Handmade Flowers

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Today I’d like to share my paper flower bouquet with you made via the Silhouette.    Now that I have a tool to help cut out the shape of the flowers this is one of the first projects I couldn’t wait to complete.    I wanted to make these for Gwen’s birthday back in June but this was the one thing on the list that didn’t get completed.  Since I have the Silhouette I am glad I waited because I like how these turned out much better than when I cut my own flower shapes.  (it’s possible to do it but much harder)

I’ve said this before…but I really LOVE this collection of paper (Sketchbook by Amy Tangerine) because of the bright cheerful colors but it also has a great mix of not just shapes but also the geometric patterns.  I am so happy with how these flowers turned out.  You see the hearts and flowers on one side then geometric partners on the back sides.  This collection is also great because of the black and white patterns mixed with the bright colors and the black pencil sketchs too.

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I used two different shapes from the Silhouette store for the flowers.    The 3d paper rose (Alaa’K) & the 3d rolled spiral flower (Lori Whitlock).  I enlarged each flower so that it was as large as it could be for a 12×12 sheet.  This produced nice sized flowers for a medium sized vase to be a table centerpiece.

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I glued them together and then used floral wire as the stems.    I tried scrunching up the paper, like last time, but didn’t like how it turned out so I stuck with keeping them nice & crisp.   I had to make a small tighter spiral for the inside because the flowers were so open.  I used scraps from the big flowers, twisted them up and glued to the middle of the large open flowers.

My favorite three flowers are seen below:  the inside with the rainbow of hearts, the bright yellow inside with the big flowers on the outside and Gwyneth’s graph outside with the black and white floral on the inside.

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The two flower shapes used here are similar but Lori’s rolled spiral flower has more of a scalloped edge so these shapes work well together to give a slight variety to the overall shape/size of the flowers.   

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I’ve tied some Sketchbook ribbons to the top of the vase to enhance the colors in the bouquet.  We’ve now got the bouquet sitting in the center of our dinging table.   The real roses my husband got me for our anniversary last week are just about done but we’ll have this lovely bouquet to enjoy for a long time!    

There are many, many more flower shapes I want to use on future projects with smaller sized flowers in a big grouping.  I can’t wait to try some new things!   Here’s a link to my other projects with the Sketchbook collection.   I’ve almost used up the paper pack, just enough left for one more layout & 2 cards.  

Supplies:  pattern paper & ribbons-Amy Tangerine Sketchbook Collection (American Crafts), die cut flower templates-Silhouette store (3d paper rose – by Alaa’K & the 3d rolled spiral flower – by Lori Whitlock)


Ice Cream First Year Photo Clips

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Today I wanted to show you how easy it is to make photo clips for your next celebration.  These are great décor items for parties ranging from birthday parties, showcasing travels, to anniversary celebrations for young and old.    How special would it be to make a set of these for a 10 year, 20 year or even 40 year wedding anniversary party?  You’d then be able to showcase a memorable photo from each of the years to decorate the room. 

These are super easy and fun to make.  I hope you’ll want to try some! 


  • pattern paper
  • white cardstock for message & embellishments   
  • clothes pins
  • two different sized circle punches
  • hot glue gun

1.  Paper:  If you are going to make them from digital files like I did, print the background papers.  Or select your scrapbook patterned paper.  I like having three different patterns to vary the backgrounds.  This time I have six because there are stripes and polka dots in the same color schemes.   

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2. Punch out background pieces.    You can use any shape (circle, square, flourish, scalloped circle, rectangle, etc.) to fit the theme.

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3.  Design & print out inside circle

4.  Adhere inner & outside circles together.    Now you are ready to glue the tags to the clothes pins. 

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5.  Hot Glue:  apply to half of the clothes pin starting with the part that opens.  This is where you’ll want the bottom of the tag to rest. 

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6.  Add tag:  Quickly add the tag to the hot glue before it starts to dry.  Put the bottom of the tag just below the wooden end and be sure to have the tag facing so that the handles of the pin are at the top. 

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7.  Complete for the rest of the tags.  It’s important to place the tag so that there’s not too much paper hanging over the bottom of the clip, which would cover up your photos too much.  Your photo clip tags will be ready in no time.

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Here’s the full set all finished.  After the event these tags could also be used on a scrapbook page or in a mini album along with the photos. 

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8.  Placement:  you can clip them to a ribbon that hangs on the wall, tape the clips directly to the mantel, hang from a ribbon on the mantel, tape to the deck if your even is outdoor, etc.  There are many possibilities for placement.  

