Origami Pomanders

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origami pomander diy

Styrofoam balls for craft projects gives me sticker shock.  I wanted some smaller pomanders to go with my large origami topiaries I made earlier (posted here).  They will be hanging about the ceremony space and on the ends of the pews.  The best thing about this project is no styrofoam balls needed (yay!).  So the cost is the cost of paper and some ribbon.

Supplies:

Paper cut into squares (recommend 4″ or 5″ squares or the pomander will be too tiny).

Ribbon (about 2′ per pomander)

Glue gun, scissors

Maybe a stick/skewer to help thread the ribbon.

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Cost & Time:

The cost is paper.  A 12″ x 12″ sheet of scrapbook paper makes almost 2 flowers and is about $.20 each (about 7 sheets of paper per pomander). Glue sticks, the cost of your ribbon (I spent $3 for a spool which was more than enough to do eight pomanders).

Folding the flowers takes about 5 minutes each (x 12 flowers); gluing them together in the pomander takes about 10 minutes.

Steps:

1) Cut your selected paper into perfect squares and make kusudama flowers.  Each pomander requires 12 completed flowers all of the same size.  For instructions on how to make the flower, see this tutorial.

2) Cut your ribbon to length (how far you want it to hang down) –about 2 feet–and fold it in the middle.  Thread it through the center of one of your flowers (this will be your top flower in the pomander).  I had to use a skewer to help thread the ribbon through.  Knot the ribbon close to the ends and pull the loop taut so the knot sits snuggly right at the base of the flower (see the pics below).

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3) Now you will start the first row of 5 flowers.  Take a loose flower and place it snuggly against the ribboned (top) flower so that one of the petals fits between two petals of the top flower.  Make sure the base of the flowers line up with each other.  Glue in place.

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4) For the next flower, you will get a better fit if you match two petals of the loose flower to the two petals of the top (ribbon) flower.  A petal of the previous glued flower (step 3) will sit in-between of the loose flower (picture explains it much better!) —

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Glue three more flowers working around and that completes row 1.  As you go, just make sure the base (pointy end) of the flowers all line up.  At this point you have completed half of the pomander and it will sit flat.

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5) This step is a repeat of step 3 & 4 above.  This is just row two –five more loose flowers glued to the flowers of the first row.  Again, keep the flower base lined up.

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6) You now have one flower left and one hole to fill.  Glue in the last flower.  Look over your pomander and glue up any loose spots.

DONE!

easy origami pomander diy

Add an extra bow around the base of ribbon if you like.  Or some pretty button/crystal centers to the flowers.

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Corsage Pins for my Lovely Attendants

I know having attendants is old fashioned.  Most brides have their bridesmaids, and that’s it.  But I have four lovely nieces that I wanted to include. They each have a small duty (e.g., guest book, flowers, cord presentation, and dinner MC).  Once I finished the boutonnieres for the groomsmen and ushers, I wanted a corsage pin for the lovely ladies.  I have two kinds of paper flowers as decor for our wedding, painted rose-like flowers (soft and organic) and the kusudama origami flowers (more structured).  The men got the kusudama flowers on their bouts, so that leaves little tiny versions of my painted paper roses for the ladies.  The giant (or even large) corsage was out given their taste, so I made these small pins for them to wear to show their special status in the wedding.

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The instructions are a bit long since I included how to make the little rose flower.

Supplies: 

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Paper cut into little tear drop shapes (about .5 to 1″ long).  Optional–Paint a piece of paper first and then cut out the little petals (or use patterned paper).  Regular copy/printer paper will work or slightly heavier, but not card stock.

Small cocktail straw/stirrer

1.5″ or wider satin ribbon

.5″ complimentary ribbon

Floral wire (22 gauge)

A brooch/pin finding (or a regular corsage straight pin would work)

Glue gun (a must)

Needle & Thread to match your wider ribbon

Making the Flower

This is just a tiny version of my large painted paper flowers I previously presented.

Step 1:  Cut out about a dozen tear-drop shaped petal from your paper about 1″ long and in various widths (.3 to 1″ wide at top).

