- Eggs with their guts blown out (see this video)
- Silk neckties (can also use scarves or fabric scraps – must be 100% silk)
- Tissue paper cut into long strips (dark colors work best)
- Non-metal pot (I used my slow cooker, but you can find ceramic and glass pots at the thrift store – no metal)
- Coffee filters
- Dental floss or strong white thread/twine
- Mod Podge
- Gold Paint Pen
Rewind: the first few months I started blogging I posted a series of paper flower projects every Friday. Then I ran out of room and my friends got tired of me pushing them, so I stopped. Then recently Emma wrote me an email and asked if I would do some more because she had already attempted every one of the projects from the first round of Friday Flowers “…and I could use some more.”
Emma is eleven.
If an eleven-year-old can get it together enough to make paper flowers, so can I.
So here we are, Emma. I’ll be keeping you busy every Friday until you are, well, you are, ummm…. well, old enough to get bored of it. And let’s leave it at that.
Heads up: some of the Friday Flowers will be dimensional flowers, some will be items simply improved with the help of flowers, some will be flowers made by other people….Who knows? All I can tell you is I will plan on publishing a post every Friday. So if you like Flowers, you will know where to get your weekly fix. And you can thank Emma for it.
With that in mind, I asked the folks on Facebook what sort of flowers they wanted to see, and the first person to reply was Tracy, who said “Daffodils.” Actually, Tracy said “Daffodils, Hydrangeas, and Daises” but y’all will have to give me some time to make my way down the list. We will get there eventually, I promise.
- Yellow Cupcake Liners (I happened to have two shades of yellow cupcake liners laying around, but any color will work)
- Plastic Drinking Straws
- Frog Tape ripped into 10″ pieces (Frog tape is a fairly new product, but you can easily find it in the painting aisle at the hardware store. Runs around $5 a roll, depending on thickness)
Start out by dividing your cupcake liners in two piles: One pile will be the ‘outer flower’, and one will be the ‘inner flower’ (if your daffodils will be two-toned, now is the time to decide).
Take the cupcake liners you will use for the outer flower, fold into thirds, then snip off the rounded edges, forming a mild V shape in the center. Here, the picture will explain:
Also use your scissors to cut a small slit in the center. The end result will look like a six pointed star with a small hole in the middle.
Now take your ‘inner flower’ cupcake liner and pinch the middle.
Pull the tip of the pinched inner flower through the slit in outer flower.
Now pinch them together. Secure with the first 1″ inch of a 10″ strip of frog tape. Then proceed to use the other 9″ to adhere the flower to the plastic straw, rolling downward as you go.
That’s it. Keep rolling downward…
Did anyone else read the “Real / Not Real” and think of The Hunger Games?
Wow I am a dork.
Happy weekend 🙂
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 🙂
Rambling cat lady side note: Not all cats like beds, and not all cat beds are the same. While most cats like to have their own special ‘nest’ for napping, some cats feel trapped or unsafe when sleeping in a confined space, like in a bed with four high sides. This is sort of like how some people can only sleep with their socks off (for the record, anti-sock people are just plain weird, but we love them anyway)… So if your kitty is anti-bed, try offering them a bed with low sides, or three sides, and see if they like it. Cat beds are great, because not only do they help kitty feel comfortable, they help keep shedding cat hair in one place. Win-Win!
- Old cashmere sweater. Any sweater will work, but most cats will avoid acrylic on account of the static electricity. However, I have heard from people with small dogs who love snuffling on sturdy acrylic sweaters. Use your discretion.
- Cotton quilt batting.
- Needle and thread.
- Glove warmers (optional).
- Plastic bags
- Parchment paper
- Tin foil
- Iron (and a flat surface or ironing board
The amount of bags will depend on how thick you want your hearts. I started with 20ish (later divided into stacks of 3). First, cut of the handles and trim off the bottoms –the end result will look like a big flopsy tube. Important: turn them inside out so the print faces inward and away from your iron or you will end up with a big ink mess.
Tear away the tissue paper from the hearts. I find this part oddly cathartic.
