arts 14 and 15: Flower Fun!

64 Arts

This sort of feels like cheating, only the next two arts truly go hand in hand and use a lot of the same techniques, so I’m going to combine them in the interest of not repeating myself unnecessarily as well as getting the most bang for our creative buck! (And who’s really going to argue with that?)

We already discussed flower arranging in the 7th Art: Flower Bouquets, this art has to do with more decorative applications both for the body and the home.

14: Garland making
Strung without their leaves, to venerate the gods or decorate the house.

15: Crowns and head ornaments
Headbands or circlets of flowers of all colors, used especially by townspeople.

See? Interrelated. Lots of flowers on the list, but, as with arts past, we’re not going to be bound too closely by the descriptions above. There will be fabrics and sewing, some beads and wire and paper fun if all goes well.

But we’ll start with the flowers because it’s as good as anywhere!


Basic Garland Making

Fairy Fest Garland

Fairy Fest Garland

This garland is actually left over from last year’s Midsummer Fairy Fest–they surrounded the Mason Jar Centerpieces–but could easily be worn as a circlet or headband. (Instructions for the centerpieces and the garland can be found in the eHow article linked to the name, there.)

The first garlands this art mentions, though, specify no leaves and are created in the same way that Hawaiian leis are–it’s simple stringing. You can use fresh flowers if you’ve got them available but I’m going to use silk ones and make a bracelet for the sake of time.

What You’ll Need:

Fresh or Silk flowers, heads only, stems and leaves removed (lots)
Needle and Thread

Really, that’s it.

Needle, ribbon and silk flower heads

Needle, ribbon and silf flower heads.

01: Measure the length of your intended garland, add an inch or two for knotting and double the total.

02: Thread your needle with the thread and knot the two ends together.

Since I’m making a bracelet with silk flowers, I’m using a tapestry needle and some 1/8-inch ribbon but for fresh flowers you’re probably going to want a regular sewing needle (a long one) and regular sewing thread. Some sources suggest mono-filament but it’s slippery and can sometimes be difficult to knot. Cotton or poly-blend will be perfectly fine for this.

03: Divide your flower heads in half. We’ll be stringing each half in an opposite direction.

Stringing the first half of the flowers.

Stringing the first half of the flowers.

04: Starting with one half of the flowers, thread the needle through each flower-head from the top down through the middle, towards where the stem would have been. Slide the first flower down to the end of the thread (or as close as you plan to have them if you’re going to have streamers trailing) and snug each following flower up next to the previous one.

Another benefit to silk flowers is that most have a little plastic bit in the center for the stamens–use this! It’ll keep your flowers separated just enough to be fluffy without being loose. If you want the same effect using fresh flowers, snip small sections of straws and use them as spacers between each flower.

Stringing the second half of the flowers.

Stringing the second half of the flowers.

05: Once you’ve strung the first half of your flowers, thread the needle through the remaining half from the opposite direction (from stem to stamen) until your desired length is achieved.

06: Knot each end with a pair of butcher’s knots to secure the flowers and then finish based on your purpose. For a lei or circlet, tie the two ends together flush with each other. For my bracelet I tied on a pair of clasps and left the rest of the ribbon loose. This would be a great time to pull out the ribbon tips I used in the drawstring bag project and attached a little drop bead or two.

The finished bracelet is cute but it is a bit of a statement piece–folks are going to notice it–so keep that in mind if you make one for yourself. Ribbons tied and left streaming from various points of the garland would be cute, adding spacer beads would work, too. This could easily be converted to a necklace by attaching a chain (metal or crocheted ribbon) to each end and maybe adding a large-bailed pendant to the center.

The finished garland bracelet.

The finished garland bracelet.

For a home decoration, use flowers of various sizes or string multiple strands, each a little longer than the previous one, and knot the matching ends to a ring or loop. The loop can then be hooked onto hooks on a wall–even used as curtain tie-backs!

What other uses can you think of for this sort of garland?