Saturday, January 14, 2012

DIY Coffee filter roses

Hey everyone!  I'm making my centerpieces and wanted to stay as cost efficient as possible.  I'm also scared to death that something wouldn't come together at the last minute if I ordered real flowers.  So, I've followed several different posts about making roses and I'd like to share how I make mine.

Use this link to download the template to make your stencils.  I only used petals 1, 4, 7/8, because I followed this link at wedding bee.  Her tutorial is great! I just had a few suggestions to change a couple of things.  

Overall breakdown (using Alaskan prices)

100 filters: $4.  3 filters/rose= $.12
35 stem wires, broken into two = 70: $2.  1/2 stem/rose = $.03
Paint - 1 bottle paints probably 300 filters: $3.  Per rose ~ $.03
12 rolls of floral tape: $12. I can get probably 20 roses out of a roll.  Per rose: $.05?  

Total cost: $.21

With enough practice, I'm down to about a 10 minutes assembly per rose.  So, while cost effective, it is extremely time intensive.  A half hour to paint, minimum 8 hours to dry.  A half hour to cut ~ 18 roses. So, do what you want.  Hope this helps.  I'll be happy to answer any questions.  


Supplies Part 1 (from left to right)
    • pliers
    • skewer
    • scissors
    • stencils

Supplies Part 2 (from left to right)
    • floral wire (mine is 22 gauge)
    • floral tape
    • #4 cone coffee filters

 I use a small tupperware container to mix my paint.  I don't have a good measurement, except I use probably about 2-3 good squirts of paint.  (Oh, shoot, my bad, I don't have a picture of the paint...  I use acrylic paint, similar to this one here).  Then fill up the container most of the way with water, put the lid on, cover with a  paper towel and shake.

Put your filters into a bowl/pie plate/anything that will prevent your paint water from running everywhere.  

Underneath my whole mess, I lay down a few sheets of plastic wrap and then a layer of freezer paper to protect my counter top (I've already stained quite a few spots blue... I wonder if I'll have to pay for that.

and pour the paint over the filters.  Soak your filters all the way through. Don't be afraid to get a little dirty and push the filters.You really want to make sure paint reaches all of the filters.  

You may have to split your stack in half to soak up all of the paint. 

I experiment on occasion and laid out fresh coffee filters below where I would then place my painted filters.

Then lay out the painted filters. My stacks range 2-4 painted filters thick.

Cover with a layer of freezer paper

Stack those college text books you kept on top.  I will let it sit like this for anywhere from an hour to overnight... it depends on how impatient I am.

If I'm feeling impatient I'll hang them up.  Notice that some of the filters in this shot have white spots.  Those are from the ones I laid down first.  I won't use these to make roses with right away, but instead, I'll paint them again and dry them.  It gives them a little bit of a tie-dye effect that I'm really liking in my roses.  (Oh, see my fiancé in the background at his computer?  And the hearts to the side, that's some more decor :] ) 

This shot was taken half way through hanging.  

If you remember the three stencils I had waaaay back when, this is how I trace them onto the stencils.  

Filter 1: Notice how there each piece has two parts (that's what the yellow numbers are for).  The "hump" piece is placed above the crimped section of the filter.   

Filter 2: Notice that the hump piece was lined up with the very bottom of the filter.  This will be the innermost piece of the rose.

This shot doesn't show it very well, but the big piece was lined up against the non-crimped connected edge of the filter.  This allows it to be opened like the way you see it here.  I line the stencil up with the bottom of the filter and then cut off the crimped section here.   

The wire I use is too long for my likings, so I use my pliers and cut them in half.   

Then I make a loop in one end of the "stem."  This one is closed a little too much, you want to make more of a U shape.  

Cut (tear) 5 pieces of tape.  4 should be about 4" and the 5th should be about 12"

Roll all of the top edges away from the color you want to be on the inside.  For my roses, (typically the darker side, though on occasion I make a mistake).

...the second edge

All edges are rolled

 Do it with all of your pieces.  I roll all 10 at the same time.  It gives them some variety in the strength of the bend.  

Again, both sides

Now we'll start assembling.  Take the "hump piece" and fold it in half.

Fold it in half again.

Take the wire (see I've opened it a little bit) and hook the bottom of the petal to the hook.

I don't know if you can tell, but the hook is on the rose about where I typically place it.  

Crimp the wire tight. 

Wrap the wire around 1-2 more times and crimp.

Wrap using one of the 4" pieces of tape.  Start just above the wire and work down the bottom of the petal and onto the stem.

Petal 1 done!

Take one of the two single "hump" pieces and wrap it around the first petal.  

 I find it helpful to fold at the V in the hump to align where it looks best.

Make sure you like the placement.  Adjust if necessary.

Tape, using one of the 4" pieces.  

Repeat with the other "hump" piece.

Next, use the 5-petal piece.  Use the same tactics for the "hump" pieces in wrapping and folding into place.  





Tape it up using the last 4" piece.

Progress so far.

Next, start with the 10 single petals.

Put a petal down, wrap the tape all the way around. Add another petal. Repeat.  I don't wrap all the way down, I just wrap in one place for these petals.

I think this is after 2 petals.

After all 10 petals are down, wrap the remainder of the tape all the way down.  If you don't have enough, grab another piece and tape onto the wire stem.  This will help the center from escaping the outer petals.

Add embellishments if you wish.  I haven't decided whether I'll be using these pearls like this or not.  


  1. These will look beautiful, Mercedes!

  2. Very nicely done. You're right, it would be time consuming but very lovely.