Keladriel
Expert November 2017

Silk flowers or paper flowers?

Keladriel, on May 17, 2016 at 11:17 AM Posted in Do It Yourself 0 20
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I'm thinking about doing faux flowers for the wedding instead of real ones so that I can work on arranging them in advance (not enough money in the budget for a pro florist). I can't decide if I should go the route of buying silk flowers or making/buying paper flowers. I've seen pretty paper DIYs but wasn't sure if they are worth the effort or leave you dissatisfied after all your troubles... Do silk flowers look cheesy or do think they turned out to be just as nice as real flowers?

20 Comments

  • LadyMonk
    Master September 2014
    LadyMonk ·

    This is personal taste, but I don't really like non-real flowers. Some paper flowers are nice, but as you said they are probably a lot of work to make and if you don't enjoy DIY, it probably would be a big hassle. You could try looking into getting real flowers from a grocery store. Their florists will be less costly and they still do have some nice arrangements. You can do your own simple real-flower arrangements as well, but it depends again on how much you want to dedicate to DIY.

    We used flowers from costco, and while the bouquets etc did take some arranging, the other arrangement were honestly just flowers in a vase with a bit of extra care. I preferred simple real flowers over fakes, but again that's just me.

  • BoozyBaker
    Master January 2017
    BoozyBaker ·

    I vote paper. You can use tulle or coffee filters, or origami paper. What I'm saying is these flowers can have different textures. (I, personally feel like origami ones are too "stiff" to be pretty).

    Silk flowers to me always seem "cheap". While paper ones are "diy" and "creative" lol.

    I've started making my flowers now here and there so it's not a huge task to take on and everything will be ready in time.

  • Jennifer
    Expert July 2016
    Jennifer ·

    We are having real touch flower bouquets. I dislike flowers and don't find the point of spending hundreds on flowers for them to die that day. We ordered ours from etsy. We have candle centerpieces though. So the only flowers are the bouquets.

  • Ololufe
    VIP August 2016
    Ololufe ·

    I'm not a big fan of real flowers.I hate that they just die. I was going to use silk flowers but FH begged me to at least use real flowers for my bouquet. I think the silk flowers work well. Why don't u buy both paper and silk so you can get a feel of what it's like.

  • Keladriel
    Expert November 2017
    Keladriel ·

    @LadyMonk - Did you feel that this made the day or two leading up to the wedding really hectic? I had originally thought to do something along those lines but then when I told people about that they said that I was going to make myself crazy the night before / day of arranging everything.

    @BoozyBaker - I always felt the same about the silk which is why I've been unsure of the decision. That's a good point about the creating different textures in the paper flowers.. I agree that origami would be too stiff.

    @Ololufe That's actually a great idea to compare the two! I've been looking at different options on etsy and other places but I suppose the best way to make a judgement would be to order a sample...

    Did you guys find that the faux flowers were worth the cost savings? Or do you feel that the difference wasn't as much as you thought it would be? I'm definitely not afraid of getting spending time on DIY - I love crafting and making things.

  • Fiona
    Master December 2015
    Fiona ·

    I did silk flowers. They cost almost as much as real would have been, but they didn't die after the wedding. Look at Micheal's.

  • Nano
    Devoted April 2016
    Nano ·

    We did some paper flowers as a part of our centerpieces. They were roses made out of maps that we put in small jars. We ended up making 42 (3 x 14 tables) and it was VERY time consuming. DH was in charge of cutting out all the petals and I was the wielder of the glue gun to put them together. We did a lot of evenings watching Netflix while we worked! You're still quite far out from your wedding date so if you started now and kept at it you'd probably have plenty of time. Ours were quite budget friendly though since the paper was just from a road atlas I bought online; I'm estimating all the materials cost $35.

    We did however use real flowers for the church, bouquets, corsages (ready made), boutonnieres (ready made) and a few accent vases around the reception hall. We got those from a Harris Teeter grocery store and it all came to around $200. I LOVE fresh flowers but fell in love with our paper flowers after I made a couple to test the idea. Don't do all that work if you're not ecstatic with the results. A lot of our friends really liked them, I had a few people ask to take them home!


  • patches
    Super June 2016
    patches ·

    I originally planned on all paper flowers, but they looked too stiff. Decided to mix them with ribbon flowers so they didn't look too harsh alone. The ribbon ones took a bit of time but was simple wired ribbon gathered on one side and wrapped around.


  • Keladriel
    Expert November 2017
    Keladriel ·

    @Nano I love those! I've definitely been keeping the time consuming nature of these crafts in mind which is why I've been trying to decide on it this far out. Fortunately if I decide to go this route I have three sisters (all my BMs) who also love crafting that have told me that as soon as I give the command that they are ready to start working on whatever crafts we need to! I like your idea, too, of having some real flowers for the wedding party. I might look into do something like that. Real for the flowers that will be in our portraits but faux for the decorations...

  • Kiwi Kawaii
    Master August 2016
    Kiwi Kawaii ·

    I almost did paper. But I was trying to do paper that looked as close to real as I could. My trial flowers worked out pretty well, but the problem was how much time/effort they took. To make all the flowers I wanted, I would have needed to be making them for months.

    So, I decided to nix that and go with artificial. I got a mix of real-touch and silk flowers from afloral and they are totally gorgeous. I tried to pick carefully from the pictures of the flowers so that I picked ones that look more real.

    I think both are viable, but it really depends on how much time you want to sink in. If you don't need many flowers, you could try some cool paper flowers.

