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.