22 Jul

DIY storybook paper roses

categories DIY Wedding

You’re going to love today’s DIY project so much that you’re going to want to start tearing pages out from old books tonight! Remember the storybook roses in Shanna + Richard’s wedding? Sweet, right? Floral designer, Cathy Brim of Bloom Floral Design created the elegant branch bouquets seen in their ceremony using Valerie Lloyd’s paper roses design, and now we’re jumping-out-of-the-pages excited that Valerie is sharing her DIY secrets with you!

diy paper flowers

diy paper flowers

Craft Supplies:
Grosgrain Ribbon, ½ Width cut to 4 inch lengths
16 Gauge Wire cut to 15 inch lengths
Glue Gun
Glue Sticks (low temp)
Wire Cutters

Step 1: Gather materials. If you are using vintage books or sheet music as your paper source make sure it is still flexible enough to curl with your fingers. The wire can be found at the hardware store, and is sometimes called “black wire” or “annealed coil wire.” Be sure you are using low temp hot glue because you’ll be able to feel it right through the paper petals as you work.

diy paper flowers

Step 2: Cutting. You will need to stockpile at least 5 different sizes of petals ranging from about ¾ inch wide to 3 inches wide. I cut freehand, and avoid templates, so that each petal is a unique and organic shape. Think of the shapes as little church windows or arches. Some can be pointy, and some can be rounded. For each flower you will need at least 4 of each size. Make more than you need.

Step 3: Shaping. I really feel that this is the most important step to create natural and soft looking flowers. Roll the edges of each petal, and pinch the base slightly. Each one can be done a little differently to give the petals character and roundness. I shape all of my petals before I even begin gluing anything.

diy paper flowers

Step 4: Rolling the center. You need to cut out one more shape for each flower, and this is for the coiled center of the rose. This shape should be about 2 ½ inches long with a rounded tip. Roll it up into a tube to create its shape. Unroll it and run a bead of hot glue along the inside and re-roll it around the end of your wire. Another dot of glue will hold it in place.

Step 5: Attaching petals. Begin with your smallest petals. Use a single dot of glue, about ¼ inch from the bottom of the petal to attach it to the stem. Your next petal should overlap the first. Continue adding small petals, rotating the stem as you go, always slightly overlapping the last petal you attached. This is where your artistry will come in as you continue to rotate and build. As you begin adding larger petals pinch the bases, as they are much wider. By pinching at the bases you will be rounding out the rose, and creating space between layers.

Step 6: Finishing. The sepals will be made of ribbon, which will also cover your final seams and create a nice polished look. Each rose needs two – 4 inch lengths of ribbon. Wrap them around the stem and secure to the undersides of the petals. Cut a ‘V’ into each end of the ribbons to finish.

diy paper flowers

How awesome is Valerie? We’re crazy about her flowers and can’t wait to hear how many of you start on this project this weekend. For those of you (don’t be shy) that would rather leave it to the pro, Valerie also sells the loose roses in her shop, and can even create a custom bouquet to fit your wedding!

Thanks Valerie!

First photo: David and Kendrick of Our Labor of Love / other photos + tutorial by Valerie Lloyd

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. I love this! So beautiful!

  2. What a great alternative to flowers! A bouquet of these would be perfect as a nod to a bride’s love of the printed word, gorgeous!

  3. Omg Awesome..We love it… I’m going to try it this weekend will let you know how it goes!

  4. How creative, I love it!

  5. already tried my hand at making one (with printer paper, hot glue and a q-tip). going to go buy proper supplies now. so helpful! thanks!

  6. Oh wow! This DIY is lovely!

  7. I love paper and fabric flowers, and DIY especially! This one looks so prett. Hm.. which one of my books will die today hahaha

  8. These are so pretty! They look especially lovely paired with the twigs and leaves!

  9. These looks awesome. Excellent ideas.

  10. Love this! Thanks for sharing!

  11. These are so pretty!! I grew up singing “Paper Roses”!! can’t wait to try these. :o)

  12. Wow!! Absolutely beautiful! I love this kind of stuff…so very elegant yet unique.
    Thanks for sharing.

    I have my daughters wedding bouquet that we made on my blog. Feel free to visit.

  13. I just tried it! Made them (one for my wedding bouquet and one smaller rose for the Groom) of an old recycled paper bag from our local organic shop…
    Thanks for ideas!

