7.24.2013

The Wedding Ones: DIY Origami Flower Candle Holders with Vintage Maps

It's less than a month until our wedding, and projects and planning are in full swing!  We've had a general idea of what we wanted for the centerpieces for awhile, but over the past few days we've pretty much nailed down the final plan, and that added a new DIY project to my list: origami flower candle holders.  Chris was adamant that we have a candle on each table, and I agree that the little glowing lights will look great, especially once it gets dark out.  Since we can only have real candles inside and there will be several tables outside on the terrace, too, we decided to just go with LED tea light candles for all the tables to keep it uniform (plus it would be rather dangerous to use real candles with paper candle holders).

Here are the four lovely little flowers I have made so far, complete with lit-up fake flames inside:


 Aren't they ridiculously adorable?!  I always fall in love with all my DIY projects, and these are definitely not an exception.  So pretty!

Chris had seen some similar candle holders on Etsy, but none of them were quite what I wanted.  I had been hesitant to add more to my DIY project list, but after I found this instructional youtube video, I decided they were easy enough and would be really inexpensive so I might as well try, and I'm so glad I did!  I had been wanting to add some maps into the decor somehow as I thought the colors would work well with our overall scheme, and you know how much we love a good vintage map.  Plus, we have tons of them, and some are duplicates or just kinda boring, so I'm fine with cutting those up and putting them towards a better cause.

All the other origami flowers I have seen have leaves, but I chose not to leave that part out, because I think the leaves make them look too much like lotus flowers; as much as I like lotus flowers in general, they are a rather specific look, and I wanted a more general flower vibe.


Here are all the supplies we used.  We bought twelve little LED candles at Michael's for $14, along with some colored origami paper to mix in with the maps for $6.  I found that the thicker paper of the maps actually works better than the delicate origami paper, so if I were going to do it again, I would probably just buy normal colored printer paper.  Although... I did like that the origami paper came in a range of 100 colors, so each aqua/seafoam/blue and peachy tone is slightly different.  As I mentioned, I already owned the maps, so basically I spent $20 to make 12 sweet candles (which would have run me about $10 a pop on Etsy!).

For each flower, you'll need eight sheets of paper cut to size, one twisty tie (or piece of wire), one LED candle, good fine motor skills, and lots of patience.  I don't know if these flowers actually count as real origami because of the twisty tie, but whatever.

Each piece of paper should be about 3" by 5.5", but my origami sheets were 5.875" square, so I just cut them in half and used one as a template for cutting out the maps.  That way each piece is a hair under 3" by just under 6", which is close enough for me if it makes the prep easier.  I used a straightedge and an exacto knife to do all the cutting.  I didn't take pictures of that part since it's pretty straightforward (haha so punny), but everything else I documented for you:


For those of you who aren't visual learners, some written instructions to accompany the pictures:

1.  Fold each sheet of paper in half hot dog style (the long way), and then unfold and lay flat
2.  Fold down the corners, using the center folded line as a guide, so that the corners are the colored side of the paper.
3.  Fold the long flat sides down into the middle, so the whole piece is colored and all the white is hidden.
4.  Pinch each piece along the original center fold, so they stand up.
5.  Stack two pieces together, so you have a total of four stacked sets.
6.  Put all your stacked sets together, pinch the middle, and wrap the twisty tie the center nice and tight.

Hint: during step 5 and 6, think about where you want the colored papers to end up on the final flower.  I did one colored piece on the top of a stack and the other on the bottom, and then I put both stacks with colored papers in the middle between the two all map stacks for step 6.  That way, the colors end up spread throughout the flower the best.


7.  Spread out the eight spokes of paper.
8.  Turn the pinwheel so you can see all the folds and edges of paper, and gently flip the top layer of one spoke so it faces the center of the flower.  It helps to use both thumbs on the inside of the petal and your fingers on the outside.
9.  Skip one spoke, and repeat step 8 on every other spoke until you have folded up four petals.
10.  Now fold up the four spokes you skipped during the first round.  By the end of this step, each spoke should only be one layer instead of two.
11.  Fold up every other spoke, and gently encourage the tip of each petal to fold out.
12.  Fold up the last four spokes, popping the tips out even more.


Add an LED tea light, and you're done!  Without the leaves around the base they don't stand perfectly straight, which doesn't really bother me, especially since the candles aren't real.


So what do you think of my little creations?  Would you try making these?  I think they would make awesome party decorations for any gathering!

Linking up with The Well Crafted Home

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