Paper flowers offer a cheaper, more personal and more permanent alternative to cut flowers. There are loads of ways you can use them; wedding favours, cake toppers, button holes or bouquets.
You will need:
- Glue gun
- Cardboard to make the templates
- Decorative paper (180 – 220 gsm works the best)
- Florist wire
- Florist tape
Download this template, print on A4 and make your stencils. Use something durable like cardboard as you have a lot of drawing round to do. Once you’ve got you’re templates you’re ready to start cutting!
Cut out all the petals ready for assembly, for you first paper flower you might want to do this individually – once you get more confident start cutting out 2/3 at a time it will save you so much time. For each flower you will need:
- 2 x 5 petal
- 1 x 4 petal
- 1 x 3 petal
- 3 x 1 petal
- 1 x leaf
- 2 x wires
Bend the edges, you can do this around a pencil but if the paper is thick enough I found it was easier to shape with your fingers. Use your scissors to shape the leaf, cut nicks out of the side and bend down the middle where the stem of your paper flower would be.
Glue the tabs on the 5, 4, and 3 petal cut outs and stick them together to form a circle. Now you’re ready to start attaching to your wire!
Glue the first three petals to the wire, one at a time shaping as you go.
Glue the underside of the centre of your flower and slide the three petal up the wire. Pinch it around the bud to shape, be careful the glue will be hot! Repeat the process with the 4 and 5 petal cut outs, pinching each layer of petals as you go to make your flower.
Position the leaf behind the rose and then wrap the two wires together with floral tape. Doing this will help add stability and will make assembling the bouquet A LOT easier further down the line.
You have a rose – hurrah!
Turning your paper flower into a bridesmaid bouquet
Now do this 17 more times… I used two different types of paper to add a bit of texture. I did 10 plain blue roses and 8 map paper roses, but you can split this however you want.
Use the floral tape again to bunch the flowers into groups of three, this will make forming the bouquet much easier.
Arrange the groups of three flowers into a dome, once you have it in the shape you want wrap all the stems together with floral tape. Once you’re half way down, fold the stems back up to create a good grip for the bouquets, and wrap with tape.
Finish with ribbon and you’re done!
The bridal bouquet works just the same but it’s scaled up a bit. I used 38 roses in total: 16 with map paper, 12 with blue paper and then I made an additional 10 ‘accent roses’ to give another dimention. These were in an additional shade of blue and I made them slightly smaller – just the same technique but without the 5 petal layers (so they were just 3 x 1 petal, 1 x 3 petal, 1 x 4 petal).
The bridal party
How many paper flowers to make for everyone?
|Colour A||Colour B||Accent colour||Total|
Keeping costs down
If you decide to go the whole hog and make paper bouquets for everyone you will need to start mass-producing your paper flowers. It’s a marathon not a sprint, and took me a good few months. Here are a few tips to cutting costs, and saving time.
Paper – I used one full atlas for all of the map flowers across the bouquets, corsages and buttonholes. I picked this up for £3 from a second hand bookshop.
You want the paper to be about 150 GSM, it will be thick enough to hold it’s shape but thin enough to cut and mould. Being smart with your cutting out is also key to saving paper, particularly if you’re buying expensive coloured paper especially for the occasion. I managed to squeeze 2 flowers on one page of A4 you can download the template here.
Wires – I bought the first pack of 30 wires from Hobbycraft for about £2, which was reasonable. However, when I realised quite how many flowers I was going to have to make I went to a florist wholesaler and bought £2kg for £8. I have no idea how many wires that is but it’s a lot… I also found that the wire was thicker and a better quality.