Posts Categorized: Projects

How To: Make Paper Flowers!

By Aryn Henning Nichols

In my adult life I’ve often found myself grateful to my crafty mother for teaching me her crafty ways. While my siblings and I complained during 4-H Fair Time as we cut out patterns and sewed our own dresses, skirts, etc., re-covered old chairs and learned to use cameras, I’ve found these things to be incredibly useful – and fun – in real life. (Thanks, Mom!) There’s another crafty thing my mom taught me that I’ve also used again and again to impress friends and hosts: the homemade paper bow. For the Spring 2011 issue of Inspire(d) (pictured above), I adapted it to be a paper flower for May Day Baskets. I find it is charming like this, but remember – as you’re wrapping your next present, don’t forget your scrap paper bits! You can make a super cool bow too! Leave it as one layer (like the flowers shown), or make more bow “flowers” to stick on top of the first (starting with smaller and smaller squares) to add more dimension.

Whatever your plan, here’s how you start!

Wrapping (or any other) paper
Straw or stick (only needed if you’re making a flower)

1. Cut your piece of paper into a square .

2. Fold the bottom corner up to the top, making a triangle.

3. Fold the left corner to the right, making a smaller triangle (imagine you’re making a paper snowflake…)

4. Fold one more time. Keep the inside tip down (this is the center of the flower).

5. Cut the end of the triangle, rounding it off.

6. Cut all the seams up to about half an inch to an inch from the center. Do not cut all the way or your flower will fall apart.

7. Open the flower – it should look like this!

8. Get eight pieces of tape ready to go.

9. Flip over the flower and bring each petal’s ends together. Tape.

10. Cut a small strip of paper and make into a roll. Tape, then roll a piece of tape, sticky side out, and attach it to the paper roll.

11. Attach to your flower (or bow).

12. If you’re using as a flower, attach a stick or a straw, like we did here. Enjoy and Happy May Day!

P.S. Here’s the template for our May Day Baskets! Click for the printable pdf.


Winter Break Project Ideas

Winter Break! Woohoo! Looking for ways to keep your littles away from the television? We put together a little list of some of our favorites winter break project ideas. Give ‘em a try, and have fun!

Here goes (click project titles/links to get detailed instructions):


Paper Christmas Tree

Still figuring out how to set the table at Christmas? These cute little trees might do the trick!


Happy Lists

This is a wonderful time of year to think about all the things for which you’re grateful. These happy lists are a perfect activity for adults AND kids!


Bows (or flowers)

Still wrapping presents? These little bows are super easy and fun for a gift. Also great for a message board, to decorate a wall, or on some sticks as a little bouquet! (Wouldn’t that be a sweet gift at Valentine’s Day too?!)


Heart Garland

Speaking of Valentine’s Day…this sweet garland is so pretty! Great hanging above a threshold or even – if you’re not worried about snow or rain – decorating a space outside for a party!

Peacock + doodle coloring page

Adult Coloring Page

We just love Sonja Emily’s coloring pages (more options at this link), and we’re sure the rest of your family will too!


Paper Stars

We love the idea of making a bunch of these and grouping them together to hang above a table or in a corner of a room.


Play Dough

Making play dough yourself is actually pretty easy! We are still loving the batch of play dough we made for this project – the texture and colors are just great!


Spring Bird

Putting a bird on it is so 2000s, but we still love this little guy. Super easy and fun to make!



Chinese New Year 2016 is Monday, February 8! But it doesn’t have to be an Asian themed party to have paper lanterns. Hang these with your Christmas lights strung throughout for a pretty and fun little scene.


Fortune Teller

Check out this printable to find out your future! What will 2016 hold? We hope it’s filled with unicorns and magic and all the fun you can muster up. Happy, happy holidays, friends!


Paper Project: Adult Coloring!

Peacock + doodle coloring page

Adult Coloring…Coloring for Grown-ups…whatever you want to call it!

A little bit about Sonja Emily
Custom Lettering + Creative Design

Picture yourself as a child, sitting at the kitchen table, intently filling in the little spaces between SonjaEmily2(or not between) each line in your Mickey Mouse coloring book. Keep that image, and imagine how you felt. Relaxed, right? Well, psychologists believe this is a practice we, as adults, should give another try. Adult coloring or coloring for grown-ups – whatever you want to call it – has been a hot topic on Pinterest and with therapists.

Art therapy is nothing new, but adult coloring is appealing in the fact that anyone can do it, and not feel like they need to be “good” at it (as one might feel when attempting to paint aSonjaEmily bowl offruit).

So we were excited to discover artist Sonja Emily’s coloring cards (pictured left) at Milkhouse Candles and Gifts in Decorah. We immediately thought, “paper project!” and contacted her to see if she would be interested in partnering up. Lucky for us, she was! The page at the top is actually two of her coloring projects layered together. You can download one or the other, or the layered page right here (click on the pictures – including the layered peacock/doodle, above – to download the pdfs)!

Doodle coloring pagePeacock coloring page


Before you get started, we thought we’d let Sonja Emily tell you a little more about herself:

SonjaEmilyPhotoCircleHello, my name is Sonja! I love health, wellness, yoga, and all things creative. I am a health coach, an artist, a yoga teacher, and a creative thinker. I can often be found curled up in the corner of a coffee shop with a pen in my hand and a sketchbook in my lap, practicing yoga in the studio, or exploring the beautiful city of Minneapolis!

I believe in gratitude, compassion, self-love, and positivity. I am continually inspired by helping people become the happiest, healthiest, and most empowered versions of themselves. These are the values that nurture my work and encourage me to continue living my passions every day.

I graduated from Luther College in 2011 with a BA in Health and Psychology. I have five years of experience teaching yoga and recently completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training with Your Yoga in Minneapolis. I also hold certifications in Health & Wellness Coaching, First Aid/CPR, and Mental Health First Aid.


When I’m not working as a Health Coach, I moonlight as an artist. What started as mindless doodling in the margins of my trigonometry notebook has since turned into my passion. I grew up in a very creative family (fun fact: my mom, my dad, and both of my brothers are artists!), so I was lucky enough to experiment with drawing, painting, collage, fashion and interior design, book arts, ceramics, and photography over the years. And while I still love to play with all of those mediums, my favorite thing to do is doodle on a blank piece of paper with a felt-tip pen. I love to make stationary, custom illustrations and prints, and hand-lettered designs. I truly believe that gratitude is high-level wellness, and that if you practice saying thank you and surround yourself with positivity, the world around you will change.

In my free time, I love practicing (and occasionally teaching!) yoga, reading books, taking roadtrips, writing letters, baking, watching HGTV, and hanging out with my pom-chi’s, Ben and Izzy!