david stark’s purely paper flower shoppe + DIY project

[i’m thrilled to welcome david stark back to d*s for another special guest post to celebrate his west elm pop up shop this thursday and friday. if you’re town in town i hope you’ll check it out!]

I hope you’ll come visit us Thursday and Friday! We’ve created a pop up store/installation that will be open for those two days only. The (purely paper) Flower Shoppe is at the west elm store on Broadway and 62nd Street, and it’s been a fantasy of mine for a long time. All of the flowers, plants, gardening tools, and even the actual shop itself are made from paper. We’ve been collecting discarded books that people leave on their stoops in Brooklyn for some time now, knowing that a good use would present itself for those stacks.

As my head and heart are currently lost in paper posies, I wanted to share an idea that Jason came up with that was inspired by our pop up Shoppe. I love anything that takes a classic and makes it modern. In fact, we have a whole chapter in our new book David Stark Design that focuses on just that design philosophy. Thus, it only makes sense to keep that train going here. Genuine pressed and framed botanicals can sometimes feel little grandma-y, but why not cut “pressed” botanical shapes from pages of books and frame them for a humorous wink at an old-time process?

CLICK HERE for the full how-to and the rest of David’s post (including an image from the shoppe!) after the jump!


Gather chic and simple frames of varying size – west elm is actually a wonderful source for these. Use a color or black as the backdrop in each frame to provides enough contrast to the cut leaf shapes. Google “pressed botanicals” to find examples to inspire your cuts. Mount one cut in each frame with a touch of hot glue, then arrange the frames salon style on your wall.

Why not hide the evidence of those steamy romance novels that you are embarassed to own? Rip out the pages, orient the text upside down, cut them into the appropriate botanical shapes, and it can be our own little secret that you were reading such trash! (wink).

Oh, and by the way, we’re going to sell these actual framed “botanicals” at the store. Come check them out in person.


  1. so simple and so enchanting…
    where are my scissors?

  2. Sue says:

    Wow! These are lovely!

  3. jamie says:

    Oh my gosh! Too much inspiration today. . .too little time!!! I will find some to make these though, thanks so much :)

  4. Morgan says:

    BEAUTIFUL!! I love that they’re so graphic and use found materials.

  5. Beth says:

    Creativity and imagination is unlimited. This work is one proof. Wish you had a success exibit.

  6. Dora says:

    I’ll definitely have to try this :D

  7. Wow wow wow! This is so exciting, and I’m in NYC so will be there for sure! What a brilliant idea and I can’t wait to visit.

  8. Renee says:

    i really love these!

  9. Sirvart says:

    Fun fun projects can’t wait to try this ! &
    I L O V E his website !!!

  10. danielle says:

    Love those paper pieces!

  11. Tanya says:

    I really need to make more stuff

  12. Megan says:

    I’m in love with these arrangements. They’d make gorgeous centerpieces at a wedding!

  13. Lex Cut says:

    Beautiful! It’s amazing. I thought you’re going to share a bit on how to make these.

  14. Little Fish says:

    Absolutely amazing. Clever, slightly tongue-in-cheek, and a great way to use old books, newspapers, fabric, and those empty frames gathering dust in my closet.

  15. max says:

    It’s hard to belive those things are made of paper. They look fantastic!

  16. lifestyle says:

    Adorooo la carta!

  17. margaret says:

    this is one of those days when i wish i lived in nyc! whimsical – beautiful – thanks for giving us out of towners a glimpse!

  18. mina says:

    oh wow, the yellow flowers are adorable

  19. laura says:

    these colors are fantassssssstic!

  20. Gabrielle says:

    ah! this is perfect! school just ended and i have TONS of paper that i planned on throwing away but now i will recycle it and make it into something beautiful :)

  21. Tisha says:

    you once posted a photograph of a diy pendant light with twigs for a shade. I’ve been searching all of my saved design*sponge emails and can’t find it. (Yikes!) Visited West Elm in Manhattan and saw it in the store and it is beautiful. I’d like to show it to the students in my workshop. Help!

    1. grace says:


      i’m so sorry- it’s not jogging my memory. was it made of actual twigs?



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