Archive | flowers

learning how to be kind to myself

Be Kind chalkboard art in kitchen / jones design company Be Kind. 

The quality I admire most in others, the one character trait I wish for our children and the word I’d love for our family to be defined by is kindness.

My friend just told me this weekend that in a study of what makes marriages last, the biggest factor was kindness. Honesty, communication, love – these are all good things. Kindness is like all of these wrapped into one. It’s defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Isn’t that the type of person you want to be around? That you want to be married to? That you want your children to be?

Flowers from The Bouqs / get $10 off your first order at jones design company I would say I’m a kind person – at least most of the time. I am friendly. I am mostly generous. I try to be considerate.

orange ranunculus and kale flower arrangement / jones design company At barre class a few weeks ago, I had this sweet moment with God. I became aware that although I am kind to others, I am terribly mean to myself. I say critical, inconsiderate things in my head without even realizing. I tell myself I must be perfect. That if I’m not perfect, I’m a failure. That I need to do more and strive more and work harder to prove my worth. That if I’m not able to do it well, I should not even try.

I actually say these rude things to myself! Things I would never say to a friend and words I don’t even believe to be true.

Orange ranunculus flower bouquet on desk / jones design company I love that the Lord opened my mind to recognize the ways I am unkind to myself. It has become a theme these past few weeks and a message I keep seeing/hearing time and time again.

Be kind. To others. And to yourself. 

orange ranunculus flower arrangement and yellow mums / jones design company Being kind to myself looks like a lot of things:

+ speaking truthful words to myself instead of critical lies

+ accepting my body and being grateful for strength and health instead of focusing on the flaws

+ filling myself with healthy, nourishing food instead of eating junk and then feeling even worse

+ taking time to quiet my soul instead of rushing through and keeping busy

+ laughing instead of taking life so seriously

+ spending quality time with my family instead of being half-engaged

orange ranunculus flower arrangement and yellow mums / jones design company While ordering flowers for my grandma last week (I like to do this for her every few months just to make her smile. See?! I can be kind!) I saw these orange ranunculus.

Orange ranunculus would look so bright and cheerful in our house, I thought. It’s so gray and gloomy outside and a bouquet of pretty flowers sure would make me happy.

So you know what I did? I decided to splurge on myself as an act of kindness and I ordered those orange ranunculus. It was such a good decision.

Just one little way I’m learning to be kind to myself.

I think I could get used to this.

What have you done for yourself lately as an act of kindness? I’d love to hear …

double-line-tiny P.S. I ordered the flowers from The Bouqs. This is my second time ordering from them and I’ve been so happy every time. Sending flowers can be ridiculously expensive and the arrangements are not even good! This is not the case with The Bouqs. They have classy bouquets and pretty flower/greenery combinations and shipping is free. So the next time you need to order flowers for a friend, your grandma or yourself, The Bouqs gets my stamp of approval.

Get $10 off your first order with this link.

(I spent my own money on the flowers and will definitely order again. These links are referral links so when you click on the link, I’ll earn a small commission. Much love to you if you do :) )

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how to make grocery store flowers look fancy

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

If I could, I would have fresh flowers in every room of my house. They add color and texture and scent and life and always make a room feel more lived in and complete.

Gorgeous flower arrangements can be super expensive so I typically just find what I like at my grocery store and use a trick my mother-in-law taught me about making inexpensive bouquets look fancy.

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

This bunch of fall mums was on sale for $2.99 and just too good of a deal to pass up.

The temptation is to just cut off the ends of the stems and plop them in a vase, like this:

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But resist.

With just a few extra minutes you can instead get this:

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

Cut short and bunched closely together, these mums look elegant and the blooms become the stars of the show (rather than the distracting stems).

Start by choosing your vessel. I used an old silver sugar bowl from the thrift store (my mother-in-law is the thrifter and she passes her finds on to me. I’m one lucky lady). Fill it with water.

Now trim the stems way down so the blooms hit just to the top of your vase.

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Gather up a bunch and add them to the vase. Adjust the blooms until they create a mound, adding in extra blooms to fill in.

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

See?! Super easy. Suddenly a $2.99 grocery bouquet becomes and intentional, delicate arrangement that makes a statement.

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

I added these to my office and as I sit at my computer, I am cheered by their beauty.

