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Big Blooms on a Small Budget

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2009

Magnolia blossoms are beautiful harbingers of spring, but they're fragile and can be glorious one day, gone the next. Our wilt-free solution? Mix real leaves with gorgeous paper flowers.

A Vision in White
To create these stunning centerpieces, we placed several stems of crafted blossoms in tall white cylindrical vases, making sure to vary the height of each for visual interest. 

Combined with white table settings and sleek glassware and flatware, the arrangements look crisp, modern, and refined -- not bad considering how inexpensive each centerpiece is! You can easily purchase magnolia stems and craspedia (commonly known as billy balls) at most florist shops. 

Get the Magnolia Petal Template

Magnolia Blossom How-To
1. Using our template, cut crepe paper into eight petals. Scrunch bases of two petals together and attach to a stem of craspedia with white floral tape. Repeat four times. 

2. Fasten short piece of magnolia branch to craspedia stem with brown floral tape. Stretch petals into cupped shapes.

"Lotus Root" cylindrical vase, by Bo Jia for Middle Kingdom. Crepe paper, D. Blumchen & Co. "Ellipse" flatware, by Calvin Klein Home,

See More Paper and Fabric Flower Ideas

Comments (11)

  • Tameka1 28 May, 2012

    Great idea Martha! We decorated this pass weekend with Magnolia blossoms, very nice smell but they turned brown. This is a wonderful idea to make paper flowers and use the real leaves, the real leaves will last for days.
    I love all of your ideas. I want to be forever learning.

  • anIndecisiveBride 12 Sep, 2011

    Billy balls are usually available year round. Try

    @terry94, I believe it says in the description that the leaves are real.

  • terry94 14 Jul, 2011

    Wish you would label template magnolia, what are you making the leaves out of?? Only in the comment section did some one say about the center. Get with it martha.

  • ruchelle 22 Feb, 2011

    Great idea on the yellow tissue balls. Having problems finding the real thing

  • ruchelle 22 Feb, 2011

    Great idea on the yellow tissue balls. Having problems finding the real thing

  • ruchelle 22 Feb, 2011

    Great idea on the yellow tissue balls. Having problems finding the real thing

  • Sheryll 24 Jan, 2011

    Ya'll are going to laugh at me, but instead of tissue paper, I used regular white computer printing paper for the white petals and I don't go shopping all over, so I just used crumpled up bright yellow tissue paper (into a small ball) and covered them with a couple of layeers of more yellow tissue paper.. seriously. And if they are out of a bright enough yellow, use a green! It will work and no one will notice. Just think how gorgeous.

  • Katie2012 30 Jul, 2010

    Every time I try a Martha idea it's so much harder then it looks! But I love this!

  • greenpuppy 20 May, 2009

    billy balls are said to last 10 to 14 days. Im just having difficulties trying to find them in Sarasota FL

  • KateMW 4 May, 2009

    Does anybody have an idea how far these can be made in advance? I'd love to make a ton to use in an arbor that is over our ceremony location that won't be in bloom at the time of year.

  • ilikewinter 4 May, 2009

    I used magnolias in my wedding and they turned out beautiful. I would love to try these paper magnolias, though; they look great! Thanks for the ideas!