Some inexpensive supplies and a little bit of time and you can have a cute decoration for your Valentine's Day party, birthday, or whatever you wish! I made the L for Laura :) but you could easily do the full Valentine's Day LOVE, your initial plus your sweetie's, a heart, a wreath, anything your creative little mind can imagine. I am already considering repurposing my cupcake flowers onto a puppy party pinata version for Oli's upcoming 10th birthday...hmmm...
Cupcake wrappers (liners) are great materials for making simple flowers, with their ruffly ridges and pretty patterns. To make basic cupcake liner flowers:
- Flatten into a circle and fold repeatedly, then trim the outside folded corners - the number of folds and depth of the trimming will create variations in the petaled appearance of your paper flowers. A little variation is good! It helps to work over something to catch your off-cuts for an easier clean-up. You can save time by trimming multiple wrappers at once. If all of your wrappers are the same size, you can create extra variation by cutting down a few into smaller sizes before trimming the edges.
- Glue two or more wrappers together to create layers - the more layers, the rufflier the final flower. You can use brads, hot glue, staples, tape, etc to attach if you prefer. Try to offset the petals and, if working with strong linear patterns, offset those as well. You can experiment with layering different sizes (smallest on the top, largest on the bottom) and/or mix-and-match different patterns if you wish. Allow to dry completely.
- Embellish the centers if you wish. We used a simple circular paper sticky-dot label (easy, inexpensive, and available from your local office supply store), but you can be as plain or as fancy as you wish!
If you prefer, you can (of course) make fancier paper flowers, embellish the centers, create DIY crepe paper flowers like those in the simple how-to that we share with you earlier this week or even use artificial flowers; however, we wanted to keep this simple and 100% paper - easy, inexpensive, fully recyclable (in our area), and dog safe...just in case! There are no tools other than the scissors and no hot glue or other risky bits, so it's easy for the kids to get involved too.
While all that glue is drying, you can get your monogram base ready. You can use a pre-made monogram, box, wreath form, etc or make your own. Small cardboard boxes make easy recyclable raw materials for custom shapes. Cereal boxes are the simplest, especially if you are forming curves. I used a wine box...because its a little sturdier and that's way I had on hand. :) Sadly, not because I drank all the lovely wine, just left over from Christmas presents. Papier mache works nicely as well if you want a more creative custom shape. Once your base is shaped and ready, you can paint or wrap it if you wish to have a uniform background to start from. Bits will peak through, so we used a few sheet of re-used green tissue paper to make our background a similar shade of green as our construction paper leaves. To embellish the base:
- Consider whether your shape will be viewed from all angles (e.g. a pinata), will rest on a base (like our monogram), or lie on its back (like a wreath) and plan your lay-out accordingly.
- Position any large accent flowers in prominent positions first and secure them to the base shape. We used paper tape, but glue, glue dots, hot glue, etc all works too.
- Fluff the layers of your paper flowers as you work by squeezing them towards the center and shaping with your fingers.
- Once the feature flowers are in place, you can position a few larger leaves in any difficult edges or corners of your base shape.
- Fill in the rest of your flowers incrementally, secure and fluff as you go, taking care to stagger designs and positions. Consider how you shape looks from all angles, and use flowers to highlight or soften edges to suit your design.
- Once things are starting to look full, use small leaves to fill any gaps, taking care to check how you shape looks from all angles. Pay particular attention to any sharp edges.
- Check that everything is secure (a good shake will do it) and you're done!