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

(and how cute is that little drawing Audrey made?!)

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Fancy / jones design company

Maybe today you can treat yourself to an inexpensive bunch of flowers and make them look fancy with this cut-and-bunch arranging trick.

(Thanks grandma Nonna for teaching me everything I know about flower arranging)

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a naked birthday cake

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Sounds like a bit of a risque title, yes?!

No, none of that here. Just a gorgeously rustic, very delicious carrot cake.

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Have you seen this trend of naked cakes (basically a cake that is not covered in frosting)? I find them to be so pretty and wanted to give it a try for my birthday cake.

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It was so easy and looks so fancy (but it’s not!).

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I used Ina Garten’s carrot cake recipe (found here) because everything she makes is golden.  She uses fresh pineapple in hers; I substituted crushed pineapple and it works great.  The cake is so moist and chunky and delicious (did I mention delicious?).

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I baked the cake in two cake pans, then cut each one in half to make a thin layer (and just used three of them rather than four). The cream cheese frosting in between layers is rich and buttery and my favorite of all.

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And for fun, I added my last hydrangea bloom, a few lingering petunias and wire vine from my summer planters.

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Mmmm.

naked carrot cake / jones design company
We thoroughly enjoyed the cake last night and will be snacking on it for breakfast for the next few days. Because carrot cake with it’s vegetables and fruit is practically healthy (or at least that’s what I tell myself).

*NOTE: turns out hydrangeas are a toxic flower (oopsies). Don’t put it on your cake. Or at least wrap the stem in plastic before putting on your cake. 

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Springtime Succulents (planted in an unexpected way)

Try this unexpected springtime arrangement: plant a succulent in an eggshell / jones design company
Succulents are having a moment right now, and rightfully so. They are uniquely interesting, drought tolerant and rather inexpensive – a great combo if you ask me. When in Austin, Texas last month, we ate at this darling restaurant/flower shop and right away I was taken by the display of pretty succulents in brown paper. I wanted to try a similar arrangement at home, so I dropped by my local home depot and grabbed a bunch of little plants.

succulents Once home, I changed my mind. The brown paper – as cool as it looks – probably isn’t very practical for watering and I wasn’t sure how to get around that issue.

Then one day, I had this weird idea: plant the springtime succulents in eggshells! I know, strange. But I’ve seen wheatgrass grown in shells for spring and thought maybe my cute plants would be a fun twist on that idea.

planted-succulents The process is a bit self-explanatory, but I took photos as we planted with a few tips. I did this one with my No.2 and it was a great Sunday afternoon let’s-get-our-hands-just-a-little-bit-dirty activity to do with him.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’ll NEED: planting-succulents-in-eggs-supplies cracked eggs, washed out and dry / small pebbles / needle / small succulents

STEP ONE: poke hole in bottom of egg

poke-hole-in-egg-with-needle I just used a regular needle, but I remember doing this with my mom to blow eggs and we used a large upholstery needle. Whatever you have on hand will be fine. If you’re using a small needle, wiggle it around to open up the hole a little bit. Beware: the eggshells are thick at the bottom and so you may wreck a few while poking the holes. I suppose you don’t even have to do this step, I’m just assuming it’s a good idea for drainage. Up to you.

STEP TWO: add small pebbles to the bottom of egg

put-small-pebbles-in-bottom-of-egg This will help with draining (in theory).

STEP THREE: pull apart succulents

planting-succulents-in-egg The little plants usually come in groups of three or so in each small pot. Just gently pull them apart, keeping roots intact.

STEP FOUR: place plant in shell + fill in with soil

planting-with-kids succulent-in-egg And that’s it!

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succulents-in-egg-carton It was fun to try out all the different shapes and textures of plants.

succulents-in-egg-carton2 I kept the original egg carton to display them in (I just lightly water the whole thing in the kitchen sink and the egg carton does fine), and also put a few in a ceramic egg carton (from Anthropologie). succulents-in-eggdish succulents-in-eggs-close

Cute, yes? And maybe a little odd. But I’m okay with that.

