Saturday, December 1, 2012

Steampunk Roses (Coffee filters!!!!)

I was introduced to the steampunk world over a year ago by a couple of friends who were getting married with this unique theme. I had done flowers for wedding before, but this....this was a chance for the mad scientist of flowers to come out and play....why have regular flowers when you can have everlasting bouquets of springs and paper? And with flower prices on the rise...can you beat $10 a bouquet? This paper rose takes no skill whatsoever, just patience, wire, floral tape and coffee filters. You heard me filters. With one night of work you can have an everlasting bouquet!
What you'll need:
24 gauge wire
spool of floral tape
box of coffee filters (you'll want to get the #4 (or #6 for bigger) cones for regular sized roses, or the #2 cones for mini roses. if you are going to paint them you can get white, I prefer the brown for the natural parchment look)
stamps (optional)
spray paint (optional)
water colors (optional)
Templates for the petals. I used these: Coffee Filter Rose Template the next few times I just drew free hand petals that way you can make them smaller for mini roses.

Your first step is to determine how many roses you want to make. You will need 6 coffee filters for 1 rose. Next to get that old book look, I took a stamp with a paragraph of un-legible cursive, and black ink to all of my coffee filters. Now you need to trace those templates onto each of the filters. Cut each out, separate the petals (each filer will make two joined at the bottom...pull them apart) and lay them in the order that you will be using them (smallest to largest.)
You don't need to have them lines up perfect, and you want to make sure to stamp both sides of the filter!

Take a straight piece of  24-18 gauge wire and cut it to the size of stem you desire. If you have never used floral tape before, you are going to want to play around with it so you know its limitations and weaknesses. If you don't use it just right the wire petals will fall off, or worse, the wire stem will slide through. I am going to try typing it out with lots of photos to show you what I mean about this taping ordeal. I learned it way oh way back in 2001, and boy am I grateful I knew how to do it before I attempted paper roses.
You are going to take size 1 (the smallest) petals and lay them onto the wire, stamped side facing away from the wire.

Next you are going to roll the petals around the wire, making sure they are tight at the base.

Take your floral tape, stretch it out a little to start it, then at a 45 degree angle wrap it very tightly all the way to touch the wire. (Yes they bunch up a little...don't freak out, when you are doing the final tweaks you won't be able to tell.)
Continue this rolling and taping step for all the petals in order smallest to largest. Once you get to petal 3 starts facing the stamped side of the petal towards the wire so when you curl it that side will show.

When you get to the 5 & 6 petals with 6 a piece, you may find it easier to do two to three petals at a time ather than trying to do  six petals at a time. take this fake looking thing and make it look real, use a skewer stick, dowel, or like me a skinny paint brush to roll and curl each (yes...EVERY single one) back.

If petals start falling it off it means they weren't taped tight to the wire, game over :/

The curling makes all the difference! Now voila!

Just as a side note: If you wanted to spray the roses with sparkly perfume, you will achieve the smell and twinkle of a dewy rose. To do this spray a light misting over the rose from at least a foot and a half away.

To make the metal looking roses, after you curl the individual petals, lightly spray paint them, it will take several light coats. The grain of the filter will make the spray paint look like etched metal.
Now you can use these any way you would a fake flower! I've made fascinators, bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, embellished top hats with them, there is no end in sight. Everyone love them and will throw a hissy fit when they learn they are made from coffee filters.

Here are a few pictures of them in action:

To give them these stems just take a skinny feather, run it along the side of some scissors, just like curling ribbon, and glue it in the center.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Great descriptions of steps and pics. I love this idea to help with my steampunk wedding decor.

    1. Thank you! I really hope to see pictures of your wedding, I love steampunk themes! Especially DIY weddings, so inspirational and so much love goes into it. Maybe you could post one or two pics to our facebook page?
      I wish you the best of luck!!! Also, there was a steampunk wedding ost a while back, maybe it will give you some ideas?
      Have a great wedding!