David and I decided early in the wedding-planning process that we would include some book elements. David is an avid reader and talented writer. I also love to read and can dive deep into the world of whatever book I am currently immersed in, and I like to write here in this space. David is the sort of reader who reads seven books at once. I can only manage one at a time.
Book page rosettes, or rather paper rosettes, were one of the first decor ideas I pinned. After some debate, we decided to use book pages to make some wedding decorations since we were going along with the book theme. We decided on The Complete Works of William Shakespeare since he is a world-renowned romantic and we both enjoy several of his works.
I put most of these rosettes onto a wreath that now hangs above our bed and used others as various decorations here and there around our wedding cabin. Even as I was ripping pages out of my collection, I wasn’t sure how I felt about destroying books. I shared my progress and unease on Instagram and quite liked my cousins’ mindset: “it’s recycling at it’s best. Art into art.” So I ripped up the entire works of William Shakespeare and made them into book page rosettes… 265 rosettes to be exact.
So! How do we make these adorable paper roses?! See the steps below! (I found this idea and a great tutorial for both the roses and the wreath on By Stephanie Lynn.)
Start with a square piece of paper. You can use patterned paper, regular printer paper, newspaper, tissue paper, and of course, book pages. I used 3 sheets at a time stacked on top of each other to give my roses a more layered look. I took the rectangular book pages, folded a triangle into them to get a square shape, and then used the big square as my roses. I also cut that small leftover strip into squares and made a bunch of tiny rosettes.
Use a pencil to lightly draw a spiral on your square piece of paper. Next, cut along the spiral pencil pattern staring on the outside and working your way in to the center of the spiral. Leave a small circle in the very center of the spiral and this will be the bottom or base of your rosette. Keeping this intact helps to wind the rosettes tighter if you want to.
I tore along the spiral markings instead of cutting with scissors because it gave a more rustic look that I liked better than the straight edges scissors produce. This process of cutting goes about one million times faster with scissors… but it was for my wedding! It had to be exactly what I wanted! David helped make a few rosettes, too. I think Elyse made a few, too, and then got scared of Bridezilla over here so she stopped.
Starting with the outside of the spiral (not the circle in the center) roll the paper up tightly as if you’re wrapping ribbon around a spool or rolling a cigar (I have never rolled a cigar, but this seems to be a commonly understood explanation).
The center circle will become the base of the rosette. At this point you can set the rosette aside until you’ve made as many as you want to make. You can also put a dab of glue on the inside circle to hold your rosette in place. I found that hot glue worked the best and quickest. Sometimes I glued the rosettes to keep them the size and tightness I wanted them, and sometimes they stayed in place by themselves. Also, I sometimes placed a smaller rosette inside a larger rosette to make a more full flower. The larger rosettes you see pictured are either two or three rosettes nestled inside one another.
We used these rosettes to make a wreath as I mentioned above. We also used some to decorate the welcome baskets and flower girl buckets. The wreath used up most of the rosettes, so if you’re planning to make a wreath, then you should also plan to make at least 200 rosettes. Enjoy!
For the wreath, I purchased a white foam wreath form from the craft store and hot glued the rosettes all around the wreath form. Place them as close together as possible and fill in any holes with the tiny rosettes.
Photo by Elyse Anne Maria.