Coffee Filter Peonies

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.comCoffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Making flowers out of coffee filters or tissue is nothing new, but I’ve been meaning to try my hand at it for quite sometime. And when I say ‘try my hand’, I mean ‘try my hand’:

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Wear gloves. Learn from my mistakes.

Of all the hundreds of tutorials out there on this, I landed on the one from Rebecca at The Crafted Sparrow. I liked this one. So I did it. :-) Honestly, she does a really bang-up job of laying out the tutorial, so I highly recommend you head over and follow her instructions–but I will muddle through mine just the same! Because I am a professional muddler.

I began with pretty simple supplies: scissors, large white coffee filters, thin craft wire, floral tape, hot glue, and whatever color food coloring you are looking to do. I wanted RED. Super-saturated red. We’ll get to that later.

Supplies for making Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Simple enough!

Now settle in for some busywork…depending on how many flowers you want to make, there is quite a bit of coffee-filter cutting to be done. I obviously wanted a lot of flowers, so I kind of hunkered down a few nights in a row and cut filters while watching a lot of reality TV. It helps. I promise.

You’ll want to fold a single coffee filter in half, then in fourths, then again into eighths and cut the top of it into an arch (in order to make a scalloped edge). I even folded some to just fourths, and some as much as into sixteenths, because I wanted the ruffles of the flowers to be inconsistent (which feels more real to me).

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

For the center of every flower, I wanted some fringe, so I folded the coffee filters into eighths and then instead of just scalloping the top, I actually cut them down in length by about a quarter, and scalloped the edge. Then I cut the edge so that it had fringe.

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Magic! I suddenly have a manicure.

A typical flower is going to be assembled from various pieces of these different-shaped filters–you can use any combination or repetition of any of the scalloped-edged pieces, with one fringe piece in the center.

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

A typical blossom is made up of about four pieces, but to make larger ones, sometimes I would use up to six, and to make smaller ones, sometimes I would only use one scalloped-edge piece and one center piece. There is no right or wrong amount here, and I strongly encourage you to make them various sizes–much more realistic-looking that way!

Now, take a small length of wire for your stem. Rebecca at The Crafted Sparrow suggested taking a pencil or a paintbrush or something of the sort and wrapping one end of the wire around this a few times to make a small circle as a sort of catch for the wire to not pull all the way through the coffee filters. I did this. Great idea. So once you have your wire loop, slide a fringed coffee filter piece on up the wire and mush it into a flower shape (again, look at the Rebecca’s tutorial, she did a better job of documenting this with the camera). I adhered it with a dot of hot glue. Then slide a scalloped coffee filter of your choosing up next. Mold it into a flower shape and adhere it with hot glue. Keep building until your flower makes you happy. If you want, at the end, you can wrap floral tape around the bottom to give it a finished look.

Now for the fun part…dyeing them! To get your desired color, you’re gonna have to mess around a little bit with your food coloring. Mix a few drops of food coloring with water in a bowl and test it out on your extra coffee filters. I wanted my flowers to be all varying shades of red, and so, to be honest, I hardly had any water mixed with mine at all–nearly straight food coloring. For some of them, I even added black food coloring to get that black-red color.

Coffee Filter Peonies from Farmhouse38.com

I recommend making several bowls full of varying shades of the same color, as this gives you a really realistic color scheme (flowers are gonna vary in color slightly from one to the next, right??). So play around with it! And…again…wear gloves.

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

I dipped my blooms fully into the mixture, making sure that every bit was soaked up with liquid. Then I set them, face down, on a tinfoil-lined cookie sheet to dry. Once dry, I went through and fluffed them up into the proper shape.

I went around and around with what I actually wanted to use these for–my intention was to make a Valentine’s Day centerpiece using up-cycled tin cans as vases. Long story short, I wasn’t super pleased with how it turned out:

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Not the worst thing I’ve ever made, so I figured I’d share the photos anyways. Happy Valentine’s Day a week late!! LOL.

