Once upon a time, there was a world with color. There was the great outdoors, with pretty flowers and green grass, where you lifted your face to the wind and inhaled and then sneezed for 15 minutes because of pollen.
Ah, memories. It seems like we’ve been burrowing into scarves and hiding indoors for a long time now, so this month in DIY With Dawn, we needed something with a little pop and wishful thinking.
But trying to entice spring to arrive early did not come without its problems. Many problems. We all needed to hibernate for a while after spending a few hours trying to put together these “simple, fun!” flowers that I found on WonderfulDIY.com and a British website called “Nurture Store: Creative Kids Learning” (nurturestore.co.uk). Simple and fun should now be considered words of warning.
End result: They look good. Would we make them again? Maybe while we are waiting with Pa and Ma and Mary for the train to come and have nothing else to do. In other words: We’ll wait for the real thing next time.
Project 1: Paper pinwheel daffodils
Goal: Make daffodils out of egg cartons and cardboard paper.
Reality: You do not have that kind of time to make these.
Possibility of stabbing yourself accidentally: High.
Details: See here’s the thing: All of these LOOK like they are going to be simple. Paint an egg carton orange, cut out the bottom square. Make four cuts on a diagonal on a piece of yellow cardboard, fold in the edges, and then stick a paper fastener through the egg carton and the folded paper so it looks like a daffodil. Attach to stem.
My crafty friends, Jen and Lisa, came over to help and to escape snowboredom. Painting was fun! Messy! We got to mix the red and the yellow to make orange! And then we had to cut the egg cartons down. There has to be an easier way. You know that creepy feeling down your spine you get when you hear nails on the chalkboard? This is the feeling I got cutting the cardboard. Pieces were everywhere. All my good painting went to hell.
Then we tried to fold the flowers. The petals would not stay.
STAY! Stay DOWN! There might have been cursing.
We realized we had to punch holes in the paper and the egg carton and didn’t have a hole puncher, so we used a pen or the skewers that were meant for the next project. I lost patience at that point and just fastened the egg carton to the yellow cardboard “flower” and then glued the stem (a folded piece of green cardstock) to the back.
Lisa, who is a much kinder and more patient person than I, used another paper fastener to attach her stem to the flower so that it actually spun. If you, you know, forced it. This is not one flower that’s going to be blowing in the wind.
It took us almost 45 minutes to make one flower, and that was with pre-painted egg cartons. Thank goodness there wasn’t a video of us making these things because it would not be something you could watch with children.
“Can’t we just buy pinwheels in the store for like 75 cents?” asked Jen. Yes, yes you can.
Project 2: Paper hyacinth flowers
Goal: Cut paper into strips. Roll strips up using skewer. Voila, flower!
Reality: These look great, from far, far away. Requires patience of a saint. Might be fun in large groups of people who have enjoyed several martinis.
Details: Do you enjoy attention to detail, like curling 30 tiny strips of paper, one tiny strip at a time? This project is for you. Again, it SEEMS simple. Maybe it would have been simple if we had used tissue paper instead of regular paper, but whatever: you work with what you got, right? Actually, I think this would have been worse with crepe paper because it would have torn much more easily, and I would have set things on fire.
Get a piece of colored paper. If you want to be all particular about it, use pink, blue or white, which are hyacinth colors. Or you can be all creative, like me, and use green or orange or whatever. It’s your bouquet, baby. I think outside the flower box.
Cut a 6-inch strip of the paper. Fold over the very edge, about 1/4 inch, twice. Then start cutting tiny strips along the length of the paper, about pencil-width wide. When you are done being bored with a thousand paper cuts, take a skewer or a stick or something small (one video suggested using the ink tube that’s inside a pen) and attempt to roll the tiny slits of paper up into curls.
You might try to curl more than one strip at a time. Haha. The craft lords mock you in your attempts to make this happen any faster. No, no. You must curl them up, sllllooowly, one at a time. The curls will fight you the entire time. Some of them may accidentally fall off in your haste to make this move along.
Eventually, like 20 minutes later, the pain will end. Then you wrap the strip around the skewer. Or you can use a piece of cardboard paper or a straw. Here’s the trick: You have to wrap the strip around diagonally, like you are wrapping ribbon around your finger and don’t want any skin to show. Good luck with this.
It might take several tries, oh, and you have to have the paper so that the curlies are facing out.
When you’re done, you can glue the flower part to the stick or you can tape it, as you are out of patience and ready to kill someone.
Note: We all used tape. Did it look like a hyacinth? Uh. Well. No.
Was it kind of pretty and colorful? Did it brighten up the room when put in a vase? Definitely. I’ll keep them on my desk — until the real thing comes along.
Next time: I’m hoping to melt Peeps and use them as glue. Is that wrong?