Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Coffee Filter Paper Flowers

Coffee filter flower in blue wine bottle with yellow ribbon equals my wedding center piece!

Real flowers can be very expensive so I thought I would attempt an alternative to the real thing by making paper flowers for centerpieces at our wedding. I found this great tutorial on one of my favorite blogs, Design Sponge. It looked pretty simple with really inexpensive supplies (coffee filters are cheap!) so I thought I would give it a whirl. Here is how our experience went.

Once again my lovely bridesmaids (Kacie, Jenna and Allian) helped me a ton. We dyed, cut and assembled these pretty little flower and I think they turned out wonderful!

Step One: Dyeing the coffee filters. I used red, yellow and green watercolor paint. I used a mixture of red and yellow to create the darkest color and just a varied amount of yellow in the two lighter colors. If I had to do again, I would make the colors more vibrant by mixing more color into the water baths before adding the coffee filters. But because I doubled the "recipe" from the tutorial, I wasn't sure exactly how much paint to put in. If you try this tutorial use a lot of watercolor paint for more vibrant colors! Our colors turned out a really beautiful pale color. A nice, light, fluffy, pretty flower!

Looks like I'm wearing a Tutu!

Step Two: After soaking for about an hour, we hung the coffee filters out to dry by rigging up some string in the bath tub and using mini clothes pins to hang them up. We let them dry overnight. 
The bath tub was covered in paint drips but it was very easy to clean up because it was a water base paint.

Different layers for the flowers.

Mimosas for the working women!

Step Three: The next morning, after the filters were dry we sorted them into piles of different color shades, and cut jagged edges on them. 
Note: Mimosas were a necessary part of this step. These flowers will not looks as good if made without a tall glass of champagne and orange juice!

Step Four: Assemble the flower by twisting and then taping the darkest filter to a drinking straw. With a hole in the middle, pull the other lighter filters up around the darker center. Fluff and crinkle appropriately. It took a few flowers to get the hang of it. But they turned out beautiful! Follow the tutorial we followed for more detailed directions and supplies list.

I now have a whole box of wine bottles and paper flowers and they are going to look wonderful as center pieces at our wedding. I think these will make a good replacement for real flowers. 

I was thinking about having paper flowers or pinwheels for bridal bouquets too. But, I do still love real flowers, so I think I will stick with the real deal for the bouquets. Now I just have to get started on my garden so I can grow all those flowers myself! Or, more like it, purchase the already grown flowers from a local nursery. By growing them in my garden, I can enjoy those flowers all spring and summer as well as when I'm walking down the aisle. 

Thanks again for all the help from my bridesmaids Kacie, Jenna and Allian! You guys are the best!


  1. Allison!

    This is Stephanie (Yonce) - I just saw your blog on facebook. I love these paper flowers - they are gorgeous. Congratulations to you and Dan! I'm not planning a wedding anymore, but I'm still subscribing to this blog - you have so many awesome ideas.

    Make sure you keep taking lots of pictures - June will be here before you know it! :)

  2. They look great Allie!!!
    You are such a creative and frugal person! Who are your parents?