Homemade foam flowers make excellent decorations for parties. Making them is simple, so it’s a great project to do with kids. Craft stores and dollar stores carry all the supplies you need to make these colorful creations. Read on to learn how to make foam calla lilies, violets and mums.
- Cut a circle out of a sheet of foam. This will become the calla lily bloom. The circumference of the circle can be as small or as large as you want.
- Fold the circle in half. Make sure it’s folded neatly, so that the shape of the calla lily will turn out right.
- Alter the circle to create a rounded heart shape. Start by placing the scissors at the bottom point of the folded foam. Cut along the edge of the circle, then dip the scissors in at the top of the circle to make a rounded edge. when you unfold the circle, it should look like a rounded heart, with two subtle humps at the top; the bottom of the heart should remain rounded.
- The classic heart shape has a sharply pointed bottom tip, but in this case you want to keep the bottom rounded with a slight point.
- Don’t make the humps at the top too pronounced; they should be subtle.
- Make a small slit between the humps. This will make it easier to from the foam into the cylindrical shape of a calla lily bloom.
- Cut a yellow pipe cleaner in half, then fold it in half. Twist the two ends together. This will become the lily’s stamen, which juts realistically out from the center of the bloom.
- Glue the pipe cleaner in the cleft between the two humps. Put a dab of hot glue just between the two humps above the slit, and lay the folded pipe cleaner on top so that the folded end sticks up toward the point of the lily boom. The twisted ends should jut out past the cleft by about 1/2 inch.
- Gather the lily bloom around the pipe cleaner. Put a dab of hot glue on the front of the yellow pipe cleaner right at the cleft in the lily bloom. Take the two sides of the lily bloom (right where you made the slit) and pinch them together in front of the pipe cleaner, pressing them down so that they stick to the hot glue dab. You can add an extra dab of hot glue between the sides to help them stay in place.
- Make a stem out of a green pipe cleaner. Wrap the top of the pipe cleaner around the base of the yellow pipe cleaner, so that the yellow is completely obscured. Leave the tail of the green pipe cleaner straight, so it resembles a stem.
- Cut a circle from a purple piece of foam. Use purple foam if you want to make a violet, but other colors are fine if you’d like to make a different type of flower.
- Cut slits around the circle. Cut evenly-spaced slits from the edge of the circle toward the middle, stopping about 1/2 inch short of the center.
- Cut “v” shapes out of the petals. Lift each petal and cut an inverted “v” shape by making two diagonal cuts.
- Cut a small circle out of white foam. This will be the center of the flower.
- Glue the circle to the center. Place a dab of hot glue in the center of the violet, then stick the small white circle to the glue.
- Scrunch the flower petals. Pinch each flower petal in half vertically, so they stand up a bit and created a 3-D effect, rather than lying flat.
- Glue the stem to the back of the flower. Use a green pipe cleaner as the stem, and glue the top to the back of the flower’s center.
- Cut a foam square in half. Choose any color you’d like, since mums come in a variety of hues.
- Create a loop. Put a line of hot glue across the bottom of the foam, then stick the top of the foam sheet to the glue.
- Cut fringe. Cut strait lines from the folded part of the loop toward the glued edges. Stop cutting before you get to the glue line. Continue until you’ve made fringe all the way across.
- Roll the foam. Begin at one short edge and roll the foam to the opposite end. When the roll is complete, dab some hot glue along the opposite end and press it down against the roll. Now start with one end of the foam and begin to roll to the opposite end.
- Open the flower. When the glue dries, use your fingers to open the flower by pulling out the “petals.” Press each petal in the center so that it opens. Continue fluffing out the petals until the flower looks complete.
- Add a stem. Place a dab of glue in the center of the bottom of the mum. Lay the end of the pipe cleaner on the glue and hold it in place until the glue dries.
EditThings You’ll Need
- Sheets of foam
- Pipe cleaners
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
With one piece of paper and some clever folding, you can make a delicate origami lotus flower. Here’s how to do it.
- Start with a square sheet of paper. Using scrapbook paper, with a print on one side and plain white on the other, can be a fun way to watch your folds evolve.
- To make a letter-size piece of paper a square, orient it lengthwise, grab the top right corner, and pull it over to the left side of the paper. Make sure the edges of the paper line up, and fold. Cut off the bottom rectangle, and you’ll have a square.
- Fold two opposite corners of the square together. Crease the square, then unfold.
- Fold the other two opposite corners of the square together. Again, crease the square, then unfold. You should have two perpendicular creases running through your square and meeting in the middle. This middle point will be your guide for the next step.
- Fold the corners up to the center. Grab a corner, and place it so that its point lies directly over the “middle” of the two creases you just created in the center of the square. Fold down. Do this for each corner.
- Fold the new corners up to the center. Since the last step resulted in a smaller square, you now have “new” corners. Fold these up to the center one by one, as you did in the last step.
- Fold the corners up to the center again.
- Flip your square over. You should now be on a side that has no visible folds on top.
- Fold the corners up to the center.
- Grab each corner and fold it about half of the way to the center. This time, you don’t want the corners to go all the way to the center (and you probably couldn’t get them there anyway—your folds should be pretty thick and difficult to crease by now). Fold the last corners up as far as you can – between one-third and one-half of the way to the center is sufficient.
