Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paper Flower Bouquet

Our babysitter broke her leg so we made a bouquet of flowers to cheer her up.  She loved them!

4+ if you want the kid to do the rolling.  Three year olds could do it if they know how to use scissors. 

20 minutes plus drying time for the paint

Very easy for the flowers, a bit messier for the painted vase. 

What you need: 

  • Colorful paper napkins
  • Pipecleaners
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Optional:  perfume
  • Empty plastic bottle (we used a Method hand soap bottle)
  • Acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • Dry rice (or small beans)
  • Ribbon
  • Optional:  funnel to pour the rice into the bottle
Why I like this craft: 
I made a fancier version of these many years ago using floral wire, floral tape, and heavy crepe paper.  It was fun making a simpler version with my kid. 

Step 1:  To make the vase, start with a clean, dry empty bottle.  Let your kid paint it with acrylic paints.  You can put a large piece of blank paper underneath to 1) protect the table and 2) the paint splattered paper can be used to make a gift card if you are giving it away.  Let it dry about 20 minutes or until it is dry to the touch.

She added some glitter glue for a little extra sparkle.
Step 2:  To make some flowers for the vase, halfway unfold a napkin so you have two layers of napkin left.  Cut a strip of napkin about four inches wide and as long as your napkin is (the length will vary with the size of the napkin.  Any size napkin will do). 

Tip: crease the napkin or draw a light line on the napkin to guide your kid's snipping.

Step 3:  Cut "petal fringe" by snipping halfway into the width of the strip of napkin, repeating every quarter to half inch or so.  We cut in as far as was easy to do with one snip of the child-sized scissors.   You want to leave enough at the bottom so the petals don't tear and so you can hide the pipecleaner stem. 

Petal fringe snipping.

Step 4:  Roll your fringed strip up around a pipecleaner.  It is highly likely that at least one pipecleaner will slip out while rolling before your bouquet is done.  Don't worry, it's easy to poke it back in without re-rolling.  Tape the roll shut and let some tape extend down onto the pipecleaner so it won't pop off later.

Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Taping, taping, taping!

Step 5:  Fluff up the petals by pulling down the fringe, starting from the outer ring and working your way to the middle.  You can get extra fancy and pull some of the pipecleaner through the middle to make a stamen.  Be sure to bend down the sharp edge if you do that.  Repeat until you have enough flowers for a bouquet, or your kid gets tired.  My four year old made about half of the flowers in the picture and I made the other half. 

We had to snip the middle petals a little bit because they were rolled up so tightly.  We liked mixing to colors of napkins to make this multi-colored flower.
Optional pipecleaner stamen in the center.

Step 6:  When the vase is dry, use a plastic funnel or make a paper cone funnel and have your kid pour rice into the bottom of the painted vase.  We filled our little bottle up about an inch and a half deep.  Try tipping it over to see if it is full enough.  This not only weighs down the vase but also helps keep your flowers in position.

Adding the rice. 
Step 7:  Arrange the flowers in the vase and push the stems down into the rice so they kind of stay put.  Snip the bottom of the pipecleaners to make the flowers the correct height, if necessary. 

Step 8:  Tie a bow around the vase.  Spritz with a bit of perfume if you want to.  Done!