DIY Weddings

Paper Flowers?

FI & I are thinking of making paper bouquets & bouts instead of real flowers. Mostly we like the look and I want a new craft to take on. (I'm the crafty one, but he wants to learn, too!) 

I know some people have done this, and I'm wondering (1) if it actually saves any money over real flowers, and (2) how much time they actually took to make. We have 1 bridal bouquet, 6 smaller bouquets & 7 boutonnières to make, so I want to make sure we're not biting off more than we can chew. 

Thanks!
OurWildKingdom

Re: Paper Flowers?

  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
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    If you decide to do it, I want to see pictures!
  • Unless you're going to buy a lot of expensive paper cutting equipment, I can't see how it could cost more than fresh or even silk flowers.  I find inexpensive, bulk roses tend to run about $1-2 per stem, for a reference point.

    I attempted some paper flowers for centerpieces, but got bored and gave up.  It was pretty time consuming, but very cheap.  I'd check out Offbeat Bride in addition to Pinterest; I know they have a bunch of inspiration, and I think some tutorials.

    Just throwing out another idea, I recently learned to make fabric rosettes for wedding flowers I just did.  That was much, much easier (for me).  I read a bunch of tutorials from pinterest, and got pretty good at them with a bit of practice.  And they were extremely inexpensive.  I'd say 25 cents per rosette would be an overestimate.  Once I got the hang of it, I'd say they took about 5 minutes each to make.
    OurWildKingdom
  • Tried it out today, and I rather loved it. Perfect TV activity, though I wouldn't try it if I didn't have about a year to go...

    Here are my first tries! I'll post the final product eventually. ;)


    image.jpeg 1001.7K
    OurWildKingdomscrunchythiefwandajune6cupcait927
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
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    I made topiaries out of kusudama flowers, like this https://craftywedding.wordpress.com/tag/kusudama/

    They were an absurd amount of work and I spent a lot on paper. I bought cheap paper but needed so much that I ended up spending more than expected. I can't say how much because I never paid attention.

    They were lovely but they were a labor of love and not a necessary decoration by any stretch of the imagination.

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  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited February 2016

    The general rule of thumb when it comes to a DIY project is - Never choose it to "save money" because most of the time if you add up your nickels, dimes, and the largest expense of all, the value of YOUR time and stress, it's more expensive.  Choose a DIY project because it's something you enjoy doing and have fun with. 

    Is it going to save you money - having made paper flowers en mass (it was my HS Demo for Forensics for two years then the centerpieces for my brother's wedding).. not really, but a lot also depends on the type of paper flower you're making.  If you're making them out of a $2 roll of streamers and Kleenex, yes, you can save money.  If you're making them out of expensive craft or scrapbooking paper or other expensive papers, with 1000 misc. supplies, no, you won't "save" money over choosing modest flowers from a florist or a wholesale site (Sam's, Costco, etc.) that you just cut the bases off of.  The challenge is not to lose sight of every the cost of every last supply, paperclip, glue stick, etc. you're purchasing because by the time you're half way done and need to go back to the store because you're out of supplies that has cost too!

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  • I made topiaries out of kusudama flowers, like this https://craftywedding.wordpress.com/tag/kusudama/

    They were an absurd amount of work and I spent a lot on paper. I bought cheap paper but needed so much that I ended up spending more than expected. I can't say how much because I never paid attention.

    They were lovely but they were a labor of love and not a necessary decoration by any stretch of the imagination.

    Thanks for this link! The tutorials on this blog are great! 

    We'll see about the cost: I have a lot of supplies (cutting mat, rulers, rotary cutter, etc.) for quilting, so it's mostly a matter of paper, glue, stems & ribbon. Fingers crossed.

    For what it's worth, I really like making them. Much quicker gratification for a finished flower than a finished quilt or cosplay outfit (which I'd usually be making). ;) 


    OurWildKingdomscrunchythief
  • I made all of the bouquets (7 including mine) and the bouts for the guys, as well as the corsages for the mothers/grandmothers. I made the flowers out of coffee filters, card stock, and buttons. This saved me a TON of money. I mean, a pack of 100 filters is like less than $2. I'm crafty too and already had paint. dye, and all of the buttons (though Hobby Lobby sells a big bag of assorted gold vintage looking buttons for like $6, it would have been enough for all the bouquets)

