Classic 1st Anniversary Gift, Paper Flowers




Introduction: Classic 1st Anniversary Gift, Paper Flowers

About: As a young lad Tom spent most of his days at the heels of his father, working in their shop, also known as the basement. His dad was an extraordinary cabinet maker and while working on their 1850’s home,…

This past week was my 1st anniversary. I wanted to do something special, something that was unique. On Wikipedia I found that a traditional 1st anniversary gift was paper. I am not sure where the idea came from but I decided to make a paper bouquet mimicking hers from the wedding.

Stuff I used to build it:

PVA Glue:

Clear Caulking:


Spray Glue:

Step 1: Lia Griffith

I got the flower template from Lia Griffith website. Was well worth the $5 to sign up!

Step 2: Building the Flowers

Each flower consisted of multiple layers. These are dahlias.

4 small layers

4 medium layers

2 larger layers

I left off the 4 last layers because I I felt they were big enough for the bouquet.

Step 3: Making Your Own

I could not find a template for this flower. After doing some google searching I was able to find a picture of it. Its called a "white fuzzy groundsel". I have no Idea if that is correct.

Check it out:

Step 4: The Stems

I build the "stems" of the flower using a 3/8th inch dowel. I painted them using a Swing set green and camouflage brown. I bundled them together using a burgundy ribbon. Same color as that one from her bouquet.

I used supper glue but it soaked through the ribbon. I added a second wrapping and used hot glue.

Step 5: Change of Plans

So the frame you see on the table was the one I was going to use (just paint it). It was not deep enough for the flowers. I had 2 options squish the flowers against the glass or remake the frame so it was deeper.

See what happens next! Move to the next step. (hint: I remake the frame)

Step 6: Free Wood!

I got this wood for the frame for free. There is a lumber yard across the street from where I work and they have a FREE WOOD bin. The peaces were just over 3 inches and had one clean edge.

I cut them to 3 inches. I cut the 45's to the size of the glass I had. This would be different for everyone.

I also cut the daito for the back and the lip for the glass (check out the video for some more details).

Step 7: Cleaning Up From the Saw

I have a general purpose saw blade which has an angle at the top of the teeth.

They make blades with flat tops and that would have worked much better. I was able to clean it up really nicely with a chisel and knife.

Step 8: Sand.. Fill.. Sand, Repeat.

I used tape to keep the frame together while the glue dried, I find this way is much easier than using clamps.

I sanded down everything and added wood filler where it was needed. Sanded again and went to paint.

Step 9: Back and Paint

I made the back out of a peace of cardboard (old Huggins box), and I used some spray adhesive to attached some blue project board.

I used a white primer and a light green blue color.

About 2 coats of primer with some sanding in between.

About 2 coats of paint with some steal wool in between.

Step 10: Boarder and Box

I used the same paper for the background and the side. It gave the hole box a different look.

I used PVA glue hear it is mostly used for book binding. So really good for making paper stick to wood.

Step 11: Front Glass

I attached the peace of glass to the front using some clear caulking. It goes on white but dries clear making it really easy to clean up. Since there was going to be zero pressure on the glass I didn't need much.

I used my finger to smooth it out and a razor blade to clean up the mess.


Step 12: Placement and Berries

I placed everything first and then went back and glued it all down.

I added this "berries" (they are really grapes) from Michael's. Not sure what they are on the real bouquet. They looks perfect!

Step 13: Love Tom

I added a personal note.

I printed out the lettering and traced it, without any ink or lead. I used the pressure from the pencil to leave an imprint on the cardboard I traced that with a sharpie and it looked awesome!

Step 14: Pressure + Hero Image

I used the pressure from the over sized back to hold the peace in place. I plan on going back and adding a stiffer back at some point maybe using 1/4 plywood.

Thanks for looking!

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    6 years ago

    On your 47th, you can look forward to "books" as the anniversary gift, I opted to take the wife out for dinner instead. ☺


    Reply 6 years ago

    Dinners is always a good idea! Who knows by then maybe ill write my own book.


    6 years ago

    This is beautiful work and a great instructable! I hope she liked it :)


    Reply 6 years ago

    How could she not have? Good work, Tom. :)


    Reply 6 years ago

    Thank you! She loved it!