Thursday, January 12, 2012

thrifty thursday: flower DIY

We swoon over peonies; they're our favorite flower. Encapsulating all that is nice, they brighten up a room and inject an overall sense of fresh optimism into the day. We lighten up and feel lovelier just thinking about them!

So, it's more than okay to buy them for yourself. Yes, on a daily basis. Go ahead! We for one, attempted a weekly replenishment of fresh blossoms in the home, and well, it got to be just a tad too pricey for our wallets. Especially in the winter. And that watering thing? That wasn't working out too well either.

To that end, it got us thinking... what if we were to "make" some flowers? Out of paper no less. With low expectations, we trudged over to Jo-Ann Fabrics ( got distracted by velvety fabrics, not to mention a myriad of other shiny objects) and gave it a go. It was worth a shot for $7, right? Well, we didn't think they'd end up nearly as lovely as the real thing but are pleasantly surprised with the finished product!!  Woo! ( yes, we just Woo'ed...)

Want to try your hand? Here's what you'll need for one flower:

  1. 3 inch coffee filters (5)
  2. 3 1/4 inch coffee filters (5) ( you don't have to buy 2 different sizes, just as long as half are smaller than the others in diameter. Read: you can cut them. Make sense?)
  3. Floral wire, approx 6 inches long
  4. Floral tape
  5. Scissors
  6. Glue ( good 'ole Elmers is perfect for the job)

As you read and follow the directions below, please disregard the poorly maintained manicure. We're crafting. And, we simultaneously apologize for our hideous wrinkly excuses that are somehow our fingers.

Step 1: Fold the 3 inch coffee filters 4 times 

Fold 1:

Fold 2:

Fold 3:

Fold 4:

Now the cutting begins. Cut the edge like you're going to make a valentines day heart. You remember how to do that right? You should have a rounded corner something like this. Yours will probably be better.

Since that looks a little too "fake" for the end of a petal,  rough it up a bit, and make it a little more jagged. Varying it up for each filter also seemed to produce a nice, more realistic effect.

Unfold back into a circle. Repeat these steps for each filter and the 3 1/4 inch filters until you have a stack of 10 circles with fringey, petally-like ( yes, that's a word. Because we said so) looking edges. 

Next, take one of your floral wires, and bend it to resemble this hook like shape:

Poke the floral wire through the center of one of the smaller ( the 3 inch one) filters. 

Pull it through until you reach the loopy, hooky thing ( yes, the technical term) at the end of the wire. Place a little dab of your Elmers on top of the loop and filter. Just a little dab will do ya! Ours is so little, you can barely see it.

Okay, next, pull the filter up and around the loop of the wire and pinch/twist the filter and the wire up together... pinching and twisting it round and round. Don't worry if it starts to look like a carnation (ps, that's the one flower that we actually sort of hate. It reminds us of cheap, disappointing valentines day's and high school dances. Let's not go there). 

Now add another filter and so on... pull it up, twist and pinch, twist and pinch... we're jazzer-sizing our hands today people. It will start to look more full once you've added all five of the 3 inch filters. Now it's time to start wrapping with floral tape before starting with the remaining five filters. Using the same pinch and twist technique, get the tape as tight as you can get it around the base of where you want the bloom. You don't need to go all the way down to the wire at this point.

Now, just add the larger filters to the bottom like you did the smaller ones, brining them even with the smaller filters on the top. Yes, we're pinching and twisting again.... around the bottom.  After all the filters have been added, you'll wrap it up again with floral tape, wrapping it all the way down to the end of the wire:

And then, voila! You've created a beautiful flower!!

All of our supplies came from the ever fabulous and inspiring ( and perhaps a little overwhelming!) Jo-Anns Fabric. Even this vase, which was on sale... score!  We won't over-promise. This took some time -  about an hour per flower, and our hands were just a weee bit sore.

Here's to more fabulous and nice DIY. We've got a tufted headboard up next on the docket.


  1. How fun. I remember having made these many years ago, but didn't remember how... great tutorial!


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