Monday, April 8, 2013

Paper Flower Rose Tutorial

Winter is still holding on in the Hudson Valley, but Spring is just around the corner! The flowers in your garden may not be coming up yet, but here are some paper roses to brighten your day. This is based on a template for roses made of coffee filters on Martha Stewart’s website.


1. Coffee filters or paper. Any thin paper should work to create the rose, but different papers will absorb paint different ways.
2. Floral Tape
3. Floral Wire
4. Scissors
5. Paint

Martha Stewart’s template and instructions are here: Paper Roses

I also made a template that will fit a slightly smaller rose onto a folded 8.5” x 11” piece of paper: Download

The coffee filters are thin and easy to shape, but the main benefit is the way they absorb color. Using a water based paint like watercolors or acrylics, you can get beautiful, realistic effects.

To make a coffee filter rose, cut out all the shapes as specified in the template. I didn’t have flat cone filters, so I used the wavy ones I had. You just want to have the right edge of the smaller petals against a fold, so they are connected when you cut through the two layers. The larger petals are not connected.

Cut a piece of floral wire to start wrapping your petals around. It is easier to use the ones that are already covered in tape, but you can use plain wire and wrap it with floral tape. You need to wrap the tip of it with a little tape so the wire won’t slide out. Poke the wire through the first petal, and start wrapping petals as detailed in the template instructions, from small to large. Make sure each layer is secured with tape so they don’t start falling out later. I found it easier to secure them first with a small piece of scotch tape, then wrap some floral tape around it. The tricky part is getting all the petals to look evenly spaced, it takes some experimenting to get it right.

It doesn’t look like much yet, but now comes the fun part. You can paint your rose in realistic or fantasy colors. Start painting with a light base color, using a wet brush and watered down color. The coffee filters will absorb and spread the color. Blend some darker colors on top, and add some dark highlights to the edges of the petals with a drier brush and thicker paint. I used a sky blue base, a slightly darker blue, and purple.

Let this dry for about a day by hanging it upside down. When it is dry, take a toothpick or barbecue skewer and curl the tips of all the petals, holding it at an angle to curl the left and right side. This really helps to make it look realistic. Separate the petals a little bit as needed. I added the leaves by simply wrapping some floral tape around the tip of the leaf to attach it to the stem.

The blue flower is made with coffee filters, and the black one is made with a text weight solid black paper. I tried making a black coffee filter rose, but it is best suited for lighter colors (watered down black = grey!). The paper rose is made the same way, using the second template that I created. Use this template by folding a piece of 8.5” x 11” piece of paper the long way, so you have a piece measuring 4.25” x 11”. Line up the edge of all the small petals against the fold, and cut out the pieces.

You can experiment with painting coffee filters, or with all sorts of patterned and colored paper. Paper
flowers make beautiful decorations, wedding bouquets, and gifts!


  1. This is so creative! I wish I had had this tutorial when I was getting married!

  2. That is very cool! Trying to figure out something with fabric for this technique. Thanks

  3. Thanks. Fabric would look really nice too!

  4. can you tell me do you use card stock or some other paper