Make these gorgeous wedding flowers out of coffee filters

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Renea
The finished products!
The finished products!

Are you endeavoring to make your own flowers for your wedding? Well then, you must be nuts. I myself am in that same boat.

I've scoured the internet looking for coffee filter flower tutorials. I've found some good ones, and I've sort of combined them all into my own method. Let me tell you how I made these, because I've made about 24,145 of them, and I want you to join me in madness. Here we go…

Materials you will need:

  • Basket and cone coffee filters, either dyed or left white. You will need about four un-dyed white basket filters for this tutorial for the larger petals as well

  • Masking tape
  • Floral wire, thin dowel rods, or whatever you want to attach your flowers to
  • Wire cutters, if need be
  • Scissors, preferably two pairs

How to make them:

I use 3 different colors; dark pink, light pink, and white. I mostly use the basket filters, but I've also included a light pink cone filter. For the dark and light pink, it doesn't matter what sort you use, but for the white petals, I only use a basket filter. I used three different colors; dark pink, light pink, and white. I mostly use the basket filters, but I've also included a light pink cone filter. For the dark and light pink, it doesn't matter what sort you use, but for the white petals, I only use a basket filter. I dye them with watered down acrylic paint, but food coloring or water colors would work just as well, I'm sure.

First, fold your dark pink filter in half, and then in half again.
First, fold your dark pink filter in half, and then in half again.

Cut a petal shape out. These are the inner petals and are the smallest, about 3/4 of an inch tall. I cut mine along a fold, so when I open the petals, it looks like a cell splitting. This isn't what I want.
Cut a petal shape out. These are the inner petals and are the smallest, about 3/4 of an inch tall. I cut mine along a fold, so when I open the petals, it looks like a cell splitting. This isn't what I want.

Cut along the fold of the two petals, and now you have four! They have a curved top and a flat bottom. Cut out eight small petals total.
Cut along the fold of the two petals, and now you have four! They have a curved top and a flat bottom. Cut out eight small petals total.

DIY coffee filter flowers 5
Now, cut your wire the length you want. I'm sticking mine into a styrofoam ball, so I made it about four inches. But, you can make yours longer or shorter, as you prefer.

Note: for this type of flower, we will cover about an inch of the wire with petals, so take that into account when you cut yours.

Cut your tape! This can be done ahead of time, and you'll need 1 piece of tape per petal. I cut some in half to make smaller pieces for the first few petals, but after about 4 petals, we'll use a longer piece of tape. Tip: try to have 2 separate pair of scissors, one for tape cutting and one for filter cutting, as the tape can gunk up your scissors.
Cut your tape. This can be done ahead of time, and you'll need one piece of tape per petal. I cut some in half to make smaller pieces for the first few petals, but after about four petals, we'll use a longer piece of tape.

Tip: try to have two separate pair of scissors, one for tape cutting and one for filter cutting, as the tape can gunk up your scissors.

DIY coffee filter flowers 7
Now, take one of the small petals and curl it with the edge of your scissors. This is what it will look like.

DIY coffee filter flowers 8
Put a small piece of tape on the petal, and follow its curve and tape it to your wire. I left about 1/2 an inch of the wire sticking into the petal, but don't make it stick out above the top of the petal. Most of the time, you won't be able to see the wire inside the flower at all.

DIY coffee filter flowers 9
Roll you petal around the wire, taping it in place. Apply another small petal just as the first. You can curl the second one as well, but it is not super necessary. The important part is to match up the tops of the petals so they are the same height.

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Apply tape (with optional cat hair) and roll around wire again, always being sure to line up the tops of the petals.

DIY coffee filter flowers 11
This is my fourth petal.

DIY coffee filter flowers 12
Almost done applying the eight small petals. As the flower gets bigger, the petals will not wrap entirely around. This is okay, and you can create more realistic looking flowers by layering the petals so they wrap and end at different parts of the flower.

DIY coffee filter flowers 13
Keep wrapping!

DIY coffee filter flowers 14
The flower will get bigger around as you add petals and tape. After about the fourth petal, you can start to use longer pieces of tape.

DIY coffee filter flowers 15
After you apply the eight small petals, you can now start with the medium light pink ones. I use both cone and basket filters. It doesn't matter which you use for the small and medium petals. For the medium petals, they will be the same shape, but bigger, than the smaller petals. The small ones are shown here, they were the two darker pink on the bottom. The medium petals, both from a cone (on the left) and a basket (on the right) filter. Cut them out the same way we did the small petals. I used about 15 medium petals for one flower.

