DIY: Make flowers out of old books!

Happy mid-Feb everyone! I suppose most of you are gearing up for Valentine's Day? Well I am. Let's just say that my Valentine's day comprises of a tub of Ben and Jerry's and Sex and the City reruns.

No, I kid. But what I do have in store is for lovely-dovey couples and singletons alike. Taking a leaf out of this blog post, I decided to add some literary greenery to my home with a bouquet of handmade flowers.

I'm not going to lie, it was extremely time-consuming, but so worth it! I love having flowers in my home. These ones here are made of books - old books that have worn out their excitement, but can be recycled, and reused!

Lovers out there, head over to second hand bookstores,  get your hands on some romantic sonnets, and make your bouquet out of poetry. Your significant other will love you for the effort you've taken and your flowers will never die. Yes, that makes them totally worth the money for once!

Did I mention that it cost near to nothing to make this?


Step one:
What you need:

  • -       Pages from an old book
  • -       Scissors
  • -       Hot glue gun
  • -       The inside of a cheap ball point pen
  • -       16 gauge wire cut to 35cm in length
  • -       Wire cutters (I got my wire pre-cut by the hardware store I bought them at)

Step two:
Cut out the petals.

Make five different sized petals, all cut out from pages. Try to make an abundance of them so you won't have to cut them all over again. Most importantly, cut a long petal with a rounded tip as the centre petal. This becomes the starting point of your rose.

Don't worry about it if the petals aren't uniform, have you seen a real rose? They're never uniform.

Step three:
Curling the petals.

Using the inside of a cheap ball point pen, curl the edges of the petals.

This long and tedious part actually makes the petals more believable and natural looking.

Step four:

Prepare the glue.

Initially, I thought of using white glue, or modge podge, but this was a terrible mistake. Not only did the wet glue turn the paper soggy and hard to handle, it practically tore the paper, turning the flower into a huge mess. The solution was found through hot glue.

Only use the hot glue on the ends of your petals. Hot glue dries like hard rubber or plastic, so it never turns your paper soggy or becomes loose even if you stick it by its edge.

Step five:

Start attaching the petals.

Start with the long petal, curling in a tight circle around the wire. Drop a line of glue onto the wire to make sure the petal sticks. Then build around the petal.

The way you place the petals is up to you. I overlapped the petals to create a five-point star-shaped pattern.

Step six:

Attach the larger petals.

The largest petals are the most difficult to stick on. This is because there's not enough of it to go around the bulb of the rose. Instead, make sure the two corners of the bottom of the petal have hot glue on them and press and hold them against the bulb till it dries.

It may seem a little shaky at first but as the glue dries, the more sturdy it will become.

The larger petals will overlap each other only at the corners of the end.

*Stick the larger petals on the bottom of the cone the smaller petals have formed. So it will seem as though the larger petals are hanging by the edge.

Step seven:

Create a rose stem by atatching the wire to the ball-point pen tube and you're done!

Continue to make more if you want to, but it will take a long time to complete a bouquet.

I love the hardwork and effort that goes into this storybook rose. But if you want to do something budget-friendly but romantic, this is the way to go.