11/19 Real Bride Lucinda: Paper Flowers Are Better (and Cheaper) Than Real Flowers

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Real Bride Lucinda: Paper Flowers are Better (and Cheaper)I’m a lover of flowers, but there’s one thing I don’t love — the price tag associated with floral arrangements. When I started venturing into the world of wedding planning, one of the first things that jumped out at me was the exorbitant cost associated with buying flowers for a wedding — centerpieces, bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids, boutonnieres, corsages, ceremony decor … you get the idea. It also was one of the wedding expenses that I kept seeing over and over again most brides regretted spending as much as they did — ugh. Being that our wedding is a “modern French garden party” theme, finding an affordable floral solution for decorating and all of the bouquets seemed impossible at the start.

Luckily, looking for ideas for floral alternatives online was easier than I thought. I ended up stumbling across a beautiful site, A Petal Unfolds, and was truly amazed that the flowers I saw were made out of crepe paper. Crepe paper, of all things! Here’s the thing about paper flowers: not only are they cheaper than real flowers, they won’t die and you can use them around the house for decorating after the wedding or give them to friend and family as a keepsake. No worrying about preserving your bouquet post-wedding, and no waste!

I tried my hand at making some crepe paper flowers this weekend to see if it was something I wanted to go forward with, and was pleasantly surprised with how easy they were to put together.

Lucinda tries her hand at crepe paper roses

Real Bride Lucinda tests out the viability of crepe paper flowers

Three rolls of crepe paper (pink, cream, and green) set me back only $25 and I should get several flowers out of the rolls. By my estimation, I’ll need to make 30 large blooms for our table centerpieces (three per vase, 10 tables total for the reception), so I’m looking at spending no more than $100 for table decor not including vases and  table numbers. That’s a win in my book and our bank account!

If you’re looking to try your hand at making paper flowers, here’s some great places to get started:

Crepe Paper Peony Tutorial – takes a lot of paper, but the blooms are large and beautiful

Crepe Paper Rose Tutorial – this one is my fave and the tutorial I used for the pink flowers pictured in this post, we’ll probably be using these the most for our decor

Paper Hyacinths – a little more time-consuming, but they look so real!

Paper Ranunculus – make these in fall colors for an autumn wedding or light colors for a spring wedding, a very versatile little flower

Painted Peonies – if you’re feeling adventurous, try dying your own crepe paper for a watercolor effect

Giant Paper Flowers – I love how whimsical these flowers look! They may be a little too bold and distracting to use as my bouquet, but these would be an awesome decorative touch during the reception

Of course The Broke-Ass Bride has its own treasure trove of paper flower tutorials, too.

The crepe paper I used for my blooms is from Carte Fini — they have a wide array of colors to choose from, and the paper is a heavier weight than what you’ll find at your local craft store.  This paper is actually made for floral crafts and molds into petal shapes very well.

You’ll also need some basic flower-making supplies, such as: good scissors, hot glue gun, wire cutters, 18-20 gauge floral wire, and floral tape. Happy flower-making!

Have you considered paper flowers for your wedding day? What other floral alternatives have you discovered?

Lucinda is a Boston-area craft-a-holic obsessed with sewing and knitting, as well as other crafty goodness, and blogs about creating a handmade wardrobe at Sew Wrong. When she's not sitting at her sewing machine, she can usually be found with her running shoes on or swimming laps at the local pool.