Friday, June 7, 2013

DIY Paper Peonies

Don't you just love peonies? Me too! I love fresh flowers and used to buy a bouquet every weekend at the local farmers market to liven up my house. The problem was that they only lasted about a week, and sometimes you just want something permanent! Now house plants are great for that, but why not liven things up with some paper flowers?

These peonies are made from coffee filters and couldn't be much easier to put together. They are also absolutely gorgeous!
The supplies you'll need to make these paper peonies are easy to come by and relatively inexpensive, so you could make yourself a giant bouquet of them for under $10.

Paper Peony Supplies:
  • Two sizes of coffee filters. I used some meant for a 4 cup coffee maker and some meant for an 8-12 cup coffee maker. They are probably about 1/2" different in size. You'll need 5 filters of each size (10 total) to make 1 peony.
  • Stem wire
  • Floral tape
  • Scissors
  • Two colors of embroidery floss (optional!)
  • Embroidery needles (optional!)

Begin by cutting your stem wire to the desired size. I ended up cutting mine to approximately 9 inches. Then put a bend in the wire that looks like the one in the above picture.

Fold your coffee filter in half four times until you have a small wedge like the one pictured above. You can do one at a time, or 2-3 at a time.

Using your scissors, cut a rounded notch into each side of your folded coffee filters. When you unfold it once, it should like kind of like a long, thin heart.

Since peonies have a bit of a jagged look around the edges of the petals, you'll want to try to recreate that look! To do so, rough up the edges of the cut sections using the part of the scissors closest to the joint. You'll sort of sandwich the edges between the scissor joint and then rub the scissors back and forth along the cut line to make that happen. 

Once the edges are roughed up a bit, use your scissors to cut very short lines (no more than 1/8")perpendicular to the cut edges. These two steps are going to make your paper flowers look much more realistic.
Once you've done the above steps with all ten coffee filters, you should have a pile that looks something like this.
Using the unbent end of your stem wire, poke a small hole in the center of each filter. This will make the next steps easier! Next, slide one of the smaller filters up the wire to just under the bend.

Once the filter is up to just under the bend in the wire, lightly gather it upward. Then, twist and pinch the base of the filter lightly around the bent portion of the wire. This should achieve something like what's pictured above (there's no perfect here!).
Repeat the above step until you have gotten through all five of the small filters. At that point you should have something that looks like this! Cute, right? But it's not done quite yet! To get the look of a peony, you really want a big ol' gorgeous flower, so you'll continue the previous step with all of the larger coffee filters.
Ah, glorious! Look how pretty! Now it's time to secure all of your hard work.

Begin by grabbing the filters lightly an inch or two up from the base. This will keep things twisted and gathered, but also give you some room to apply your floral tape.

Now floral tape is kind of a weird creature. It's quite stretchy, and not particularly keen on sticking to anything but itself. Begin applying it by taking an end and wrapping it tightly about 1/2" up from the base of the flower. Wrap around this section a few times until it's secure, then wrap downwards until all of the paper is covered and you've reached the floral wire. Be sure to continue down on the the wire a bit so you get a nice clean line, then cut the tape and wrap the end around until it lies flat.
So there you have it! A beautiful peony made out of coffee filters!

But wait! There's more! Want to jazz things up a little bit? You can do so by wrapping colorful embroidery floss around the floral tape. Here's how:

Thread an embroidery needle with about 2.5 feet of embroidery floss and knot the end. Insert the needle through the base of the flower, just above the tape, and pull through. At this point, wrap the embroidery floss tightly around the tape, working down towards the stem. Once the tape is fully covered, tie off the embroidery floss and cut the end.

If you would like to add an additional color, you can do so by inserting the needle between some of the previously wrapped embroidery floss and then repeat the steps above to your liking. Annnnnnd you're done!
Now that you've got one made up, try making some more! Once you have a few you can tie a ribbon or some yarn around a vase, arrange the peonies and you've got a lovely, permanent bouquet!

Til next time!


P.S: This DIY was adapted from the one found here that I stumbled upon in Pinterest!


  1. These came out so wonderfully. Such a great idea.

  2. Perfect solution to those ever dying real flowers :)

  3. Ok, I love this so much more than the tissue paper flowers I made recently. Coffee filters are brilliant! They seem so much more manageable.

  4. Wow, I really have to try this! :)

  5. I have yet to make paper flowers, though now that peonies are out of season, this might be the perfect time :)

    1. Totally! Then you can have peonies year round!


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