Yes you read that right. My florist [and every other florist in the area] had quoted my five bridesmaid bouquets of simple peonies to be a whopping $800. I just about died. I had originally budgeted about $400 for all of my body floral [that's bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages, etc.] so when the bridesmaids bouquets alone were double my budget I started looking for another solution. Apparently peonies are out of season in December. Go figure.
I scoured the pinterest world for some DIY inspiration but nothing was really tickling my fancy until I saw a couple of tutorials for coffee filter flowers. A lot of them still looked like coffee filters, but with my knowledge of paper flower centerpieces [more on that soon, I promise!] I knew I could tweak these tutorials to make them look more realistic.
That’s right, this whole project of five bouquets cost me about $5 total with lots of material leftover, so needless to say it was well worth it. And they were super easy to make too!
- A small hobby saw, or xacto knife to cut your dowels
- 1.5″ diameter PVC pipe
- 18 gauge floral wire
- needle nose pliers
- small coffee filters (4 cup size)
- regular coffee filters (8-12 cup size)
- floral tape
- painters tape
- straight pin
- 1/4″ wooden dowels
To get started I went ahead and cut my dowels so that were ready to go. My bouquets each had five flowers, so I cut each of my dowels in half twice to create 10″ pieces. I made them a little larger at the beginning so that I could arrange them easier.
I stacked 5 of my smaller coffee filters, and folded them in half. Then I trimed about 1/2″ off of the top to make them even smaller.
I fold them in half again.
And one more time.
Then I cut a heart shape on the non-folded side.
I did the same with the larger coffee filters (also using 5) but I didn’t cut 1/2″ off the top because I wanted there to be a larger size difference between the two sets of filters.
Then I cut my floral wire into 6″ pieces, and with your pliers I bent a small loop on one end of each piece.
With my straight pin I poked a small hole into the center of both my small pile and my large pile of filters.
I stuck your floral wire through the small pile of coffee filters first treating the small loop as the “inside” of the flower.
One by one I took each layer of of my coffee filters..
And twisted each one around the small loop. The first one had the largest twist with smaller “petals” and each following layer had smaller twists and larger petals as I continued.
After all five filters were done they sort of resembled a pinecone. While twisting I made sure to stagger the petals which made the flower look fuller, and more realistic.
Once all five of the smaller coffee filters are in place, I started doing the same with the larger filters. Again the first one will have the largest twist. I made sure to twist the first large filter enough to sort of blend with your smaller filters so that there wasn’t a huge difference in size and appeared more seamless.
When all 10 of the filters (5 small, 5 large) were in place I twisted the remaining floral wire around one of my dowel pieces.
Then I secured it with floral tape. I started at the bottom and twisted my way up. Floral tape can be kind of tricky because it only sticks to itself, so just kept stretching and twisting.
Once I reached the base of the flower I continue to tape back down to where I started, to keep everything extra secure.
My flowers seemed a little super white to me so I decided to add a little color. I mixed together 8 drops of red food coloring into a small spray bottle to create a subtle pink giving each flower depth. I tested out my mixture on some extra coffee filters until I liked the consistency. I sprayed each flower a couple times until a light pink hue appeared and then let them dry for an hour. Since they’re coffee filters they’re made to get wet so they’ll definitely hold their shape.
While waiting for my flowers to dry I had Derek cut my PVC pipe into 8″ pieces using a cutting tool we picked up at Lowe’s.
Once my flowers were dry I started arranging them around on of the PVC pieces. I placed one flower in the middle and equally spaced the other four around the outside of the PVC pipe.
Once I liked the placement of each flower I marked a line on each dowel where it needed to be cut to be flush with the bottom of the PVC pipe. Then with painters tape I placed a couple of pieces on each dowel to secure them in place.
For the middle flower I taped the dowel to the inside of the PVC pipe like so..
After all five flowers were in place the flower part looked pretty legit, and the “stem” part was looking a little crazy.
So for some extra oomph I wrapped some packing tape around the entire thing. Because you can never be too safe.
I had picked up some 1″ black satin ribbon to wrap my stems with. I cut two 3″ pieces of it to cover the hole in the bottom of the PVC pipe. I placed them like a plus sign and taped them to the pipe.
Then I secured one end of the remaining satin ribbon (still on the spool) with tape and wrapped the rest of my stems all the way up to the base of the flowers. And tied it off. I knew the tying off part would be kind of ugly, but I had plans to cover it later so it was okay with me.
I found some 1.5″ striped grosgrain ribbon at Joann’s and cut it into 1 yard pieces to tie around each of my bouquets.
I just used a simple square knot so that both pieces would fall evenly.
They look like real flowers in real life, and they photograph pretty well too, which was my biggest concern. So all in all I think it’s safe to say that if you’re feeling a little crafty and don’t like wasting money on something that is used for about 30 minutes of your day, then DIYing your bouquets is totally an option! $5 beats $800 any day!