DIY Coffee Filter Peonies

There’s not a flower on earth I love more than the peony for both its beauty as well as that one-of-a-kind delectable fragrance.  I wanted peonies all over every inch of our wedding but as it would turn out, they are prohibitively expensive ($7 flower? WTF!) to buy in large quantities which effectively ruled that possibility out.

So what’s a budget-minded bride to do you ask?  I scoured the interwebs and lo and behold, I came across some photos of some really lovely peonies which were supposedly made from – could it be – coffee filters?  Oh yeah baby, you better believe it.  The best part is that while yes, they are made of paper, they look incredibly realistic!  I mean just look at this comparison; it’s uncanny, right?!



Side note:  If you’ve already attempted the DIY Coffee Filter Roses, DIY Coffee Filter Ranunculus (coming soon!) or DIY Coffee Filter Anemones (coming soon!), you’re in for a treat:  not only are these peonies SO much easier and less time-consuming than the other flowers to make but they’re just as beautiful and perhaps even more show-stopping as part of an arrangement.  Let’s get started!

Here’s What You Need:

  • 3 1/4″ regular basket style coffee filters (you’ll need 10 for each flower)
  • Scissors
  • Floral wire of choice (see below)
  • White and green floral tape
  • Craft glue of choice (I used E6000)

Optional:  Paper cupcake liner to create center/stamen if you prefer this look for your flower

coffee filter peonies suburbanaf

Before You Get Started:

Dying/Coloring Your Coffee Filters

There are a variety of different methods you can use to add color if you wish, a few of which I have used myself including immersing the filters in water colored with food dye as well as hand painting with concentrated watercolors, both of which I have been able to get good results with.  You can also get great results using nothing but undyed, white filters which I have also done.  However, I do love the look of using a few white or lighter colored filters for the center of the peony with progressively darker, more dramatic colored petals around the outer edges.

To dye your coffee filters using food dye, fill a round bowl large enough to fit the coffee filters (without folding) with a few inches of water.  Then, add a few drops of the food dye to your water and mix well before adding to the filters to the bowl.  You’ll find that the filters will soak up the dye fairly quickly so just a quick dip-dye vs soaking the filters should be sufficient to get them to absorb the color.


Suburban AF’s Tip:  Always use at least one drop of yellow dye when mixing your desired colors!  This will make the color look more realistic/less flourescent, particularly if you’re planning to use a lot of pink like I did.

If you’re using the cupcake liner for the center, add a few drops of yellow dye to water and use the same dip-dye technique as you did to dye the coffee filters.  However, since the cupcake liners definitely do not absorb color as effectively as the coffee filters, I’d recommend using a darker yellow than you want for the end result to dye them and/or soaking them longer in the dye before removing.

Once all of your filters are dyed, simply wring them out (gently) and lay them out on plates in stacks of 4-5 filters to dry.  This can take overnight up to 24 hours so be patient!  You may be able to speed the drying time by stacking fewer filters together and/or using a hair dryer but seriously, just be patient; you won’t get a good result trying to work with the filters while they’re still wet so wait it out until they’re dry and ready to use.

Another method that can be used to color your peonies is painting them with concentrated watercolors, either on the entire flower or just the tips.  If you’re interested in this color method, see this YouTube video .  At a high level, the trick is using concentrated, high-quality watercolors as a starting point; mark my words that trying to get this effect with standard childrens’ Crayola watercolors will NOT deliver the results you’re looking for.  Just trust me that if you want to use watercolors, head over to Michael’s or Amazon and buy a set of the good, concentrated colors that come in tubes.

A Note on Floral Wire

You’ll have several different floral wire options for stems which I’ve laid out below.  The wire on the far left is actually just floral tape wrapped around regular floral wire (26 gauge) which is easy to do but can be a little time-consuming AND the finished product can be a little flimsy due to the thin wire used.  In the center is a smooth 18 gauge floral wire followed by 18 gauge string-wrapped floral wire on the right.  You can honestly use whatever you have on hand but I would highly recommend using a variation of the 18 gauge wire (either) which will be a lot easier to work with AND will hold up a lot better in an arrangement.  Personally, I like the string-wrapped wire which seems to grip the floral tape for the flower a bit better.  You can pick up a package of 12 of either for a mere few bucks at Michael’s or Amazon which can then be halved for a total of 24 stems.  Easy peasy.