- Pull up your first petals. Keeping the square oriented so that you can see the last folds you did, feel around the bottom of the square for the top layer of flaps. You’re going to gently pull these up and around the half folds you did in Step 9. Move slowly and gently, and try not to tear the paper. You may have to slightly “unfold” the lotus to get the petals to come up. When you’re finished, the flap you grabbed from the bottom should be nearly vertical. Do this four all four flaps.
- Pull up the next round of petals. Again, grab the flaps on the bottom and gently lift them up.
- Pull up the last round of petals. Once again, grab the flaps on the bottom and gently fold them upward. These petals will be closer to horizontal than vertical, and they might be the most difficult ones to fold without tearing.
- Give the lotus to someone for a simple, yet sweet gift.
- Try it in different colors and sizes, but don’t make it too small.
- Its easier to make a large lotus than a small one. Starting with a larger square of paper makes the final folds less delicate.
- Be patient. Crease your folds carefully, and expect to try a few lotuses before you get the technique down.
Need an idea for a creative teacher’s gift or just something to brighten someone special’s day? Instead of just getting a run-of-the-mill plant, create a flower pot that “says” something to the recipient and design a chalkboard flower pot (with love).
Preparing the Workspace
- Create a space for spray painting the flower pot. Cover surfaces with newspaper or a drop cloth to prevent staining. In addition, make sure the area is well ventilated (or go outdoors).
Painting the Pot
- Place the pot (without the plant inside it) on the covered surface. Option: Shake the can as instructed, then spray to coat the pot evenly with chalkboard spray paint.
- Smoothen the pot using a 80 grit sandpaper.
- Clean it using a wet rag so the dust will be removed.
- Start Spraying the pot
- If you don’t have a Chalk spray paint, you can purchase chalk paint readily available in hardwares.
- Allow the first coat of paint to dry. This can take up to 24 hours depending on humidity levels.
- Consider adding a second coat. You will want this paint to be especially durable as your recipient will be writing on it (and erasing) often.
- Add flourishes to the pot if desired. If you’re going to paint a special message or add a painted border along the top of the pot, do this now.
- Messages could include “Best Sister”, “Thanks Teacher” or “Love You”, etc.
Adding the Plant or Flower
- Carefully drop the flower or plant into the fully dried decorated pot.
- Make sure all of the paint has completely dried and completely finished before adding the plant. Painted leaves make it hard for the plant to photosynthesize!
- Add a ribbon and/or card holder to the plant. Finish off the gift with a decorative ribbon or some way to make it look festive. It’s now ready to give to your lucky recipient.
- Write a special message on the chalkboard paint. For example, write something like “thank you for helping me to grow” if you’re giving to a teacher, or “thanks for all your help with the bake sale” for a volunteer.
- Consider wrapping the plant in decorative cellophane wrap if you are giving it as a gift.
- Find out in advance if your recipient is allergic to any plants and avoid those ones.
Edit Things You’ll Need
- A plant, suited to your budget
- Plant/flower pot or container – avoid any pot that is glazed or cannot be painted as it won’t work
- Chalk board spray paint
- Decorative elements such as a ribbon, a package of chalk (and also a piece of chalk that can be used to write a special message) and a card holder that can be placed in the plant’s dirt; you may also want to add a painted border at the top of the pot or a special message with paint
Do you have an old stack of magazines just laying around? Here’s how to turn them into pretty decorations.
- Get a magazine that you do not want anymore. Cut about four or five pages out. We’ll use them in the next step. Look for bright colors to get your attention but if you do not have that, then it is fine without.
- Once you have about four or five pages, cut them into circles. Cut the first into a big circle then the next into a smaller circle, then smaller as you go through the pages.
- Ccrumple them up. Start with the biggest circle, put your finger in the middle and take the sides with your other hand to make a rose looking petal. Continue to do that with the rest of the circles.
- Place them together. Put the big one down on a surface, then put a drop or two of glue where you put your finger. Put the next size on top of the and continue to put glue and the next size.
- Add a button in the middle or leave it plain.
Just like an umbrella, this delightful flower can be opened and closed at will. Its petals wrap around the straw when closed and open fully to bloom when the straw is twisted.
- Select two straws of slightly different widths. The larger straw will become the flower, while the slightly smaller straw will remain as the stem.
- An alternative material to using a straw is to use a plastic folder with a stick, such as a bamboo skewer. You’ll need to cut the folder into a size suitable for rolling into cylinder shapes like straws, and tape or glue them together before beginning this tutorial.
- Prepare the flower slits. Following the figure shown here, cut diagonal slits in the larger straw. This may require drawing in marks to help you make even cuts (see the figure)––if so, use an oil marker that can be easily wiped off the plastic.
- The length of the orange line is the same as the length of the outer circumference of the straw.
- Wipe off any draft lines if you’ve used them as cutting guides.
- Stick the cut straw to the stem (or core) straw. Attach at the top of the stem straw, from the orange line as shown in the previous figure.
- Wrap a small enclosed band of colorful tape around the upper and lower ends of the flower piece, to hold the pieces of the cut straw in place.
- While the loose pieces of the straw can be attached to the band of tape, the base of the cut straw piece is not to be attached to the lower end of the stem straw, as this part needs to be free to move up and down the stem straw.
- Push a pompom into the center of the stem straw, at its top.
- To give the flower straw the shape needed for movement, bend or fold both ends of the cut straw a little.
- Make the flower bloom. To change the shape of the flower straw from closed to blooming, slide it up and down, while at the same time, rotating the lower part of the flower. It helps to watch the video, as this demonstrates exactly what to do.
Plastic straws use
Edit Things You’ll Need
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