Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thrifty DIY: Encyclopedia Flowers

Turn old encyclopedia pages into these gorgeous flowers! | http://www.designimprovised.com

The last time I was at the Goodwill, I found myself in the book section. You'd be surprised at how many good books you can nab there for 99 cents a piece! Then I saw a few lonely encyclopedias - some strays no longer with their original set. I feel kind of sad for these obsolete relics of the past, don't you? So I grabbed the G-H volume for 99 cents and got to work giving them a new life in flower form!

Turn old encyclopedia pages into these gorgeous flowers! | http://www.designimprovised.com

While I'm not crazy about the idea of tearing up books, encyclopedias (especially single volumes) seem to be a good bet for not being used again. Plus their large sheets of almost tissue-thin paper make them perfect for shaping into delicate flowers.

Turn old encyclopedia pages into these gorgeous flowers! | http://www.designimprovised.com

You could use just the encyclopedia pages for a more vintage look, but being the color-loving girl I am I had to layer in some bright colored tissue paper as well! I like the juxtaposition of the two types of paper. Putting them in a bright colored vase (you can make one of these too!) makes for a pretty spring arrangement!

Supplies for Encyclopedia Flowers


  • Encyclopedia or other book with large, thin sheets of paper
  • Tissue paper (I found the particular pack of colors shown at Target!)
  • Floral wire (I used 16 gauge, but I would recommend going a gauge thinner)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Card stock (not shown)

Turn old encyclopedia pages into these gorgeous flowers! | http://www.designimprovised.com

How to Make Encyclopedia Flowers


1. Create a square template by measuring a 6 inch square on a piece of card stock and cutting it out. Use this template to trace squares on your tissue paper and encyclopedia pages.

How to make paper flowers

2. You will need 3 squares of tissue paper, and 3 squares of encyclopedia paper for each flower.

How to make paper flowers

3. Stack them up, alternating between the two types of paper. Then accordion fold six times (each fold should be about 1/2 inch wide). 

How to make paper flowers

4. Once it is accordion folded it should look like this. Round off the ends with your scissors, which will create a petal look.

How to make paper flowers

5. Take your floral wire and wrap it snuggly around the middle of the paper.

How to make paper flowers

6. Start to fan out each layer of paper to form the flower, being careful not to rip the paper as you are separating it.

How to make paper flowers

7. Once you've fanned out each layer the flower should look like this! 

How to make paper flowers

I stuck a little floral form in the bottom of my vase so that the flowers would stand up nicely. No water needed! These will keep my counter looking pretty all spring!

Turn old encyclopedia pages into these gorgeous flowers! | http://www.designimprovised.com

This post was written in support of the Goodwill San Antonio. All content and opinions are my own.



TDC Before and After

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