Friday, June 17, 2011

Simple Decorating: Free Immortal Flowers

 This is the second post in a series about simple decorating.  I am not a decorator and this is not a decorating blog.  However, we have had to think creatively to decorate our rented townhome for very little money.  I am posting this in case it might inspire someone else who is in the same predicament.
This week's project is immortal flowers. 

Don't get me wrong, I love real flowers- but they are expensive and need natural light and eventually die.  I had TONS of ideas about what could go on or near our bathroom counter that would work well with our new window frame project, but after thinking awhile I realized that, even if they were free, they were not necessarily simple.  With our goal of simplifying our lives and our possessions, I wanted to make sure I wasn't just adding clutter to our home.

I originally found this post  for an adorable cardboard vase that I love.  However, I decided to make the flowers first (which come from this post ), and during that time I decided that I would just rather use a vase I already had than create something new.  [I have this tendency to think that making something free and recycled is always better, and I sometimes forget I already have something that will fulfill the purpose and save me some time.  I am trying to get over that.] 

As you’ll see in the link, Donatella from Inspiration &Realisation used magazine pages to make her flowers.  However, she talked about them being a little small and flimsy, and I definitely didn’t want that.  I looked through the few sheets of scrapbook paper I have left- I sold most of my supplies last year- and found several 8x8 sheets that were suitable and coordinated with the colors of my bathroom.  I cut those into 4 equal-ish squares, and then cut them in spirals.  The tutorial that she links to says to draw a spiral and then cut it, but I found that to be unnecessary.  I liked having flowers with more variation in the depth of their "petals", so I didn’t want a perfect spiral anyway.  I rolled half of the spirals with each paper design with the white side facing in, and half with the white side facing out.  I also used a few sheets of solid-color typing paper to fill in the “bouquet”- I cut those into six squares.

The next step was to go find some twigs.  [See?  Still FREE!]  The twigs we found behind our townhome had really bumpy, almost prickly bark, but we used the outside edge of a scissor to rub the outer bark off.  Then, I had Josh clear coat the twigs with spray paint, since I had an allergic reaction to the bark.  Oops.

We used 7 twigs that were a nice height for our vase.  You could use more if you want, but we're trying to keep this simple, remember?  I divided up the flowers so that I wouldn't end up with all one print on one of the twigs.  Then, I glued them on the twigs at random spacing by putting a generous drop of hot glue on the outside bottom of the spiral, and holding them to the twig until they dried.  This took a little while, but it wasn't too bad.  If you come up with a better way, please share it here!

Finally, you could clear coat the whole project with clear spray paint if you want to, but we chose not to.  The whole project cost $0!  Here are the results:

The bathroom is starting to come together.  More Simple Decorating to come next Friday!


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