Shona's Instant Plastic Flowers
Difficulty: Very Easy
Three years ago my daughter invented these plastic flowers, she was only 4 at the time. Since then she (with the help of her Grandma and Dad) has refined them into something quite spectacular. The best thing is they are quick to make and lots of fun. We hope to bring some Australian sunshine into those old American homes we hear about on the news.
What you'll need:
- Cotton buds (Q-tips)
- Plastic drinking straws (the ones you can bend are good)
- Thin coloured plastic bags (a lot of them)
How to make it:
- Cut a cotton bud in half to make two flower centres. (see diagram)
- Fold the plastic bags to get 4 layers of film (you can experiment with more or less layers later).
- Push a half cotton bud (shaft first) into the middle of the film and wrap it round. Give the film a twist to tighten it round the cotton bud shaft. (see diagram)
- Push the plastic film and half cotton bud into a plastic straw as firmly and as far as possible. If part way in the cotton bud shaft goes through the film, that is fine. You really need to get the head of the cotton bud to jam in the top of the straw.
- Trim away the excess plastic film forming a rough circle centred on the cotton bud. (see diagram) (Circle? other shapes are fun, too).
- The scissors tend to stick the film together; so starting with at the top separate each layer and twist around the head of the cotton bud. A little extra trimming with the scissors and hand shaping will complete the bloom. (see diagram)
Take a look at a bowl of flowers.
- Cut away the seams and handles of the plastic bags before you start folding.
- Use pinking shears when trimming for a little added variation.
- Save your trimmings, they make great plastic orchids.
- Shona likes to drop a bit of perfume on the cotton buds with an eye dropper.
- Don't neglect those milky white plastic bags as too boring, they make beautiful white roses. Shona combines them with yellow film to make daffodils.
- You can dye or paint the cotton buds.
- You can fake a stamen if you use a whole cotton bud.
- How about decorating the top of a working pen as a special present.
Keep your eyes open for sources of materials:
- Film: Fruit bags, new garbage bags, shrink wrappings. If you have trouble finding coloured film, Shona suggests trying one layer of clear plastic then coloured tissue or crepe paper then alternating - but we only got this to work once. One other thought - make them out of clear plastic and spray them very lightly with canned spray paint.
- Tubes: Lots of things have tubular handles; used disposable razors (saw the heads off first), old pens, etc.
- Save the pills off your knitwear when depilling and glue them to a cotton bud. Makes a very effective flower centre.
- Save those big fat straws you get from McDonalds, 7 Eleven, etc. You can get about 8 layers of plastic film in them and make the most gorgeous roses/camellias you every saw.