For the past few weeks, I have been learning to make crepe paper flowers. Gordon is constructing 12 pvc posts to place down the aisle, which we will use to hang the fabric pennants and then tie one of our crepe paper bouquets to the top. We will have real flowers at the wedding, but Emily and I thought these were a cute and inexpensive alternative to real flowers down the aisle. This is another project that provides a nice break from embroidering wedding napkins. I think I have about half of the flowers done.
For making flowers with individual petals (gerberas, peonies, roses), the best paper is either German duplex, or Italian crepe paper. The Italian paper is available on Etsy ($7 for a huge roll) and it is amazing — very thick and super stretchy. At first I used the templates on the Martha Stewart web site, but you can also just make up your own petal shapes. Honestly, it’s hard to mess this up since crepe paper is so forgiving.
The other method is to use strips of petals and wrap them around the stamen. This method is a little faster, but if you have a ruffler foot, you can whip out long strips of ruffled petals in no time. I’ve made lots of crepe paper streamer flowers using the ruffler — just unroll a 2 – 4 yard length of the streamer (depending on how puffy you want your flower to be), fold it several times until it’s about 6 in. long, cut along one long edge with some kind of design (scallop, zig-zag, or whatever — be imaginative), run the opposite long side through your ruffler, wrap the gathered side around the stamen and wire, occasionally adding a dab of hot glue. I could do a tutorial on this if anyone is interested. These three flowers are made from streamers.
One thing I have learned is that I hate floral tape — it doesn’t stick and it’s too slippery. Double-stick tape or hot glue will work well for attaching individual petals. For wrapping the bottom of the flower, I like to use Frog Tape because it’s green and sticky, although it doesn’t really stretch.