Friday, August 25, 2017

Flowers in a Jar Kit Instructions

Did you get a Flower Jar Kit? We're really glad to hear it: my girls love making these flowers, and we think you will too!

Before you get started, find a good place to work. We recommend a table, not your bedroom floor.
Here's what you'll find inside your jar
* Several round coffee filters, dyed in one or many pretty colors.
* A few pipe cleaners

Here's what you'll need to find around the house
* A pair of sharp scissors (but don't use Mom's good sewing scissors: she won't be happy!)
* A pencil

OK, let's get started. You're not going to believe how easy this is!

1) Pick three filters, stack them, and flatten the stack. Then fold in half, half again, and once more so that your circle is divided into eights.

2) Place your folded stack on the table with the point down. With a pencil, draw an arc from one corner, down in the middle, and then arc back up to the opposite corner. Don't obsess over this: "good enough" is very nearly as good as "perfect." Also, after you have made a few flowers, you may not find it necessary to draw this guideline any more!

3) Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut along your line, making sure to keep just under it so that it will not show on your finished flower.

4) Open up your paper and admire the pretty petals you've cut.

5) Rotate your circles so the petals are slightly offset. Keeping them aligned, take your pipe cleaner and poke a hole in the exact center of the filters from the bottom side. Push it through about half an inch, and curl the end a bit to make it hard for the flower to slip off.

6) This last bit seems like it might be tricky, but you'll be surprised how easy it really is. Gently crumple your circles into a flower shape, twisting them together tightly at the stem end. Use your fingers to fluff out the petals.

7) Finally, bend the pipe cleaner up and wrap it tightly around the bottom of your flower to bind it in place.

That's it! You've made a coffee filter flower!
Repeat these steps for the rest of your dyed filters, and then display your bouquet in the jar it came in!

Of course, if you'd like to make more, all you need is coffee filters and pipe cleaners. But PLEASE ask before you raid Mom's filter stash: a coffee-less mommy is not a happy mommy!
In any case, you should be able to get enough for a dozen bouquets at the nearest grocery or dollar store! 

 Now, if you want to dye your flowers, please read on for some very important tips and tricks!

Before you start, make sure your work surface is protected, and that you have a safe spot to dry your filters after dying. Get Mom involved at this point. Trust me! 
(If it's dry out, we recommend your clothes line. Otherwise, cookie sheets will be fine. Just do Not get dye on your mom's counter!)

You have all sorts of options for dye, but the absolute cheapest is Kool-Aid. That's right: those little packets that go 10 for a dollar at the grocery store are mostly food coloring!

My favorite way to dye is to mix about 1/3 of a packet of Kool-Aid in about 1/4 cup of water in a small, tall bowl or a drinking glass. This Kool-Aid was orange, and as an added benefit the yellow and red separate out a bit as it creeps up the filter.
Other options for dye include standard food coloring, or even brewed tea or coffee.

Once you have your dye prepared, take a stack of 6-8 filters and very roughly fold into quarters. Place the point in the dye and allow it to creep up for several minutes. Carefully remove it, allow the drips to fall back into the dye dish, and hang outdoors or spread the filters out to dry (or hang on your clothes line if weather permits!)
Alternately, dip the wide end of the filters into the dye to make a flower with the edges rather than the center of the petals colored.

You can also use a wide, shallow bowl for dye and entirely submerge a stack of flattened filters. More time in the dye means more saturated color.

You can even use water-based felt tip markers to color the centers or edges of a filter, and then drip or spray a little water to make the colors run and spread.

Just remember to let the filters dry Entirely before using them to create a bouquet!  This might take 24 to 48 hours depending on temperature and humidity, so be patient!