Paper Flower Centerpiece
By Cathy Callahan
A centerpiece made with fresh flowers adds a nice touch to the tables for the guests at your wedding reception, but unfortunately fresh flowers can cost a small fortune. You love the idea of fresh flowers, but the thought of doing them on the big day (along with getting hitched) may be out of the question. If you're crafty (or have friends who are), there are lots of alternatives to fresh flowers that can be even more special because they're made by hand!
Paper is a great choice for making flowers. The good news about paper flowers is that they can cost next to nothing to make. If you break down the costs of what I made as pictured, it's probably no more than $2. These can be a little time-consuming to make, but would be great to do well enough in advance. I think it would be super fun to have a centerpiece-making party. Have some friends and family over and serve some snacks!
I just love working with crepe paper but it can be hard to find and sometimes a little pricey if you have to make a lot of flowers. For this project I used crepe paper streamers, which are available at most party stores and cost less than $1 per roll!
Small clay pot
Foam I recycled packaging from my new toaster oven or you can use green floral foam. Make sure it's for dry and not wet flowers.
Easy Felt felt that has been stiffened
22-gauge cloth-covered floral stem wire
Crepe paper streamers I used 3 colors for petal, center, and leaves.
32-gauge cloth-covered spool wire
Acrylic craft paint (optional)
Old steak or bread knife
Tacky craft glue
Heavy duty scissors to cut felt
Good sharp scissors for paper
Step 1: Clean the clay pot. If you have to get it wet, make sure it is completely dry before you begin your project. This might take overnight because clay is super absorbent. (This is especially important if you paint your pot.) Paint if desired or leave natural.
Step 2: Using the old steak or bread knife, cut the foam to fit inside the pot. It should be just below the rim of the pot. Glue into place and allow to dry.
Step 3: Measure the diameter of the pot with your ruler. Using a compass, draw a circle just slightly smaller than the diameter of the pot onto the felt and cut out using your heavy duty scissors. It should be able to sit right on top of the foam and fit just inside the pot. Trim as needed to fit. Using the large needle, pierce a hole in the dead center of the felt. Glue in place on top of the foam, making sure you do not get any glue around the area where you pierced the hole (that's where you will later put in the stem). Allow to dry.
Step 4: Cut a strip of crepe paper streamer about 12" long and cut fringe as shown. Dab a few drops of glue and wrap around the top ½" of the stem wire. Make sure you don't use too much glue as it will make the paper too wet and it will tear. As you wrap, pinch the paper about every ¼" or so as you go around until the paper is wrapped all the way around. This part take a little practice so don't worry if it takes you a couple of attempts to get the hang of it.
Step 5: Cut a strip of crepe paper streamer approximately 24" long, and cut at both ends (what will become the top of your flower) as shown. Just as you did in Step 5, wrap the paper around to create the petals of the flower. With each wrap around the stem, come slightly down to give the petals a more natural look.
Step 6: Cut a 2" strip of crepe paper, fold in half, and wrap around the base of the flower. Dab a little glue to secure and wrap with a few inches of the spool wire. Cut stem to desired length and insert into pot through the hole and into the foam.
Step 7: Cut a leaf shape from the crepe paper and about 5" of spool wire. Apply a little glue (the length of the leaf) to the end of the wire and apply the leaf to the wire. Twist it around stem wire, referring to the completed project photo for placement.
Step 8: Cut a few inches of paper as shown and wrap around the base of the stems to create a "grass" effect. Dab a little glue to secure.
Your centerpiece is complete! Repeat the process for each table for your wedding reception. And when the evening is over, it's a great take-home gift (that lasts!) for friends or the bridal party.
About the Author:
Cathy Callahan is a crafter and window dresser who draws inspiration from vintage crafts. She blogs about 1960s and 1970s crafts at cathyofcalifornia.typepad.com.