Monday, April 28, 2014

Mother's Day Curly Paper Hyacinths

Real flowers and plants are always fabulous to have in your home, especially during the holidays and on special occasions, but if you're tired of them not lasting or being too costly to keep on a regular basis then these spring curly paper hyacinths might be a solution.  And what a wonderful way to make them with your child or grandchild for an awesome Mother's Day gift.

                                   To Make:

                                                       Colorful paper  
                                                       Skewer stick for curling paper
                                                       Skewer sticks
                                                       Tacky glue
                                                       Floral tape
                                                       Green foam sheet
                                                       Hot glue

Cut 2 1/2 inch strips of colorful paper.

Make vertical cuts in strips on stacked paper leaving a 1/2 inch border.

Use a skewer to tightly curl the cut strips.

 Dab tacky glue ( hot glue is too hot for this paper and will burn your fingers) on paper end and roll onto stick.
Apply glue as you roll paper to the end.

You can re-roll the individual strips if needed.
Apply floral tape to skewer stick.

Free-hand cut leaves out of foam sheet and lay on a medium heated iron plate to curl.
Hot glue leaves in front of sticks.

Having green leaves are an important part of the hyacinth plant.
Display in your favorite container using florist foam and moss for a finish look.

Create some lasting brightness and color in your decor or for your favorite someone, Mom, or just because.
The best part is that they stay fresh forever!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mason Jar Foam Flowers Decorative Tops

Have you ever noticed those really huge adorable faux flowers at HomeGoods and elsewhere? I mean the ones that feel like foam?  Well, they are foam and I believe they've been manipulated into pretty shapes by using heat.  I've melted plastic spoons into flowers, here, so why not try making flowers using heat and foam sheets.  And what's so cool about this, there's no fumes and you can manipulate the foam with your fingers into awesome looking shapes.

I wanted to start out with something a bit simple like hydrangeas (how can I mess that up) and something a lot of people are into now . . .  mason jars. I'm late in jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to making something with mason jars.  I've been resisting!  Mason jars are one of the most popular crafting trends around and I wanted to do something different with them. 

 Here's how I made my decorative tops:

1.  I took a large hydrangea petal from a faux hydrangea bunch I had, traced it on paper and used the pattern to cut out of purple foam sheet.  * I have a Martha Stewart small hydrangea punch but the foam paper was just too thick and I wanted larger petals anyway.

2.  Next I dotted the centers of the petals with a green sharpie and feathered the ink out with a q-tip.

3.  Then I turned an iron upside down and placed the petals on the medium hot iron plate until they curled. Hold the petals until cool and formed like you want.  Don't worry, you won't burn your fingers.

4.  Super glued (hot glue would show) a bead to the center of each hydrangea petal.

 5. & 6.  Cut a Styrofoam ball in half and  "ironed" (between two sheets of parchment) a piece of foam sheet until pliable to wrap over the half ball.  Smooth out the foam wrapped ball, cooled into shape and cut away any excess foam.  Hot glued the foam to the edges of the ball. 

7. & 8.  Using an xacto  zig-zagged pattern scissors,  I cut out 10 leaf shapes. 

9.  Then I used a hot knife to draw the leaf veins onto the leaves but you can make veins with a sharp knife too.  Next I placed the foam leaves on the hot plate of the iron for about 30 seconds and watched them curl.  I picked them up and basically shaped them into how I wanted them to lay on the top. Working with the pliable warmed foam is amazing. 

10. & 11.  I hot glued the leaves around the edge of the mason jar top.

12.  Glued the foam covered half ball on top of the leaves.

13.  I wasn't satisfied with how the leaves looked so I re-shaped them up and out on the iron plate  and allowed them to cool sitting on the table for support instead of on the jar.

14.  Hot glued the hydrangea flower petals to the ball starting at the bottom by the leaves. 

15.  Continued adding the petals around the ball until reaching the top.
  I think these decorative tops are so pretty!

The good thing about this project is that you can re-use any container you might have . . . . a mayonnaise or spaghetti jar or just a tin can to make these decorative tops. Anything with a top or not.  You can make a top if you don't have one and add these easily made foam flowers and leaves for an awesome look!

 What a way to decorate mason jars!
I am loving foam flowers!!!!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Pansy Basket Door Wreath & Planter

It's always welcoming to decorate the front of your home when seasons change and this year is no exception.  Spring was late arriving after a very harsh winter and I took comfort in adding a basket full of pansies to my front door and also putting the first of many flowers into a planter sitting nearby. 

