When we first saw this wedding from Carina Skrobecki, the remarkable paper flowers caught our eye straight away. Luckily for us, we have bride Brienne back with us to show how she made two of the paper flower types that were tucked into her bouquet and centerpiece arrangements. Don’t miss Brienne’s blog, The Ravenna Girls, for upcoming tutorials on some of her other wedding crafts, including the geometric drink stirrers!
From the bride, Brienne: Some people thought I was crazy for making ALL my wedding flowers out of paper, including centerpieces and bouquets. And at first, it felt a little crazy and overwhelming. After experimenting with a few types of flowers, though, we found a couple that were pretty easy and made a bold graphic statement. We ended up making a lot of 3 or 4 large types and then filled in with some very simple tissue paper flowers and some smaller accent blooms. The flowers were definitely a labor of love, but with a lot of helping hands it was a manageable project, and we only spent $180 on all the floral supplies. My amazing photographer Carina and I got together to capture two of the easiest (and my favorite) that we used in our arrangements. By mixing up a variety of colors, and throwing in some simple leaves, these two types can really make a gorgeous arrangement.
For both flower types:
-8″ length floral stem – I like the 18 gauge cloth wrapped for a sturdy finished flower.
-(2) 4″x4″ squares lightweight single ply crepe for the center. Color we used here is Dove Gray.
-(1) 1″x12″ piece green heavy or premium weight crepe to wrap the stem. Color we used here is Moss Green
Note: You can also use floral tape to wrap the stem. I tried it for a while and found it difficult to use so I switched to gluing green crepe at this area.
Optional: Green crepe paper leaves. For these, we used the double sided green paper from Blumchen that I’ve linked to below.
Fringed Poppies (Adapted from Paper to Petal):
-(2) 1.5″x6″ strips lightweight single ply crepe with 1″ fringe (don’t bother with buying special fringing scissors – they get dull quickly; it’s easier just to quickly cut with regular scissors)
-(1) 4″x12″ piece lightweight single ply crepe for the outer petal
Colors of lightweight single ply we used for these bunches are Teal, Bright Orange, Peach, and Goldenrod.
-(5 or 7 each) approx. 1″ x 1.5″ petals cut from heavy or premium weight crepe in two colors. Colors used here are ivory and light pink. Cut a basic teardrop petal shape. You’re going to stretch these out later so don’t worry too much about the shape being perfectly symmetrical. The beauty of florals is in the imperfection!
To make the center (for both flower types)
1. Crumple one square of lightweight crepe into a small ball the size of a marble.
2. Wrap the second square of crepe over the ball, twisting at the bottom.
3. Wrap the top of the floral stem around the twist of crepe 3-4 times to secure. Don’t worry if the assembly isn’t totally solid, yet, things come together once you start gluing on the petals.
Finishing the Fringed Poppies:
1. Make the center with the instructions above.
2. Using small amounts of hot glue as you go, wrap one of your colors of fringe around the base of the center ball.
3. After you finish the first color, continue with the second so you have two rings of colored fringe.
4. Ruffle one edge of your large piece of lightweight crepe by pinching gently with both hands and stretching in either direction every 1″. Careful not to pull too hard, it rips easily! This will be the outer edge of your petal, it helps add a little natural texture.
5. To glue on the outer petal, gradually apply a bit of glue to the base of the fringe and gather a section of the crepe paper before securing. It works best to go about a half inch at a time. The 12″ strip should get you one loop around the base, so make sure you are using a lot of gathers as you go around. You’ll want to overlap the ends by about 1/2″ so you don’t end up with a gap at the outer edge.
6. After your petal is applied, you’ll want to wrap the base of the bloom in green crepe. Starting about 1/2″ above the bottom of the petal, apply hot glue and start wrapping and stretching your piece of green crepe working your way down. Applying glue consistently, wrap around the floral stem as far down as you’d like. If you want the stems to look thicker and more realistic, wrap the crepe all the way to the bottom of the wire and secure with no floral wire showing.
Finishing the Peony Tulips:
1. Make the center with the instructions above.
2. For each of the heavy weight petals, gently stretch the outer (rounded) part of the petal and use your thumbs to make a gentle cup in the center.
3. Choose one color of petals and glue individually around the base of the center. Instead of gluing on flat, I tend to scrunch up the inner part of the petal as I secure into the glue. Overlap these petals slightly. Sometimes it helps to do three evenly spaced and then add on the additional 2 as a second layer.
4. Attach the petals from your second color as the outer surface. I like to use 5 petals for the interior color and 7 for the outer color since you have more area to cover. Again, apply 4 to start and then add on 3 at the very outside if that’s easier for you.
5. Wrap the base of the bloom and stem with green crepe as described above. Glue on leaves if you want.
-Practice makes perfect! Don’t worry if you need a couple of trial runs to get the hang of things, it gets easy once you get familiar with how the materials work in your hands.
-Use just enough glue to secure the pieces on. A small dot every half inch or so of wrapping should do the trick. Too much glue and you’ll start to build up thickness and everything will look out of proportion.
-Remember that most things in nature come in odd numbers. If you use 5 or 7 petals instead of 4 or 6 it will look more natural.
-Other resources for crepe paper include Carte Fini and Blumchen (who sells beautiful German double sided crepe). I found papermart to have the best prices, but Carte Fini has some amazing colors and metallic.
-If you store your flowers in a cold or humid location (basement, attic), you’ll notice that they may tend to close up a bit as the paper contracts. No worries, just gently re-stretch the petals when you bring the arrangement back out for display.
-There is a wonderful Skillshare class that I took to get the hang of basics and arranging. Brittany is a paper flower expert!