Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Getting Crafty: Book Page Roses

You gave me a dozen roses and I'd be happy. But they die. Pretty quickly. And, well, while I appreciate the sentiment, sometimes thinking outside the box is even more appreciated.

So when I saw these, I wasn't about to wait around for someone to make me some. Hell no. I'll give myself some roses thank you very much.

More specifically, I made myself some roses out of book pages. Double win. If you guessed this was yet another excuse to tear into my already torn and worn dictionary, you'd be right. I also used Henry the Eighth because that dictionary isn't the only one sitting on my craft pile.

So how does one go about making book page roses? Well you get yourself an old tattered book or two (the kind you'd otherwise throw out, not the valuable vintage sort) - one with lightweight pages and one with a little heavier pages. Any pages that have colored or worn edges are best. Yes, you could paint the edges, but I like the natural look.

Official supply list:
Tacky glue
1/8 wooden dowel that is longer than your pages
Book pages you never plan to read again

1. To make the stems: Take full book pages and apply glue to the outside edge. Roll using the dowel and smooth the glued edge. Pull out the dowel, and hey, you've got a stem. Lightweight pages work best for this as they are easier to roll this tight.

2. Cut a 1.5 x length of book page strip and fold over one corner. Glue this onto the stem and then wrap, pleating the paper a couple times to create interest. This makes the center of your rose.

To fill this giant gap between pictures, I'll tell you that once I had the process down, each rose took about five minutes to make.

3. Cut a selection of petals. For the heavier book pages, I made the petals roughly two inches long by about 1.5 inches tall. For the thinner pages, I made the strips 5 inches long because I could pleat them a I wound them around the center section.

4. Start with a heavier page petal. Varying the paper weight adds some substance and interest to the petals. My pages were also slightly different colors, with the heavier one being a darker page with a red edge, though not all of the petals came from the edges of the page. Manually pleat the heavy page petals. These can be done all at once or as you go.

5. You will need to hold the heavier page petals in place for a few seconds until the glue sets a little. Then follow that petal with a lighter weight one. Sprinkle the heavy pages throughout. I used three to four per rose. The heavier pages are bulkier so keep that in mind when working around the underside of your rose or it will end up with a huge base.

6. Keep adding petals all around, making sure to vary the length of the petals to keep the rose round and somewhat natural looking. You know, as natural as a rose made of book pages can be. Overlapping the petals an inch or so also helps keep them looking like petals.

7. Once you have the desired amount of petals pinch down the bottom against the stem. Cut a 1 inch by 5 inch strip of lightweight paper and wrap it around the underside of your rose to make the base. This serves to clean up the underside a little and transition the clump of petals into the stem.

8.  Cut a couple leaf shaped bits. I used one or two per stem and placed them roughly two inches below the rose. Glue the leaf onto the stem.

There you go. Now go wash all that glue off your hands and enjoy your roses.

My bouquet is sitting in a vase on my writing desk. The best part...they'll never wilt. Also, if I ever need a word beginning with B or C (as that's where I am in my dictionary), I can simply consult my roses for inspiration.


  1. Oh, it's SO perfect!! One of those, I-should-have-showered-you-with-a-bouquet-of-these ideas. Gorgeous!

    1. Thank you, oh mistress of craftiness. I love your roses too!

  2. I don't know which I like better, the roses or the sparkly fingernails.

    1. Thank my tween daughter for the sparkly fingernails. They're back to all blue now. ;)


Join the conversation. It gets lonely in here without you.