Paper flower centerpieces are a great way to flex your creative muscles, add colorful decor to a party…and to never worry about wilting flowers and messy petals. The holiday season has enough stress, so forget trying to buy and maintain fresh flowers and make your own arrangement. Even if you’re not hosting, these bouquets make a great hostess gift.
Here’s a step-by-step on how to make them and a list of the materials you will need:
- PDF petal template download here
- Text weight paper in your petal color (the kind you can find at any office supply)
- Wire cutters
- Fringing scissors (optional)
- Wrapped floral wire (pipe cleaners can work in a pinch)
- Streamer/crepe paper
- Stamp pad in brown, red or other contrasting color
- Floral tape
- Tacky glue.
To create the center of your flower, start by stamping and fringing a skinny length of paper. Do this by folding an 8.5 x 11 paper in half lengthwise (the hotdog way) and fold each edge to the center fold, giving you four equal segments. Cut along the folded line. Each one of these strips will become a center of your flower.
Create dimension in the flower center by lightly swiping the stamp pad over the edge of the paper, along the skinny side. You could use craft paint and do a dry brush technique, but using a stamp pad is easy and quick.
After stamping the paper, cut the edge into fringe. You can freehand this with a regular pair of scissors, or use the fringing scissors. Cut the fringe 1/2 to 3/4 of the way into the paper to avoid cutting through the paper entirely.
Add a few dots of tacky glue along the un-stamped, un-fringed edge. Start to gather and roll your paper strip around the top 1/2″ of the floral wire. I like to pinch and gather while rolling, so the fringe starts to pop out and splay as I go. Secure with a little dab of glue if necessary.
Next, using your floral tape, start wrapping your stem overlapping the rolled fringe by 1/8″ or so. It helps to hold the tape at a 45 degree angle from the stem so you continue to work down the stem instead of wrapping the same spot over and over. Wind the tape down around the stem stretching the tape lightly to activate the sticky wax.
Make as many of these centers as you’d like to create your bouquet. I made 7 total.
To create your flower, you’ll need to prepare all of your petals. Start by folding an 8.5 x 11 paper in half lengthwise. Then fold this into thirds. This doesn’t have to be exact, you can just eyeball it as you’re just creating a stack so you can cut multiple petals at once.
With your stack of paper, and using your template, cut petals from your colored paper. Feel free to experiment with petal shapes. There is really no exact science here. You’ll need anywhere from 6 to 10 petals per flower. Go ahead and cut enough petals now so you can assemble all of your flowers at once.
To give dimension to the flowers, you’ll want to crumple the petals before attaching them to the stem. Place the petal in the palm of your hand, and gently curl your fingers. You can also place your other hand into the center of the petal, while curling your fingers in. Again, this isn’t exact. Petals are like snowflakes – all different, all shapes – and perfect in their imperfections. *These little petals can be used as is. Scatter them over a bed, use in a wedding ceremony or leave in a bowl to write little love notes on.
Putting It All Together
Create your bloom by adding petals one at a time to your stem. Dab a small dot of glue at the bottom of your petal and attach to the stem at the base of the fringe. Hold the petal for a few seconds to allow the glue to hold. Turn your stem a 1/4 turn and attach your next petal. You may have to hold the first two petals in place longer than the other so they stick to the floral tape. Continue adding petals one at a time until your bloom is complete. You can also pinch the petals at the bottom and shape them as you go. Pinching them allows them to open up a little. Experiment with placement and shaping to get the desired affect. For my flowers, I chose creamy white and cora few sheets of coral for a pop of color.
Create soft little blossoms to add to your bouquet. Start by wrapping entire length of floral wire with floral tape. For each blossom, tear (not cut) off two little pieces of streamer paper and stack one on top of the other. Working from the top of the wire, create a little hook and place the streamer paper into the hook. Pinch hook to stem and tape off to create your first little blossom. Add a second and third blossom by taking two steamer pieces, wrap around stem and tape into place. You could continue to make a long branch of blossoms, or make multiple stems with a few blossoms each.
Create Your Bouquet
To finish, create your bouquet by grouping the flowers together. I used mostly creamy white flowers and added a pop of color with the coral blooms and added just a single spray of little blossoms to add some texture. Feel free to add more autumnal colors, sprays of leaves or berries – whatever you can dream up. A simple brown paper wrap and a strip of mustard linen made the the perfect presentation for my paper flowers!