Friday, April 30, 2010

Crafts for your weekend - Paper Flower Baskets

After my successful crafting weekend last week, I've decided to implement a new series called "crafts for your weekend." I don't know about you but I just can't find time for crafts on a weeknight. The craft for this weekend is called "Paper Flower Baskets" and was sent to me by creative writer and blogger, Shirley Chan. Her incredibly witty and clever blog is Shirley posted this on her Facebook page last week and I begged her for photos and instructions for this adorable project. What a great idea for May Day and Mother's Day!

11 x 17 sheet of construction paper (or some sort of sturdy weight paper)
pretty scrap paper or origami paper
thread or embroidery floss
sewing needle

Click "continue reading" below for Shirley's instructions and photos. Do YOU have a craft that you would like to share on my blog? Leave a comment below and let's get in touch!
1. Cut two long strips of paper.
2. Fold strips in half.

3. Tuck strips into each other in a criss-cross fashion. Fold each strip at the part where it is no longer touching the other strip.

4. Cut the top parts of each folded paper into a little scallop edge. (I just do this freehand, but people can measure and draw guideline in pencil if they prefer a more regular edge.)

5. Cut the bottom parts of each folded paper into evenly sized strips. (3 strips are easier for beginners or smaller baskets, I really like the look of 5 strips. Again, I do this freehand, but people can measure if they prefer to be exact.)

6. Begin alternating tucking the strip of one folded paper into the strips of the other folded paper.
7. Continue alternating. It gets a little trickier with the last strips, but just be patient and gentle, and it'll be fine.

8. Use a needle and thread to pierce the middle of the center, top basket square.
9. Repeat on other side, leaving enough thread to hang the basket.
10. Gather pieces of pretty paper.

Note: I used origami paper that I had on hand, but people should feel free to use anything: wrapping paper, pages of a magazine, even pictures to really personalize it! Steps 11-15 are all suggestions based on my playing around with scissors and paper. People should feel free to get as creative as they want to, no need to follow my directions too rigidly. :)

11. One flower shape can be created by cutting a circle. Then cut wedges out of the circle. (I cut my circles freehand and keep the little tendrils that result from trimming the circle to make it neater.)

12. Another flower shape can be made by cutting a square. Then cut strips all around the square, leaving the center uncut so that the strips all stay attached.
13. Curl the strips of the rectangle by using the edge of the scissor.
14. Upside down hearts make lovely leaves! Leaves are fun to cut freehand, you really can't go wrong. Save all the tendrils you can, they may come in handy.
15. Tuck tendrils and flowers into the handy little pockets of the basket. Have fun with it!! Reinforce with a little glue stick once you've decided where you want everything.

Bonus: the baskets can hold a little surprise. I like to tuck a penny inside so I can give it to a friend and say "Penny for your thoughts!" Another option is to place a silver bell and a little shell inside to evoke the poem "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells..."

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