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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cornhusk Flowers

In November, the blossoms of summertime are little more than a distant memory. But you can bring some of their delicate beauty to your fall decorating by fashioning flowers from the husks of dried Indian corn -- a farm-stand staple at this time of year. Inspired by the early American craft tradition of making dolls from cornhusks, our cornhusk flowers -- mimicking cosmos, daisies, and sunflowers -- are both elegant and simple to create.

Total Steps: 8

Tools and Materials
For Cosmos and Daisies:
Printable template
Card stock (for templates)
Dried cornhusks (available at crafts stores and Mexican food shops)
Paper towels
Pinking shears
Wire, 18- and 32-gauge
Dried corn kernels
Butter knife
Clear varnish
White glue
Brown floral tape

For Sunflowers:
Printable template
Card stock (for base and templates)
Dried corn kernels
Hot-glue gun
Wire, 18-gauge
Wooden dowel, 1/4-inch diameter
White floral tape

Prepare Cornhusks

Step 1
For all flowers, soak cornhusks in water for 2 to 3 minutes; blot dry with paper towels. For petals and other shapes, copy template onto card stock. Cut out and place template on slightly damp husk, and then cut shapes. Using your fingers, cut and shape petals while they dry. To make pink husks, soak purple and off-white cornhusks together in a bowl of water overnight. Blot dry with towel papers before using.

For Cosmos and Daisies

Step 2
These delicate blossoms can be any colour and can have either fringed or corn-kernel centers. To make multiple petals, fold a still-damp cornhusk accordian-style, place petal template on top, and cut out, making sure the grain runs vertically. Edge the top of each cosmos petal individually with pinking shears (see finished cosmos petals in step 4). Form stamen by rolling inner strip tightly, and wrap twice with end of wire; roll outer strip around that, and wrap wire again. Make a single center for cosmos, a double for daisies. Fasten with 3-foot length of 32-gauge wire. Attach petals to stamen, wrapping twice with wire each time.

Step 3
For corn-kernel flower centers, pry kernels from the cob with a butter knife. Seal kernels with clear varnish spray before using to discourage weevils. Make an unfringed stamen, folding center rectangular in half lengthwise (for daisies, use only inner center), rolling tightly, and fastening with wire. Using white glue, affix several kernels to center after attaching petals (a pair of tweezers is helpful for handling kernels). Insert a length of 18-gauge wire into base of stamen; trim to desired stem length, and finish by wrapping with floral tape.

Finished Cosmos and Daisies

Step 4
Place finished cosmos and daisies in a vase to create a seasonal arrangement.

For Sunflowers

Step 5
For each sunflower, cut a 4-inch square of heavy red or orange card stock. Use tweezers to pick up a kernel of corn, dab with hot glue, and attach to center of card stock. Repeat, arranging glued kernels in pattern indicated in photo. Continue to add rows of kernels until the flower center is desired size, between 2 and 3 inches across; cut out. Next, cut out 45 to 50 petals in desired size (use small petal-template for 2-inch center; use large petal for 3-inch center), using accordian-fold technique. Hot-glue the petals, one at a time, onto the back of the center disk, making 3 staggered rows so petals overlap.

Attaching The Stem

Step 6
Cut a 10-inch length of 18-gauge wire and bend in half, forming a 1-inch loop at top. Bend wire gently just below loop to make flower's neck. Attach the wire to the ned of a 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowel, about 3 inches from the loop, and secure with white floral tape. Hot-glue the loop to back of flower disk. Cut out 15 to 20 calyx petals, using accordion-fold technique.

Step 7
Hot-glue calyx petals to back of disk, one at a time, in staggered rows, covering entire back from edge of flower to top of dowel. Trim dowel to desired stem length. Cut 1-inch-wide strips of cornhusk. Wrap stem with strips; Hot-glue one end to top of dowel, where calyx petals end, wrap, and hot-glue at other end. Repeat until stem is covered.

Finished Sunflowers

Step 8
Place finished sunflowers in a vase to create a seasonal arrangement.

Blinkie Graphics Generator at

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Basket-Weave Candles

Transform basic pillar candles with strips of beeswax and a simple under-and-over weave. Beeswax sheets come in a range of colors. We found that using natural shades of beeswax and a darker candle, such as pumpkin-colored ones, give a particularly pleasing result. We also experimented with strips of different widths and other weaves and found that the measurements below mimic a basket weave best.

What you'll need

Tools & Materials
- Cutting mat with a grid
- Candle
- Ruler
- Craft knife
- Beeswax sheets
- Hair dryer

Step 1
Working on a cutting mat with a grid and using a ruler and a craft knife, cut 1/2-inch-wide strips of beeswax that are 1/2 inch longer than the circumference of the candle and 1/4-inch-wide strips that are at least 1/2 inch taller than the height of the candle. (The number of strips needed will vary depending upon the height and circumference of the candle).

Step 2
Lay one 1/2-inch strip across the cutting mat, and use a hair dryer to soften the wax slightly. Line up the ends of all the 1/4-inch strips along the 1/2-inch strip, and placing them 1/2 inch apart and alternating them on top and underneath. Press gently to adhere the strips, using the hair dryer as needed to soften them so they stick.

Step 3
Weave in the remaining 1/2-inch strips, warning the strips on the mar before adding them and leaving a very small space between them. If a strip breaks, heat broken ends and press them together. When the woven sheet is large enough for a candle, trim the edges as needed to straighten.

Step 4
Run the hair dryer over the wax sheet, then lay the candle on top; bring up 1 side of the wax sheet and press edge to adhere it to the candle. Roll the candle, wrapping the wax sheet tightly and heating it as needed to meld the 2 layers and the overlapping seam.

Blinkie Graphics Generator at

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm back

I has been a few months since my last post. I'm not going to stop my blog yet bcoz' i really love doing crafts & my other activities.After getting married last october, i was quite bz with my routine as a worker & a wife. Apart of updating my other blog, i was bz adapting myself with my new life as a wife. There were a lot of things to take care of but i never forgot this blog. & i won't stop blogging here even though i've married & b4 this my main purpose of creating this blog was searching & collecting crafts for my wedding day.I won't quit bcoz' i realized that making crafts was very fun. I still have 3 brothers who's not married yet & is going to get married someday.Plus they kept on complementing the door gifts & 'gubahan' decorating i made during my wedding day.& they've booking a few of my creations for their coming big day.I will & i'll try to find other interesting crafts since i've a lot of times b4 their big day.

Blinkie Graphics Generator at