  14. This is a very fun, artistic, and low cost option for a wedding decoration. I will be trying this out very soon!

  15. love this! so creative.

  16. how many does she use for the actual bouquet?


  17. That looks amazing! So talented! Can’t wait to try it out :)

  18. Made these last night and I am not getting the lovely rose shape you got :o( gonna contine trail and error style-lee until they are perfect though! used the local directory as a test so mine have got random ads for plumbers etc on! hahaha! AMAZING IDEA THOUGH!

  19. This is beautiful!

    I’m sorry to go so far off topic, but is that by any chance an old German copy of Kaspar Hauser? Would be so impressed with myself if it is =) Though not my choice for wedding literature… (It’s really about a child that was locked away all its life and has to learn to adapt to society and to speak etc. Slightly disturbing..)

  20. I actually made my bridesmaid bouquets out of newspaper and my bouquet out of brown paper bags :) There is an easier way to make the petals by just cutting them all together rather than using so much glue on each individual petal. Email me if you need a tutorial-I found it on youtube!

  21. I’m in love with these! I think I’m going to try it with some sheet music. If it turns out half as beautiful as these look it’ll be my rehearsal bouquet and then a toss bouquet.

  22. omg im doing this for my wedding!!! … i just have to get tyler to aske me in like 3 years lol .

  23. Where is the YouTube tutorial! Can’t wait to make these!

  24. I absolutely love these. I came across them on Pinterest. I have them pinned and constantly find myself going back to look at them. I hope to one day take the time to try to make them.
    (I linked you in my blog post that is going up 9/24}

  25. I love reading these news. They are very good and give me very much information.

  26. I love this so much! I’m getting married in April at the huge downtown library, and “books” are our theme, so I have been looking for a good paper flower bouquet DIY project to try. Excited to attempt this this weekend!

  27. sou cuidadora de idosos e gostaria muito que me ajudassem c/ ideias para os pôr a trabalhar . Ideias simples co materiais reciclaveis. atenciosamente aguardo resposta.

  28. I just finished making my bouquet this week. Mine are made out of a copy of “Pride and Prejudice”, and the folks who have seen it have loved the bouquet. Thanks so much for the tutorial! It’s the perfect choice for my wedding.

  29. That’s pretty nifty 😀 Love your design as well. Beautiful site.

  30. What is the link on youtube? I’ve been searching and can’t seem to find any that are identical to this one.

  31. Love, love, love these! They would look so perfect with a retro circle skirt dress!

  32. beautiful-love the photo coloring too!

  33. These are beautiful, I found them tonight and have already made three, although, when I folded them up on the edges, before I glued them on I held each individual petal over a burning candle until it turned this really nice tan color. They look wonderful! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  34. I would like to try and make these but I’m wondering if you have a template that would help me to figure out the petal sizes?
    These are beautiful!! :)

  35. I loved this so much! My fiance’ and I will be married in October 2012. Our “thing” is music especially jazz. I took sheet music of our favorite jazz songs, and also the love letters that my fiance has written to me to make my bouquet. I added in dried roses, the first roses he gave me when we started dating, along with babys breath and leaves and tulle, and it couldn’t be more perfect! thanks for the idea!

  36. Just made these last night for my wife for Valentine’s day, and they are beautiful. Here are a few helpful tips I discovered:

    –CUT OUT MORE THAN ONE PETAL AT A TIME: I stacked four pages and cut out 4 at a time. This saved me A LOT of time. The individuality of the petals is not a concern since it will be lost in the final product.

    –USE A Q-TIP TO ROLL THE PETALS: It’s the perfect size to give them just the right amount of curl

    –CUT THE BASES OF THE PETALS MORE NARROW THAN SHOWN HERE: I found it difficult to work with the wide petal bases at the base of the flower where there is limited space. I ended up cutting the width of all the bases to about the width of a marble, and it worked much better.

  37. I love the idea. been working on the bouquet this weekend despite the fact I am not even dating. Just made it to have around the house in a vase. Also made some smaller ones from newpaper to attach to a head band. I cut petals with a acto blade with multiple sheets. I also cut when ever I am sitting. (between classes or in front of the TV, or waiting for my baking in the oven.

  38. I want to make one of these and use it for my hair!! It would totally be one of a kind! Bend the wire to make a flat spiral and then glue on a hair clip….Super cute!! Thanks for posting!

  39. I think I’m also going to soak the pages in tea before I turn them into flowers and then dry them. Would look super cute to have them look antique-y!!!! I am super stoaked for this project!

