Saturday, February 6, 2016

Coffee Filter Flowers

Well, Fiance and I are mostly settled in from our move, although my sewing area still needs some attention, so this week I started working on wedding related projects. I've got two really big time-consuming type projects, one is bunting and the other is paper flowers for all of the tables. Seeing as I don't have a sewing table set up yet, I decided to start with the paper flowers.

I started off using this tutorial by Michella Marie for white paper peonies. Although I really like the look of her "peonies" I found that if I used only 5 filters instead of 10 I got a product that I think looks more like a rose and I like it even more (plus it uses half as much material which makes me happy!) So I thought I would write down how I made my coffee filter roses.

This is what the finished product looks like:

Drinking wine while making the flowers is totally optional, but I highly recommend it. ;) I would not recommend the wine that used to be in the bottle holding the flowers, though. I picked it because I wanted boat and book themed labels for the wine bottle table but the wine itself wasn't very good.

Anyway, for these flowers you will need:

- Paper coffee filters; five per flower (I bought the cheapo Kroger brand packs, $2.00 for 200 filters)
- 16 or 18 gauge wire (Confession: I'm a vendor for a company that makes wire (among other things) so I didn't pay for my wire, I just marked down some damaged packages, but if you buy the wire at a home improvement store it's only like $3.50 for 50 feet, but if you buy it at a craft supply store you will pay more for fewer feet of wire)
- Scotch tape
- wire cutters/pliers
- ruler
- scissors
-craft glue (optional)

To begin: cut a piece of wire to your desired stem length. I used 9 inches for my long stems and 6 inches for my shorter vases. Use your pliers to make a loop at one end of the wire to stop your "petals" from sliding off. 

Now grab two or three coffee filters. Two can easily be managed, three takes some effort to cut.

Fold your filters in half to create a semi-circle:

Now fold them in half again, try and get a nice point at the bottom so your center point is easy to identify later

Now fold in half again

And one last time

Now use the scissors to round the corners so you have an ice cream cone shape. This part will take some effort if you are working with three coffee filters but it's pretty easy with one or two. I also recommend cutting over a garbage can or bag or something so minimize needed clean up later. This was by far the messiest part of this project.

Now open your filters back up. Use the wire "stem" to poke a hole in the center of the filters and slid it up to the loop.

Pinch the center of the coffee filter and twist it. It takes a mix of force and gentility. You don't want to pull too hard because the loop can still rip through the filter, but you do want to get a good tight twist or your "petals" won't look right. If your filter does rip you can use a drop or two of Elmer's glue to secure it back in place. I had to do that once or twice and now I can't even pick out which flowers I fixed.

So for each of the five filters slid them on and pinch and twist the filters. After a couple of flowers you will get a feel for how to do it. Here it is with two filters:

Three filters

four filters

After you get filter number five twisted onto the wire take a piece of clear tape, about an inch and a half long and wrap it tightly around the base of the flower and onto the stem. You don't need to get a ton on the stem, I found about a quarter inch or so worked fine and keeps the petals from sliding down the stem.


I like the look of these flowers a lot. I only took pictures of the flowers I made with unbleached filters, but I've made a few with white filters as well and they look nice tucked in among the brown although I think they would look too white if it was all I used. Not sure why, but I'm not into really bright white anything. I've made about 55 flowers so far and I probably need about 200 more, although I won't know for sure until I finish collecting the other stuff for my centerpieces. 

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