It was at this point that I realized what I really wanted out of these things was a big, lush centerpiece arrangement. So I dug out my big silver basin, and taped the top off into a grid (this is a great florist’s trick that helps support a mass of flowers-live or paper- in a wide-mouthed vessel. I used Scotch tape, which works fine, but clear floral tape works even better if you can get it because it is narrower, clearer, and has a stronger bond).

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Make sure your vessel is completely dry when you apply the tape. I dried it off, but just before I took this photo, my sparkling water bottle exploded everywhere. Perfect.

Be sure to run a length of tape around the circumference of the vessel to pin down the grid tape edges:

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

It ain’t too purty but it keeps things secure and theoretically will be covered by the lushness of your arrangement.

I started by inserting a bunch of branches:

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Next, I realized that the flimsy wire I made my peonies with was too flimsy, so I hot-glued each blossom to a piece of stiff, raffia-covered craft wire. Then I proceeded to shove them in amongst the branches.

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Once you’ve got quite a few flowers in there, add a few more branches, and then keep adding flowers until the thing is overflowing.

I even hot-glued a couple of smaller blossoms to some of the branches for a little more drama:

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

Coffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.comCoffee Filter Peonies by Farmhouse38.com

So as much as this was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day project, I bumbled it enough that it didn’t quite turn out to be that. But that’s just between you and me.

Happy Valentine’s Day next year!!!

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21 thoughts on “Coffee Filter Peonies

  1. Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art February 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm Reply

    Oh these are crazy pretty. I was recently at a wedding where the bride had made coffee filter roses for the wedding cake. Love this craft! Your dying is fabulous. Just the right amount of saturation and I love the darker edges. Really good!

    • farmhouseK8 February 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm Reply

      Thanks, Katja! The whole time I was doing this, I was thinking: I would totally do wedding flowers out of these–lol!!

  2. Laura February 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm Reply

    The arrangement is crazy beautiful!

  3. Sarah February 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm Reply

    That is so completely amazingly beautiful!!! I see a craft for this weekend!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • farmhouseK8 February 21, 2014 at 7:16 pm Reply

      My pleasure, Sarah! Thanks for the kind words!! :-D

  4. Fresh Eggs Daily February 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm Reply

    Really beautiful! I love it and I love that you can leave it up year round (or at least until next Valentine’s Day) and its so much classier than silk (or plastic!) flowers. Nice job.

    • farmhouseK8 February 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm Reply

      Thanks, Lisa!! (Did you see my painted tin cans? LOL–in the end I wasn’t super happy with that result–I like the big arrangement better!!) :-D :-D :-D

  5. EllenC February 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm Reply

    Absolutely beautiful arrangement! This is on my list to try for sure -

    • farmhouseK8 February 21, 2014 at 11:31 pm Reply

      Oh, good! Have so much fun! (and wear gloves! LOL) :-D

  6. Gilda February 21, 2014 at 10:41 pm Reply

    My favorite flower. These are beautiful – thanks for the info.

  7. Becky Neville February 22, 2014 at 7:04 am Reply

    WOW!

  8. i am pam February 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm Reply

    theses are darn pretty!

  9. rebeccavc February 24, 2014 at 1:56 am Reply

    I adore peonies. And now I can have them all year long! Thanks you for the tutorial. Your bouquet is lush and amazing.

    • farmhouseK8 February 24, 2014 at 2:43 am Reply

      Thank you–I adore them, too! :-D

  10. hopefarms February 24, 2014 at 10:45 am Reply

    Super-duper gorgeous! I can see them in your house on the table! Pinned!

    • farmhouseK8 February 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm Reply

      Yay! Thanks, Sheila! That’s exactly where they are! LOL

  11. Caitlin | The Siren's Tale March 4, 2014 at 4:32 pm Reply

    Every time I make coffee filter anything, I forget the gloves during the dye process. Glad to see I’m not alone!

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