge out slightly). Now attach this to the 18 gauge wire, holding it for a few seconds to ensure it sticks well.
Put some glue on your next petal and attach it slightly over from the first but with an overlap. Do the same with the rest of the small petals moving in a circle.
Now start adding your bigger petals, use the same technique although at this stage you will start to eyeball it a bit more. Look from the top to see where more petals are needed. Don’t feel like you have to use all the petals if you get to a point you are happy with.
Now that your flower is complete, you need to add your calyx. To do this just apply a small amount of glue to the bottom of each leaf and attach to the base of the rose on the top of the wire with the leaves facing upwards. Move in a circle until the whole base is covered.
To make the leaves, wrap a piece of 22 gauge wire in crepe paper (using the technique above) then add a strip of glue (bottom to top) to one of the cut out leaves. Now place the wire on top of the glue. Fold the leaf over onto itself so that the glue connects the two halves of the leaf over the wire. When it is dry, you can then open up the leaf and fold it flat. Repeat with your other leaf (or leaves).
Now cut a long piece of green crepe paper with the grain facing “up/down” the narrow part. Add a little glue to one end and attach it just below the leaf. Wrap down the wire at a 45 degree angle. Make sure you stretch it as you go so you get a clean wrap. If you don’t, you might get it looking a bit bulky and floppy. Glue it to the end of the wire.
Using your glue again, attach the leaves to the flower, one higher than the other.
Starting from the top of the rose (just below the petals) glue on your strip of green crepe paper and start wrapping over the bottom of the calyx and down the stem. When you reach a leaf, wind until you are tightly up against it and then skip over it and wind below.
Glue at the bottom.
That’s it! Make lots for a bouquet or a floral hair accessory or make massive ones as a real standout piece of décor.
If you really love the idea of paper wedding flowers but DIY isn’t for you, why not check out our list of alternative wedding bouquets for more inspiration?