  • BoozyBaker
    Master January 2017
    BoozyBaker ·

    @Nano those are dope as hell.

    I like having projects so I'm okay with the time it's taking to get stuff done. The really awesome thing is gonna be when someone mentions them and I can say "I made those! "

    It cost me $8 for a crate of coffee filters, I already had food coloring from my baking adventures, and I think I need to buy some spray paint for making poof balls (with the same filters). All told, will definitely cost me less than $50 and will keep my hands busying from snacking while I watch hulu in an effort to not be out spending money. win/win/win!

    Also remember that you don't have to have flowers. you could use other things as bouquets/centerpieces.

  • LadyMonk
    Master September 2014
    LadyMonk ·

    Kelly, I should make a major clarification: I did NOT do the centrepieces. The arrangements I mentioned were limited in number (cake table, welcome table, gift table, bathrooms etc). We had potted flowers for our centrepieces which I loved. We also used potted plants for our aisle in the ceremony.

    What we did on our own with real flowers: bride bouquet, 3 BM bouquets, corsages/boutonnieres, the limited arrangements. I don't recommend doing the corsages/bouts. Those were a pain in the butt. Everything else was fine and I would totally do it again. I bought grocery store flowers once a head of time to practice making the bouquets.

    Schedule:

    I had a Saturday wedding, and the flowers I wanted were mainly roses and lilies. I picked up the flowers on Thursday so that the flowers had time to open (costco keeps them in a walk-in fridge). They were left at room temp. When I got home on Thursday, I conditioned all of the flowers (took an hour maybe for $200 worth of flowers). This means: cutting the bottom of the stems at an angle, removing leaves, removing thorns, removing damaged petals.

    Friday: Made everything. Left everything at room temperature in water. Everything was fine. No need to put flowers in the fridge to stay fresh. It took about 4 hours for my mom and I to do it all.

    Saturday: brought paper towel to dry off the bottoms. Ta-da!

    Another thing to consider: pick flowers that hold up well. If you're not sure talk to whoever you're ordering flowers from, get a book from the library etc. Different flowers require different types of "conditioning". I am also a DIY-er, I love this shit.

  • Keladriel
    Expert November 2017
    Keladriel ·

    @BoozyBaker Haha FH was teasing me the other night when I told him we need to figure out what kinds of decoration we want for the wedding so I have something to work on! I love making stuff, whether its desserts, costumes, stuff for the house - it just feels great to make something! You're making me excited to make things >.< I could do something other than flowers but I'm just not sure what that would be fore me. Nature is also a huge part of my life and I would love to have flowers - I just don't want the hefty price tag they so often come with! Your win/win/win is making me jealous and even more eager to start making things haha

  • Keladriel
    Expert November 2017
    Keladriel ·

    @LadyMonk Thank you for sharing your schedule and tips! I'm definitely going to have to bookmark this thread. I've been hesitant about boutonnieres and corsages and I think I'll take your advice to just buy those. You're idea with the potted plants is really interesting.... and then I could add them to my collection of potted plants. I'm obsessed with keeping plants in the apartment! You've inspired me to reconsider real flowers and greenery!

  • BoozyBaker
    Master January 2017
    BoozyBaker ·

    Succulents!

  • LadyMonk
    Master September 2014
    LadyMonk ·

    Yeah, potted worked nicely. We gave ours away at the end of the night. But you could keep them as well. I have a few of our aisle plants (belgian mums) and they're still alive and blooming!

  • Keladriel
    Expert November 2017
    Keladriel ·

    @LadyMonk oh that's nice that you still have some of them. My Mom actually has a house plant that she was given as a wedding gift from her grandmother when my parents got married. I always thought it was so cool to have a memento of your wedding in the form of a plant. As much as I will want to keep all of them (I'm a bit of a plant collector or as my family teasingly says I'm a plant hoarder) I'm sure FH would really appreciate it if I gave most of them away and only kept a couple haha.

    Well everyone has been really wonderful with ideas and suggestions - thank you all so much!

  • A
    Just Said Yes October 2018
    Alyssa ·

    I'm toying with the idea of doing paper flowers. I think they can be very beautiful and more cost effective. My wedding is two years away so I will have ample time to make them. My fiance is very in to comic books and I'm an avid reader and musician. Our bouquets are going to include comic book pages, book pages, and sheet music mixed with the plain colored paper. If you aren't a DIY kind of person you can easily find them with a quick Etsy search. Check out Book2Bouquet on Etsy. I attached the one that caught my eye.


  • Caylin C.
    Master August 2015
    Caylin C. ·

    We did real touch silks and they were beautiful. Even our photographer didn't realize that they were fake.

  • Maggie
    VIP July 2016
    Maggie ·

    My florist cancelled on me like 58 days before my wedding. I changed the whole look of my wedding flowers to a simple ivy centerpieces trying to help out the florist that was going to try to fit my wedding in on literally 42 days before the wedding. She informed me that ivy goes limp pretty quickly so silks would be best. At this point I don't care. She told me to go buy my flowers and keep my receipts so what they don't use I can return. She is charging me a fee to put them together. I went from pretty close to $1700 in real flowers to probably $300 in silks and paying her to put them together. I could put them together myself to save more money but I am letting her do it to save me from stressing over it. I am too close to my wedding at this point to worry about it. If I were you I would make a bouquet out silks and one out of paper to see which one I liked the best. After that then decide what your centerpieces will be and so on. Good Luck!!!!

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