DIY coffee filter flowers 16
Here are the three petals side by side.

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While the medium petals are bigger than the small ones, always be sure to line up the tops. Tape the medium ones on as you did the small ones.

DIY coffee filter flowers 18
To get the petals to flair out, pinch the bottom of the tape as you roll the petal around the flower.

DIY coffee filter flowers 19
This helps give the flower a cone shape, and make the petals separate from each other more.

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Apply your next petal. Overlap them a bit, line up the tops, and be sure to pinch the bottom (heh).

DIY coffee filter flowers 21
Apply more petals. Once you have about four, they will form a cone around the small petals. I usually do two-to-three layers of medium petals.

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Here's the application of the second layer, applying one petal at a time.

DIY coffee filter flowers 23
I've got about three layers here, with 15 medium petals. By pinching the bottom of the tape as I rolled the petals on, it helped them fan out.

DIY coffee filter flowers 24
Okay, now for the last petals, the larger white ones. I used an un-dyed white basket filter here. I prefer the wrinkled top edge for my large petals, but if you want smooth ones, feel free to use a dyed filter, a cone filter, or any part of the basket kind. So, fold your basket filter into fourths, like we did with the first two kind, and cut off the bottom point, leaving the crimped top.

DIY coffee filter flowers 25
Cut the crinkled top in half.

DIY coffee filter flowers 26
Cut out a big petal shape from the two crinkled halves. Because we folded the filter, each petal section will produce four petals, and you can get eight petals from one filter. You'll need 15-20 large petals, but for a fuller flower, you'll want about 25-30. Discard the bottom point we cut off, or save it and cut out medium or small petals from it to make more flowers.

DIY coffee filter flowers 27
Once again, here are the three sizes for comparison. While the white petal is larger, it is about the same height as the medium petal.

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Apply tape to the larger petal.

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Wrap it around the flower. Because this type of petal is crimped, it will lay a bit different than the others, but not to worry!

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Overlap a second white petal, making sure to line up the tops.

DIY coffee filter flowers 31
The waviness of the white ones let them fan out on their own, but you can pinch the bottoms of them as well to get them to flair out more. Keep applying white petals, overlapping them a bit over each other, until you get the desired fullness.

More petals.
More petals.
Moooore petals!
Moooore petals!

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You're done! This is a comparison between my fading pink ones and my white ones. The white ones I made bigger, by adding more large white petals. The pink roses have about 20 and the white ones have about 30-40. (I know, it's ridiculous, I told you you must be nuts to make these.)

DIY coffee filter flowers 35
Because the white roses are bigger, I used bigger petals, as you can see here. Also, note how the flowers form a cone. This is because all the tops of the petals are level.

Good. Bad.
Good. Bad.
On my first flower attempt, I kept lowering each layer of petals, instead of keeping the tops level, and ended up with a purple pine cone. No good.

IMG_20140714_174758
Okay, so there you go! Since they're cone shaped, the fit together nicely.

DIY coffee filter flwoer bouquet
Here's my test bouquet, pretty pretty!

Each flower takes me about 10-20 minutes, including cutting petals and tape. I've made about 100, and I'll need many, many more to do my six bridesmaids bouquets and my own. I have different kinds of filter flowers in my test bouquet, but the roses are my favorite.

    • Thank you! I used watered down acrylic paint to dye mine, but water-color paint or food dye would work just as well! Once I painted the color on, I hung them up on a makeshift clothes line to dry, which took about 30 minutes, after I blotted them with a paper towel to get the excess moisture and paint off.

      • Food coloring will work fine to dye the coffee filters. Put a few drop in a bowl of water and soak the filters. Then blot and hang to dry. Put newspaper underneath all aspects of the dying project. Dye the darker filters first, then add more water to same bowl for the lighter color. Just remember to be careful not to get the concentrated color on your clothes. Try not to get acrylic paint on your clothes either, but at least it washes off your fingers with no trouble. Food color will wear off your hands in a day or two of hand washing.

  1. These look so great. I've been trying to find an alternative to flowers for at least some aspects because they are so dang expensive!!! These are beautiful.

  2. I used almost there exact same method to make all of these flowers for our wedding, just hot glue instead of tape. The acrylics were good because there was no risk of the colors rubbing off and I got very vibrant blues and purples

    bouquet and boutonniere

    https://flic.kr/p/neqGBS

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