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Starting with the “skinny” petals, dab some hot glue on the pointy (small) end and adhere to the tip of your cocktail straw. Shape the petal by gently bending it inwards towards the straw.

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Glue another one opposite of the first petal.

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With a scrap piece of paper, roll it up and glue in the center of your two glued petals.  The center of your flower is complete.

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Step 2: Continue adding petals and shaping going around the tip of straw.  Use wider petals as you work your way to the outside of the flower. I use a small skewer stick to gently roll the tips of the petals as I go. Keep going until you like the looks of it.  Put it aside.

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Making the Corsage Pin

Step 1:  Cut a piece of your wide ribbon about 8″ long.  Fold over the ends and glue them down to give it a finished edge.

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You need to sew a loose gather stitch about 1/4 up from one end. Nothing fancy here.  This is to just make working with the ribbon a lot easier.  Gather the ribbon and tie off.  It should NOT be a tight gather/ruffle, but semi-loose. It should form a seashell shape (see pic below).

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Step 2:  A wee bit tricky of a step, but not too bad…

Cut a piece of floral wire and bend it into a “U” shape.  (note: I have my gathered ribbon smoothed out a bit in this pic, but when evenly gathered it still looks like the picture above-sea shellish shape. Your gather should be loose enough to do this).

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On the end with stitching, gather up the ribbon so it is even (see picture).

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Take your wire and place it over the end of the ribbon (just about where your stitches are) and loosely twist the ends to close it.  Just enough to hold the ribbon.

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Now turn your pieceover and fan out the top of your ribbon so it looks like this:

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Step 3: Slide your flower on the cocktail straw down through the wire.   Get the flower base under the wire. Make sure all the ribbon edge is still in the wire loop and everything is where you want it.

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Turn it over and twist that sucker tight.

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Flatten out the twisted wire so it is flush with the back of the ribbon.

Step 4 (optional): If you are attaching a brooch finding to the back of your corsage, form a sort of “field goal” shape with your two wire ends.  Thread your finding over the wires (see pic), put some hot glue on the ribbon where the finding will rest, and bend down the wires to hold it all together (the glue is for a little extra assuredness).  You may need to cut excess wire off of the ends before bending it down.

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Step 5: Time to cut that straw.  The first one I made, I cut the straw right away and it really made the piece hard to work with, so be sure to cut the straw down as a last step (or close to last step).  My little skewer is pointing to where to cut, but basically you don’t want the straw to show, but leave enough so that it is still under the wire.

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After cutting, you can pinch your ribbon together over the straw, with a little glue to hold it.

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Step 6: Cover the wire with a little bow in your complimentary color (just a dab of glue to hold it on)   I used a small sheer organza ribbon.  You could also glue some flatback pears or rhinestones too.  At this point I also put a little bit of glue at the top back of the flower to hold it to the top part of the ribbon.

DIY corsage how to

Done.

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DIY Boutonnieres

Or “bouts” for the spelling challenged (like me).

I was making these Kusudama origami flowers for our cocktail/social hour decor:

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and my fiance thought they would make nice bouts.  Always looking to do things in advance (and save a few dollars too), I happily agreed.

Here are bouts!

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I was happy with how easy they were to make.  Just a few hours for all ten, and that included making the flowers.  The cost is under a dollar for each one–if you have to purchase everything.  It is less than that if you already have a few supplies on hand.  Also, I think they look great.

Supplies: 

supplies

Floral wire: 18 gauge for the “stem” of the bout.

Jewelry wire for wiring your beads (gauge depends on the size of the hole in your beads)

Beads for the center

Leaves, or tulle, or fabric/ribbon for the backing of the bout (optional)

Plastic Straws-I recommend the shorter/smaller cocktail stirrer/straws

Floral tape (or wasabi tape) and ribbon (the ribbon is optional)

Scissors & Wire cutters

Kusudama flowers (for a how to on making these, click here).  I used 2″ squares to make mine, except for the ring bearer’s bout–I used 1.5″.

