How to Make Paper and Fabric Flowers for Your Wedding
Fabric and paper blooms are always in season. The best part? You can make these faux flowers, suitable for formal and casual weddings, in advance. They're easy; all you need are a few supplies and your own loving hands.
Hibiscus Paper Flowers
When just cut, this bloom wilts in a matter of hours, but paper flower expert Livia Cetti’s variety is everlasting—and packs a tropical punch in just one bud. “I came up with the idea to dip red and orange crepe paper in bleach to erase some of the color, and kept experimenting with it in my basement,” she says. The result? A one-stem wonder that doubles as a home-brightening favor.
Peony Paper Flowers
The good news: These flowers elevate almost any bouquet. The bad? They’re only in season during spring and early summer. Livia Cetti’s paper versions, however, are available year-round and can be made in any color. They also travel well and, in her words, “are pretty darn realistic-looking.”
Flower Girl Wands
Think of the joy this scene would evoke: flower girls skipping down the aisle, bearing beribboned wands that mimic the fluttering and falling of cherry blossoms. We wrapped a dowel in ribbon, thumbtacked on ribbons of various lengths, and finished off by gluing on confetti flowers. (To make the flowers, gather a bunch of the confetti petals together and start gluing.) The "Blossom" flower girl dresses are from Ash & Robbins, matthewrobbinsdesign.com.
These handmade silk flowers make great boutonnieres; just start with the smallest templates. Make them following the directions below, and pin in place with a corsage pin or a daisy-head quilting pin.
Silk Flower Ring Pillow
Silk flowers add elegance to a ring pillow. A crisp fabric holds its shape well; we used silk dupioni, shantung, and taffeta.
Ribbon Flower Boutonniere
A natty nosegay of fabric blossoms that manages to look festive yet restrained can be pinned to his (or the groomsman's) lapel; make a larger, brighter clutch of these faux flowers for the bridesmaids' bouquets.
Paper Dahlia Decorations
Joyous bursts of color dance above a table, imparting a cheerful radiance to a rehearsal dinner or casual reception. The dahlialike pom-poms appear to float in the air; in reality they are hung from the ceiling with monofilament.
Fabric Blossom Favor Boxes
Do guests a favor and present them with tokens of affection that you've planted inside these petite flower-topped boxes. Wrap each small box with a belt of layered ribbons or a strip of woven fabric, and cap it off with a single fabric blossom.
Pom-Pom Car Decorations
Guests will cheer you on when you zip away after the ceremony in a car covered with pom-pom garlands. These decorations are easy to make with tissue paper and twine, and they stay on the car with suction cups, which won't damage the auto's exterior.
A crepe-paper lily makes a beautiful boutonniere or could be worked into a larger lily bouquet.
To decorate the tiers of your cake with the crepe-paper bands, cut the crepe paper into strips with the ribbing running top to bottom, and gently stretch the top edge to create a ruffle. Wrap the band snugly around the tier, and secure to itself in the back with double-sided tape.
The luscious blooms in this bouquet are always in season. We chose shades of pink, but a bride could fashion them in any color she wishes. What's more, you can make these paper flowers, which are suitable for formal and casual weddings, in advance.
Shaped Crepe-Paper Flowers
Flowers crafted from colorful tissue or crepe paper are graceful, inexpensive to make, and always in season. Arrange them on tables, use as boutonnieres, or create a whole bouquet.
Tissue-Paper Swizzle Stick
Swizzle sticks topped with crepe-paper flowers -- a spider chrysanthemum and a sleek calla lily -- add zest to lime spritzers.
Paper Pom-Pom Napkin Rings
Paper dahlia napkin rings in citrus shades adorn each place setting. Square glass vessels in various sizes line tables. Covered in sunset-hued tissue (cut to size and secured with double-sided tape), they cast a soft glow.
Tissue-Paper Flower Favor Packaging
Wrap favors in brightly colored tissue paper and top them off with a paper flower -- a low-cost alternative to the real thing.
Tissue-Paper Winter Centerpieces
In winter, when fresh blossoms may be harder to come by, these lush tissue-paper flowers are in full bloom. Their silver centers are actually Christmas balls, a nod to the season. Arranged at different heights in silver trumpet vases and mint julep cups, they bring whimsy to a formal reception table set in all white.
Silk Petal Garland
Transform inexpensive silk flowers into delicate garlands by dismantling the blooms and separating the layers of petals, removing any greenery.
Ribbon Flower Bouquet
To create blooms in a variety of textures, sizes, and shapes, use ribbons and rickrack in different widths and weaves. The folds of each flower are clustered around artificial stamens; stems are individually wrapped in floral tape before all are bundled together and bound in wide white grosgrain.
Fabric Flower Boutonniere and Corsage
Fabric flowers make a pretty, wilt-proof way for guests to find their seats -- and then live a double-life as a corsage or boutonniere. Simply use floral tape to attach a brooch pin to the stem of a fabric flower (these are from Dulken & Derrick). Have a calligrapher pen names onto strips of card stock, punch small holes on one end, and slip pins through.
Ribbon Flower Runner
A runner decorated with handmade ribbon flowers is an inviting decoration for a guest-book table. The blooms are easy to make using thick woven-cotton ribbon with a floral design and buttons. A mix of large and small flowers is affixed with safety pins to the raw-silk runner, which has a grosgrain-ribbon border. A piece of woven ribbon is the bookmark.
Give your bridesmaids a fashionable floral accessory that will look fresh long after the wedding day: wrist corsages made with silk ribbon flowers. They can even be tied around a ponytail or worn as brooches. These corsages are easy to make: Tie elastic ribbon around your wrist in a big bow, then pin the bloom to the knot.
Dahlia Hair Accessory
Who said you have to stay within the lines? If you're crazy for color, plant a dramatic dahlia in your hair -- it will guarantee a double take.
Creating wearable art has never been simpler -- you might even have everything you need at home. Want proof? Here's your shopping list: fabric, needle, thread. All fabric from Mood Fabrics. "Mia" gown, The Steven Birnbaum Collection. Earrings, Mauboussin.
A Heady Bouquet
Looking for a fuss-free frill for your flower girl? Sew a row of fabric dahlias (in different sizes and colors) to a soft, stretchy headband. Dress (#105), Us Angels.