Friday Flowers: Franken Flowers

Silk flowers are a controversial subject.

Not since the OJ Simpson verdict has a nation stood so squarely divided.

Some people loathe silk flowers. They write them off as tacky, dusty, dated, and only acceptable in conjunction with gravestones and in funeral parlors. In their minds, silk flowers are best relegated to the dead.

In the other camp, there are those who worship silk flowers for their joyful appearance and economical price tag. Silk flowers last forever and are readily available in dollar stores, craft stores, and most anywhere off-brand toothpaste is sold.

Me?

I like silk flowers. Nay, I love silk flowers.

But I didn’t always feel this way…

I went through a snobbish phase in my early twenties when I disliked anything that was not organic and otherwise wholesome. Man, that was annoying. At one point, while sitting down to lunch to meet my then-boyfriend’s older sister, Juanita, a woman 22 years his senior, with eyebrows like caterpillars and fingers like overcooked hot dogs, I remarked on the restaurant’s decor and their over abundance of silk flowers. With tremendous confidence I declared,  “Aren’t they just so tacky? Who wants to eat food right next to these dusty old things? They probably absorb all the food odors and bathroom grime off everyone who has ever walked through here. Gross. Gross. Gross! Don’t you agree, Juanita?”

Juanita shot me a look that could curdle milk.

I spent the rest of the lunch attempting to make friendly small talk, while Juanita donned her cat eyed reading glasses and buried her nose in her menu. Every once in a while I would see her staring daggers at me, which I wrote off as the leery eye of a concerned older sister. Typical, right?

Six months later, when I was invited to her home to celebrate a family birthday, I discovered that Juanita’s entire home was covered in silk flowers, including, I might add, a rather impressive dining room ceiling bedecked in a carpet of dangling silk wisteria.

Oh crap.

No wonder she gave me the stank eye.

Oh look, here is Juanita now…

Now she is giving you the stank eye. Yield to her power: embrace silk flowers!

As the years have passed, silk flowers have grown on me. But I don’t really see them as a decorative item as much as a supply source. They are so much more fun when you take them apart and use them for other purposes.

I decided to call these Franken Flowers because they are composed like Frankenstein; by taking parts and pieces from multiple places and meshing them together.

Frankenstein is also what I called Juanita when she wasn’t around.

Sorry Juanita.

Materials:

  • A variety of silk flowers
  • Cupcake liners (optional)

Wow. That was complicated.

Start by taking your flowers apart. I have found that silk flowers from the dollar store come apart very easy, while nicer, fancier flowers from decorator stores can sometimes have glue blobs at their base (something to check before buying). Be sure to keep the green plastic stem things holding the flower together, which shall be known as “little green things” hereafter.    

The more flowers you take apart, the more flowers you can put back together. This project would work just as well with two kinds of flowers as, it would ten kinds, but I suggest, whatever you choose, look for contrast in color and a variety of sizes to help each layer stand out.

For this sample, I pulled six individual layers of petals and laid them out in alternating colors. Then starting with the smallest flower, I slipped each layer back onto the little green thing and finished with one of the big green discs. 

I apologize for my lack of technical terms here. I’m hoping the pictures do the talking for me. If someone has a better term for little green thing and big green disc, feel free to chime in here.


End result looks like the flower above. Neato, huh?

I think is pretty darn cool. But, just to pump up the jam, I’m going to go back and add in a couple of cupcake liners for extra oomf. 

The cupcake liners make the flowers seem a little less like Frida Kahlo’s Taco Stand, and a little more like Pippi Longstocking’s Cupcake Truck.

For the record: I like tacos AND cupcakes. Don’t anyone write me emails about that. My diplomacy knows no bounds.

And that’s it! No glue, no mess. For very little money and effort you have a colorful bouquet that will last for years to come. Go ahead, try it out! What do you have to lose? Listen, if you decide you don’t like it, you can always give it Juanita.

Happy weekend 🙂

Comments

  1. Sandra Turner says

    You are simply wonderful! I love every thing about your site. In fact, I just pinned you to my favorit blogs & site board on Pinterest. And if you ever want an invitation to join Pinterest, please let me know.

  2. nutbirds says

    Consider yourself lucky to escaped that family! I always wondered what kind of man would let his girl friend dictate his style of socks, but he probably liked you doing his laundry. Love the flowers. I used to have hundreds of flowers. I decorated little hats for the American Girl Dolls, I was really good with leaves, buds and a few feet of ribbon. Noticed that unusual potholder on your chair rail in the dining room. When are we going to get a tour of the new place? May I “pin” this new type of flower? Ann

  3. says

    “I’m quietly judging you.” <—-I love this so much.

  4. Christina Colón says

    Soooo awesome! I loved reading your blog and those flowers are AWESOME. And I’m with Maggi. “I’m quietly judging you.” LOVE IT!!

  5. Allison Dey says

    found your blog today. much earlier today. which means i have been lying in bed reading your blog. ALL day. you are a gem. i am a happy lazy person.

  6. Carol Sampson says

    just a quickie to thank you for the good laugh reading your post…ps the frankenflowers are fab too!

  7. Mitralee says

    oh my goodness! I wandered here from another post because someone said you were funny, which I really value in my reading material. You are not only funny but really really cool (I can tell from here) and those flowers rock! Thanks for making my morning!

  8. says

    Is Juanita a VASE??? I love this post! Damn you, I don’t have time to go silk flower shopping this weekend, and now I totally have to.

  9. ajp2020 says

    LOVE the frankenflowers! I see Lola was in the background… I have a few silk flowers lying around, and have used ink on them to change the colors around a little bit when I place them on my cards. Haven’t tried to pull them apart, rearrange them and put them back together, but that is quite cool! I was oohing and aahing while reading your entire blog today. Really cool.

  10. says

    Oh wow, this project is pretty awesome and cool! I’mma gonna hafta try it. Thanks for sharing it with us! 🙂

  11. nutbirds says

    Probably the coolest “Aunt” in blog world.

  12. Elizabeth Berget says

    ….”just to pump up the jam.” reading that very phrase was the best part of my day.

  13. Christina Moreno says

    Love this idea! Gonna try it myself!

  14. says

    Juanita’s “I’m quietly judging you” pic just got pinned…. This is super awesome! I want to make a garland out of flowers like this!

  15. Emily Hawkins says

    Love this post. I am studying to become a high school science teacher, so I will try to help with plant anatomy. The green parts underneath are sepals, and collectively known as the calyx. (calyces pl.). The green parts on top (which don’t really exists as one piece in “real” flowers) are the stigma, style and ovary. All together they are called the pistil. I think it is super sexy that plant female parts have such a “manly” name!

  16. PeachesFreund says

    Say what?!
    …I’m off to check it out!

  17. PeachesFreund says

    Oh my gosh –a candy party?!?! That ceiling garland alone would be worth having a party. I ‘m going to need to do this. THANK YOU!

  18. Anonymous says

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  19. Anonymous says

    Ok, you need to know…you are sparkly spectacular. And, I peed my pants just a little since I was laughing so hard. I hope that Juanita, wherever she is, is still wearing her cat eye glasses and takes a little time to dust her wisteria. Thanks for the hilarious post (have you written a book yet?), I will be back for more. You might become my new favorite. Raising my gluegun in loving salute. Cheers!

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