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Recycled Magazine Flower Tutorial

A few people request a tutorial, so here it is!


Materials Needed:
- Magazines of the same size
- Scissors
- White glue
- Large popsicle sticks
- Floral wire (I used 22 caliber and it was a bit bendy for my taste, definitely get something strong enough so that they won't flop over.)
- Buttons
- Something round with a small diameter to wrap the paper around (pen, marker, knitting needle, etc); You'll need buttons bigger than whatever diameter you choose.
- Embroidery thread (optional)

Just a warning: This is a very time consuming project if you want a whole vase full.

Before we start, I just wanted to talk about the magazine pages you choose. For my bouquet I choose lots of bright colored pages and it really does make a subtle difference rather than just using anything. So make sure you plan out whatever color scheme you want to go with. You don't need to be too rigid, but definitely either go with darks, brights, or lights. You could do all one color if you wanted (I've tried it with white pages and it looks awesome), but it will probably be harder to find pages that are the majority of that color.

You'll want to cut out a ton of strips beforehand and then organize them by color. I'll show you how it looks further down.

01. Okay let's get started. First get a magazine page ready. You don't really need to worry about slightly ripped edges, because they won't show in the finished product.


02. Fold in half length wise (hot dog style).

03. And again.

04. Next fold one of the halves inward. The reason I do this is because I found that it was easier to cut at the end. If you don't care, you can just go ahead and fold it length wise one more time.

Repeat on the other side.

05. The folds should look like this.

06. Fold it up and crease the edges.

07. Unfold it so that you're back to the first original length fold.

08. Now start cutting you're strips. Start with the open ended side and work towards the fold. I found it easiest to cut with the folds facing upward. Once you get to the folded part, cut that in half so that you have two strips.

09. Now you have 8 strips. Repeat this step a floppityjillion more times so that you have a ton of strips. Like I said in the beginning, organize them by color.


10. Put a little dad of glue onto the end of a popsicle stick.

11. Now start to roll one of the strips around your object (I used a sharpie). Remember you'll want to be using the same colored strips in a row (all the blues at once, then go onto the greens, etc). I made mine with the colored part facing outward. Be sure to save any of your prettier strips for the final layer.

12. Roll it around a little bit (not too tight, otherwise you won't be able to get it off the object). I usually just rolled it when the end was halfway underneath the next layer. Smear of a little bit of glue with the popsicle stick onto the part that hasn't been rolled yet (hard to tell in the photo, but see where the letters look faded? that's the glue.). Then continue rolling until you have about an inch or inch and a half of paper left.

13. Smear glue onto the unrolled part again and then roll it up.

14. With the gluely side of the popsicle stick, press the edge down. Be sure to leave some of the glue on the outside edge.

15. Then layer on the next piece of paper over that glued edge.

16. Continue rolling and gluing until you get to a diameter you want (mine came out to 1.5 inches). Once you get a few layers glued on, you can go ahead and take the roll off your object if it'll make it easier for you. Your final layer should be something attractive and if you want a cohesive color theme, make sure all the outer layers match.

Note: You can see the colors in my photo here. Starting from the inside out the colors are red, white, green, purple, orange, and teal.

17. Now before we start making the flower, it's a good idea to make a second roll. It always good to have at least one roll around to compare diameters with your future rolls. I would stack mine on top of each other so that I could gauge when they were the same diameter.

18. Now go ahead and cut off some wire twice the length that you want the stems to be (mine were probably a bit over a foot). Next cut some embroidery thread that is a little bit longer than the wire. Fold both in half.

Note: It's a good idea to make the stems a little bit longer than you actually want them to be. Then when you go to arrange them you can cut them to the right length.

19. String the buttons onto the thread. You can stack as many buttons as you want, just make sure the bottom button is bigger than the center diameter in the paper roll. Be sure to keep the thread even on both sides.

20. Then go ahead and put the wire in through the same holes the thread went in.

21. Now place the paper roll on.

22. My stupidity seemed to flare up a bit here and I completely forgot about the bottom button, so I had to use a photo from my pre-made batch. Anyway, go ahead and thread a button (again bigger than the center diameter) on and then put the wire through. The reason the thread is longer than the wire is so that it's easier to put on the bottom button.

Note: Save some of your more generic buttons for the bottom, you won't really see them much.

23. Wrap your embroidery thread around the wire.

24. Secure it at the end and then cut off any excess so there's about 1" left.

25. Now twist the wire together.

26. You're finished! You can go ahead and cut off that excess thread now.


27. Hold the paper roll between your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Gently (GENTLY!) push the center inward so that the roll forms a bud shape.


Mine tend to lose that shape, maybe if you mixed a little bit of white glue and water you could glaze over it to help it keep that shape.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
wow neat!
i really think i will enjoy this craft...and you did a great demo!
Apr. 30th, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
Yes this is great, yours looks beautiful!
Apr. 30th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for posting...I can't wait to try this out!
Apr. 30th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I will definitely give this a shot!
Apr. 30th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
Great tut! Thanks for taking the time!
Apr. 30th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
It's great; thanks so much!
I guess nwo you can expect about a hundred magazine/button flower posts ;)
Apr. 30th, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC)
This is fabulous, thank you!
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
this is just in time for my step daughters birthday!
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
such a fab tutorial! Would you mind also posting this over in diy_tutorials?
May. 1st, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
Thank you!

& Sure, no problem.
May. 1st, 2009 05:57 am (UTC)
thanks so much! XD
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Great job with the tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to show us how to do this!!
Apr. 30th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
Excellent tutorial! Even I could follow it! :D
Apr. 30th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Psst...don't forget to tag it so people can find it for future reference.
Apr. 30th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this! I can't wait to try it out.
Apr. 30th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
This is a BRILLIANT tut! Thank you so much for doing it!

Edited at 2009-04-30 05:14 pm (UTC)
Apr. 30th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
These flowers would be great for center pieces at my wedding! :)
Thank you for the tutorial!
Apr. 30th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
This is great, thank you for sharing!
Apr. 30th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
So cool! Thanks for this!
Apr. 30th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
Awesome tut, thanks! *saves to memories*
May. 1st, 2009 02:13 am (UTC)
i was one of the people who requested a tutorial, so thank you very much! i can't wait to start working on these this weekend!!
May. 1st, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the fantastic tutorial!
Nov. 22nd, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
bandwidth exceeded! :(
Nov. 22nd, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
I know, I'm sorry. =\ It'll be back up in the first week of Dec.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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