First of all, thanks for all the kind words when I asked about what makes a good blog. My plan right now is to keep doing what I've been doing, but I will be doing it much more often! My goal is to have a new post every week day, and I'm having so much fun coming up with ideas to share. So thanks for visiting regularly, and I hope I will be able to make it worth your while!
As I mentioned before, I'm doing some serious cleaning out around here. This week I'm working on our laundry room which is just a tiny junk room, really. Now it's a little easier to walk in there without tripping over the vacuum or a pile of laundry, and I will eventually do some painting and reorganizing. While going through a cupboard the other day I came across a couple things that inspired a little craft project. I have a stack of little shopping bags, the brown paper bag kind, with the twine handle that I can never bear to throw out because they're so cute, you know? I sometimes used them for lunch bags, but since I'm not taking my lunch anywhere I thought I'd find another use for them. Of course the first thought was gift bags, but how to decorate them? Most have a big logo for the stores they came from, so that's kind of tacky. Then I found some coffee filters. Not being a coffee maker, I'm not sure where they came from, but I suspect I was saving them for some long forgotten craft project.
So the wheels in my brain started spinning, and I thought about some other stuff I had laying around, and without buying a thing I came up with a plan. Some old book pages taped over the logos was easy enough. Then I experimented with coloring the coffee filters. I pulled out some watercolors for the pink flower, and the tea-dyed the filters for the antique-y flower. I'm not very skilled with watercolor paint, but I don't think it's possible to mess it up in this case. The filters can handle a lot of water, so I just soaked them and dabbed paint all over and blotted them with a paper towel when I was done. The tea-dyed filters were literally just soaked in pot of tea. I squeezed them out and laid them flat to dry, which only took a half hour or so. They ended up with a nice crinkly texture.
Each flower is six or seven layers, and I simply folded each filter in half and then in half again a total of four times. Each layer was then trimmed into a petal shape, each layer successively smaller than the last. The smallest layers I slashed the petals apart for a fringe-y effect.
I stacked up all the layers and then searched through my box of beads for just the right centers for my flowers. I sewed on some pearly beads in different sizes and colors for the tea-dyed flower, going through all the layers, and did the same with some irredescent green seed beads for the pink flower.
I cut a circle of felt for the back of each flower and cut two small slits for the pin back to go through. I covered the stitching on the back with hot glue and then also applied a line of hot glue around the edge of the felt circle before applying it to the back of the flower.
Lastly, it was just a matter of flipping the flowers over and fluffing up the front. I went layer by layer and even used a little steam from my iron to make them stand up a little more.
Oh, and as an added touch, I used some eyelets on the bags for the pins to go through. They probably aren't necessary, but they're fun to use, so I went for it.
I'm sure what I came up with is not entirely original, I know there was a Martha Stewart coffee filter rose project not long ago, but I like to think I put my own twist on it. And the flower is a nice bonus on top of whatever gift I might put in the bag. They are surprisingly durable and could be pinned on a lapel or a bag or maybe a hat. Next up, I think I'm going to play around with some fabric flowers. I love flowers!