Crepe Paper Peonies Tutorial

Ever since I was little I have always LOVED wrapping gifts. I remember one Christmas back in college where I spent almost as much wrapping each gift as I did on the gifts themselves.  I am pretty sure my siblings (who were around ages 12 - 16 at the time) did NOT appreciate that and wished I had of just spent the extra money on their actual gifts! Haha! Oh well. Ever since starting Dear Lillie, though, I have been in such a rush that I haven't spent much time on gift wrapping. Well, a little while ago I saw this tutorial and fell in love with the beautiful crepe paper flowers that Janet made. I had never been a fan of crepe paper before but now have completely changed my mind. Anyway, I bookmarked the tutorial and thought I would give it a try when I had some time. Well, last week I had to wrap a bridal shower gift for "Miss Lisa", as Lillie calls her (we are so excited for her and "Coach Ben" and can't wait for their wedding next month!), as well as a baby gift and a few other presents so thought it would be fun to give it a try. It looked easy and inexpensive and I have to say it really was! The crepe paper from Target was $1.99 a roll and I think you could probably get anywhere from 10 to 20 flowers out of each roll (depending on their size) and you can't beat 10 to 20 cents per flower. And they really were easy. However, I switched mine up a tiny bit because for some reason I had trouble making mine look like Janet's when I did the fold in half part from her tutorial. Hers were so beautiful and fluffy and mine kept coming out like this and looked so flat and tight and not nearly as pretty as hers. 
I am not sure what I was doing wrong but after four turning out like the one above I gave up and tried doing mine a tiny bit different. Below is how I did mine step by step but you can also check out her tutorial and see which one works better for you. The only part that's different is where you sew your ruffle (hers is down the middle and mine is on the side) and hers are folded in half and mine aren't.

1).  First cut three long strips of crepe paper.
(For my largest flower I think each strip was about 3 feet long and for the smaller ones I just made the strips a little smaller. I don't think I made any that were less than 2 feet, though).

2).  Stack them on top of each other.

I figured it would be easier to make a whole bunch at once and save them for future use so I think I made around 20-25 of them and first just cut all of the strips and stacked them together is piles.

 4) Set your sewing machine to make the longest stitch possible.
 Here are the settings that I set my sewing machine at. You can also just hand stitch them loosely and then pull the thread at the end to make the ruffle if you don't have a machine.

5).  Now start sewing!

 It always helps having some Disney Princesses stickers! We sewed so many of these streamers that Lillie got a little bored with her part of "pushing the pedal" and starting decorating my machine instead.

 6) When you are done sewing they should look like this.
 They will kind of curl up on their own.

 7) Now start at one end and start rolling.
 I recommend rolling them somewhat loosely. If you do it too tight it won't look right. It took me a few tries to figure out how loosely to do it.

 For smaller sized ones it's okay for them to be a little bit tighter.

But for larger ones I found it works better if they rolled more loosely, like this:

8) When you get to the end just add a dab of hot glue and glue it closed.

9) Now cover the bottom in hot glue.

10) Cover that with a strip or two of crepe paper.
After that trim that down and then cut off any loose thread. 
*****PLEASE NOTE: I used white thread for all of mine so that it would show up in the photos for this tutorial but I would recommend using the same color thread as your crepe paper!

Now you should have a nice pile of flowers that look kind of like roses.

11) And now for the final step just pull apart each streamer layer
and "fluff" them and they will look like the flowers below! 
If you like the look of the flowers above then, of course, just leave them like that. Personally, I prefer the fluffy peony look a bit better.  Then just glue them onto your gift and there you go!

I think there are a TON of other ideas to use them for as well. 
They would look cute as place settings at a wedding or party! 
(I have quite a few other ideas but haven't had time to work in them yet.)

And here are some more photos of some of the gifts we wrapped with them:

 I also added some to our wreath out on our back porch.

In our home tour post that we did last Monday for the Poppies at Play Parade of Homes I posted some photos of our back porch. Most of the other photos I used were quite recent (many were taken within the last few weeks) however, the porch ones were from a couple of summers ago. I don't think I took any last summer. We have actually spent the last few days cleaning the porch off and getting it all ready for this spring/summer! We've eaten dinner out there the last several nights. I forgot how much I loved being out there. Because I pretty much just ignore the space from about November through April each year it gets pretty gross so needed a major cleaning. This year along with washing all of the bedding on the daybed I also made a bunch of new pillows and recovered the two chairs. Now I just need to freshen up the accessories out there and then I will post some new photos. In our last house I used a ton of blue and every time now that I see a new piece that Miss Mustard Seed does in blue I completely fall in love with it and then I start missing blue sooooo much! I had a ton of this blue toile fabric left from some old projects in our last house so I used it to recover several pillows and then added in some blue silhouette pillows. That blue ink on the silhouette pillows looked MUCH more muted in the bottle and when they dried they were a million times brighter than I had anticipated. It is  too bright for me. I prefer the more muted gray blues so as soon as I have a chance I will be making  something different but for now here a little peak of the blue we added out there:

And here is one of our favorite spots in Colonial Williamsburg. Now that everything is starting to bloom I am going to try to take more photos when we are down there. We've had a picnic here four times this past week. Yesterday we went twice. Lillie loves the ducks, geese, turtles, fish and squirrels that live in this little spot. In fact, one of her first questions each morning is if we can go see "Mr. Goose, Mr. Turtle and the Quack Quacks". There is a little bridge over to the left that I will have to take a picture of next time. When we sit there and eat our lunch I like to imagine this is our house. (Oh and don't worry, we aren't just randomly trespassing on some poor person's front lawn. This is part of CW but it is a bit off the beaten path so we often have it to ourselves.)

Just three more weeks until my due date, although I am hoping she will arrive sooner than that.  Jon and I still can't agree on a name so if you have any more suggestions please feel free to leave them either here or on the weight/date guessing post. We actually added one to our current list that was left on the original post and talked about quite a few of the other ones.

Oh, and I am still SLOWLY making my way through e-mails. I actually took a couple of days off from the computer last week because I needed a break but have started back working on them and am hoping to finally get through them all this week as long as the new wee ones doesn't arrive. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

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