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Succulents are supposedly very low-maintenance, but I have a way with killing most plants that I bring into our home. I did a little research and here’s what I found to help us keep these beauties happy:

TIPS FOR KEEPING SUCCULENTS ALIVE INDOORS

1. Keep in sunny places – they are a desert plant and thrive in sun and dry climates.

2. Let them dry out completely before watering.

3. Bright green plants are easier to keep alive – steer clear of the purple, grays and oranges if you’re looking for indoor success.

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how to keep cut hydrangeas from wilting

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I learned the best secret for keeping hydrangeas from wilting and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Ryan brought me home these gorgeous white hydrangeas a few weeks ago. I would have been thrilled with roses or tulips or whatever flower he presented, but I love that he chose hydrangeas. They are my favorite.

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The problem is, they never last long. After a day or so of being cut, the blooms begin to wilt. About three days later, they are completely done.

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But guess what I just learned (from an instagram conversation)? Hydrangeas take in water from their PETALS! I had no idea.

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So here’s how to keep cut hydrangeas from wilting:

1. Cut stems at an angle

2. Put cut stems in water right away

3. Once per day, gently mist petals (I use a spray bottle like this but have been eying a pretty one like this)

4. If the blooms start to wilt, shock them back by dunking the whole flower head in warm water for a few minutes

The bouquet of white hydrangeas Ryan brought home lasted for just over two weeks when watered this way. For real. This new way of watering the flowers has changed my hydrangea-loving life.

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The time I was going to show you how to make paper dahlias

I was joking with my family just the other day about how I use the word favorite quite liberally.

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My favorite candy? Good & Plenties. Sour Patch Kids. Hot Tamales. Fruit Mentos. Twix if I’m feeling chocolaty.

Favorite color? Blue – all shades – or sometimes just the jeweled tones. Green. White – ah, I love white!. Gray.

My favorite season? Which ever one is up next.

See? Lot’s of favorites. Don’t try to stick me to only one from each category because I just can’t decide. There are just too many great things to choose between. Continue Reading

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crepe paper poppies (tutorial)

Paper flowers are just so pretty. There are many different versions, different materials, different methods and each one is as charming as the next.

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(via instagram)

Yesterday I pulled out my very old crepe paper flower kit that I bought as a college student from a mail-order-catalog called Martha By Mail. Remember that little gem of a business? Loved it. (here’s a fun blog post memorializing the catalogs)

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The kit came with crepe paper, flower templates and a booklet with instructions for several types of flowers.

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Yesterday, I spent some time making poppies and they turned out so pretty, I thought I’d share how you can make them, too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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crepe paper / petal template (see below) / floral stem wire / floral tape / scissors / glue

Let’s talk for a second about crepe paper: you’ll want a few complimentary colors in varying shades. Each flower uses two colors for the petals, plus brown for the stamen and green for the leaves. You can find crepe paper at your craft store, or online here or here.

STEP ONE // make the pistil & stem

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Roll a piece of crepe paper into a small ball. Place wire at base of ball and wrap it in a square of paper, gathering corners together and twisting down the wire. Wrap with floral tape to hold together.

STEP TWO // add stamen

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Cut a 1 x 2 strip of brown crepe paper. Fold in half and again. Snip a fine fringe and unfold. Repeat with cream colored crepe paper, making it slightly longer.

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Dab glue on brown fringe and wrap around pistil. Continue with cream fringe.

STEP THREE // make petals

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Make four double layer petals with peach and cream paper (peach on top).

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Layer one peach petal over one cream petal. Sculpt petals by gently pinching and pulling the top and through center.

STEP FOUR // Add petals to stem

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Dab glue at base of each petal. Wrap around stem. Add next petal opposite and then fill in with last two.

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Wrap base with floral tape to secure.

STEP FIVE // add leaf

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Cut leaf out of green crepe paper. Sculpt gently. Attach to stem with floral tape.

Finished!

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A whole bouquet in varying colors looks so sweet in a little jar.

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I’ll be using a few of these poppies to give to the kids’ teachers for teacher appreciation week next week and as a gift topper for mother’s day gifts this weekend.

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Just one more way to make dainty paper flowers!

For more flower inspiration, this book is on my must-buy-very-soon list.

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It’s so beautiful. See more details here.

If you’d like to make a bouquet of poppies, feel free to use my pattern.

paper-poppy-petal

The template for the poppy petal is found in the Archive (our library of downloads, freebies and templates). Please sign in (or sign up!) to the archive for instant access.

