There’s a lot of crepe paper out there, from the inexpensive crepe paper streamers to the more expensive, high quality Italian crepe paper from Cartotecnica Rossi. Update – I realized long after I had originally posted this blog, that every time I stated “Carte fini”, I really meant Cartotecnica Crepe Paper. Not that Carte fini doesn’t have crepe paper, they do, but the Italian paper I discuss and use in this post is from Cartotecnica Crepe Paper. I have edited this post to reflect this, but also left the Carte fini note here.
In this post, I will focus on the different types of paper, the pros and cons and how they can work with crepe paper flowers.
There are many different weights to crepe paper, but I will focus on the most commonly used for crepe paper flowers. I will also note Cartotecnica Rossi Crepe Paper and Lia Griffith throughout this post, as they seem to be the prominent sellers of high quality crepe paper.
What’s Out There
I’ve created a list of the crepe paper on the market today. I’m confident I’ve listed them all, but feel free to let me know if I’ve missed one or two.
- 180 gram crepe paper – heavy weight
- 140 gram crepe paper
- 90 gram crepe paper
- 60 gram crepe paper – extra fine crepe paper
- double sided or doublette crepe paper
- crepe paper streamers
- Metallic crepe paper
- Nuanced/Ombre crepe paper
- Chinese crepe paper
I won’t be covering all of the paper in the above list, as I don’t use the 90-140 gram paper. I just don’t see the need to utilize those weights with my projects.
At the end of this post, I’ll discuss where you can source the types of crepe paper discussed here.
180 Gram Crepe Paper – Heavy Weight (rolls)
180 gram crepe paper (Italian crepe paper) from Cartotecnica Rossi is a high quality crepe paper with a lot of stretch. This paper can be used to make almost any flower, big and small. This heavy weight paper is durable and manageable, which can be important depending the flower you’re making. The colour selection for this paper is endless. There are so many hues to select from, it can be hard to decide what to get.
Lia Griffith sells a heavy weight crepe paper but I’m not sure what the weight is. It feels heavy, but likely closer to 140 gram weight.
If you look online for giant crepe paper flower tutorials, 180 gram Italian paper is utilized by almost all artisans.
60 Gram Crepe Paper – Extra Fine Crepe Paper (large folds)
This paper can also have a lot of stretch, but it’s far more delicate than the heavier weights. Sixty gram paper can give you really soft impression with your flowers, but easily rips and tears, so care needs to be taken when sculpting your petals.
This paper is really beautiful for smaller, more realistic looking flowers, but won’t hold up if used for giant crepe paper flowers.
Double Sided Or Doublette Crepe Paper (small folds)
Double sided crepe paper, or sometimes called doublette crepe (two sheets of crepe paper glued together to give you a thicker and multicoloured crepe paper) is really a mixed bag. It’s not suitable for giant paper flowers, or should I say, it would cost a lot to make a giant flower with this paper, as you don’t get a lot in one fold. There are times it’s not suited for smaller (realistic) flowers either. I don’t use this paper often, but the benefit of this paper is the two colours it comes in. You have one colour on one side and another colour on the other, with the exception of double sided white crepe. These colours can give you a beautiful and vibrant flower.
A couple drawbacks of double sided crepe is the lack of stretch it sometimes has or how it easily tears. While using this paper, some of my petals just won’t stretch, or when I try and stretch it the paper tears. It’s rare, but it can happen. This can be frustrating when I’ve cut out a certain amount of petals for my flower, and I have to go back and cut more.
This paper is harder to find lately. I’m only able to find it on Etsy or in Lia Griffith’s product line.
Crepe Paper Streamers (small rolls)
Crepe paper streamers – you know, those rolls you get at the party store, or the dollar store. These do NOT work well for making flower petals, but I have used them for stamens. Crepe paper streamers are very thin, with little stretch, and tear easily.
I have found thicker metallic streamers, which I used for leaves and they held up well.
Metallic Crepe Paper (large rolls)
Metallic crepe paper is usually a heavy weight crepe with a metallic coating. I haven’t used this much, but It’s not as good as the regular heavy weight paper, as the coating limits the amount of stretch to the paper and it’s less durable.
Nuanced/Ombre crepe paper (large rolls)
This paper comes in a heavy weight and is as stretchable and durable as the 140-180 gram paper.
Chinese Crepe Paper (large and small rolls)
I call this Chinese crepe paper because it’s made in China, and there are endless sellers in China that sell and ship this product. It’s a heavy weight paper, but not a 180 gram weight. I would say it’s closer to 120 gram. This paper is a lower quality, with less stretch than you’ll find at Cartotecnica Rossi (Italian crepe paper) or Lia Griffith (German crepe paper). This paper is far less expensive to purchase and to ship compared to the higher quality papers. If you’re just starting out, this paper might be good for practice. I’ve used Chinese crepe paper for years and have a lot of rolls in my stash that I still utilize today.
I’ve used this paper for large and small flowers and had great results. I actually think this is the best paper for poppy petals, as it’s the perfect weight and look I’m looking for.
Where to Find Crepe Paper
Where to find crepe paper isn’t always easy. My one-stop-shop for reasonable prices used to be the online store Castle in the Air, but they stopped selling crepe paper. I recently did a search on Amazon.ca and .com, and there are more options for crepe paper than there was a year ago.
For the high quality fine crepe to the 180 gram crepe in every colour under the rainbow, Cartotecnica Rossi is the best. They’re a bit expensive, especially with shipping, as it comes from Italy, but you can’t beat the quality. I just found Cartotecnica Rossi’s crepe on Amazon with prime shipping, but you’ll pay $20 per roll. If you order straight from their site in bulk, you can get your rolls at about $10 each. Cartotecnica Rossi doesn’t offer the doublette folded crepe paper, which is disappointing, as they have so many options with their other crepe paper. All Cartotecnica Rossi paper is manufactured in Italy.
Lia Griffith is another place to shop, but her selection is a bit more limited in the light and heavy weight, but she does offer the double sided crepe. The quality is pretty good in the heavy weight, and the quality and colour selection is pretty good with her fine crepe. I believe Lia sources here paper from a German manufacturer. Etsy is another place to find double sided crepe paper, but it appears to be the same product Lia Griffith offers.
I’ve purchased Chinese crepe paper rolls on AliExpress over the last 5 years. Fine crepe paper is available, but the quality is poor. You can pay $2-$5 per large roll (their heavy weight) on AliExpress, and with free shipping, you can’t beat that price. I found one listing for double sided crepe paper made in China on alibaba, but the quality looks below what I would use it for.
A quick google search for “buy crepe paper” will yield many shop results, including Etsy, but I believe they’re all manufactured in Italy (Cartotecnica Rossi), Germany and China. Cartotecnica Rossi and Lia Griffith are really where I go for all my paper – with the exception of a purchase from AliExpress every other year.
Crepe paper streamers? Well, I think we can all get our hands on those.