Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Happy February Centerpiece

How about a
Warm Welcome

to Lisa McDowell -  Goodwill Stevensville customer and guest blogger! She is sharing with us her "Happy February Centerpiece".
My name's Lisa and I've been a crafter my whole life, it seems!  I grew up in a family of artsy folks, in a small town where there wasn't a lot to do.  So, if you had something to create with - that was great fun!  
Happy February Centerpiece
I’m so excited to use my bargains from Goodwill this week to make some Pretty in Pink centerpieces for our church tables! 

I found awesome plain, cream-colored coffee cups for….are you ready?  FIFTY CENTS EACH! at my Stevensville Goodwill Store.  Thanks, Goodwill, for helping my crafty budget stretch for the long haul!  :)
I wanted to use a cream/pink/gold theme for this centerpiece – so chic!  You can see an example of one of the finished products in the background.  But….it all started with a simple mug!
I had some vinyl scraps left over from another project, so I cut out gold heart shapes to place on the cups.  I did one on “each side”.  I used a Silhouette craft cutting machine, but you could do this by hand easily enough.  You wouldn’t have to use vinyl…hand draw with Sharpie permanent markers…stamp with inks – enjoy!
Next, I found some pieces of Styrofoam packing I saved from a shipping box.  I broke off chunks of this and stuffed them into the cups as a base to poke the flowers into.

With the cutesy cups all prepped, I started on my flowers!

There are many places on Pinterest and other internet sites that give great tutorials on how to make very affordable and gorgeous flowers from coffee filters! :)
I use both plain white and light brown filters – I like the variety of shades I get using both!  It’s great fun to dye these – but it’s messy!  You can try adding a tiny bit of acrylic paint (check GW for sales!) to a container of water (I use about a half teaspoon of paint to three cups of water).  Stir Well!  I keep a stash of carryout soup containers on hand for paint mixing.  You can also try just a few drops of food coloring, teabags…whatever makes color in water!  Beware – lots of these materials can stain, so take proper precautions!  :)  So much fun, though!

When you’ve mixed your magic, grab up several filters, fold them (quarter them, if you want) and stuff them into the water mixture.  Let them soak – be patient!  I’ve soaked mine between 20 minutes and 2 hours…it’s just fun to see how they come out!

Lay out some newspaper on a surface where the filters won’t: 1.) damage by staining, and 2.) blow away! 

Squeeze the excess water mixture from the filters and lay flat to dry.  I separate and turn mine every so often, just to see how they are doing and help facilitate drying.  If you want, you could hang them with clothespins outside on a nice day.  Not in February …. in Michigan, though!  Frozen Filters, Batman!

Your filters will come out much lighter than the paint looks in the water – that’s part of the charm of these flowers, to me!  If you want a stronger color look, either add more dye to the water, soak the filters longer, or soak them again after drying!
It’s fine that the filters are a bit wrinkly!  In fact, that gives them a prettier look!

Fold the dried, dyed filters into quarters (I take a stack of about six at a time - whatever you like!) and cut scallops along the rounded edges. You can vary the depth of the cuts, change them to skikes...experiment and have fun!  

Clutching the bottom of this group of filters, place a couple of staples near the base, to hold them together.

Now, open up your “flower”, and start SCRUNCHING!  Yes, that is a technical term! :)  Beginning with the center, scrunch and wiggle the pieces of the filters to make your flower.  The middle gets scrunched a bit, and you gently pull the outer “petals”.

For this batch, I hot glued a very short bit of a skewer (the wood kind you use for kebobs) at the base of the flower, covered that in a bit of floral tape, and stuffed it into my recycled Styrofoam in the cups.

I would love to get a roll of pink and gold ribbon for bows on the handles, but for now, I’m enjoying the pop of color!  :)

I hope this little project inspires you to find some great Goodwill Treasures!!  Have a Happy Day!
We asked Lisa if she would share a little bit about herself...
I am the married mom of two AMAZING grown up kids.  My degrees are in Dental Hygiene and Elementary Education, but I'm retired from the paying workforce. 

Crafting for my church is a terrific hobby - I feel blessed to have this outlet for my "creations"!  I try to help out with decorations and centerpieces as needed, so I'm ALWAYS on the lookout at my local Goodwill Stores for unique bargains to turn into treasures we can enjoy!  Another hobby is my Fleece Hat Ministry...one I've named "A Hundred Hats"!  My goal is to make and share at least a hundred fleece hats per season.  I donate to shelters and schools ... wherever they can be used.  :)

So, have fun searching your local Goodwill Store for some great items you can repurpose!  It helps your budget, and helps support your community, as well!

Take good care!

Lisa  :)
Thank you so much Lisa! We look forward to hearing from you again. 
Happy Treasure Hunting!

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