The magnificent peony!

I’m thrilled with the way this project turned out. You know I’ve made coffee filter roses, but I’ve been wanting to try my hand with peonies. My favorite flowers are roses, lavendar, peonies, and lilacs. But the lavendar and lilacs would be too time consuming to make out of paper, so I attempted the peony.

I started with a coffee filter peony tutorial I found on pinterest, which was good background. Those flowers were lovely, but I wanted to make them look much more realistic…and by George, I think I did. I combined various techniques I’ve learned from the other paper flowers I’ve made. The process is time consuming but fun and they’re just gorgeous. My first batch was light pink, and my second was darker pink and white with pale pink centers. The white ones are so beautiful, I’m making more. These colors are so refreshing now that everything outdoors is brown! Here are my first two batches. I haven’t added leaves yet, but I wanted to show your the early results. The next colors I’m tackling are that lilac and the magenta that peonies come in. (Click on the photos for close-ups, they show the texture better.)

For these you use those pleated round coffee filters, and it takes from 6-10 to make one peony. There is no template—I just looked carefully at photos of peonies and cut the petals along the edge of the filters in those shape (two filters at a time). It adds to the realism that no two layers are exactly the same. Then you paint the layers with watercolors, put small holes in the center of each one, and assemble them on a floral stem. (TIP: the paint is very important, Be sure to look closely at photos of real peonies so you get the right colors and shading from dark to light. And yes, even if you’re making white ones, you have to paint them with white watercolors–the paint changes the texture of the paper.) Then, make a loop at the top of the wire and put glue on it—run the wire through the hole in the central layer of the flower and pinch it around the bottom so the loop is completely obscured. Add layer after layer with tacky glue around the base, pinching as you go, until you’re done.

This is what the flowers look like before you paint each layer (these layers are just piled on, not adhered in any way, so you can see how the flowers would look). The stiffness of the filters will ease when you paint them.

After you’ve painted them assemble the layers for each flower (let them dry a little bit first), and let them dry upside down.

Once they’re dry, disassemble them and reassemble them on floral stems.I haven’t decided whether to make the leaves out of green cardstock or coffee filters. I’ll let you know what I decide. Whatever I make them out of, I will start binding the stem with floral tape from the base of the flower downward and including the leaves.

Here’s a close up of the finished flowers. I LOVE making these!!!


3 thoughts on “The magnificent peony!

  1. That is *amazing* how realistic they look. I thought at first they’re made out of tissue paper, but on second thought, that would be too flimsy. Gorgeous! Just the kind of flowers I like – ones I can’t kill;)

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

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