Giant Paper Flowers: A Tutorial

I came across a tutorial a while back about making giant paper flowers, and thought they were beautiful. They make unique bouquets for brides and they look striking, big, pieces of colour which can make a whole picture and also add a bit of fun.

I found the idea of giant paper flowers pretty inspiring, and my hands itched to try making one for myself, so I did and here’s how it turned out. I didn’t realise how fiddly the whole thing is though, so be warned! And you also need a LOT of floral wire and glue, and lots of patience, as it took me a few hours to make this rose (mainly due to waiting for glue to dry, pieces to be lined up etc etc.)

So here’s my tutorial on how to make a giant rose, although I can’t take all the credit as there was a very good tutorial here by Green Wedding Shoes, which was easy to follow, as well as the original step-by-step by the Martha Stewart blog. Please ‘scuse the carpet background, pictures were taken in the Spare Oom (which is currently unoccupied in my house and has decent lighting), it’s a good thing you can’t see the mess all over the floor and the newspaper scattered around.

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You will need:
• 1 Roll of floral tape (I found mine on eBay)
• 6 x 18-gauge floral stem wire (again, from eBay)
• 4 x sheets of doublette crepe paper for petals, size is 10 x 49 inches per sheet (I bought mine here, but you don’t HAVE to use doublette paper because it’s not cheap, plain crepe paper works just as well if you don’t want the two-tone effect)
• 1 sheet of Doublette crepe paper in green for leaves, calyx, stem
• 1 round pencil (any colour, I don’t mind)
• Craft glue (I used a standard crafts glue which seems to work on everything, including my fingers)
• Crepe paper templates (download from Martha Stewart)
• 3 x copies of teardrop template
• 8 x copies of the heart-shaped template
• 2 x copies of the leaf template
• 1 x copy of the calyx template (the zig-zaggy one)

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And here’s a baby for scale, and my finished rose. She wouldn’t let go of the carrot, too busy nibbling it, but I like to think that it adds character to the whole picture.

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Let me know if this is something you ever end up trying – I’d love to know how your attempt went!

Glueguns & Craftiness: Mint Paper and Split Pins

We had a family do this weekend, so I took the opportunity to revert to my childhood primary school classes to making windmills for decoration (minus the PVA glue all over my fingers and hair). I’ll post more pictures soon, but here’s what I’ve been doing lately. I’ve not been able to post for a few days because my internet is going haywire, but don’t worry, I’ve been writing (and snapping pictures!) away so I’ll be able to bombard you soon!

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Glueguns & Craftiness: Crepe Paper and Floral Wire

Remember those tv shows when we were children, where you always needed pipe cleaners (which I never had), some poster paint (also didn’t have) and some nimble hands (I was a clumsy child)? I feel like this is a promotion for one of those, although don’t worry, there’s not ‘here’s one I made earlier’ joke in this post.

I’ve started a mini project this weekend, although I haven’t gotten this far (partly because I was meant to use a templates for some of it, and I’ve printed out the wrong size!) It’s been fun to get my hands busy and do something creative, especially because I feel like I’ve been a bit lazy lately. I won’t say what I’m making yet, but I will post results soon!

Hope you had a proactive weekend, even if you did just sit in the sunshine and not move much : )

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Blue & White Fluffy Cupcakes

These are more fairy cakes than cupcakes, because they’re tinier and cuter, but hey, as long as they end up in my tummy it’s all good. These are some cakes I made for a candy bar for a good friend of mine, where the theme was blue (for baby boys!) and white.

I didn’t have a lot of time or expertise to make overly detailed cake toppings so I kept it simple with blue icing and vanilla icing alternating, with plenty of funky toppings to finish it off. This is the end result, which looked quite pretty and colourful – I loved the vivid shades of blue with the white icing, although the vanilla icing was a lot more prettier than than the blue was! This was a fun and easy batch to make, and didn’t take long either, although if I had more time I probably would have spent more time experimenting and evening mixing icing colours.

I love the range of toppings available in the supermarkets and shops these days, there’s all different colours, shapes and textures which I have fun buying. I also had a helping hand from my sister who iced the cakes neatly, giving me a chance to let my creative bug out for an hour or two to throw blue sparkles and chocolate sprinkles all over the kitchen and ‘accidently’ into my mouth a few times, until basically we ran out of icing : )

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The Yummy Rainbow Cake

My sister-in-law and I made a rainbow cake a few days ago for my brother’s birthday (we made him run out and get some of the ingredients for us, and he never even realised until he saw the cake!) – and he loved it.

