Thursday, January 17, 2013

Paper flowers

The Beau and I always wondered what we would do for flowers for our wedding as we found ourselves in an interesting position: in university, the Beau worked in a funeral home and, because of this, flowers have taken on a darker, sadder connotation for him. White roses are especially macabre as they signify dead children.

While it's easy enough to avoid flowers in centrepieces, I wanted a floral bouquet. The solution? Pinterest! Thanks to all the amazing visuals found here, I stumbled across many, MANY patterns and pictures of paper flowers and, after sharing these with the Beau, we quickly became inspired to create paper flowers for our wedding. It also proved a wonderful way to bring our love of books into the wedding theme, as we could make paper flowers out of book pages. (I feel the need to mention that we are only using books that are either really awful and deserve a second life as something beautiful or are advanced reading copies [and therefore uncorrected] that we acquired free of cost.)

After a fruitful trip to Michael's for paper and Walmart for a glue gun, I got down to work trying out some patterns we liked. Here are the results:

The origami ones were the easiest to make as it was just a matter of cutting 3" x 3" squares (one square per petal), folding and gluing five together to create a bloom. This red is very close to one of our wedding colours and I think it turned out lovely for a first try. The string of hot glue and the warped centre circle can be improved upon. But even though we both liked this one, it felt to angular and modern for the vibe our wedding is taking on. With an old-world-style venue, Gothic-style church, ivory lace dress and even a vintage-inspired engagement ring, our wedding is evolving into a vintage-esque, old-world event and we wanted to keep with that.

That said, these flowers may fit in elsewhere in the decor, but have been kiboshed for the bouquet.
(If you want to make your own, here's the tutorial I used)

The next pattern I tried was a rose out of book pages. This was the original idea so I wanted to see how it would look when completed. This particular flower consisted of four petals of five different sizes, all done freehand. The idea of doing freehand flowers is both good and bad: good because it will allow for a more organic, imperfect final product (just like roses are) and bad because it meant that making multiple flowers with multiple people could be problematic as too many different flowers can make for a lopsided bouquet. That said, I love how the printed pages looked but overall, I felt this guy was a bit too stiff. It would be easily adjusted and softened but I really wanted a template so when I recruited my bridesmaids for help (because, let's face it, this is going to happen) we would all be working with the same sizes and shapes.

(Though if you want to give a freehand rose a try, check out the tutorial I used)

And so we come to the final rose - and the winner! Again made from the same red paper as the origami flower, I made this one from a template and I'm so happy with how it turned out. There are some tweaks that can be made but seeing the final product, I KNOW this is what I want for my bouquet. The amazing template and tutorial can be found here, along with a great photo of a completed bouquet. Knowing the bouquet used 24 roses of three sizes, I can start the tracing and cutting of all the petals and have everything ready for the inevitable rose creation assembly line.

The Beau and I are headed back to Michael's this weekend to look at centrepiece options as well as to check out more paper. I hadn't realized until this week that all these undecided little details were starting to weigh on me so much; I haven't been sleeping and I've been clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth at night (clear signs I'm stressed). Having the flowers sorted has gone a long way to relieving that stress and with plans to finalize our wedding budget and to move ahead with other details, I'm confident I'll be sleeping again in no time. 

That is, of course, if I can contain my excitement at having decided on the details and having found the perfect flowers!

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