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Interview with »HandmadeBySaraKim«

A stunning wedding bouquet that can be admired for years to come – paper flower artist Sara Kim makes it possible. Individual and handmade is each of her bouquets. She uses materials and tools that could be hiding in your home. You can read the whole interview here in sisterMAG.

Interview with Paper Flower Artist “Handmade by Sara Kim”

Sara, tell us a little bit about you. What is you background and where did the idea of making paper flowers come from? When did you make your first flower?  

I graduated with a B.A. in music (violin performance) but I always loved crafting ever since I can remember. I made my first paper flower sometime in 2010 while scrapbooking and then I have self-taught myself various skills from how to make jewelry, fabric flowers, bridal accessories, and even graphic design and photography. I started interning with Utterly Engaged, worked with numerous vendors and one day, I found myself in the wedding industry. I also designed exclusive pieces for BHLDN, Anthropologie’s wedding line, and worked with bridal boutiques.

How did you get started with your own business? What were the biggest challenges?

I was lucky to have a flexible job as a music teacher while obsessing over this hobby in crafting and making. I officially launched my online store in October 2010 after several friends had encouraged me to sell the pieces I made online. The biggest challenge 8 years ago was getting my name out since there were no social media platforms. It’s amazing to see how that has changed and helped all small businesses.

How does your current team look like?

I wear many hats in my small business from doing admin to marketing, making, and more. I do have several assistants who work with me on a project-by-project basis.

Thinking back to all projects you did so far: What was the craziest one?

There were several ones but when we made over a thousand paper flowers for BHLDN, it was one of the most demanding times.

After all the different flowers you’ve made in your life – what or who still inspires you? Is it nature, fashion, art?

It has to be nature, of course. Real flowers, trees, everything I see when I am taking my morning walks in my historic neighbourhood.

How do you decorate your home, do you still buy real flowers?

I decorate my home with some paper flowers and paper succulents but I also buy real flowers to study them.

What kind of paper do you love to use for working on the flowers?

I mostly use regular card stock paper.

How much time and paper does it take to make a bouquet? Do you cut everything by hand? What is the most time-consuming part of the process?

I use about 30 sheets of paper assorted in colour and it takes about 1 to 2 days to make a bouquet, with many breaks every hour to rest my hands and to research for more inspiration. I cut everything by hand to really capture the details of real flowers – not one flower looks the same as another one. The most time-consuming part, of course, is the breaks that avoid overworking my hands and getting carpal tunnel syndrome.

Do you have a paper flower-making tip you could share, any essential tools?

I love my Martha Stewart glue gun. The low temp option on this glue gun has the perfect amount of heat but is not too hot to burn you. I have gone through so many glue guns in the past but since I have found this one, I think it is one of the best out there.

If you could pick a flower that represents your personality best, what flower would that be?

It has to be dahlia. The repetitive petals talk to the musician in me since repeating and practicing really makes perfect. It is also the one flower I have made where I was fully satisfied with the outcome.

What happens to all the flowers after a styled shoot? Do you keep them all?

I do keep them for reference and samples to take around for pop-up shops.

What is your next big goal? Where do you see yourself in five years, what do you want to achieve?

I always wanted to write a paper flower how-to book and I had many pages written but I took a break from it after having my first baby. I haven’t looked at it again since but I hope to write a book soon so I could better share my tips on how to make paper flowers.


Follow Sara on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube to admire her latest creations and also learn how to do your own paper flowers!