Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Spring Flower Crafts!



Let's make some beautiful flowers!

As spring peaks and summer closes in on the Phoenix valley, Kat and I are taking stock of the flowers we have in our garden before the heat causes them to wither away. Spending time with our flowers and vegetables is a wonderful way to start our day. In fact, we're still seeing new flowers on our tomato plants, and we're watching some of our herbs flower as well (hopefully we'll be able collect some seeds this year!).

As we spend as much time outside as possible before the heat sets in, Kat and I have had many discussions about our garden, how the flowers and plants grow, and all of the organisms who have a hand in our bountiful harvests. Kat was particularly interested in the flowers, wanting to know what all of the parts are and what they are for.



While doing some research, we came across this lovely video from India. The characters go over all of the parts of the flower, what they're for, and it is done in an engaging way that promotes recollection after viewing. Kat loved it, she watched it three times before we settled in to draw pictures of flowers (with all of their named parts of course!).





Once we were finished with our pictures, we started working on another fun flower project! This flower craft comes from Karen Weisman of Expert Village. The tutorial videos for this project can be found here.


Here are our first two flowers. We ended up with a beautiful bouquet!


For this project, you will need to do the following:


Materials Needed:


1. Craft Foam  (~$1 at Michael's or any other craft supply store)
2. Wooden Skewers (chopsticks also worked, but the skewers worked best)
3. Gardeners Tape (you will find these in the gardening section of any store)
4. Scissors
5. Pipe Cleaners (we used a variety pack so we could have bright colors)
6. Pen
7. Invisible tape

Instructions:

1. Pick out a colored foam sheet for your flower sepals. These are the small leaves on the base of the flower. Draw a quarter sized clover shape, leaving plenty of room in the center through which you will poke the skewer. Go ahead and twist the skewer through the center of your sepals.

2. Pick out a colored foam sheet for your petals. Draw five 2.5"-3" long flower petals, with flat bottoms. Cut out your flower petals and set them aside until you are finished.

3. On each flower petal, cut a .5" vertical slit from the center of each flat bottom. Continue with each petal, until you have completed all five.

4. On your flower petals fold one flap over the other to create a rounded flower petal (see linked tutorial above for examples). Twist your skewer through the center of both folds. Continue with all flower petals.

5. Arrange the flower petals until you have achieved your desired flower shape. You may want to trim the petals if you find them to be too long.

6. Cut 1" pieces of colored pipe cleaners. We found orange, yellow, and white to represent the stamen, stigma, and pollen quite well.

7. Wrap your pipe cleaner around the skewer for a neat curly-q shape, then secure on to the skewer in the center of the flower.

8. Take the gardeners tape, and starting from a downward diagonal angle, wrap the length of the skewer with the tape. This will serve as your flower stem. You may want to use invisible tape at the base to keep it in place.

9. (Optional) Take a colored pipe cleaner and wrap over the stem. You can also use extra green pipe cleaners to create leaves, or cut some out of green foam paper and secure them to your stem with pipe cleaners!


Here are our lovely crafted flowers!

Kat and I loved this project! The best part about it was that she could make her own flowers by herself! After a day of learning about flower parts and drawing and labeling them, making our very own helped to further cement our understanding of what all of the parts are and what they're for.

This project was so easy, it seems that it could readily lend itself to other things, such as decorated drinking straws (using thick milkshake straws would be the best) for themed parties, or for decorating pens for our school work!


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