DIY Paper Flower Centerpieces (from the book Paper to Petal!)
We're so excited to share a DIY from the beautiful new book Paper To Petal! Design duo and blogger Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell have crafted an entire book's worth of paper flower tutorials with detailed instructions. For an evergreen reception centerpiece that can be adjusted to any wedding's color scheme, follow the steps below to make Twisted-Ribbon Tulips. Inspired by the project? Create paper tulips for a bouquet and boutonniere! Check out the project notes for all the crafting techniques you'll need to pull off this project.
• 3 1/2″-wide (9cm) paper ribbon in gold and white
• 1 1/2″-wide (4cm) paper ribbon in pink, white, lavender, and red
• Twisted paper ribbon in light pink, lavender, navy, yellow, and burgundy
• 18″ (45.5cm) 18-gauge paper-covered floral wire
• Floral tape in brown
• Dry floral foam
• Decorative rocks
• Deckle edger
Try crafting white tulips with deep green leaves, silver tulips with white leaves for the holidays, or pale pastels for springtime entertaining.
Cut a 3″ (7.5cm) length of 3 1/2″ (9cm) white paper ribbon. Cut a 2 3/4″ (7cm) length of navy twisted paper ribbon; untwist it completely. Make 5 cuts, 3/4 of the way down to make 6 connected strips. To make the petals: Cut three 4″ (10cm) lengths of 31/2″ (9cm) gold paper ribbon; fold each in half lengthwise. Starting 1 1/2″ (4cm) from the top of each piece on the unfolded side, round off top corner with a deckle edger. Repeat with remaining pieces to create 3 petals. To make leaves: Cut a 12″ (30.5cm) length of pink twisted ribbon; untwist completely and fold in half lengthwise. Starting 1 1/2″ (4cm) from the top of each piece on the unfolded side, round off top corner with a deckle edger.
Secure all layers with floral tape.
1. Roll white paper ribbon lengthwise, scrunching loosely; bend in half. Center the wire between the fold, twist paper around the wire, creating a small loop, and secure.
2. With navy ribbon, twist 1 strip from the base up toward the top, leaving the last 1/2″ (13mm) untwisted, to create an abstract stamen; repeat with remaining 5 sections. Gather and Wrap (note follows) around center.
3. Scrunch Pleat (note follows) base of each gold petal, attach evenly around center. Gently round petals by hand.
4. Finish stem. Scrunch Pleat leaves. Attach 1 leaf 3″ (7.5cm) from end of stem, secure, finish remainder of stem with tape. Style Stems (note follows).
Multiple tulips were made from a selection of paper and twisted paper ribbons. We made a smaller bloom using the following measurements: Petals: 2″ (5cm) length of 1 1/2″ (4cm) paper ribbon. Stamen: 2 1/4″ (5.5cm) in length. Leaf: 10″ (25.5cm) in length. To resemble our arrangement, trim wires to different lengths and vary the curve in your stems. Anchor stems in containers filled with dry floral foam and cover with gold decorative rocks.
Gather & Wrap:
Use Gather and Wrap to attach continuous, cuff, and large single petals. Start by placing a flower center at the base of one end of a paper strip, supporting both between thumb and index finger. With your other hand, begin gathering the strip of paper against the stem while rotating the flower slowly as you pinch and wrap the paper around the stem until you reach the end of the strip. Hold it firmly together and tightly tape it (to prevent slipping) at the base of the flower center and down the stem. Continuous petals can be cut into multiple lengths to make attaching them easier.
Begin Scrunch Pleat for single petals by holding one side of the base of a petal or leaf between your thumb and index finger, and the opposite side of the base between your other thumb and index finger. Scrunch the sides toward each other, creating multiple gathers. Press a bit to crease. This technique adds dimension and creates a thinner base and a slightly rounded petal. You can prescrunch your petals to condition the paper, and then Scrunch Pleat again as you attach each one to a stem.
Leaving stems stiff and straight will give your flowers or leaves an angular and graphic appearance. Curving the wires will create a more lifelike and organic impression. Use your fingers to gently curve the wires in any direction or bend them around a jar, can, or dowel to create clean uniform curves.
Using Floral Tape:
Holding a stem with one hand, place a petal, leaf, or shape at the back of the stem, holding both between your thumb and index finger. Place the tape on the front of the stem and begin wrapping it around the stem, continuing to hold the petal in place and catching the base in the tape while spinning the stem, (not moving the tape around the stem) Wrap the tape around the base of the flower a few times. Continue wrapping down onto the wire at a slight diagonal, making sure to continually and gently pull the tape as you progress. Tape beyond the center, petal, or leaf and down onto the stem to secure. Helpful Hints: With some practice, floral tape is simple to use. Firmly but gently stretching the tape as you wrap is crucial to release the adhesive that makes it stick to itself. With one hand, hold and slowly twist the stem while applying pressure to the tape. The opposite hand stretches the tape as you work. Overlap the tape as you wrap, adding pressure with your fingers to prevent unraveling. Make a few fingernail scores at the end of each length of tape to help it adhere. When building a flower, keep a small pile of precut 3″–4″ (7.5cm–10cm) strips of tape at the ready.
Place approximately 1/2″ (13mm) of the base of a petal against a center or stem. While squeezing the pleat at the petal's base to the center or stem, tape around the base a few times, gently pulling the floral tape as you work, continuing down beyond the petal onto the stem. Overlap each petal slightly if you are attaching them as a layer around a center. When attaching multiple petals at one time, make sure the tape comes into contact with each petal base as well as the base of the flower and the stem. Leave 1/4″–1/2″ (6mm–13mm) of space on the stem between the petal layers for a more lifelike and natural flower.
See more paper flowers at weddings!