Monday, 6 September 2010

Coffee Filter Roses

This definitely isn't something new, but like real roses, I feel that it's timeless and classic, and great for so many occasions.

A while ago I posted about coffee filter roses I made as part of a wedding gift.  I was later asked to provide instructions for making these.

It just so happens to work out that I'm currently making another bouquet of them because my sister is getting married (in 2 years!)  and she's interested in using these as a center piece.  I'm making up a center piece and sending her pics (she lives 2 provinces away) and seeing what she thinks!

Here's pretty much what I'm going for (these are gorgeous!!)  Pic courtesy of stafishtaylz on Craftster.

Before I completely get into this, I really can't take credit for all of this.  I followed the instructions from Martha Stewart, who had Cassie from Mommy Makes Roses on her show.

I found the instructions fairly easy to follow, but a few pics along the way would be helpful.  Here's how I make these, and what works for me.

What you'll need:

6 Coffee filters, the cone ones - size 4, per rose.  (Martha uses 8 and I find this kind of wasteful.  Additionally, I don't include the leaves.  She also uses a slightly smaller size of filter, I'm not sure if my method works with these, so if you want to use the smaller size, you'll need 8)

Template - from Martha

Floral tape (you can find it at Dollar stores and pretty much everywhere)

Floral wire (or any wire that's a good stem size, and just wrap it with floral tape)

Watercolor paint & flat paint brush

Skewer, or skinny paint brush


1. Use the template to trace the petals onto the coffee filters and cut out from both layers of filter.  I stray a little from Martha's template here.  On filters 1-4 I trace petals 5-8 on the tops that are unused, as many as will fit.  I think you can get both filters 5 & 6 on the tops, and then still need a separate filter for both 7 & 8.  

I forgot to take pictures of how I trace them out on the filters.

2. Cut your wire to your desired length of stem.  Wrap with floral tape if necessary.

3. Open up filter #1 and poke your wire through the middle.  Fold the petals back together so that about an inch or a little less is sandwiched between the petals.

4. Now wrap these petals around each other, sort of rolling them.  I like to twist the bottom a bit to make it hug the stem tighter for a more secure rose.  Now, secure the petals by wrapping floral tape around the bottom of the filter and onto the stem.

**tip: when working with floral tape, pull it tight to expose the sticky part.**

I use about this much tape for each row of petals.

5.  For filter #2, rip open the bottom so that you have a row of 4 petals.  Wrap these petals around your existing ones, twisting the bottom, and securing with more tape.

6.  Filter #3 and 4 are done in the same manner as filter #2.  With filter #4 you'll probably want to fold it a bit in the opposite direction to remove a bit of the crease in the middle.

**tip:  you'll find that working with floral tape makes your fingers pretty sticky.  I find that some rubbing alcohol on a cloth helps to remove this**

7.  Filter #5 is where it starts to get tricky.  Take 3 petals and place them around the rose, filling in the "gaps."  Wrap with a sparing amount of floral tape.

8. Take the remaining petals of filter #5 and layer them on, and secure with floral tape.  I usually use a sparing amount of tape on the first 3 petals, and then a generous amount on the second 3 to avoid bulk but have secure petals.

9.  Repeat steps 7 & 8 for filters 6, 7, and 8.  You're almost done now!

10. Next, use your watercolors to paint the roses.  You'll use three different color "layers" which consist of various amounts of water added to your paint.

11.  Start with a fairly watered down version of you paint.  Paint the whole flower, starting at the bottom, and working out, from the inside to the outside.

12.  Use a less watered down paint to accentuate towards the tips.

13.  Use undiluted paint just on the tips.

**tip: you can do these all at the same time, but sometimes I find that the rose starts to get too sloppy, so it's best to let it dry a little**

14.  Once the roses are completely dry, it's time to curl the petals and make your rose look like a rose.  Using your bamboo skewer, or small paint brush end, curl both the right and left side of your petals back.  Start from the outside and work your way in.

Voila! You're done!

Now you can do fun things with them like make a centre piece for your sister's wedding:

I think the plan is to put the roses in a rose bowl filled with sand, and maybe tie some ribbon around the top.  Not sure how I feel about the sepia pictures, and the roses are a little too pink, but all of this can be adjusted.

If there are any questions about the tutorial, or if I forgot something, or if something doesn't make sense, email me!  

Check out the Link Parties tab at the top to see where I'm sharing this tutorial this week!


  1. I love how these turned out! I've heard of people making them before, but don't think I've every actually seen them. Unless I looked really close, I wouldn't even know they weren't real! It's the small details in the coloring & rolled edges that really make these so amazing.

  2. Those are BEAUTIFUL!!! Wow. Thank you for the step by step instructions...although still a bit intimidating, I want to try it. You are amazing! I hope your sister loves them as much as I do!

  3. Wow! Your roses are GORGEOUS! I can't believe you can make that with coffee filters!

  4. They love so real!! I love these! Thanks for the tutorial! xoxo

    Marni @ Sassy Sites!

  5. Oh my goodness! These are amazing!!! Thank you so much for commenting on my blog! My sister and I are waaaaayyy into reusing/recycling right now...and I'm loving your fantastic ideas!!! I'll be sure to keep checking your blog...and look forward to your fall week next week!

  6. It's not really recycling since you have to use unused Filters lol ;}

  7. You're right, it's not recycling or even upcycling which would be why I didn't mention that. :) If you were wanting to do this craft to be environmentally friendly, the closest way you could get there would maybe be to see if you could find filters made of recycled paper, use unbleached filters, or maybe just that flowers are often heavily pesticided (unless you get local organic flowers) but that is a bit of a stretch.

  8. Hello,
    Your roses turned out fabulous! I want to try these for my granddaughter's wedding, I have a question; What type of watercolor paint did you use? Did you dip the flowers into the paint or just painted them with the brush? Thank You.

  9. Thanks Dagmar. I used just some Crayola watercolors like this

    I painted them with a brush, but you could also try dipping them too, but they might get too wet and take a long time to dry. Good luck with your granddaughter's wedding! :)

  10. Could you paint the petals before assembling the roses? It seems like it would be difficult to paint them after. These are beautiful, I hope mine look half as nice.


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