Random: throw some tinsel bits in between the bags before you iron. The end result looks like confetti. Or spaghetti. Or something…
This is one of those projects that was a snap to make but difficult to photograph. My camera skills struggle to capture the light coming through each one of the hearts, each more red and luminous than the last. Winter mornings can be a real downer–these hearts are a welcome sight.
- It had to look good in the daytime, not just when the lights are on at night.
- It had to be something that could grow a little ever year.
- All materials had to be inexpensive/widely available/crap I already owned.
- No scary ladder climbing.
Side Note 1: Per the original tutorial, I couldn’t find corsage boxes for less than $2.00 a piece, so I substituted by stapling together a pair of clear plastic bowls. Now I realize I also could have used plastic bottles with the ends removed, or clear plastic take-out containers. Oh well, next year!Side Note 2: With bulbs this tiny, I’m not worried about overheating, however, some kinds of cellophane will degas toxic fumes when exposed to heat for extended periods of time. I used no-heat LED lights just to be safe, especially since these may be used indoors in the off-season.You decide for yourself 🙂
Between stocking stuffers and Chanukah gifts, it seems like everyone I know is always hunting for easy ways to gift wrap little things. I thought it might be fun to address the problem with one of my favorite materials –coffee filters, and something everyone has around the house –cardboard tubes.
This is a fun, munchkin-freindly project that does not require special skills to come out looking fancy schmancy. No tape. No glue. No mess. You like it already.
The coffee filters are starchy enough to stay in place without the sticker, but a good Santa sticker never hurt anyone. Plus, it will keep away any pre-holiday gift peepers.
Not that I have any experience with gift peeping.
Confession: One time my cousin John left town a week before Christmas and had to deliver my gift wrapped up in a bike chain and a combo lock just to keep me away. The plan was to prevent pre-Christmas peeping by waiting to deliver the lock combo via phone on Christmas morning (clearly, John knows me a little too well).
Another Confession: Shortly after he left I used a screw driver to scrape away some of the paper between the chain links to see what was inside. Sorry, John 🙁
No coffee filters around the house? Use tissue paper.
Gifts too big for 2″ tubes? Use larger tubes from paper towels, or, *gasp*, wrapping paper.
Dear Person Who Found My Site by Googling “Grateful Dead groundhog tuffet” on November 17:
I have no idea what you are looking for, but I feel compelled to meet you half way. Here is a batch of Grateful Dead style tie-dye tuffets. Pretend the groundhog is on the inside.
Do you have a lot of leftover kid’s art hanging around the house?
Because I sure do.
I don’t even have any kids and my place is littered with gobs of their paintings, drawings and doodles.
People just give it to me. Everywhere. They know I love it, and more importantly, they don’t have the heart to throw out their children’s art work. They would rather give it to me, their token hoarding friend.
Best part? Total cost on this: Zero Dollars. That’s right folks, you own all this stuff already. No kid’s art laying around, use scraps from some other project. Or food wrappers. Or cereal boxes. Or make some….
My love of Liberace is no secret.
I mean, let’s face it: the man knew how to dress.
I always try to weave some Liberace flair into my holiday decorations, but this year with all the stores vamping up the jingle factor so early in the season, well, I can’t help weaving Liberace into Halloween too. He is everywhere. G-d as my witness, one day I’ll get myself a Liberace costume! In the meantime, a few glitter encrusted pumpkins and a round of Moon River will hold me over until Christmas.
|Bonus: Lola gets to feed her sequin obsession|
Yes indeed, zombies and zombie heads are rad in general, but these crafty-as-a-beaver Zombie Lanterns are the best. And so easy to make. Just get a rubber mask of your favorite deposed political leader, spray paint their face, strap it over a pumpkin, and BLAMO you are ready to go.
If I really had my act together, I would have made ten of these and strung them from the porch rafters come Halloween night. Trick-or-treaters love scary swinging zombie heads. Love them.
Say, why not take this to next level? Swap the electric candle for a low/no heat LED light bulb and keep it on display all year round. Nothing keeps the home fires burning like Richard Nixon’s zombie head on your night stand. Nothing.
Don’t like zombies? OK, what’s wrong with you? Oh, I get it. Well, a Yoda lantern might look awesome too.
Anyone else need a mask or last minute costume supplies? Click HERE to receive a discount on your order from HalloweenCostumes.com.