Do-it-yourself: the ever daunting list of ideas that you keep telling yourself you’re going to try but never get around to. If you’re like me your list is a mile-long, so instead of continuing to stare at all of the creative ideas on Pinterest I’ve decided to tackle one every week this summer! Today I tried the famous “giant paper rose,” as featured in our previous blog post on unique wedding ideas here.
Going into this project, I was pretty confident that it wouldn’t be all that bad. I’ve done some crafty things in the past (I’m a design student, after all!) but not gonna lie – it was harder than expected. For all of you brave souls who are ready to embark on a DIY journey, here is a simple step-by-step tutorial for you to follow.
- Crepe paper for the petals (I used one roll of 20 x 49 inches)
- 1 roll of floral tape
- 6 18-gauge floral stem wire
- 1 sheet of green crepe paper for the leaves and calyx
- 1 round pencil
- Craft glue
- Crepe paper templates (can be found here)
Be sure to call ahead to different craft stores to see if they carry crepe paper. All of the other materials are pretty standard for whatever craft store you decide to go to. Or, be smart and order your materials online – the color selection of crepe paper is much better, anyway!
Step one: Make your stem. This first step is pretty straight forward – all you have to do is wrap three of your stem wires together with floral tape. Make sure you stretch your tape as you wrap to activate the adhesive. When working with the floral tape, I found it useful to keep a anti-bacterial wipe next to me (a damp cloth would work too!) to wipe my fingers off after handling the floral tape.
Once you’ve finished wrapping your stem completely, use the printed templates to cut 5-6 teardrop petals and 15-17 heart-shaped petals. When you are cutting, it is important to note that crepe paper is directional! Make sure the grain is vertical on all of your pieces.
Step two: Shape your petals. This is a very important step and takes patience. Start in the middle of your petal and carefully stretch the crepe paper outwards and upwards.
Next, curl the edges of your petals. Flip the petal around and wrap the top edge around a pencil. Stretch the edges as you wrap to avoid wrinkles.
Do the same for the heart-shaped petals. Shaping your petals is slightly tedious but it makes the rest of your process much easier if you shape and mold them consistently. Be careful not to pull too hard but don’t worry about ripping the crepe paper. You want your petals to be rounded not flat so focus on pulling the middle and not the edges.
Step three: Create your rose bud. This is the inner part of the rose. Wrap and secure each tear drop petal to the stem with floral tape until you’ve used all of the small petals. When wrapping the petals, some tutorials say to secure each petal one-by-one while others recommend doing it two to three at a time. For me, I found that with the smaller petals wrapping them one at a time ensured the shape of my bud (and essentially the foundation for the flower) was correct. Once I got to the larger petals, I began to wrap them two at a time.
Step four: Make the rose bloom. Repeat the same steps as when you were making the bud, rotating the stem to place the petals evenly on the flower. As you keep adding more and more petals, you should move each additional petal slightly further down the stem so your petals start higher and descend down. That way, you can see each petal when you’re looking at the rose from the side. Another way to create this layering effect is to curl the edges of the petals more.
Step five: Add the leaves. Use your leaf template to cut out three leaves from the green crepe paper. Then, glue the stem to the middle of the leaf and fold the leaf in half to secure it. Once dry, unfold the leaf. The crepe paper should now cover the stem like a real leaf! Wrap the bottom of the leaf around the stem and secure it with floral tape. Continue to wrap the rest of the stem and repeat for leaves 2 and 3.
Step six: Add the calyx. This is the leafy green part that warps around the base of the rose. After cutting it out using the template, wrap it around the rose and secure with floral tape. Next add your leaf-stems and secure the whole thing with floral tape. This was one of the hardest steps for me – for some reason the calyx refused to cooperate with me and ended up looking a little wonky. I guess not everything has to be perfect, right? (:
Congratulations – you’ve finished making your first giant paper rose! Turns out I am a really, REALLY slow crafter so this project took me over 3 hours. Hopefully it doesn’t take you quite as long. Overall, I thought this was a fun project with great results. If you want to make multiple flowers for your wedding, I recommend drafting the help of your bridesmaids or friends who enjoy crafting – or are willing to learn how!
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