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things I like: ferns

I have a slight love affair with ferns.  Their bright, fresh color, delicate texture, slightly wild arms going every which way … they add just the right feel to my otherwise neutral rooms.

{in my office}

{on the front porch}

{in the kitchen}

{in my favorite little nook of the house}

{and on the coffee table}

In a home dressed with mostly gray, white and taupe, mixing in natural greenery adds interest, texture and life.

Plus, they only cost a few dollars at the hardware store. And that’s a bonus if you’re anything like me and have a difficult time keeping houseplants healthy.

Keeping my love of ferns in mind, I now have a pinterest board dedicated to the lovely foliage.

Click here to see more fern inspiration.

Please tell me, do you have a plant-crush?

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enjoying the lovliness of nature

It’s instafriday on Life Rearranged and so I thought I’d link up once again.

I have had my iphone for just about two months now and I’m pretty much in love. Mostly because the camera is so. darn. good. And super easy.  It is fun to snap photos in an instant of things that catch my eye.

What catches my eye the most lately is the amazing show that the springtime in the pacific northwest is putting on for us.  I suppose this happens every year, but as I get older, I appreciate the beauty of nature so much more.

Here are some of my favorites taken this week:

{amazingly ruffled tulip}

{euphorbia – one of my favorite perenials}

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put a penny in it

A few weeks ago I posted this picture of my haphazard tulips.

A reader suggested dropping in a penny the next time I bought a bunch to keep them from drooping.

And so I did.

Well, what do you know, I now have tall tulips.

I did a bit of research and found that the penny trick may make tulips stand tall, but it also results in a shorter life span. Experts suggest the best way to keep cut tulips looking pretty is good, old-fashioned clean water.

It may be a myth, but it sure worked for me.

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the bloom event & the emily font

The bloom event took place this past weekend and it was a great success.

marisa & emily

Not only did we raise money for the Butterworth family {that is Marisa on the left} to adopt their baby girl from Ethiopia, but we spent a beautiful Seattle morning chatting, eating tasty treats and creating a few different simple flowers.

bloom3 bloom9

crafty ladies

Marisa did the most amazing and thorough job planning this event – with every detail covered – and that made it so easy to relax and enjoy ourselves.

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I have tree-envy

tree

This tree sits in my sister & brother-in-law’s back yard.

tree closer

With its showing blooms

lilacs

and their delicious fragrance

blooms

and far-reaching span.

more blooms

It makes me very envious.

I need a lilac tree.

Then I could cut flowers and have them filling up my house with their amazing scent.

bedroom

kitchen

dining

But for now, I’ll just be happy for my sister. And thankful that she let me cut a {huge} armful.

Anyone else in love with lilacs?

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flouncy flowers {two tutorials & more}

flower-week

Well, today is the final day of flower week and I can say that I’ve loved it! I hope you have learned a few new things, have been inspired to create and maybe even finished a few of the projects. Like I said earlier this week, I could probably keep going for days and days with so many fun ways to create blossoms. I tried to narrow it down to five of my current favorites, but I just couldn’t. So today, there are two flowers.

Be sure to scroll all the way down for a few extra goodies at the end of the post.

The first flower today is a simple and modern one.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: satin fabric

:: beads for embellishing {I used pearls from a broken pearl bracelet}

:: round template {mine is approximately 2 1/2 inches}

:: needle, thread & scissors

STEP ONE: cut four circles

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STEP TWO: stack circles and stitch through center

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STEP THREE: add beads to center to embellish

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STEP FOUR: snip into circle

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And you’re done!

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Pin a little bunch to a sweater for a fun accessory.

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Cute and simple, right?

Let’s move right into the next flower:

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: organza

:: a small piece of satin for the center

:: thread, needle & scissors

STEP ONE: cut organza into eight rectangles

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My rectangles are 2 x 1, but you could cut them any size you like

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STEP TWO: layer

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STEP THREE: stitch through the center of the layered pieces

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Just use a running stitch and go from end to end, gathering as you go

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STEP FOUR: wrap thread around center

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Tie off in back and snip thread and you’ll have this:

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STEP FIVE: add center embellishment

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cut small circle from satin {approximately 3/4″}

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fold into quarters and stitch through the bottom to secure

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then attach with a stitch through the center of the flouncy flower.