  40. I LOVE this! I’m thinking that I’m going to make a garland type thing with them.

  41. Does anyone know of a youtube tutorial for this? I’m having issues making the rose look soft and natural

  42. Very creative and beautiful.

  43. Oh those are awesome! Frugal DIY rocks! http://mummydeals.org/category/simple-crafts/

  44. I did this and I wanted to die it a red tone. as I didn’t have food coloring to put in tea, I used cranberry jelly! I heated it up in a small tupperware, dipped and coated each paper petal in it’s flat form, cleared off the excess with my fingers and then laid them on a cutting board to dry. To speed up the process, I used masking tape over top of all the petals and took my blow dryer to them. I then colored the tips with a crayola washable marker that matched the tone well (magenta or primrose I think) and continued with the craft as directed. for an extra special touch, I used some green organza I happned to have lying around and wrapped it around the stem. I added a leaf that served as the tag.

  45. Such a beautifull idea! I don’t know if I could use vintage books to make these, but they’re lovely. You mentioned that it also can be done with sheet music, perhaps I’ll try that! Since I love this idea so much I mentioned it at my blog and ofcourse linked back to you.

  46. Is there a tutorial for this where the measurements are in cm, mm?

  47. great work, , , , , ,should be appreciated!

  48. This is very good post, through this post I got to know great use of already used paper. Hope I got more interesting stuff from your side.

  49. it’s so beautiful and creative , i definitely appreciate you for your creativeness cathy brim !!!!!!!!!!!!! . IMPRESSIVE!!!!!!

  50. These are absolutely beautiful. I’ve seen book page flower tutorials before, and have made some of the spiral type myself, but I really love the look of these roses. I’ve added a link to your tutorial on my page! Thanks for sharing these step by step instructions, I can’t wait to try and make these.

  51. These are some of the most creative flower creations I have ever seen! This is awesome :) It would probably take me forever to make flowers from books. Touche :)

  52. that’s awesome,and it’s amazing

  53. It’s so beautiful!
    I love it.

  54. WoW …..Really like this beautiful rose bouquet….

  55. This post is so amazing :]

  56. Loved it, will try this weekend.

  57. this stufz are so lovely

  58. Absolutely beautiful. So creative and different. Great ideas. Will be spreading the word. Keep the great work up!! Beautiful work!

  59. Hi I love your design! But I’m having a hard time understanding the steps with the ribbon. Is there a possibility that you could post pictures of the whole thing instead of an intense close up? I’m not very good at visualizing sometimes. Thanks!


  60. great, loved it

  61. Now I know what to do with my scriptures haha no I’m just joking, actually might try it with some weird old recipe books from the 70’s that people gave away to me.

  62. I love these!!!

  63. Beautiful! I’m using this for my wedding! Thanks for the idea!

  64. Is there a smaller template for flowers for the mens tux?

  65. I can’t wait to try these today! Running out to grab some wire right now!

  66. oh my goodness! that is just like i do to make candy roses!

  67. Really cool paper flower thanks for sharing

  68. These are perfect for brides who want to create there own handmade weddings, great tutorial

  69. oh my god, they are just perfectly lovely!!!!!How great!!

  70. Eu sei q o site é em inglês mas quis comentar mesmo assim. Eu amei a idéia e vou aproveitá-la para fazer no dia das mães.

  71. i hate the idea of destroying books. would newspaper print work just as well or would fingers smudge the ink too much in the process?

  72. Just made one, and I love it! It takes a little while, but definitely worth the time to make it right. I didn’t have any of the wire so I just cut up a few clothes hangers and used that instead. It worked well! I have my first rose sitting in a glass bottle on my windowsill and I’m about to make a second. Thanks for this!

  73. Beautiful!

    Around how long does it take a rookie to make one rose???

    Thinking of using this for my highschool art class final project, one of the options is to make something from an old book!

  74. Thanks for a lovely post, I so enjoyed making the flowers and loved how they turned out! Here are my results: http://tblondonlori.blogspot.com/2012/05/poetry-flowers.html

  75. This is an amazing tutorial, I made a verion of these for my brother and sister in law ‘s funeral for their twin baby girls they lost this year. It touched their hearts and they have kept the paper roses I made for them out to see everyday, I wanted to make something they could keep forever and this was perfect, thank you so much for this tutorial

  76. Just saw these and want to make them for my bridesmaids. I want actual flowers for myself but think these would be perfect for my wedding with its vintage material and books theme. Loving it! Hopefully my trial will look somewhat like it should.

