I LOVE having flowers all around the house, however there are 2 problems with this.
1 – Real flowers are expensive and need to be replaced every couple weeks
2 – Silk flowers, while pretty, collect dust and are also expensive
or in my case – there’s a little munchkin running around that must touch ALL. THE. THINGS….
Therefore, I started looking for ideas to replace this pretty silk floral arrangement I have on my console table behind the couch.
This is actually my wedding bouquet! So when little miss E started showing interest in it, I knew if I wanted to preserve it, it had to go away for a while.
It was essential that whatever I did, it has to be EASY since there is a high risk of them getting ruined if little miss E gets ahold of them.
Enter DIY coffee filter peonies!
These are super easy to make, and once I got the hang of it, I realized all the fun things I could have been making instead of buying.
For example, I recently had purchased tons of pom poms for baby shower decor when I could have made them for a fraction of a dollar with coffee filters!
Alright, here’s what you will need to make these beautiful coffee filter peonies!
The floral tape is not super necessary if you plan on having the stems hidden in a colored vase, but it makes them look more realistic
Shaping your coffee filters
This part is super easy, grab your coffee filters and your scissors and go to town! You will want to count out 8 filters per flower.
Step 1. Flatten your filters out best you can, I found 2 at a time is the max my scissor could handle.
Step 2. Fold in half
Step 3. Fold in half again (now your at a quarter)
Step 4. Fold in half again (now your at an 8th)
Step 5. Fold in half one last time (now 16th – holy moly testing my bad fraction math skills)
Step 6. Round the corners with your scissors
Step 7. Shape it up so its nice and even, though it does not have to be perfect.
Unfold your filters and you have a nice scalloped circle ready for dying!
Dying your filters
Next you will want to dye your filters to the color of Peonies you want.
I only had these brown colored filters on hand, so I did a dark red dye (about 12 drops of red food coloring into a cup of water) so they would come out pink. However, if you use white filters (and I recommend you do!) you can use much less, and do any color you like. Remember they will dry lighter!
I actually tried blue first, but the coloring wasn’t enough to mask the brown, so they turned out a pretty ugly.. I’ll spare you the pictures of that hot mess!
To do this: Simply re-fold your filters (8 at a time) and dunk the ends into a shallow bowl of your colored water. Give them a few seconds for the water to travel to the center of the filter, then flatten them out and lay on a few paper towels to dry.
I placed mine outside (in the 110 degree heat) to dry even quicker. Just be sure its not a windy day! Or weigh them down with something.
Once dry, carefully separate your filters, being careful not to tear them. Now your ready to assemble your Peonies!
Assembling your Peonies
Step 1. Start with your dry, separated, colored filters – organize into stacks of 6-8 (again, depending on how dense you want your flowers) And Plug in the hot glue gun so it started warming up.
Step 2. Cut some floral wire, the length that you want your Peony to be. Then wrap an end around a pen or pencil to create a little knob.
Step 3. Pinch your little knob together, make sure there is no point sticking out that can tear your filters. This will act as your anchor for the center of the flower.
Step 4. String your first filter onto the wire to the knob is in the center, and the tail is coming out the back of the flower. This will help keep your filters from flying off the wire as your working. You can also anchor it with a dab of hot glue.
Step 5. Bunch the filter in your hand to slightly crimp it. Then place a dab of hot glue on the wire just below the center of the filter, and string your next filter on.
Step 6. Carefully pinch the new filter onto the glue, slightly twisting so it stays in place. Be careful not to burn your fingers!!
REPEAT steps 5 & 6 until you have used all 8 filters for that flower.
Step 7. (Optional) – If you opted to do the floral tape for a finished look, dab some glue on the wire right below the bottom of the flower and start wraping your tape around your wire and work it all the way down. Then secure the bottom with another dab of hot glue.
Step 8. I added a dab of hot glue to the very tip so there is no sharp wire end at the bottom of the stem (being toddler conscious of course!).
Voila! Coffee Filter Peony!
Side View ^
Top View ^
Make as many as you want!! Depending on the vase or vessel you are putting them in you will want to make more to fill er up!
My NEW (Toddler friendly) arrangement:
(oh and the glass vase – totally not worried about it, these were .97 cents at the craft store and I have dozens of them!)
Now, you don’t have to make your Peonies in this exact order, you can also die your filter first, then cut and assemble. I found in doing this, you lose some of the cool color variance you get on the tips of the petals from shaping them.
You can also cut and assemble your peonies first, then dye them. I did this method first, and found that the color didn’t spread as evenly to all the petals and separating the filters (that were already attached to the wire) was a pain. But now that they are done, I can’t tell the difference between them and my last batch.
Of these 3 methods, I found the most efficiency and best results with the order of my instructions, which were to cut your plain filters first, dye them in a batch, then assemble all your flowers.
Do what works best for you! Have fun Decorating your home with these pretty coffee filter peonies!!