Step 1: The Center

Assuming you already have the flower made, you’ll need to string your beads for the center of your flower. I chose these glass teardrop beads and thought five of them in the center looked nice.  Cut your jewelry wire about 2-3″ long.  You’ll need one wire for each bead.

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Thread the wire through the bead and bend over about an inch and twist your wire tightly to hold the bead.  Do this for each bead.

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Grab all five of the wired beads and keeping them even on top, twist the wires so they are all connected together.  You’ll then want to twist in a 18 gauge floral wire. The floral wire will be your stem.  The beading wire is just not strong enough on its own.

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Step 2: Assemble the Bout

With the beaded wire and floral wire all twisted with one another, thread these through the center opening of your flower.  Cut your cocktail straw down to the desired size.  The cut straw needs to be a tad shorter than the floral wire on the flower (see picture).  The straw will serve to thicken up the stem of your bout and give the tape/ribbon something to cling to.

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Thread the wires through the straw.  You should have some floral wire sticking out of the end of the straw.  Bend it up over the straw.  This will hold everything nice and tight.

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You may want to put a touch of glue at the base of the flower where it meets the stem for added stayputtedness (not a real word).  At this point, you wrap the stem in floral tape (or whatever tape you choose), just be sure to wrap tightly around the base of the flower and get all the way to the bottom of the stem.  With floral tape, I have to do in two parts.  I use about a 5″ section to wrap just the base, and then another 5″ piece to do the rest.  If you are as bad as me with floral tape, you can wrap the whole thing in ribbon when you are done and the tape will not show.

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There are lots of things one can use as a background for their flower. I found these leaves taking up space in my craft room.  If I didn’t have them, I probably would have cut a circle of tulle, or stole a leaf from a plastic plant, or even made one out of paper.

Lay your flower and center it on your background piece.  Secure it with floral tape. Since my leaf was bigger than the base of the flower, I just pinched it in on both sides and then wrapped with tape.

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Congratulations! Your bout is done! You can add a few finishing touches if you like…

Step 3: Finishing Touches (these steps are all optional)

Since floral tape is sticky and I have cats, I finished off the stems with organza ribbon to prevent the bouts from being cat hair magnets. I just placed a dot of hot glue on the back of the bout (where the flower meets the stem) and wrapped all the way to the bottom.  A spot of hot glue on the tip of the end held the ribbon in place.

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I used a pair of small pliers to curl the stem of the bout as well.

Here they all are with cute little tags and their pins.  I love the little tiny one for the ring bearer 🙂

DIY paper flower boutonnieres

What Can You do with 1000 Cranes?

So after I finished folding 1000 cranes, it was time to wire them for the centerpieces.  This took as long as the folding, which I didn’t expect.  Rather easy, and I really, really like the look.

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Some are wired to go up the curly willow-ish stems, while some are wired to drop down & out from the vase.

This is what they look like in my centerpiece (still a work in progress):

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[the large paper flower tutorial is here]

The Materials:

crane centerpiece tutorial

Origami Paper Cranes   (can be less than 1000 🙂  )

Floral wire in desired color (I used silver and green)

Craft beads in various sizes (be sure to buy ones that will fit your wire!)

Sticks-I tend to use ones from my yard, but curvy willow looks nice too.

Tools: round nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutter, round object like a pencil (to form the curls in the wire between cranes)

{{{The cat is optional}}}

The Process:

[Note: these are the directions for the dropping down cranes, the process is reversed for the “up” cranes]

Cut your wire to length.  I found that every 3 feet of wire gave me about 1 -1.5 feet of curly strung cranes.  This is a bit trial & error depending on the look you want and how many cranes you are wiring.

Using your round nose pliers (or round object) make a decorative end to your wire.  You will need at least a loop to hold the bead.

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String a few beads and then your  smallest size crane. There is a natural hole at the bottom of the crane, but you’ll have to poke the wire through the top. It felt like I was killing them.

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String another bead and then using your round nose pliers make a loop as close to the bead as you can to hold everything in place.

