La vie de la rose

Warning, once you start making these coffee filter roses—it can be hard to stop. What you can do with color, shape, and size is kind of limitless.  In my first batch, I tried a smaller ruffled version, a half-opened bud, and a large rose. The color is a vibrant peachy pink.

First, go  watch the two how-to videos on Martha Stewart’s show. You may have to do this twice, plus reading the instructions, before you get the hang of it. Then go out and buy a batch of coffee filters (make sure they don’t have the little raised dots on the inside of the filter). Cut out all the petals according to Martha’s directions–but do know that the more petals you make, especially the larger ones, the more beautiful your rose. On my second batch I’m now tripling the number of petals called for in the instructions. But start smaller. You’ll also need floral wire and tape, tacky glue, water color paints, and a bamboo skewer. That’s it.

The first part of the process is attaching the petals to the stem. After wrestling with the floral tape on three roses and having the petals still not secured as well as I wanted them, I resorted to tacky glue–adding petal on petal. It works great and is more stable than the tape. Once you’ve attached all the petals, hang it upside down and let it all dry. Then wrap the place where the petals attach to the stem with floral tape and continue the tape down the stem a little way. Here are how they look before they’re painted.

Now the fun begins! Take a look at some photos of your favorite roses and try to match colors. Use 2-3, even four different shades according to the appearance of the rose. The paper absorbs and spreads the paint in ways that look so natural. Even if you want white roses, you have to paint the petals–like the show says, the texture of the paper changes with the paint and allows you to curl the petals.

For the roses pictured above, I mixed vermillion and white in a plastic container–lots of water so the color isn’t so saturated. Start with the lightest color and brush it onto the part of the petal where it belongs (some roses are tinted more on their tips, others have more intense color near the base of the petal). I started with a very light pink and then went a little darker. What you see is only two colors, but I did leave the tips of some petals white. My next batch is going to be the palest pink. Again, if you want to hang these upside down to dry, rather than leaning them on a surface, you can preserve the roundness of the rose.

The final touch is so important to the realism of these. Take a bamboo skewer (shiskabob) and twirl each petal edge downward twice, once of the left side, once on the right–toward the pointy tip of the rose. Do this with every petal and you’ll be astonished at how this turns into a real rose right before your eyes.

Here’s my second batch.

As totally satisfying as making these is, they take A LOT of time! I can see why they’re so expensive when you buy them online. Still, try a few.

Note: That little brass trophy vase from a thrift store is scheduled for silver-leafing in the near future. It will definitely be the final home for that bunch of roses.


One thought on “La vie de la rose

  1. Pingback: New crop of coffee filter roses | Gustav and Gayle

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