When I started posting about these coffee filter flowers, I got a lot of questions and feedback from brides-to-be looking for alternative centerpieces. Thanks to all y’all who reached out and showed interest –you made my day many times over
Ladies: this one is for you!
It’s also for everyone looking to make some specials accents for a party or shower, or even just an arrangement for your home or office. I keep bundle of these on my desk at work and you wouldn’t believe the attention it gets. People see it in my office and stop in their tracks to come in and touch it and feel it and ask how it was made. Granted, these arrangements aren’t everyone’s taste, but they sure are a conversation starter!
Today I’m showing one centerpiece, “the Shirley Temple” that is super economical and easy to make, plus two other options that are similar in cost, with a couple extra special flourishes. Never can have to many flourishes. I’m hoping you will see these as a starting off point for your own design. Don’t just copy mine –get down and dirty and design your own! That’s the fun part!
Now, before we get started, I need to introduce you to my little friend: THE CRIMPER. My #1 Gizmo of Choice. They have been around forever and even sell them at larger craft stores, but outside the trade, I don’t know anyone who owns one. It’s a shame. There are oodles of cool things to do with them (more on that down the road!)…essentially, the crimper wraps each ‘tuffet’ with a ‘tooth’ that you can jam into Styrofoam or foam board or screen mesh. You ever watch the rose parade and wonder how they got those flowers to stick to the underside of that dragon’s belly? Chances are a crimper had something to do with it.
Handheld crimpers go by many names, and you can get them three ways:
* Buy one on line. Note: according to that amazon link there were only 5 left today, so, you may have to hunt a little.
* Buy one at a craft store with a decent floral supply section (30% success rate on this method).
* GET ONE FREE by taking part in my first giveaway! I’m giving away a brand new Handy Pick Crimper kit with 200 steel pix. Shipping free within North America. And because every box needs a little box padding, I’m including a random assortment of coffee filter flowers to get you started. Can you tell these tutorials are leavin me with a WHOLE LOT of flowers hanging around the house?
Sooo, are you interested? All you have to do to win this beauty is:
- become a follower
- leave a comment on this post.
I just added the follower gadget yesterday –for the few of you that were already followers (y’all are the best!) don’t worry, you are in the running, just leave a comment
One comment per follower, please. The winner will be selected randomly by Lola, on September 23, 2010, at 11:59pm EST. Please be sure to leave your email in your comment so I have a way to contact the winner. Note: If the winner is comfortable sharing photos of something they make with the crimper, I would love post them at a later date. Cool? Good luck ya’ll!
$3 and 5 minutes: Shirley Temple
Someone once told me they once met Shirley Temple on an airplane and she was a mean old coot. I find that hard to believe when I look at those wonderful old movies of her all precious and frilly in her polka dot dresses. And, have you noticed, Shirley Temples are just about the loveliest cocktail running! All pink and sparkly with a maraschino cherry. How could anyone with a cocktail that pretty turn out to be a meanie-head? Sigh.
I digress…the container on this came from Mardi Gras beads hot glued to an empty can and spray painted red. Fact: a house isn’t a home without a few Mardi Gras beads hanging from the rafters, so don’t even try to tell me you need to go out and buy some. Worst case, you can use some old Christmas garland for the dollar store, but my beads are abundant so that’s what is here. For the “cherry” effect, I spray painted some dried bachelor buttons, but just about any dried wild flower or seed pod would give the same effect.
$3 and 10 minutes: Jan Brady
Jan Brady was easily, The Best Brady. Don’t even talk to me about Marsha. Jan was the one rockin orange and pink bell bottoms when Marsha was complaining about her maroon velvet prom dress. Grossamundo. This arrangement has a soup can base with some fabric hot glued around the circumference. This container was free because I always have empty cans and black and white stripe fabric around the house. Yeah, I’m weird that way. In case your not weird like me, I made you black and white stripe paper that you can print at home. Wrapping paper would work nice too. The time on this one goes to cutting multiple batches of shapes and colors; a combination of hot pink with rounded edges, and these sunny ones made from orange, yellow, and brown star shapes.
$3 and 20 minutes: Truly Scrumptious
Inspired by the marvelous hats of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s heroine, Truly Scrumptious, this arrangement is very easy and economical. She took 20 minutes because I insisted on making a few cream colored roses, and attempted to add height with some curly willow with jagged scraps hot glue to the tips to look like blossoms. It was just about impossible to photograph in my apartment, so you will have to take my word for it: she is gorgeous. I can only imagine what it would look like to see ten Trulys scattered around a large room. Talk about atmosphere! It has taken me a long time to learn that the key to good looking white flowers is to rinse them with a hint of color. Here the jagged mums have a whisper of pink and the cream roses were made from filters rinsed with Diet Coke. Yeah, tea would work, but I am big on Diet Coke.
* Note to self: need to learn the trick to photographing white stuff.
* Note to self: need to do a post on ways to make art with Diet Coke.
And here is how you make them. Fast!
When I say “five minutes” I expect you already have your filters dyed and dried. The flower making and assembly honestly took me less than five minutes each. I timed it. All three of these were assembled before I went to work yesterday. That’s the power of the crimper! That also explains why some of the photos are dark and orange colored…sorry y’all, it was an early start.
Besides a few cents spent on coffee filters and paint, the vast majority of the $3 goes to Styrofoam. In my neck of the woods, anything bigger than your hand runs $2.50 and up. Bahhhh! I hate paying retail!
* Alternative: If you are making dozens of these, you can cut your spending even further by substituting Styrofoam for insulation foam spray like this. A $4 can fills 15+ large soup can containers. Read the directions carefully and remember it’s designed to fill small spaces, so you will need to partially fill your container with rocks/sand/crumpled paper, then just tape off the top to allow the foam to do its work…..24 hours of dry time and you are good to go!
1. Take 4 pre-dyed filters. I left the ends white to add texture, but you just go hog wild when it comes to color.
2. Fold in quarters
3. Cut edges.
4. After you cut all the flowers (I estimate 6-10 flowers per centerpiece), separate and scatter randomly. This will ensure each layer of petals looks different and will add an overall richness to the final piece.
5. Choose 4 filters. If some of your filters are darker, put one on top (it should eventually end up on the inside).
7. Fold in quarters.
8. Twist the end slightly to form a stub.
9. Insert a steel pix (that’s what they are called, it a single stell pix a steel pick. Hmmm. Ponder…
10. Insert the twisted stub in the gripper jaws of the crimper and squeeze together.
11. Take a peek to make sure the teeth gripped around the stub. The first few times you use it, you might have an extra tooth or two sticking out, in which case a pair of pliers will do the trick.
12. Fluff to your heart’s content!
*Note: If you don’t have a crimper and want to do this anyway, I suggest you tape the stump to a plastic knife like this. It’s slower and doesn’t give the same fluffy results, but it works.
13. Insert Styrofoam in your container.
14 Fill any gap space between the Styrofoam and the container with extra filters, making a ruffled color.
15. Insert flowers into the Styrofoam, working from the outside inward.
Hope you like it. Again, the crimper takes a little practice but you will get up to speed in no time!
Check in next Friday for more coffee filter fun with Daisies and Dahlias!