    For just the flowers for the bouquets, I'd estimate it cost me ~$15 each for everything, which was wire, masking tape, nice card stock, Styrofoam ball and coffee filters. Obviously a pack of tape, wire, and filters lasted for more than 1 bouquet, but all in all, I bet it was around 10-15 per bouquet. (the sword hilts were about $15 each as well, from China, so in reality, it was about $30 per bouquet, though I realize that they're not everyone's cup of tea and may be excluded)  

    As far as time goes however, oy. This did take a long time. I needed about 30 flowers per bouquet (mine was around 45, it was bigger) and while they were easy, just building up a single rose coffee filter takes time. I think each rose took like 30 petals, based on how I did mine.  TIP: Pre-cut strips of tape and have them on hand, this makes things go a bit faster. Pre cut petals too. Fold filters/paper and cut 10 or so at a time. Also, you'll have to make like 10 flowers before you get your rhythm down, so don't be discouraged if your first few don't look perfect, just keep going, you'll get it! Once it's all done though, it's just so fulfilling to be like "it turned out like I wanted!" 



    The real question is however, was it worth my time? If you had asked me WHILE I was making the flowers, freaking out over running out of time, no, I'd have handed over the money it would have cost for 7 bouquets, 6 bouts, and 3 corsages for the mothers/grandmothers. It was a nightmare to be honest. I didn't do it to save money, I did it because I knew what I wanted and I knew I could do it. I work from home, have my own business, set me own hours, and I had a 2 year engagement. 

    But, I've completely forgotten all about how awful it was after seeing the pictures. I love my bouquet, it's exactly what I wanted. I DIYed preeetty much everything for the wedding, because I knew exactly what I wanted, and even if I could have paid someone to do it for me, I'd still need to sketch out what I wanted, like for the invites, programs, etc. I'm glad I did it, but I was not singing that same tune WHILE doing it. You CAN do it, it can be done, just...plan, set a regiment for yourself, calculate how many flowers per bouquet you'll need, and practice. Your technique, skill, and style will change over time, especially if you plan to make them over a few weeks/months. Make sure your first few still look like your last few. Asking for help is great and all, but just remember, you might be great at it, having already made 100 flowers, but now you must teach someone how to do it, and get them to do it just like you do. It's not easy, as I learned trying to get my MOH and FMIL to help me one weekend near the wedding. Help is great! But, teaching people takes time too, and they haven't had time to practice on 100 flowers yet. 

    Here are the mother's corsages I made as well (they wore them on their dresses, so it's like a bout for a mom? I said do you want a wrist thing or a chest thing, they said chest). I like keys, gears, and burlap, it's my secret shame. 


    Hard to say what they cost, as I had like 70% of the stuff for everything already, what with my craft hoarding. I don't know...maybe $10 per bout after buying everything (pack of gears, keys, ribbon, and the leaves). I already had like 90% of the stuff for the corsages too. I made 3 corsages and 6 bouts in 1 night. Compared to the flowers, they were amazing easy. 

    Alright then, good luck! One of the best feelings in the world is, on your wedding day, seeing all of your hard work become a reality :) 
    ahoywedding
  • Wow!! Thank you for the info! Everything you made looks amazing!

    I've been thinking of a lightsaber handle for my bouquet, but I didn't even think I could add to the bouts in a pretty, tasteful way. I have a lot to think about!! :)
  • Wow!! Thank you for the info! Everything you made looks amazing!

    I've been thinking of a lightsaber handle for my bouquet, but I didn't even think I could add to the bouts in a pretty, tasteful way. I have a lot to think about!! :)
    Do it!! I think this would be awesome:)
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
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    edited February 2016
    @Renea2015, those look fabulous! What kind of paint and dye did you use?
  • Thanks so much guys! I actually just used acrylic paint mixed with water. Obviously you can use water colors, but I only had acrylic, but mixing it with water pretty much made water colors anyways. I've also heard you can use food dye in water too. I had white roses (undyed filters) pink ones (starting with dark pink petals at the center, going to light pink, then white) and yellow and light pink fluffy things, so I really only had to dye dark pink, light pink, and yellow filters. I dyed about 10 filters at a time, then hung them up in my kitchen to dry. Make big batches because if you throw out your paint and need to make more, it can be hard to get the exact color again :/ 

    Do a light saber bouquet handle! DO IT 
    OurWildKingdomscrunchythief
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