Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Love is in the Air!

I've always been a sucker for Valentine's Day. Maybe it's because I'm a bit of a sap, or maybe because my anniversary is the day after, but mostly I think I love it because, heck--it's a reason to celebrate in the middle of winter! (I think from some of my previous posts you might be getting the idea by now that winter is NOT my favorite season lol!) And of course I love that it's a whole day devoted to love. So, we try to do it up for V-Day, and I just thought I'd share a few of the things we've been doing around the house to make it look festive!


I jazzed up our entertainment center cabinets with a love banner, heart doilies and scrapbook paper:




(We don't have a fireplace so I like to decorate this area of our living room as a focal point.)

Added some touches of red glitter for a little bling. :) This Willow Tree figurine is perfect this time of year! (I *heart* Willow Tree!)




I also made this little bunting thanks to some Pinterest inspiration (pinspiration!):







It was very easy to make! Just some scrapbook paper, twine, a heart punch and...Viola! It's the little things like this that just brighten up a room, isn't it?

Here's the original pin that inspired me (although mine is actually quite different!):



I also wanted to use this beautiful paper I had leftover from our wedding invitations (gasp!) 9 years ago! It has real flower petals and bits of evergreen embedded in it. I love it! So I made some little dangly floating hearts and hung them between our kitchen and living room. They're especially meaningful to me since they remind me of our wedding!

Here is what they look like up close:

aaaah, so romantic. :)


After seeing a bunch of pins floating around Pinterest on paper flowers, I thought what better time to try them than Valentine's Day? So, I took the plunge and gave them a shot. I'm totally hooked! They are SO easy and elegant! I have to say though, that the pins I found for spiral paper flowers were a little information-light. Most of them just consisted of pictures without much description like this:



(When I tried clicking on the referring site for this particular pin, it was unavailable!)


And while this is very helpful in somewhat demystifying the how-to of paper flower making, I prefer something with a little more detail. So, I learned somewhat by trial and error on this one, and am therefore, now an expert! (Ha!) But I thought I would attempt to give you a more thorough tutorial than the ones I found. Here's how I made them:


You Will Need:

--thin paper colored on both sides (or white will do for white flowers of course!)
--glue gun
--scissors
--long branches (to use as stems)
--a vase

Directions for Assembly:

1) Start by selecting your paper. Take it from me: cardstock is NOT GOOD to use! It's too thick to roll nicely and ends up looking all wonky. I would recommend thinner paper (think printer paper) that's colored on both sides. Double-sided scrapbook paper or origami paper would both work, too. I used a combination of pink and white printer paper for mine.

(This is what will happen if you try using cardstock. No good!)

2) Determine the size of the flower you want. My flowers are about 2 inches in diameter. To make flowers this size I would recommend using a circle about 5-6 inches in diameter (I was able to make 2 flowers per sheet this way.). For teeny tiny buds you'd need about a 3" circle.


3) Draw a circle on your paper and free-hand a spiral beginning from the outside of the circle working your way in toward the center. Don't stress over imperfections. They actually make the flower look really nice! Stop your spiral about 1/2 inch from the center. I found that starting with a very thin spiral on the outside (approx. 1/8"), expanding to a larger "looser" spiral toward the center (approx. 1/2") made for a prettier flower that was easier to shape. (Note: I just free-handed cutting the spiral to avoid pencil marks. But if you really want to draw prior to cutting, just make be sure to erase any remaining marks or else they will show.)

Notice how imperfect my circle and spiral are? Just go for it!


4) Now it's time for the fun part! Starting from the outside of the circle working toward the center, begin to tightly roll your paper into a spiral. I got mine started by curling it with my finger nails (much like one would do with scissors and curling ribbon), but you could also use a knitting needle, skewer or chopstick if you want something to aid your initial winding. Don't worry about trying to form your flower into the perfect flower shape just yet. That will come later. For now, simply wind until you've reached the center of the circle.





5) Once you've finishing winding, gently cup the spiral in your hands and release it a little to allow it to loosen up a bit. Once you do this you should find that the center is still quite tightly wound and that the outer edges are very loose. Now you can hand-shape the flower to the exact size, tightness and shape you want.

My flower suddenly turned white! LOL! Sorry 'bout that. I took pictures of various steps while making more than one flower. So, some pics are pink, others white. :)


shaping my flower. Aww, so purty!

6) Now it's time to glue. While holding your flower in place with one hand, place a dab of glue from your glue gun to the outer "flap" of your flower. Hold in place for a few seconds while glue sets. Once the outer flower is glued you may need to add a few additional dabs of glue to the inner layers if they're not holding their shape (e.g. if the center is flying out of the flower!). Note: be very sparing and careful with your glue application as too much glue will show on your finished flowers! Try to avoid "glue strings" by pulling them away before they dry.

place dab of glue to outer edge of flower shown here.


7) Next you will affix the stem. Turn your glued flower over, exposing the base where the stem will attach. Snip a tiny hole on the bottom to create a space for your stem. Once your hole is ready to go, place a generous amount of hot glue onto the tip of your stem. Quickly and carefully insert twig through hole approx. 1/4" through the center of your flower, holding in place until glue dries. While glue is still wet be sure to arrange your flower onto stem at desired angle. Once glue dries you may need to reinforce with a second application of glue at base of flower. (Don't worry, this probably sounds more complicated than it really is! I just like thorough instructions when I try new crafts, so I'm including all of the extra tidbits of information I discovered along the way!)

Don't worry about getting your hole just right-it won't show once you fill it in with glue!

glue time!

insert twig into center of flower

add extra glue to base as necessary.

ta-da!

admire your handiwork! :) (*and ignore the mess that is my kitchen in the background lol!)


8) Once you've created your blooms, set them in a vase of choice and enjoy! :)




My kids told me they *almost* look real! :)


So, that's what we've been up to lately around here! What have you been doing to spread a little love around your home?



Shared with:

Raising Homemakers

4 comments:

  1. I'm visiting from the WLW linkup.

    Those are so cute... good job!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words and thanks for visiting! :)

      Delete
  2. it is very creative masterpiece,,, I love it...

    It such a nice decoration and very timely....

    Happy valentine

    ReplyDelete

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