The colors are both brightening and calming at the same time.
I added faux pansies to a empty woven basket for this arrangement.
Pansies are perfect for providing color when the rest of the garden still looks like the gray days of winter. I found these lovelies at Walmart and couldn't resist.  They signal spring has truly arrived, showing off beautiful shades of my favorite color, purple, and appearing to have smiling faces all over.
What a way to cheer up the garden!
So how do you decorate your front entry for spring?
Take a little time to enjoy
Welcoming Spring!



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pansy Pop Up "Get Better" Card

I thought I would share with you my efforts at cardmaking.  I've never done anything elaborate or used special card die-cuts or stamps, but I've enjoyed making simple, personal cards for dear friends.  I have had in my mind to make a pop up card for sometime.  I saw a few on the net and thought this would be a cute and fun project to do.  They reminded me of my childhood when pop up cards were so popular.  I'm making this card for my friend, Nancy, who recently had a stroke.  Nancy loves purple almost as much as I do so I'm making sure I use lots of purple.  And I hope receiving this will be a bright spot to her getting better.  Recovering from a stroke is a very slow process.

Spring is definitely in bloom. There's no better way to celebrate than to craft a card using vibrant purple hues found in the colors of spring flowers like pansies.  I've already made a basket full of faux pansies as a door wreath and have added real ones to my outdoor planter and urns which I'll show you in another post. 

For now, lets get started with making the folding paper pansy flowers for my "Get Better" card.

Take regular printing paper and cut it in half. 

You will need 7 of these half sheets.  Fold the half sheet in half and fold in half again.

Fold down one flap diagonally (like folding a paper airplane)

Turn the paper over and fold down the other side flap, forming a triangle.

Next, you can take a small round object such as a top or quarter and trace an arc onto the triangle, or if you feel confident to just draw an arc on the triangle.  Cut out along the arc to make a cone shape of your folded paper.

  Open the cone and you have an 8 petal flower.  Isn't it cute!
You can use this cone pattern to cut out the other 6 cones so that all the flowers will be the same size.
You will need a total of seven flowers.
Now it's time to decorate the flowers. You can decide how you want your flowers to look and what colors you want to use. 
I wanted to make purple pansies and started coloring the center using a yellow sharpie .  .  .
added black around the yellow . . .

and then painted on purple edges using acrylic paint. 

Decorate the rest of the flowers the same way.
To form the flower shape, cut out one petal from the open flower.

And then apply glue to one of the petals on either side of the cut out and overlap, one petal on top of the other.  The edges should match forming the petal.
Repeat for the other 6 flowers.

Once all the flowers are glued together individually, fold each flower in half. following fold lines. 

Next, the 7 folded flowers are glued together.

  *But, before we start, in order for the pop up flower to open properly, it is important to only put a dab or dot of glue on the tip of the selected petals and no where else.

To begin, take a folded flower and put a dab of glue on one right petal (X), and then align the petal of another folded flower on top as pictured.


Do the same for the other side.  Put one dab of glue on the left petal (X), and align the petal of another flower on top. 

Put a dab of glue on the top 3 center tips (X X X).  Align another flower on top of them.

Put a dab of glue on the tips of the 2 right petals (X X), and align another flower on top of them.

Do the same for the other side.  Put a dab of glue on the 2 left petal tips (X X), and align a flower on top of it.

Put a dab of glue on the 3 middle tips (X X X) and align the last flower on top of them.

Let the glue dry completely.

Sorry, I didn't take a picture of the flower open at this point.  Since I was mailing this to my friend, I wanted to add words of encouragement, my sentiments  and decorate the front of the cardstock paper before I glued the flower inside.

Using a sheet of heavy duty cardstock, I printed out what I wanted to say and folded it in half.   Next, I cut out a flower similar, but smaller, to the ones I made and painted it the same as before, adding a couple of cutout leaves to the flower and glued it to the front of the card.

Front of card

To glue the pop up flower inside, position it in the center of the paper on the right hand side, as shown below, with the open side "v" facing the fold line.  Place a dab of glue on the tip of the back (underneath) middle petal and press down.

 Next, place a dab of glue on top of the middle center petal and close the front page of card and press down until dry.  Keep card closed until dried completely.  Opening the card before it is completely dry may cause the flower to pull apart from card.
Once dry, open the card and watch the flowers pop up!

I needed to trim some of the edges of the petals so the undersides where they came together wouldn't show. 
Making a pop up card may seem complicated but it's not.  Just follow the pictorial step by step instructions and you'll see how easy it is.  You can find several videos on how to make a pop up card on the net . . . each one a bit different on how to glue the flowers together.  I think my way is easy to follow.
The flowers in purple are a bit bold, but I love them and I hope you do, too!
For Nancy:  
May the good days far outnumber the ones that aren’t,

May you feel good far more often than you don’t.

And may you always know you have a lot of love and support around you,
Even when you don’t need it . . .

But especially when you do! 
                      Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Crafting!