How to Make Crepe Paper Wisteria – This is one of those glorious DIYS that *looks* so much more complicated than it is. Easy, inexpensive DIY’s are my jam.
Since Christmas, my kids have BIG TIME gotten on the seasonal decoration train. We’ve adopted the area around our kitchen table as the designated the seasonal decoration spot. I used it to create a pretty holiday tablescape, we cut out dozens of paper snowflakes late December to carry us through January, and we put together a little Valentine’s mobile for February.
Now that we’re done with the winter holiday season (and St. Patrick’s Day is such a short window), I’m feeling all kinds of spring-y vibes. I made a crepe paper leaf garland for some bright, happy green, but wanted something colorful and floral around the table.
I saw a GORGEOUS installation at an Anthropologie in Las Vegas last year that was made out of cupcake liners and purple balloons (people are so creative!). I’ve thought about it ever since. While there isn’t space for something of that magnitude in my house, I still wanted something similar (but simpler). So, I took to Pinterest and soon found there were dozens and dozens of tutorials for making similar ones out of tissue or crepe paper.
I’ve done a lot with tissue paper (since it’s just so darn inexpensive) but this was my first time working with crepe beyond the cheap-o paper streamers I’ve bought for parties. Real crepe (sold in rolls about 20-inches wide) is much higher quality, maintains its stretch, and is thicker than the stuff you buy at party shops. I ordered a few rolls from here in an ombre purple-pink palate for some dimension. You could certainly use other colors (or all one color, or just two colors, etc.), but I went with purple and a lavender-y pink that are lovely. Surprisingly, the rolls are only about $1.30 each, so even with paying shipping the end result is very inexpensive!
Here’s how I made it…
1. Cut 3-4″ wide strips of crepe.
2. Fold about 2-2.5″ lengths all the way across until you have a neat rectangle (it’s okay if there’s a tiny bit leftover at the end).
3. Cut out a balloon shape. I didn’t use a template for this, figuring that if each set of petals was slightly different in shape it could only add to the effect. I also made sure to cut so that the grain (the lines) went horizontally across the width of my balloon shapes. This helped as I was shaping petals. If you accidentally do it vertically, it will still work, but you may not have as much control over shaping the petals.
4. Twist the narrow end of the “balloon” 2-3 times. Fold the twist inward on itself toward the center of the petal. Gently shape the petal into a curve.
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you have plenty of petals in every color you plan to use. I wanted each strand to be slightly different, so for some I used 12 dark purple, 10 medium purple, and 8-9 pink. For others, I used 10 dark, 15 medium, and 12 light.
6. Thread the petals. Cut a length (as long as you like–I did about 15-20 inch lengths) of embroidery thread (you can also just use a double strand of regular thread). Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end.
Poke the needle through the “knot” you created by twisting and folding. The petal should open downward, so start with the darkest color you plan to use and work your way up to the top. Repeat with all the petals. Arrange petals facing opposite directions to create more dimension (rather than stacking them perfectly one on top of the other).
When you get near a transition between colors (i.e. dark to medium or medium to light), overlap a few petals. For instance, you may go dark-medium-dark-medium-medium-medium-medium, etc.) to create a more gradual transition/ombre effect. You don’t have to do this, it’s just my personal preference. You can see how it looks above.
7. Make lots of strands! Continue threading petals on the strands, and make enough strands that you have a nice cluster.
8. Tie to a craft hoop (I used a 12-inch hoop, but you could use a 14-inch hoop if you want a bigger one) and arrange at varying heights. Hang from a chandelier (or from a command hook hung from the ceiling). Alternatively, you can hang the strands directly from your chandelier. My friend Anna said she thought they’d look lovely tied to a bar or branch in a nursery. I LOVE THAT IDEA!!!
- Lilac Crepe (my dark color)
- Taffy Pink Crepe (my medium color)
- Carnation Pink Crepe (my light color)
- Embroidery Thread
- 12-Inch Hoop or 14-Inch Hoop (sometimes called a Macrame hoop)
- Command Hook