This next project isn’t for the faint of heart…it’s time consuming and detail driven, but if you have the patience, it’s GORGEOUS. Love that the bride put so much TLC into her day.

DIY favors

Materials

1.    Origami paper (6×6”) or medium-weight textured art paper (12×12” works best)
-Origami paper available at Michael’s, AC Moore, or online at Paper-tree
-Art paper available at Michael’s, AC Moore, or online at Scrapbook Paper or The Paper Mill Store

2.    Bamboo skewers or Round basket reed
-Bamboo skewers available at Kroger, Harris Teeter, or online at Chefs Resource
-Basket reed available online at Baskets of Joy

3.    Paintbrush (flat and slightly angled works best)
-Available at Michael’s, AC Moore, or online at Utrecht Art

4.    Inkpad
-Available at Michael’s, AC Moore, or online at Rubber Stamps

5.    Hot glue gun
-Available at Michael’s, AC Moore, or online at Adhesive Solutions

Optional:

6.    Clear polyester resin, like Castin’Craft; and Catalyst for polyester resin
-Available at Michael’s, AC Moore, or online at ETI-USA

7.    Thin crafting wire
-Available at Michael’s, AC Moore, or online at Artistic Wire

DIY favors

Instructions

1.    If you’ve decided to use art paper instead of origami paper, first cut your sheet into squares using a paper cutter, or a straight-edge and Xacto knife. A 12×12” sheet will divide into four 6-inch squares.

2.    Using illustrated step-by-step instructions and/or videos, fold the square into an origami flower. Excellent how-to guides are available at the following links: Origami Tulip (10 steps; for the novice) and Origami Lily/Iris (14 steps; a bit more advanced). If using heavier paper, it’s useful to keep a credit card handy for making sharp creases. You may also want to utilize the end of a paper-clip to help pop out the tulip and make it three-dimensional (in the last step), and a pencil to help curl down the petals of your flowers. Enlist the help of bridesmaids’ – it’s so fun to do this over snacks and good girly gab – and it gets the job done even faster!

3.    Paint the edges of your flowers. An inkpad distributes just the right pigment and is easy to “brush out” for a soft, faded look. You can experiment with tea-staining flowers by dipping them in a brewed cup of tea and letting them air dry. Or use colored origami/art paper for beautiful solid flowers.

4.    Insert the pointed end of a bamboo skewer into the bottom of each flower and secure with a generous bead of hot glue. Or if you prefer drooping flowers, clip a length of basket reed, insert one end of the piece into the bottom of your flower, and glue into place.

5.    Optional: You can create interesting centerpieces with height by arranging various flowers at different levels and securing them together with craft wire.

6.    Optional: If you want to make your blossoms a bit sturdier and give them a high-gloss glassy-like coating, then dip them in polyester resin that’s been mixed with catalyst per the container’s instructions (make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area and on a dry, non-humid day!). Stick the skewers in the ground outside to cure for at least 24 hours.

7.    Arrange your flowers bouquet-style in your favorite vase.

Your flowers can be used throughout your wedding. Wrap a ribbon around the stems and – voila! – beautifully unique bridesmaids’ bouquets for your ceremony. The vase arrangements make great DIY centerpieces for the reception – and they double as the perfect take-home favors for your guests! Consider highlighting your favors by buying cheap bud vases (from thrift stores, Michael’s, or online at Ikea [as low as .79 cents each!]), sticking a single blossom in each one, and putting them at each place-setting.