Showing posts with label Upcycle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Upcycle. Show all posts

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to Make a Paper Flower Medallion

A few months ago I came across a picture of some paper wall art that looked like pretty dahlias and thought… I can totally make that, so I did! I made large ones and small ones and before I knew it I made a lot of them. I brought them into the flower shop and my coworkers loved them! We hung them on a wall in our office and it turned into a pretty spiffy looking bit of wall art.

Over the following weeks our paper dahlias were finding their way into the background of a few of our Facebook pictures and people started asking what they were, if they could buy them and how they could make them, so here’s our how-to (we of course offer them for sale too).

Here’s what you’ll need:
 - Some scrap cardboard
 - A compass with pencil (or something circular to trace around)
 - Stapler and staples
 - Glue (I used Elmer’s, but pretty much any glue works well, especially a hot glue gun)
 - A box cutter or exacto knife
 - A book (or sheet music or scrapbook papers or any kind of pretty paper for your flower)
 - A pair of scissors
 - A piece of wire ~6” (I use 18 gage, but any gage is fine)
 - Something pretty for the center *optional*

Cut out cardboard circles.

Start with your scrap cardboard (I used an old flower box) and use your compass to make a circle (or trace something round). Big circles will make big flowers, small circles small flowers. If you plan to make a few, mixing the sizes creates a fun and interesting look. And though I have yet to try it, I’m sure this craft could be easily adapted to make square or oval shaped flowers. Once you’ve drawn your shape, carefully cut out your circle with your box cutter or exacto knife.

Next select your paper. I was given a large amount of old romance novels that a friend got for free from a local flea market and they’re perfect! I love the ecru color of their pages, so shabby chic, and I don’t feel too terrible about cutting them apart (for some reason the idea of cutting up most books makes me sad… I’m not trying to start another Bonfire of the Vanities here!).

Cut the pages from your book.

The size of the pages of most romance novels is perfect too, around 7” x 4.5” or so, I made one with big magazine pages once and it didn’t look so hot, so if you‘re using a large book, I recommend cutting the pages in half, it will give your flower more petals. Anyway, like I mentioned in the supplies area, any kind of paper will do really, simply chose what you like the look of.
So if you are choosing to violate a book like I did, carefully use your box cutter and run it along the inside of the binding over and over again, removing the pages as you go, to cut all the pages out as whole as possible.


Next curl your papers into cones. It took me at least a dozen cones to really get efficient at it and not crinkle my pages.

I made my cones by turning the page horizontal, holding the inside left corner between my left index finger and thumb, and using my opposite hand to turn the page over my holding hand and then I rolled the bottom of the page into a point.


Then, using my stapler, I stapled my cones along the circumference of my cardboard circle.
Staple your cones to the perimiter.

Make lots and lots of cones.

Once the perimeter was filled with cones I made a lot more cones (no, I didn’t count how many, the number you need will vary depending on how large your circle is) but these I stapled as I went, since my stapler won‘t reach the inside of the circle. Once I have a lot of cones made it’s time to glue.

Overlap your rings of cones.
Get Gluey!
Using my Elmers I ran a bead of glue along the long side of my paper cone, a couple of inches from the top and down to the staple at the bottom. I then pressed my gluey cone to the cardboard, overlapping my first layer of cones. You may overlap them more or less, depending on how full of petals you want your flower to be.

Working my way toward the center I glued circle after circle of cones.

Make some small cones.

Once you are very near the middle and the cones become too long to neatly fit you will want to create some smaller cones. Simply cut your pages in half and roll 5-6 short cones. These can be tricky to roll neatly, but keep at it, they look much better in the center of your flower than a bunch of mangled long cones.

Adding a trinket can be fun!

Now it’s decision time… do I finish my flower in all paper or do I add a fun trinket to the center? When I created lots of these for one wall I mixed it up, some were created with all paper and some I choose an old used halogen light bulb for the center. I’ve been colleting spent light bulbs for years now and I love the bit of shine these add to the middle. You can choose anything really, crystals, an artificial flower, a faux bird’s nest, a glass ornament, whatever works with your d├ęcor.

Get gluey again!

If you are choosing to finish the center with some sort of bauble, simply slather it with lots of glue… lots and lots of glue, and press it into the center of your flower.

You're just about done...

Roll a few pages tightly.

If you would like stick to all paper, then I recommend rolling a few half pages very tightly, around a pencil or pen, bending them in half, and gluing them in the center. This creates the most authentic flower look, your tightly rolled pages mimicking the petals at the center of a real dahlia.

Fold the tight rolls in half
and glue them in the center.