  77. Thank you! I love it. I’m so glad I went this route instead of going with real flowers, haha. Now I can keep it forever~!!

    here’s what I came up with: http://stoicandpariah.blogspot.com/2012/06/wedding-stuff-bouquet.html

  78. Looks lovely when finished. X not sue I could do it though x

  79. Amazing!

  80. I sprayed my flowers with a mixture of food dye and rose water, then dried them in the oven. It gave then a beautiful colour and they smell like real flowers.

  81. Just had my first go at these, harder than I thought! I’m normally very creative, but just cannot get my rose to look like a rose and not look like a piece of scrunchd up paper :S Maybe i’m being too much of a perfectionist! Also having difficulty attaching the bases in a neat way :(

    I’m going to try again, and again untill I get it right! Absolutely beautiful creation though!

  82. I think that idea is absolutely adorable! Especially as a writer, what better way to hold your wedding than with flowers made from books/newspapers! Love it, love it love it!

  83. I am making these for my granddaughter’s wedding in August. Some are froman old yellowed book and some are from our love letters (over 60 years ago) and we attach them to firm florists wire stems. We may spray them with hairspray and sprinkle with glitter. Each one is slightly different in the end. I roll the edges on the wire stem. Since it is hard to bend old dry paper I lay them on a towel and place a damp towel on top – works great!

  84. Fabulous idea and walkthrough …

  85. I made these for my wedding and they do take a while to get right. Like someone suggested, I cut piles of petals at the same time and did not bother with the ribbon at the back. They still took almost an hour each but the result was pretty lovely.



  86. Oh but what I was going to say is that it’s really important to pinch the bottom of the petals as you attach them, that’s how you get a nice shape.

  87. Very beautiful flowers! I love all the detail!

    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  88. I’ve seen this photo on Pinterest. I have the perfect studs to go with this. This is a clever piece for book worms.

  89. I made one of these last night, and it came out GREAT! I wish I could post the picture. The q-tip advice was especially good. One word of advice, however–do NOT make a ton of petals and leave them in a bag in the kitchen. Your husband might think they are garbage and throw them away! D’oh.

  90. que coisa linda …. de onde voces tiram tantas ideias gosto muito de artesanato mais minha vista nâo ajudabeijossssssssss

  91. These look absolutely amazing! I just tried it using a harry potter book and the outcome was beautiful. It was surprisingly easy as well once you got the hang of it. Love it so much!

  92. I just love these roses!! I do many many crafts and can’t wait to try these beautiful roses. I want to make mine for a vase instead of bouquet. I just hope they turn out half as nice as yours. Thank you for sharing!!

  93. i want to know about more class decorations

  94. THIS IS GREAT! Perfect lazy Sunday afternoon activity :) thanks!!

  95. So excited ti try these today!! Going to make official bouquet for my wedding out of sheet music!…….if i can get this right anyway! Thanks for the tutorial!

  96. After making the flowers and bending the wires/shaping the flowers in a bouquet – how short did you cut the wires so that the stems are not to long and possiblly damaging your dress? My daughter has made these for a friend’s wedding rehearsal to use as a center piece for the bridal’s maid luncheon and to hold at rehearsal.

  97. Howdy! This article could not be written much better!
    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.

    Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  98. This looks super hard, but ADORABLE!!

  99. I absolutely love these paper roses! I used this post as our “craft of the day” on our facebook page. Check us out at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brushes-and-Thread/231012056980834

  100. I have been looking for away to include an old hymnal into my wedding because my fiance and I love music and we have a vintage winter wonderland theme. I made a couple on on my trial run and they are beautiful. I found it easier to curl the edges after I glue the petals on with the hymn pages. I no longer have a flower budget, I’m excited to make a ton more!

  101. I want to know how to make this easier because I have to do this for a school project and I just can’t get the cut out parts right …. they turn into little paper of nothing ….