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Using your round object, twist the wire around so you have 3-4 loose loops and about an inch of space. I used two different sizes for my loops to add some interest.

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Again using your round nose pliers, make a closed loop.  String another bead, crane, bead….repeat until you are about 8 inches from the end of your wire.

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To finish off, make your loops with a round object, a closed loop with the round nose, string a few beads, and then secure with final closed loop.  You should have a few inches of straight wire left to attach to your stick.

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Painted Paper Flowers

Two nieces married, now it’s my turn. I’m getting married!

I’ve been experimenting with paper flowers for a while. I love the stylized look. They don’t wilt, require no water, and can be done way in advance.

To make it just wee bit more messy, and since I love the look, I paint the petals. I’ve made several styles thus far, but the pics below show my favorite.

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Supplies

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*Regular copy paper (or drawing paper)
*Hot glue gun
*Stick
*2 colors (or more) craft acrylic paint (the cheaper the paint the better, I’ve found)
*Water
*Paint brush (for painting and rolling)
*Tape

CuriousPurplePig Rating: 8.5 oinks, could be messier. I do manage to get paint in my hair though.  Very easy. Takes about 30 minutes per flower.

Steps

Each petal is cut from regular 8×11 paper, free form “teardrop” shape. The outside petals take 1/4 of the sheet, the inside ones, 1/6th. I advise at least 5 petals of each size (10 total). I stack the paper and do them all at once. I cut waves into the edges too.

Lightly fold the paper in 4ths for the larger petals:

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And into 6ths for the smaller, inside petals (fold in half, then into thirds):

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Using two colors of watered down craft acrylic paint, I quickly paint each side of the petals. The water helps to blend the colors. Just follow the form of the petal with your strokes. Only use one brush for both colors. Don’t worry too much how it looks. UPDATE: After making about 50 of these flowers, I’ve found that the cheaper the craft acrylic paint the better.  The “good stuff” is too thick and has to be watered down to much.  I don’t want to offend Craft Smart brand, but it works really well for watered down/blended effects like these flowers. I also only spend about 30 seconds on each side of the petal while painting it.  You don’t have to do designer petals because when it is all put together, it will look great despite the quick paint job.

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I used more darker color on the smaller inside petals, and went lighter on the outside. More water mixed in lightens the paint too.

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{{{{{paint drying}}}}}

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Find a center stick. I have a bunch of old dried stems lying around that I use. But a skewer stick will work too (or a stick from your yard–even better). The larger the flower, the larger the diameter the stick.

UPDATE: I switched from using sticks to florist wire stems like these:

I then glue a piece of styrofoam or rolled paper on the end to give it a larger diameter base to glue the petals. With the wire, I can bend and shape the flowers as needed in the centerpiece, much better.18_gauge_green_stem_floral_wires_20pcs

I use a paint brush handle to roll the paper edges.

Low temp glue glue gun, my best friend. Attach the petals by gluing at the base.

If the paper tears a bit, just dab with glue to seal it. Keep working around until you like it.

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I used more glue and then florist tape to secure it more to the stick.

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Done!

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Cat, for scale.

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Some of my other large, and very small, paper flowers…

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Simple Paper Flowers on Branches

I adapted this project from simple paper flowers by Jeffery Rudell.

These flowering branches will eventually form the center of the centerpiece for my niece’s wedding.

Supplies:

Paper in varying shades of your color for the flower. Bits of tissue paper/napkin for the center, branches (I pick mine up from the yard), white glue.

Time Commitment:

About 20 minutes to make the flowers and glue to the branch (bigger branches = more flowers = more time).

Skill:

Do you remember how to make a spit wad?

Purple Pig Rating:

7.5 oinks out of 10.  The flowers are really sweet and very easy.  The cost is nothing (doesn’t everyone have paper, glue, and yard debris?) Making a lot of flowers is a bit tedious, but again very easy.  Gluing to the branch takes some time.  Hot glue is faster, but shows.  Using white glue takes time to let it dry, but is invisible.  Minimal messy factor, in fact it requires cleaning up your yard of branches.