Here’s how they look in action at the party.  Pam tapped them to the rock mantel and it was a great way to show the growth of her baby girl over the last year.  I had a hard time getting photos of this because of the glare from the sunshine. 

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See the cute photo for month 5?  It’s the same one that Gwen had for her month 6 (See the second to last photo in the post).    See month 10….Isn’t that the sweetest little swimsuit!?

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Pam did a great job selecting photos to use and I love how some of the colors ended up coordinating. She didn’t see these until the day before the party when the photos had already been printed.

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Happy Birthday sweet little one Isabelle! 

What about doing one of these for an 18th Birthday party?  I bet the young adult and family members would really get a kick out of seeing the changes over the 18 years.    Or a 40th wedding anniversary?  Hmmm…

Ice Cream Party Gift Tags

I am excited to have this entire week off from work and I am hoping I’ll be able to squeeze in some craft time each day.  Good idea, right?!  I have very long “to-do” list that includes a few blog posts, getting caught up on things around the house, hiking Mt. Si, few scrapbook layouts, creating some party decor, enjoying the sun and spending time with the kids.   

Regarding the parties…This upcoming weekend two friends are having birthday parties for their little ones and I am creating some handmade paper decorations.

The the first thing I’d like to share are party favor thank you tags.  As you can see the theme is Ice Cream and the baby girl is turning one year old.   I am so excited to get to make some things for this super cute little girls party & for fun such a fun theme. 

Party Favor Gift Tags

Do you ever use digital paper packs & embellishments? I am very new to making things with digital files. (never even done a digital scrapbook page).  My favorite part about digital is that you can usually download the files straightaway (or they arrive w/in 24 hours) and begin creating.  Not to mention they are super affordable (some shops even do by 2 get 1 free specials).

I found the digital supplies to make the ice cream tags on Etsy (Erin Bradley Designs), the ice cream cones are so adorable that I was instantly inspired to make a ton of things.  

Ice Cream Cones Clip art: 


Coordinating Digital Paper: 


I printed background colors in blue, green and pink (polka dots and stripes) on white cardstock and then punched out a scalloped circle with my 3 inch round Paper Shaper.  This was the easy part. 

Next I designed the inner circle of the tag starting with a 2.45 inch circle.  I wanted to use my 2.50 circle punch to punch the tag out.  I offset the size of the circle so that there’d be a white border after punching. 

Party Favor Gift Tags

I used pink and green circles that were from the owl set of clip art (Digital Bake Shop) from Gwen’s party.  Then put a dashed blue circle with the words wrapping around the top half of the tag.

Getting the writing to follow the circle and for the letters to be at the right angle to read was the hardest part!  It took me a while but I am so glad to learn how to do this trick. 

Party Favor Gift Tags

The second hardest part was figuring out which command to use in order to erase the bottom of the cone so it wasn’t showing behind the green and pink circles.  I felt very accomplished after learning how to erase the bottom of the cone!   I printed all of them on one 12×12 sheet of cardstock and then used my circle punch to cut them out. 

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I added some colorful ribbon (via the leftover stash) and left them untied so that we can add them to the party favors before the party.    If you have any digital tips or ideas to share I’d love to hear them. 

I’m going to continue with this cute circle theme for the rest of the items.  The circle goes well with the shape of the ice cream scoop.  Now I better get busy and create the rest of the paper items!!

Owl Gift Box

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Here’s another owl I’d like to share!  I saw this owl gift box on the BasicGrey blog last month that’s made from an oatmeal box and knew it would be perfect to give my daughters first teacher.  My daughter turned one in June and with that she moves up to a one year old classroom.   I wanted to give her teacher a special gift from us because they spent precious time together during this first year of her life.

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This cute owl was the perfect container for a gift from Gwen because we have  an owl theme going on around our house.   I followed the tutorial pretty much step by step. 

I decided to use paper from the Lemonade collection since it’s such a great pack for girl colors and we’ve used it in on a few other Gwen projects(I can’t wait to do some baby scrapbook layouts with it in the future)

This was a really easy project to make.  If you want to do something quick, isn’t too fussy and looks nice I highly recommend this one!  These are all the pieces of paper I used and there was a ton left over of the big sheets. 

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You can see the owl inspiration here too. It’s surprising that the oatmeal box can transform into such a different looking container.

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Using rubber bands to hold on the paper while it dried was a great tip from Lisa who created the tutorial.   