Surprisingly, it isn’t that difficult to make this cake, it’s like baking a normal one but takes a little longer because of the layers. We used this BBC recipe to make the cake, although we also took inspiration from this beautiful cake by Hummingbirds too.

This is the end result (which we took nibbly bites out of it at midnight on my brother’s birthday, after we added some sparkly candles.)

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This is how we made it, which I’ve made into nice easy steps for you if you decide to pick my wisdom over the BBC recipe. Well, a girl can hope, anyway.

Also part of this Weekly Challenge – Layers

A Flowery Eid Party…2013

We held our annual Eid Party last week (which is always very popular with the under 6s, especially when we lay out our candy bar and fruit table), and this year our theme was spring greenery and flowers. Initially we threw a few ideas around, and wanted to go with a nice peachy-and-mint theme with a vintage feel, but we thought that this would get trashed in about three minutes after all the rabble turned up, so we changed the theme to something a bit easier to do and which looked pretty (and girly!) too.

Of course, as with all of our parties, we had some amazing food, not least because several of our lovely guests contributed dishes and desserts for the party too – you can see below a sample of what we ate!

The highlight of the party though, was probably my two baby nieces poking at each other and pulling legs while they looked bewildered – adorable!

Glueguns & Craftiness: Flowers And Watering Can Art on Walls

Here’s a sneak peek at the decor for the Eid Party we held for this year, which my sisters and I decided to celebrate – and as you can guess, our theme was flowers, spring-time and greenery. Although we weren’t exactly sure what we were going to end up with, we all chipped in to help cut out flowers and stick them on the wall for a nice girly feel (or as my nephew declared ‘yuck, this is going to be such a girly party!)

Here’s what we finished with, I loved the effect of the flowers pouring from the watering can, even if the look did slightly remind me of primary school classrooms! So here’s some inspiration for any party-planning you may have in mind – it doesn’t take long to do, it’s easy and it looks very pretty!

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Fruity Kookiness

I went to a mehndi ceremony for a close friend a few days ago, and thought these were fabulous – fruit trays with carved fruit which were cleverly and intricately made into pretty flowers, animals and heart shapes. I did think the flowers made of peppers were a bit different, I’ve seen a lot of fruit carved into flowers, swans and cute designs before, but I really liked these because of how different they looked – the swan in a watermelon cage is a fab idea!

And what’s great about it is that it’s all home-made – the different fruit trays were all made by women who brought them to the ceremony. Now that’s something to try my hand at, apple-penguins, anyone? Maybe not :/

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The Pink, Green and Blue Party

My niece had a party a couple of weeks ago to celebrate the first time she finished reading her Quran, which of course, we did in true style with colour co-ordinated food and decor (the sweet bar, of course was our main eye candy!), complete with numerous children, plenty of chittering (the children), and a broken snooker table (the children again, well, the boys anyway). While my eldest sister made the scrumptious food, and another sister provided beautiful treats of cakes and cupcakes, I erm…made a balloon arch.

Here’s how to make a balloon arch if you ever want to try it for yourself (although the balloons we used didn’t have any helium so ended up being an up-side down balloon arch, despite a lot of sellotape):

1. Blow up balloons, and cut the length of wire you need – I used garden wire. Tie each end to something sturdy so it won’t move.
2. Tie two or three balloons together at the ends (I tied to because it was easier), then the doubled balloons using string, and tie onto the wire.
3. Continue fastening the rest of the doubled (or tripled) bunches onto the wire, and make sure to leave space between them so they don’t get too bunched up. It’s also up to you how you want the colour arrangements.
4. Secure each end of the finished arch onto where you want it (in our case the ends of the bookcase, but you can stick it again a wall in a traditional arch, or even over a doorway) and stick down using sellotape/bluetack/staple-guns/toffee.

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The party was great fun, of course, and our biggest success was the pretty rainbow fruit skewers kebabs my sister made which got eaten up very quickly (We did worry that the kids might poke themselves with the wooden skewers, but worry not, they’re sharper than we gave them credit for).  I can’t say the same for my sister’s Malteser/Chocolate Fingers which got abused throughout the party (some little fingers took some random maltesers and fingers, but left the cake), but the cake got eaten at the end too. Little Lady, Hostess of the party, had her own party by the end of it, locked in her room playing Truth or Dare and I don’t know what else with her own little circle of friends (we could hear how much fun they had every time they ran up and down the stairs!). At the end of the night, we were all very, very full, the cupcakes had been demolished, every room in the house had been trashed and the children all went home and presumably had a very good sleep that night.
And that’s how we party : )

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