  102. OMG, Love these!
    My Mother has told that my Grandmother made tissue paper roses every yerar for “Decoration”(to anyone that may not know, every year, I think it is on the first Sunday in May, everyone dresses up and goes to the Cemetary where loved ones are buried, and place fresh flowere on the graves) Anyway, she has tried to describe them to me. and this sounds like they may be kinda like this.
    I have regreted not learning this from Grandmother before she passed away, but maybe these will bring back memories for Mother.
    Thank You so, so much,
    Lisa in Alabama

  103. gostaria de receber tudo de artesanato em geral pois adoro fazer trabalhos manuais



  104. My Mother has told that my Grandmother made tissue paper roses every yerar for “Decoration”(to anyone that may not know, every year, I think it is on the first Sunday in May, everyone dresses up and goes to the Cemetary where loved ones are buried, and place fresh flowere on the graves) Anyway, she has tried to describe them to me. and this sounds like they may be kinda like this.

  105. I want to know how to make this easier because I have to do this for a school project and I just can’t get the cut out parts right …. they turn into little paper of nothing ….

  106. Very , very good!

  107. Un tout grand merci! :-)))

  108. I really have fallen in love with paper flowers….I really want to try my hand at creating some…I think they might be nice addition to my bridal hangers!

  109. So nice & creative

  110. You can use your mind up to no limit……..creativity takes a long way to put it on practical and end product makes it look simple and charming……..

  111. Oh my! what an awesome use for scrap paper and infact old magazines too! am gona try these. I have made a few rolled paper roses too. Do check them out – http://letscreatecrafts.com/magazine/roses-are-red/

  112. Not very good at freehand….would love a template! Please

  113. Oh so natural paper flowers. I have just made few last week for my greeting card and dey turned out lovely. I’m gonna try out this one too :)


  114. you are so talented don’t deny it those flowers look gor-geous !!!!!!

  115. it is so interesting art. i like this work and your are a make flowers.these are beautiful. thanks buddy.

  116. I would still love a template for these anybody……

  117. I was just wondering if you could do this with magazine pages or would they be too thin?

  118. I merely could not go away your web site prior to suggesting that I extremely loved the standard info a person offer for your guests? Is going to be once more frequently in order to inspect new posts

  119. This was so much fun,your instructions were wonderful and easy to follow. I had some of my girl friends over and they learned how to make these. I frosted a wine bottle for each girl and made each girl a pattern and cute some twigs that bend easy off my tree.They turned out so cute and looked beautifult in their bottles. Thanks for sharing.

  120. Muy bonitas, reciclar revistas, periódicos o libros me parece importante que terminen en flores maravillosas. Gracias

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  130. I love this tutorial, I made italian tutorial and I’m very happy to see this one. Tx you

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  132. oh so beautiful

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  135. Love this idea, but how did you color the tips of the other paper roses?

  136. I love how the pages chosen are in German 😀 I have some books in old german and was looking for something to make that involved these for my mother, I think I’ll make a bouquet of these for her for Valentine’s Day :)

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  138. These are SO GORGEOUS, thank you so much for posting! The instructions were perfect–Here’s how mine turned out! http://craftymisc.weebly.com/1/post/2014/03/paper-roses.html

  139. it’s beautiful !!
    i’ll make more of it <3


  141. I love you style… Do it again please

  142. Beautiful Work!!! Love It! Started work on it… Will do my best on this project. Amazing project shared…

  143. so creative, i like this rose, thank”s to share tutorial i’ll make it :)

  144. Omg they are so pretty I can’t wait to try

  145. These are so pretty! I’m making origami roses for my wedding in October and I thought color would make my roses seem a little different. Now, I’m going to use these roses for my bouquet and the origami ones for the bridesmaids. I’m going to use sheet music and lyrics of Chasing Car(Snow Patrol) because it’s “our song” and I think it’s adorable!! Thank you so much, these are gorgeous!

  146. I love this. I’m going to make the roses using photo copies of my father’s love letters to my mom during WWII. I plan on giving one to my two sisters as a surprise.

  147. Anne has been working with flowers for the past 25 years and was blessed to work with many lovely couples to transform their special day into breathtaking wedding sites. From classic and elegant to bold and dramatic, Weddings by Anne will custom design your dream event to match your vision and budget. Each bride and groom are unique and we believe your flowers and decor should be too. We will work with you to come up with a theme
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  148. These are so awesome! I have made a few so far, and I think that my flowers are coming out looking a little too conical. They seem to get tall instead of flaring out for more width. I’ve made some minor adjustments with each flower, including using less petals, making the petals shorter, and trying to overlap the petals more. Anybody else having some trouble with this, or ideally, found a solution to this? :)

  149. Hi,
    Just wondering if there is another sort of glue that would work as i would like to do these with a group of young people and we have only one glue gun for the whole group

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