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The only change I made was wanting to make it a girl owl using pink and blue colors.  I was excited to find great pink fabric flowers (at Scrapbook.com by BasicGrey) so that the owl could have cute pink eyes.   Btw…there are a lot of fabulous fabric flowers out there these days. 

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I peeled off the top three layers from the fabric flower.  It came apart nicely and didn’t tear the fabric.  These flowers are about 3 inches in diameter and they’d be too large to use the outside piece (for this box of oats, they’d work on the larger box if you were making a bigger owl).    So I used the inside of the flower petal, keeping the beads attached and glued a white circle to the middle for the inside of the eye.  With my large hole punch I added a black pupil.  

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Now for the fun part…..I continued on with the owl theme and got this custom wall hanging (or ornament for the tree) from Lisa Leonard for inside. 

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It’s really cute owl and a great place to write a sweet message for her teacher. 

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I also wanted to include something personal with the gift, so I made a little photo book.    These are the same photos I used in the 8×8 first year mini album except this time I kept them as 4×6 photos. 

Back story….Each month we took photos with Gwen & her owls (Penny & Joy) in the same chair.   These were the perfect photos to share with her teacher.  I knew she’d think they were special since she watched her grow each month.  As you can see it was simple to put together, I used my large hold punch and then added a ring with some ribbon. 

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The stickers are also from the Lemonade collection and worked great to add the month right onto the corner of the photos. 

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Gwen says…..“Owl Miss You Ms. Ayu thanks for being a great teacher!!”

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I couldn’t decide if I liked the message on the hot pink paper (above) or the blue (below).  What do you think?    I also changed the noose to green (above) because it stood out more than the crème version (below). 

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Thank you Lisa & BasicGrey for this wonderful idea & inspiration!!


Supplies:  BasicGrey Lemonade Collection Papers-Pink (Pink Fizz), Plaid (Picnic Table), Floral (Flower Garden), Nose (Lime Cooler), Sign (Frosted Berry & Splash), BasicGrey Fabric Flowers, Quaker Oatmeal box 18oz, hole punch, circle punch,

Owl Party Gift Bags

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I’d like to share some fun owl party gift bags I made for my daughters birthday party.

I created this owl with various punches and then attached the card to the front of the gift bags to personalize the bags with the party theme.    I also added a tag to the handle of each bag with the child’s name and a circle scallop from pattern paper to add splash more of color/pattern.

The paper seen here is all from the Amy Tangerine Sketchbook Collection by American Crafts.  I love the bright colorful patterns and the bright pinks are great for a girl’s birthday party.

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This idea comes from the February issue of Scrapbooks etc. where Valerie Salmon created a cute owl Valentine’s Day card.  Originally I thought I’d use this design for the invitations but I didn’t want to make the invites so using this card for the gift bags was perfect.

I am not sure how big the original card is in the magazine but I was able to go with 5×7 for the outer size of the pattern piece.    The brown paper bag background was perfect for the colors/patterns in the owls and went especially well with the card having the owl placed on “paper bag” colored cardstock.

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I found a write up on Geeky Diva Design’s blog where she did this paper piecing pattern with her kids.   What a great idea to do it with your children as they sure love using punches & glue.  She even created a helpful template showing which shapes & punches to use for each part of the owl.

I do have a good supply of punches but I don’t have all the shapes so I had to improvise a bit.

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  • I used 2 inch scalloped circles for the feathers and also the feet (didn’t even think about using my heart punch).
  • Then I used three different punches for the eyes. I did the outside in pink with a 1 1/4 punch, then punched that circle again with the 1 to have a thin outer ring. The white is on the 1 inch and the small black inside is 5/8.
  • Cut a small triangle for the noose
  • The body is 4 inches tall by about 3 inches wide.  I don’t have an oval punch and a circle punch didn’t work to cut the top off so I used a aerosol bottle of spray starch to trace out a half circle to cut off the top of the owl.
  • For the feet I also used my two inch circle scallop punch and cut out two of the scallops for each foot.

I selected 5 different background patterns from the lovely paper choices and made 10 cards (leaving me with two extra owls-one for Gwen’s memory book and one for my card stash).

I made one owl as a template so that I could figure out the best colors to use with the background paper.    The owls are made almost completely with pieces from my scrap bag (except for the wings that are from two sheets of hot pink BasicGrey paper that has a great textured look to it).