Once your dyed filters are dry, the first step to creating your DIY coffee filter peonies will be to cut the outside edge of filters so that they will look like flower petals which is fortunately MUCH quicker and easier than the process of cutting out the petals for the other coffee filter flowers.  Just stack 3-4 filters, fold in half, fold in half again and then fold in half one more time for a total of 3 folds as shown on the below left.  If you’ve done everything right, you should have a cone shape of filters in your hand.

suburbanaf folding coffee filter peonies

Then, just cut the outer edge of the filters into two scallops, resembling a heart as shown on the below right.  Cut all 10 filters this way, unfold and stack them to prep for the flower assembly.

coffee filter peonies cutting suburbanaf

To start assembling your flower, either take the cupcake liner for the variation with center stamen or 2 cut filters for the standard version and poke the bottom of the stem through as shown below.  Then, twist, scrunch and tape with white floral tape at the base of the flower to secure.  For fellow children of the 80s and 90s, just think Aussie Scrunch Spray and you can’t go wrong! Continue adding 2 filters at a time and twisting, scrunching and securing with white floral tape until you have added all 10 filters.

coffee filter peonies assembly

Next, use your fingers to fan out the layers of “petals”until your flower looks like the below left.  Then, take a longer piece of your green floral tape (at least 5-6”) and start wrapping it around the base of your flower and the top of the stem both to secure the flower as well as cover any remaining white floral tape that is still visible on the stem.  Optionally, if you did use the cupcake liner for the center of your peony, use your scissors to fringe the ends for a stamen-like appearance.  At this point, your flower is almost done! Bear with me for just a few extra steps that will make your flower look the most realistic.

coffee filter peonies finishing suburbanaf

Finally, bend back the outermost layer of petals and put a few dots of glue all the way around and about halfway up the second outermost layer of petals and press the outermost layer onto it. This will keep the outermost layer of petals from separating too far from the rest of the petals as it tends to do otherwise.  Next, take your scissors and make a small cut about half down the outermost filter to separate each grouping of two petals such as is shown below. In other words, each “heart” will be separated a little bit from the next. This will only be done for the outermost layer of petals.

coffee filter peonies glue suburbanaf

Then, just fan out the petals out one more time and you’ve got your peony!  I may be biased but I think they look enough like the real thing to be a pretty convincing substitute!

coffee filter peonies suburban af

How did your coffee filter peonies turn out?  I hope you enjoyed making them as much as I did!  Please feel free to like, share and/or join in the discussion with comments below to share your own DIY coffee filter peonies!

You can also bookmark my page and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest to stay in the loop with new posts from Suburban AF coming your way every Tuesday.

About The Author


Hi! I’m Lisa, creator and owner of, a women’s interest/lifestyle blog for women living a suburban lifestyle. This blog is the natural evolution of earlier blogs I managed, including Becker it Yourself, centered primarily around DIYs. Join me on the suburban journey to Master Mrs. with Style with topics including friends, family, fashion, home, food, travel, fitness and health/beauty, all in good humor.


  1. Gabi | 9th May 23

    Hi I stumbled across your blog with the coffee filter paper peonies. But when I go to the post there aren‘t any pictures 😢. Any idea why????

    • Lisa | 9th May 23

      Hi Gabi – Thanks for letting me know! I recently updated my blog to a newer version of PHP and I’m guessing that is what is causing some incompatibility issues. I will update as soon as I am able.

  2. Anita | 1st Jan 22

    My question that I just posted was for your coffee filter rose DIY.

  3. Anita Grande Svetkovich | 1st Jan 22

    Hi! Perhaps I’m having a senior moment, but where are the templates for the different shapped petals? Am I missing something? Also, there is a #4 petal template pictured which is shaped different than the petals that you cut out in the next picture. I’m a little confused. Thanks in advance.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Suburban AF

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading