Sad fact: I have never seen real cherry blossoms.
You don’t find them so much here in the Midwest and I have never been out east mid-spring when they are blossoming.
But one day we will time it right.
Actually, years ago, I dragged a friend into lunch at the famous Pool Room at the Four Seasons just so I could brag about eating a meal underneath a spectacular canopy of cherry blossoms. How grand would that be? It was to be a highlight of trip, but, lo, apparently they don’t have cherry blossoms in July. Apparently they store them somewhere in Yonkers for ten months a year and make you eat hot buttered shrimp under indoor palm trees.
So when I was taking suggestions for Friday Flowers, and Ann mentioned cherry blossoms, I thought the timing would be perfect. Next week would normally be the start of cherry blossom season, although, little did I know there would be a heat wave and the cherry blossoms would come early this year. I’m already behind the curve! So let’s not delay any further – let’s get started…
I’m not going to do a full tutorial on this one because I took 90% of my directions from this amazing paper dogwood tutorial from the team at Martha Stewart. I highly recommend you take a gander at the video.
As much as I like the dogwood shapes made from construction paper, I wanted something a little more delicate and colorful. So I swapped the construction paper for coffee filters (as if you didn’t already know how much I love me some coffee filters).
I dyed the filters by dipping the bottoms into a dye solution of one cup water + 20 drops red food coloring. If you don’t have food coloring you can use red water color paint. Your pick. I purposely used little liquid and LOTS of coffee filters so the tops of the filters would remain white, giving a more realistic, ombre pink and white appearance. There are probably 200 coffee filters here, but I only used ten to cover the whole cherry blossom tree. The rest will be used to make some other flowers down the road.
After the coffee filters dry overnight, cut them in half and then into simple four-leaf clover shapes.
Just for kicks, I dotted the outer edges with a red magic marker, but that looked a little harsh, so I blended them out with water.
Martha’s tutorial attaches the flowers to the tree with hot glue, but that seemed too clunky for the coffee filters, so I chose to cut 1cm slits in each blossom and slipped them onto the tips of a barren branch. The branch is held in an old ice bucket anchored by sand. Please forgive the tarnished silver — if you had seen that bucket when I found it at the thrift store, black as a skillet, you would appreciate the recent improvement!
Speaking of thrift stores — did I ever show you the treasure Kelly found at a thrift store last fall?
Behold, it is Miss Piggy! Isn’t she wonderful?
Original art. And the framing is so nice, too. It warms my heart to think of someone treating Miss Piggy’s picture the same as a formal portrait. How she ended up in a thrift store, I will never know, but thank goodness she came my way. Thanks again, Kelly!
I like the idea of having a couple of these cherry blossom trees on a formal dining table. Maybe for a Seder. Or Easter. With eggs. Or not. Oh, I don’t know, but if you try it, send pictures, por favor!
Are you anywhere near Washington DC in the next month? It’s the 100th annual National Cherry Blossom Festival.
If you have two minutes today, watch this short documentary, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom. It is truly remarkable to think what beauty can survive the most horrific of disasters. Makes me that much more anxious to see a real cherry blossom one day 🙂
Update January 2015: See how Stephanie used these coffee filter cherry blossoms as centerpieces for her wedding.
The blossoms didn’t last long this year in DC, but I live in the city and was able to get down to the basin late one evening to snap a few pictures before the sun went down. They’re my absolute favorite part about living in the city and still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Here’s the link to some of the pictures I got: http://www.franklyfatso.com/2012/03/today-was-supposed-to-be-my-first-non.html
My cherry blossoms tattoo is in the planning stages. 🙂
Ginger Mack Porter
I live in DC and your cherry blossom tutorial is one of the best likenesses I have seen!!! It is breathtaking and photos do not really do the Tidal Basin justice!
These are so pretty and delicate looking. I used to live in DC and it is so worth going there for cherry blossom time. I’m going to give this a try this weekend-thanks for sharing it!
So beautiful! I can’t wait to try this out, thank you!
I just checked out your pics –stunning! ( I tried leaving a comment but I’m not sure if the captia accepted it….)
What?! I never even knew she wrote a book.
I’m off to amazon!!!
So lovely! I took my younger son to Washington DC last spring break during the beautiful Cherry Blossom Festival. I thought the Cherry Blossoms were amazing. He was amazed that DC has Duncan Donuts and Denver doesn’t.
Insanely gorgeous, Peaches! I love the extra touch of the water-blurred red ink. Your tree is glorious. Wishing you a trip to find some real cherry blossoms soon.
those are some beautiful cherry blossoms.
and yay, i’m so glad to see Miss Piggy found a happy home on your mantle!
Gol de Glo
The Central Valley in CA is nothing to write home about, except during this time of the year. You can drive through some rural roads outside of Fresno, for example, and pass cherry, apricot, peach, plum, nectarine orchards, all in bloom. The shades of pink are beyond any Pantene catalog. If you ever have the chance, do it!
I also grew up in the Central Valley of Calif. So of Fresno, 45 miles from their. I have to agree with you along with the Orange Blossom. What a great site to see and smell. Yes , I also say if you get a chance go thru the Central Valley in the Spring.