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Here are the finished bags in each design.  Which is your favorite?

pink flowers-

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rainbow hearts-

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flourish (this is my favorite pattern)-

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trees & leaves-

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Thank you Michelle for helping me with the final touches on tags & bags Friday night so that they were ready for Saturday!

One last thing…what was inside the bags?  Some of the regular party favors (pencils, note pads, stationary, erasers, etc.) and then these adorable felt hand sewn owls.  I found these on Etsy made by MariaPalito.   Maria whipped them up quickly and they arrived in some cute packaging.  They even have a little rattle inside each owl.   Size wise the owl fits in the palm of your hand.


Supplies:  punches- EK Success, corner rounder crop a dile – We R Memory Keepers, Pattern papers – Amy Tangerine Sketchbook Collection, Pink paper(only on owl feathers)-BasicGrey Sultry, Various Solid Cardstock-Bazzil, Paper bag gift bags-Michael’s Craft Store, string-brown hemp twine

DIY cupcake wrappers & cupcake toppers

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June is one the biggest birthday months of the year around our house.  We have so many friends & family members with birthdays.  The fun part for me is that I get the opportunity to make some party items.  Today I’d like to share cupcake sleeves & cupcake toppers I made for one of the June parties.  This is the same birthday girl I mentioned earlier in the birthday card post who loves pink

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Here’s the invite (Tiny Prints), created by her mother, that set the theme for the party.  A cute little bear holding a balloon and the party being hosted at Build a Bear. 

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I found three paper patterns to use for both cupcake décor items and made the sleeves first.    I followed this cupcake wrapper tutorial found on offbeatbride.com.  The best part was the template that worked perfectly to get the desired shape. 

After cutting the arched shape, I used this fun Martha Stewart punch to add detail to the top edge of the wrapper.   It’s one of the new around the page punches and also includes a corner piece.  I’d like try it soon on a card. 

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It was so easy to make these cupcake wrappers.  I just added a piece of tape on the seam and they are ready to go. 

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The best thing about making your own cupcake toppers & sleeves is that it doesn’t take many supplies.  I was able to use just three different patterns seen here from the BasicGrey Kissing Booth Collection (Better Half, Cupid, You + Me). 

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For the cupcake toppers I used my circle scallop punch on the outside and a circle punch on the inside.    This time I went larger on the circle size with the outside being 2.50  and the inside 1.75  inches (greater offset between the tw0 shapes).    I like that more of the pattern is showing than the last set of cupcake toppers I made. 

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I printed on two of the toppers (adding name & age) using this great printable template that has cupcake toppers you can customize.  I only used the pink circles but it would be fun to do a party and use the entire printable. 

I don’t know Photoshop well enough yet to select the colors that I need to match my background supplies so that’s why I love finding something that was already the right color.    I added a big number 5 to this one. 

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Added the birthday girls name to this one. 

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For the third one I had to bring in the cute bear from the invite.  I used a Martha Stewart punch that punched out the shape & also embosses the paper to give it detail on the feet & belly of the bear. 

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Here’s the birthday card (shared earlier) that I made to go with the balloon theme from the invite & using the same cute paper for her birthday wish. 

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Cupcake toppers & cupcake wrappers are so easy and quick to make!  I encourage you to try it next time you are celebrating to add a nice touch to enhance the theme.  They can be used for any occasion.

Here’s how the toppers & wrappers came together on the cupcakes at the party. (It’s hard to get great photos in restaurants with dark lighting) But you can see how cute the paper items look on top of the pink frosting cupcakes! 


Here are a few other “bear things” that were made by the birthday girl’s mother. 

First she made cute little bears (table top tents) to have standing at each place to welcome the kids.   Having the bears be two pieces of paper (still joined at the top) made them stand up nicely on the tables.  For the boys she made boy colors and for the girls they had girl colored bears.  

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I love how she put the child’s name on the shorts/skirt that the bear is wearing.  They are so cute!

They are 5 tall x 4 wide and were made on with the circuit.  The circuit makes a nice bear with having it be two pieces.  

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There were also some of these cute bears decorating the walls of the restaurant.   These ones were much larger, about 8 or 9 inches tall. 

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The last handmade item was the same bear you saw at the table settings but this was a thank you note attached to each build a bear box.  It was tied to the window and included the child’s name.  This was a brilliant way to know who’s bear was in which box so there were no mix ups.

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It’s slightly smaller than the tabletop bears and the measurements are 4×3.    This is a great way to send a personalized thank you note home with each child. 