Detailed Step by Step:

1. Trace a round circle onto your paper in the size you want your flower.  I used a 2″ diameter lid.  Cut out your circles.  Fold/layer your paper to make several circles at once.

2. Fold the circle in half, then in half again, then in half again.  You will have a little cone.  Cut a rounded edge to form the petal shape.  Unfold.

3. Cut out two triangular sections from the flower (to make a more open flower, cut out one section, to make a smaller bud, cut out three sections).  Glue the two end sections together by overlapping.

4. To make a flat base (so you can glue it to a branch), I placed a blunt-ended pencil inside the flower and pressed down onto the table.

5. Make “spit wads” out of a contrasting color from bits of napkin or tissue paper.  A dab of glue in the center of flower will hold them. A shiny bead would look pretty too. Shape the petals by pinching each rounded end between your fingers.

6. Glue to your branch.  Repeat.

6a. (Optional Step): Making smaller buds from your left over cut out bits.

6b. (Optional Step): Use tissue paper (or napkins) and make even smaller circles/flowers for a completely different look.  The small blue flowers are made from 1″ napkin circles, cut “pointy” instead of rounded, and the flower base doesn’t need to be flattened.

Crepe Paper Streamer Flowers


This is an easy paper flower made from crepe paper streamers.  I adapted this flower from the Brides Cafe which used sheets of crepe paper.  However, streamers are more readily available, less expensive, and it cuts down on cutting.

Supplies:

Crepe paper streamer in your choice of colors (be sure to buy green if you want to add leaves & stems).  It’s about $1 for two rolls, each roll will make about 20 flowers. Skewer sticks (or you can use wire). Again about $1 for 50 sticks.  White school glue.

supplies

Time Commitment:

About 2 minutes per flower, with some drying time.

Skill:

Have to be able to hold a stick.

Purple Pig Rating:

8 oinks out of 10.  A decent messy factor since I manage to get glue all over my hands and eventually in my hair.  Very easy and cheap.  They look great, but making a whole bunch can get tedious.  I recommend mini-flower making sessions.

Detailed Step by Step:

1. Cut about a two foot length of streamer.

2. Fold the streamer in half, then in half again, then again…until it is about 1 inch or so wide.  Cut a rounded “petal” shape along the top.  Unfold & lie flat.

3.  Lightly squirt some glue along one short edge and along the bottom for a few inches.  Place your stick (I used a skewer) about 1/2 way up on the edge.  Remember, this is crepe paper, so a little glue goes a long way.  You also do not need complete, uniform glue coverage along the bottom.

4. Roll the stick a few turns to make the inside petal.  How many turns exactly? Just until you like the look–but at least 1 complete turn so it will be glued to the stick when you are finished.

5. Add more glue to extend your glue line along the bottom a by a few inches more (you’ll keep doing this as you go) and start rolling the stick slowly while you use your fingers to gently gather the streamer to the stick.  Just keep rolling, gathering, and sticking the crepe paper.  Here’s lots of pictures:

When you get to the end of the stream, add glue along the short end and finish rolling/gathering.

6.  Pinch the paper along the bottom where it meets the stick to make sure there is good contact with glue, paper, and stick.  I add just a bit more glue around the bottom as a just in case measure.  Then you just need to let it dry (hang upside down while drying if you used a lot of glue along the base).

6a. (Optional Step) Stem & Base with green crepe paper streamer–Cut about 2 inches of green, fold in half, fold in half again (and again) cut a point on BOTH short ends.  Unfold & lie flat.  Then fold in half long ways so the point ends do NOT line up.  Glue along the bottom straight edge and roll onto the base of the flower.  You can then continue to wrap the stick in green paper if you like (or paint it).

6b. (Optional Dual or triple, or ? colored flowers): Do the same procedure as above, but cut some alternate colors and glue at the base.  I did this at random intervals.

And that’s it.  I could have made 10-15 flowers in the time it took me to write this tutorial, it’s that easy.