You don’t have to go east to see cherry trees. Traverse City, Michigan, is FAMOUS for its cherry festival, which was originally held in May, when the trees are in blossom (it’s now held in July, go figure). I live near Memphis, Tennessee, and my cherry tree just finished blooming.
Hey Aunt Peaches!!! Just found you today and have spent about an hour on your blog so far! You had me at your tagline!!! Love it!
had to chime in here and tell you these are beautiful! I’m here in South Korea with my husband. He’s in the military and, so we live about 30 minutes south of the DMZ. It is so sad bc the 2 years we’ve been here the cherry blossoms come in, but then it gets so windy and knocks most of them down after a few days. It’s like you wait a whole year for 1 day of spectacular beauty.
This tutorial will help in my mourning of our neighborhood cherry blossoms! Thanks!!!
And I love Miss Piggy! I just went to a Korean thrift store the other day and scored a nice vintage cherry blossom painting on silk with a nice frame and a cool Asian ornate hook at the top!
Love your post when you kicked the hornet’s nest. I don’t see what the big deal when it comes to your sharing your truth, your opinion, and actual facts and personal testimony from living there. I found it informative.
To see the cherry blossoms is on my bucket list too. Yours are lovely. By the way Miss Piggy offeered a very sage piece of advice in Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life. She said, “Never wear yellow lipstick.” I have made sure to always follow that little maxim.
Ulrika Oh la la
These cherry blossoms are AMAZING. Oh My God.
I just realized that I lived in New York City for years and years. I never ate at the Four Seasons! I have even been to restaurants that have closed, like Caravelle, Le Pavillion, Lutece, Romeo Salta, Cristcella, the Ocean Club, Trader Vic’s, Orsini’s, but never the Four Seasons. I like the more fun places now, like Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village.
I LOVE your cherry blossoms! In the process of making one for the centerpiece for Easter… so happy I found you 🙂
L-O-V-E. I’ve never seen cherry blossoms in person, either. Or have I? I forget…probably NOT then. PINNING these–gonna make myself a cherry tree! Thanks!!!
LOVE this and thanks! I started making some tonight for my weddin’ centrepieces (mine will be white)….gave you a shout out on le blog:
I used this tute to make my centrepieces for my reception. Thanks! If anyone wants to see how my version turned out, here’s the link http://positiveponderings.blogspot.ca/2012/11/diy-wedding-decordoing-it-on-cheap.html
I still love them! But I am itching to shine up that silver container. Some day when I get organized, Ha! I’ll send you some pictures that my father took of cherry blossoms in Japan. in the 50’s.
I just stumbled onto your blog looking to make cherry blossoms for a display at work and I LOVE IT! New fav. Hands down.
LOVE this idea but……I cut the filters in half as you said but then ended up with a whole TON of 1/2 things.WHAT???
This might be a case where the photo does more talking than the words. “After the coffee filters dry overnight, cut them in half and then into simple four-leaf clover shapes.” Take that half piece and fold into quarters, then cut a petal shape like the photo. The end result will be a sort of four-leaf clover type of shape.
THANK YOU for this clarification!! I was trying to figure it out too-must be getting to late tonight to think in the abstract!! (Or my age, but we won’t go there… ;). I had some beautiful silk cherry blossom branches-cost me a bundle about 5 years ago, (and I thought I was getting a good deal “On Sale”!!). These you made are actually prettier!!
I lost mine last spring in a fire-along with most everything else. What I didn’t lose in the fire was either ruined by smoke/water damage…or, unfortunately, stolen. 🙁
I *used* to do a LOT of crafting, sewing, knitting and renovating furniture; but after a long “break”, and losing everything in the fire-I’ve decided to get back into it-I certainly can’t afford to replace everything on Social Security!! My girls, now grown and starting families of their own, are thrilled Mom is going back to ” homesteading”.
And since I found a couple of badly tarnished ice buckets at a thrift store myself-and LOVE using coffee filters to make things, (I made myself a 3ft Christmas Tree from filters this year!!), I think this will be next on my list!!
Glad to hear you are getting your creative mojo back, Elaine. Someone very wise once said ‘hot glue is the chicken soup for the soul’ and I am inclined to agree. Glad these flowers could provide some inspiration. 🙂
onthis site where you have given your Cherry Blossom turotial,you said “Sad fact that I have never seen Cherry Blossoms”. I am inviting you here in Gemany around the month of April/Mayto see the Cherry Blossoms,als also Apple Blossoms and all that blooms here in Spring. You can spend a week with me as my guest. This year the Cherry trees are already blooming and will be over in another week or two. Next year would be splendid. I am busy this year somehow and am sure to have time for you next year during this time of the year.
My best greetings to you and your family.
Be my guest,
Thanks, Egi! They sound beautiful!
Thanks..I’m making mine now. Drying them in microwave about 10 at a time. Works great!
Mary A Morris
I absolutely love your silverware and am so glad to know you heard them speaking to you to gather them together! I think they are beautiful!