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Here’s the sweet soccer dog that Gavin made.  All the boys loved the bows and put them on their bears & dogs too. 

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The boys with their cute bears.   

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Cute white princess bear wearing a lovely blue gown! 

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Visit from Pauline the bunny!  She took pictures with all the kids. 

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The girls really loved the PINK bears…especially the birthday girl!!  The birthday girl also got to carry around a big gold bell. 

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The birthday girl had a wonderful time at her 5th birthday party.  I was very impressed with what a GREAT party her mom prepared (she always does wonderful events) and  Build-A-Bear did a fabulous job hosting all the kids! 

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paper flower bouquet

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Ever since seeing a post about handmade paper flowers I have been mesmerized by this lovely creation.     I can’t get it out of my mind and had to try it myself. 

I don’t have a slice die cut machine as recommended in the tutorial so I decided to free hand it and see if I could make the petals on my own.   Those that know me know I don’t like to free hand things very often but thought it would be good to push myself (hopefully making Nicole, Tara & Michelle proud). 

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The most important part about doing a bouquet like this is to find pattern paper that is double sided.  I found out that the original paper (Lemonade collection) I was envisioning was single sided so it couldn’t be used for this project. 

I then settled on using some colorful spring paper from the BasicGrey Konnichiwa line because of the beautiful sakura blossoms, Japanese lanterns, koi fish, variety of colors (blue, pink, red, green), multiple prints and the way all the patterns fit together so well. 

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I made 7 flowers in total and it only requires 1 sheet for each flower.  I used 4 different pieces of patter paper (remember they are double sided so you can make two flowers from each pattern).

For three of the pattern pieces, I did a flower showing both sides of the paper making 6 flowers. The seventh one is the red one on top-middle of the bouquet and I only did one of this patter because the outside has a nice flower pattern but the inside is solid red.    Showcasing 7 flowers was the perfect amount for this med-sized green vase.

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The Kanji characters on the inside of this red flower is a really nice touch.  Wish I knew what it said!  

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How to make:

  1. Cut the paper into strips.   Each flower is made up of one 12×12 sheet of paper that’s cut into 4 inch strips (tall) and I varied the width between 4, and 6 inches (wide).   
  2. Cut a scalloped edge across the top (outer edge of the flower)You can free hand this part and it looks great. 
  3. Crush up all the paper so that it’s nice & wrinkled.  This will give it texture and make it easier to work with when shaping.    It might even get  small tears and it will look great.
  4. Fold the cloth wire in half and start with the narrower paper 3 or 4 inch wide.  This will be the center of your flower.    Fold it into a circle and use your hot glue gun to glue the wire to the center of the flower. 
  5. Continue adding pieces to the edge of the flower petal.  I decided to just glue the edge of the new paper to the edge that was on the outside of the spiral.    Work with your paper to get it to the desired shape. 
  6. Fold the petals back when you get to using the outside pieces of 6 inch paper. 
  7. Add leaves when flowers are all competed.  I have some nice green paper that would be great for leaves but I decided not to add them with this bouquet.  I thought it looked nice without them.
  8. Display in a vase and add rocks, beads or sand.  Include a ribbon around the base of the vase if desired.

Each time I was putting the flowers together I learned things that were working/not working.  It’s a fun project because there’s no exact way to do it and no two flowers look the same.  I kept liking the most recent flower better than the one before. 

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This bouquet is a 5th birthday gift for one of my son’s friends.  She loved the handmade pinwheel centerpieces from his birthday party.  I didn’t want the kids to take them home because the sharp tack might pop out so I decided to surprise her with a flower bouquet for her bedroom.     I am happy she’s crafty at a young age & flattered that she likes what I make.

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Happy Birthday Kira!!  (I couldn’t resist getting a shot holding this vase of flowers before giving them away.) 

If you do this bouquet, please share photos.   I’d love to see your creation!   I’d also like to try making it again maybe for Gwen’s party with Sketchbook?  Or using the slice to cut the flowers petals to see how it works.

Thank you to Making Memories for the project inspiration & tutorial!!

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Supplies:  Pattern Paper-4 different sheets (Jasmine Tea, Sui Sui, Friendly Greetings and Koi Pond) Konnichiwa Collection by BasicGrey, Hot glue gun, Vase (from Safeway), Ivory ribbon-, Clear decorative filler beads-Ashland (from Michaels’), 18 inch Floral cloth wire-(from Michael’s)