As a calligrapher and artist there’s nothing I enjoy more than making things with paper and paints – and I wanted to try something new after seeing so many tutorials for paper flowers on wedding blogs. I’ve written place name cards with a watercolour wash, which are really popular this wedding season, and I think watercolour tags or place cards go perfectly with these DIY crepe paper flowers. Also, they’re so much fun to make – I managed 40 in an afternoon, and (three months later) they’re still dotted around my calligraphy studio in little glass bottles instead of vases.
The finished paper flowers were taken to a creative shoot which I hope will inspire couples to design and make some pretty bits and pieces for your own weddings. All of the paper pieces I made can be recreated at home so do watch out for the shoot – coming to a wedding blog near you soon! The three images from the shoot are by Jamie at Vickerstaff Photography and a full list of the fab suppliers involved is at the end of this feature.
Step 1: cut bamboo skewers to desired length for flower stems
Step 2: cut petals from crepe paper. You’ll need 3-4 petals per flower (experiment with different petal shapes: these hearts are nice and easy)
Step 3: cut square centres from crepe paper. You need one per flower, and just large enough to wrap around your cotton wool balls and stick to your – er – sticks!
Step 4: Take petals and centres and place onto an upside down microwaveable bowl. Soak your paintbrush with plenty of water and gently ‘paint’ the petals with water. They’ll stick to the bowl. Dash a bit of watercolour paint on too – but not all over. You might fit 4 or 5 petals on the bowl at once, depending how large it is! Leave them on the bowl…
Step 5: You might find it helps to use a spray container with water instead of your paintbrush… I used both but you don’t need to really.
Step 6: When you have about 4 petals on your bowl, pop it in the microwave. Cook on the highest setting for 30 seconds or so, then keep a careful eye on the petals as you cook them for 10 seconds at a time. You’ll know when they’re dry as they’ll lift away from the bowl a little. Careful – the bowl will get hot!
Step 7: Gather everything together: tape, stems, dry petals and centres, and cotton wool balls. The flowers will come together quickly now!
Step 8: Wrap a little double sided tape around the top of your skewer. Spear a cotton wool ball with it, and wrap it all up with a dried, painted paper centre piece to make a ball which will form the centre of your first flower. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
Step 9: “Skewering action”!
Step 10: When the flower centre is made, you can begin to add petals
Step 11: It’s really easy – use a small piece of double sided tape (roughly where my fingers are in the image above) and then stick a petal on. Squish and squeeze to shape.
Step 12: Add 3 petals per flower, or more if there’s a gap to fill at the end. The image below shows the basic stages of flower from ball to bloom!
Step 13: Your finished flower… don’t worry, the process will get quicker as you make more of these!
Display your watercolour paper flowers in mini milk bottles with name tags as escort cards. I used one flower per bottle at our styling ideas shoot and made the most of the pretty tables at Broadoaks Country House by putting a few bottles in the drawers! They’d look fab on upcycled wooden stepladders or bookshelves as well – and you can experiment with colours as much as you like!
Thanks to everyone involved in our creative wedding styling shoot:
Julia Tasker Bridal Couture (facebook: www.facebook.com/JuliaTaskerBridalCouture)
Brackens of Bowness (facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Brackens-of-Bowness)
Caroline’s Cake Company (facebook: www.facebook.com/CarolineCakeCompany)
Beautifully Vintage China Hire (facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Beautifullyvintage-china-hire-vintage-accessories/261681570541562)
Aqua Hair and Beauty (facebook: www.facebook.com/AquaHairWindermere )
Definitions Mobile Beauty (facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Definitions-Mobile-Beauty/106075792761107)
Broadoaks Country House (facebook: www.facebook.com/Broadoaksboutiquecountryhouse)
Pumpkin and Pye (facebook: www.facebook.com/PumpkinandPye)
Vintage Twee (facebook: www.facebook.com/vintagetwee)
With huge thanks to Jamie at Vickerstaff Photography (facebook: www.facebook.com/VickerstaffPhotographyCheshire)