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Giant Paper Flower for a DIY Wedding Backdrop - Craft Tutorial

Giant Crepe Paper Flower
I recently had the chance to make some wonderful large crepe paper flowers for a friend's wedding.  They were to be part of a backdrop installation, so we needed to make a lot of flowers that filled a space well while still being finely-crafted and artistic.  On one Saturday we were able to make all the flowers we needed, while enjoying each others company, and some mimosas, of course!  We made several different styles of flower, but this one was my favorite, and has a big payoff for not too much work.  
The key to this style is Italian crepe paper, which is stiffer, and stretchier than regular crepe paper. It's more expensive, but the petals don't flop, and this flower is HUGE- 18 inches across. You'll spend more on paper, but this giant paper flower is a showstopper.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
The other note I have on supplies is to use a Chinet paper plate. I don't often recommend supplies by brand (unless they are Smile Mercantile brand!) but Chinet dinner plates are thick, sturdy, and have slightly higher edges than standard paper plates.  This means that it will cradle the flower well, and is strong enough to attach with command strips to a wall, or wire to an arch, railing, chair, etc, etc, for your display.    
I used paper from Papermart.com, 100 gsm weight, 19" wide and 8.2 ft. long.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Supplies:
  • Italian crepe paper in outer petal color (1 roll per 18" flower)
  • Regular crepe paper in inner petal color 
  • Any crepe paper in flower center color
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun (low temp) + glue sticks
  • Chinet paper plate

 

Step 1: Unroll some of the Italian crepe paper, and cut a strip vertically with the grain as wide as you'd like your outer petals to be. Mine are about 7 1/2 inches wide. Fold the strip in half, against the grain. 

Step 2: Cut out a petal shape with the fold at the bottom.  You can choose any petal shape you like.  We enjoyed making each flower different. Some had pointy petals, some were rounded, and some were frilly.

Step 3: Gather the petal at the base, and pinch to crease it.  Release the gather, add a bead of hot glue, re-gather it, and hold it tight until the glue sets.  

Step 4: Stretch the center of the petal away from you to make a cupped shape.  Be gentle, and don't stretch the top edge of the petal. Use this method to make 8-10 petals - enough to go all the way around the plate.

Step 5: Apply the petals one by one to the paper plate, a couple inches in from the edge.  Glue the back side of the petal to the plate, and hold it in place until it sets.  Add the next petal, overlapping the last one slightly.  Continue all the way around the plate.

Step 6: Now make 6-8 of the same type of petal, but in a slightly smaller size, approximately 5 1/2 inches wide, 7 inches long.  Fold the ends of the petals upwards before applying them to the plate.  This will help them stand up vertically.  Apply these petals to the plate in a circle just inside the ring of outer petals.

Step 7: Cut a rectangle of crepe paper in a complementary color, roughly 6 inches tall. This can be regular crepe paper, or Italian, your choice.  Fold with the grain of the paper several times until the fold is 2 - 2 1/2 inches wide.  Then fold in half against the grain.  With the fold at the bottom, cut out an oblong petal shape.  Unfold, and you'll have a double ended petal.  Stretch the centers of the petals away from you to make cupped shapes, and then bring both sides together, pinching the centers together. Make a good number of these- 15-20 of them perhaps.

Step 8: Glue these small petals around the inner circle of the flower.  Let them be every which way. They don't need to be applied uniformly.  

Step 9: To make the inner fringe, cut a long strip of crepe paper in yellow, or the center color of your choice.  This should be roughly 4 x 20 inches- or so.  Fold with the grain to a small, manageable rectangle.  Cut about 2/3 of the way into the fold, making close cuts, about 1/8 inch wide.  Unfold after cutting, and then roll up the fringe, tacking the end down with glue.  Rough up the center fringe to make it a little messy, trim off the excess length of the stem, and glue it into the center of the flower.

Step 10: Stretch the edges of the outer petals back and forth to make the petals ruffled, kind of like making a pie crust.  

If you choose to hang the flower up as part of a wedding backdrop or flower wall, you can pierce the paper plate to add a wire hanger.  You will enjoy the Italian crepe paper for it's sturdiness, and it will hold up to being displayed vertically.  Clustered together in fun colors, these crepe paper flowers are sure to impress!

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63 comments

  • Barbara: May 04, 2017

    Can this be done with burlap? A friend wants to try it with burlap to hang on her front door. I don’t know, but I suggested that maybe the burlap might have to be starched first. Now I’m wondering if burlap ribbon could be used. What do you think? Any recommendations?

  • April: May 04, 2017

    Absolutely love this. These flowers make great centerpieces. Thanks

  • Christene Fite Harvey: May 04, 2017

    These flowers are gorgeous! I’m homemaking leader for my Church’s women’s organization and think making these flowers for home and garden decor would be a perfect choice. Could you price out the cost of one flower so that I might introduce this idea to my group? Thank you!

  • Christy : May 03, 2017

    Does it take a whole roll of Italian crepe paper to make one large flower?

  • KaTinka Bolding: May 03, 2017

    I’d love to see a picture of the entire backdrop.

  • Doree Bush: May 03, 2017

    These are lovely!! Where can I buy Italian crepe paper? Thank you!

  • Lola Fields: May 03, 2017

    Could I please get the length and width of all three petals please. I need to order paper asap.
    Thank you so much

  • Lola Fields: May 03, 2017

    Can you share the length and width of the strip you cut please. All three sizes would be great. I need to order paper asap
    Thank you so much

  • Carrie : May 03, 2017

    Love! What’s some ways to hang them best?

  • Nicole : May 03, 2017

    I am so excited to try this! It’s truly beautiful and I love it! Do you have other flower tutorials?

  • Karen Curry: May 03, 2017

    Thanks for the paper flower instructions!!!

  • Sherry: May 03, 2017

    Do you guys sell the large crepe paper? I’m not sure where to buy it. Thanks!

  • Rachel : May 03, 2017

    Very clever love it

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