Now that you’re done gluing, give your flower ample time to dry, at least overnight. I waited just a few hours once before hanging and I had drips of wet glue running down my paper petals before I knew it!

Also, due to a past cat related smashing incident, I now always dry mine someplace high, where a few select up-to-no-good cats won’t be tempted to take a nap upon them. If you use hot glue, I imagine all this could be avoided, as your flower would dry very quickly.

Phillip Cat:  Known paper flower smasher!!

Add a wire loop to hang it by.
Finally, to the back I took a 6” piece of 18 gage wire, folded it in half, jabbed it through my cardboard and twisted it around itself to make a loop to hang my pretty flower by.

Wall of Paper Flowers

We love this craft, it’s inexpensive, simple, unique, eco-friendly and beautiful! Clustering a bunch together as we did makes a great statement wall or even standing alone it is a lovely piece of art and conversation piece. We hope you give this a try and have fun making your own!!

-Jennifer Kelly

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shopping Green

Upcycled handmade notepads made
from vintage Monopoly game
pieces by Stein Your Florist Co. 
“Our planet, our home is being neglected. Climate change continues unabated. It seems there's a new ecological disaster happening almost daily. This Earth Day it's time to mobilize the planet from the ground up to send a message that the Earth won't wait!”

This powerful statement is from the Earth Day Network, which is committed to diversifying and mobilizing the modern environmental movement. At Stein Your Florist Co. we love the Earth, it gives us the wonderful gift of flowers! This Earth Day, and everyday,  we want to share a few simple shopping tips that are sure to make the Earth happy :)

Complete the loop, buy recycled!

Handmade upcycled greeting card gift boxes
by Stein Your Florist Co.

Recycling is a 3-step process. That’s why the recycling symbol has 3 arrows that complete a loop. The 1st step is collection – that’s when you put your recyclables into your curbside recycling bin or take them to the drop-off center. The 2nd step is manufacturing – that’s when they’re processed into raw materials to make new products. The 3rd step is buying recycled – that’s when you complete the recycling loop. Even better is to buy upcycled products.

Handmade upcycled gift bows made from
magazine pages by Stein Your Florist Co.
Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. Upcycling tends to avoid manufacturing processes that can be environmentally detrimental and you always get a wonderful product and interesting conversation piece.

Go Green and Buy Handmade!

Upcycled and handmade shirt pillows, reusable
cloth napkins and hand towels, and fair trade journals
covered  in sari cloth scraps by Stien Your Florist Co.
The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production. We love handmade products… we’ve been hand making beautiful flower arrangements for 125 years! Wonder if Abraham and Bertha Stein realized way back in 1887 that they were part of a green movement when they opened Steins…

Handmade flower arrangement in a
recycled glass vase designed with
organic flowers by Stein Your Florist Co.
Go green and buy organic!
Keep chemicals out of the air, water, soil and our bodies. Have a healthier happier life and a more diverse, healthier, greener planet! We love when we get in organically grown flowers and shop for them whenever we can.

Buy air purifying plants!

Handmade terrarium planted with air
purifying plants in a vintage pickle jar
by Stein Your Florist Co.
Indoor air contamination is more wide spread then most people realize! The good news is that NASA studies found that common houseplants were able to remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hrs! The recommendation? Use 15 to 18 "good-sized" house plants in 6” to 8” diameter containers for a 1,800 sq ft house.

Shop antiques, collectables, and vintage items!
Vintage pottery at Stein Your Florist Co.
It reduces the impact of big industry’s creation of new items and reuses or repurposes these wonderful treasures, giving them a second life, and keeping them out of landfills. When we cleaed out a location we used to have on Front Street in Philadelphia we found thousands of vintage ceramics and collectibles that Steins bought in the 40's, 50's and 60's. We are now sharing these treasures... woderful pieces from McCoy, Roseville, and Occupied Japan pieces.

Buying fair trade is socially & ecologically responsible!

Fair trade recycled wrapper purse and fair trade
gourd maracas at Stein Your Florist Co.
Purchasing fair trade products helps producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions & promote sustainability. It advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as high social and environmental standards.

Fair trade telephone wire bangles at
Stein Your Florist Co.

We love carrying an array of unique handmade fair trade products from around the world, including Africa, India, Mexico and parts of Asia. We also make every effort to purchase fair trade flowers whenever we can... it's just the right thing to do and the quality is always perfect!

Handmade all natural soy Wickie
Candles at Stein Your Florist Co.
All the products you see in this post can be found at Stein Your Florist Co. and Steins at Sunset Florist. Stop in one of our stores today to see all our awesome eco-treasures!