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So sweet. I attached two to a pair of shoes for a summery look:

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And there you have it. Flower Week 2011. Six great flower projects to get you in the spring and summer mood.

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As a special gift for mother’s day, I’ve created a free printable card for you to download and print.

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Just click the image below for the pdf, print on cardstock, cut along dotted lines and fold in half.

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I hope the mothers in your life enjoy it!

 

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rolled fabric flowers {tutorial}

Perhaps you’ve seen this flower elsewhere : it is a popular one.  There are many different ways to roll and fold the fabric for different looks, but today I’ll show how I make these rolled fabric flowers.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: fabric

:: scissors

:: hot glue gun {you could also hand stitch if you prefer}

STEP ONE: cut fabric into strip

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For this 2 1/2″ flower, the strip is 2 1/4″ x 28″

I tear the fabric both for ease and because I like the frayed edges

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STEP TWO: fold strip in half

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STEP THREE: roll end into a ball for the center

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Add a dab of hot glue to hold securely

STEP FOUR: twist and roll

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starting with the strip held straight, twist away from the center

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then roll around the center

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Did you get that? Twist away

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then roll.

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Every few twists you can add hot glue to hold

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Keep twisting and rolling to your desired size

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STEP FIVE: finish the back

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Leave a bit of fabric at the end so that you can flip it over the back

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add hot glue

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and trim the ends

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The back will look like that and the front looks like this:

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I attached a mini flower {and felt leaf} to a hair clip for the baby

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and added one to a piece of thin elastic for a dainty headband

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A bundled group of funky flowers makes a fun belt when pinned to a grosgrain ribbon.

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For this pillow I cut up an old shirt and used the material to hot glue a enormous flower to an existing pillow.

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I can’t decide if I’m in love, but it was super easy and a good mindless activity while the kids were out making mud pies in the back yard. You should have seen their muddy little bodies when they were finished. Oh my.

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So have you enjoyed flower week so far? I hope I’ve given you the inspiration and easy steps for making a few of these blossoms. I’ve heard from many that it is teacher appreciation week and a few of the flowers have been made for the sweet ladies who teach our kids. I’m sure they love receiving a hand-made gift! And, of course, we have Mother’s Day on Sunday and what mom doesn’t like a flower?!  So keep creating and I’ll be back tomorrow with one more flower tutorial.

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button flowers {tutorial}

Today’s flower is the simplest of them all {perfect for a mid-week spurt of creativity}.

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I saw this project in the April 2008 issue of FamilyFun magazine {yep, I still have the tear out in a binder}. I didn’t changed much from the original how-to, other than using silver wire instead of florists’ green.  These are super easy and a great craft to do with kids.

Here is what you’ll need:

supplies

:: buttons in various sizes {I went monochromatic, but you can be as crazy as you want}

:: 26 gauge wire {or whatever you have that is easily bendable}

:: scissors or wire cutters

STEP ONE: select your buttons

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Choose three buttons in varying sizes and stack them up

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STEP TWO: cut wire to desired length {mine are approximately 6 inches}

cut wire

STEP THREE: thread wire through holes in buttons

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STEP FOUR: loop the wire up through the hole and down the opposite button hole

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{oh good heavens, don’t judge my hands}

Thread the wire back through the bottom button

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STEP FIVE: twist the wire to secure

twist

Aren’t they so sweet?

button flowers

I used a silver egg cup, added play dough to the inside {you could use florists foam if you have it, but I didn’t and play dough seemed to do the trick!} then covered with a bit of moss.  Poke the wire stems in and you have a playful little flower arrangement.

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These are the same button flowers that are in Audrey’s room, except in white and tied up with twine.

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I did a search on google images for ‘button flowers’ and look what else I found:

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How beautiful, unexpected and cheap{!} for bridal bouquets. Wish I thought of that for my wedding! You could even have each of the bridesmaids make their own at a button-flower making party. I like that idea.

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This is the photo from that magazine article where I first saw these flowers. They look awfully cute sticking out of a plant.

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And I love these ones that have black wire stems that twist all the way down. Very whimsical.

So many variations you can do with sizes and colors of buttons. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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