I was recently asked to make an arrangement for an auction. I agreed. I went home and searched through my house. Cute and cheap, cute and cheap. I was grabbing at things I could re-purpose as if I was late for a White Elephant party. AHA! Paper bags! So versatile. When wet down, crumbled up, dried and straightened out, paper bags can be nice and workable. (So many jokes are running through my head right now) And the fancy Metro Market sacks are bleached white and I’m sure could take on a bright color. The result would be great for a baby shower celebration, birthday, whimsical wedding, thanksgiving, whatevs. And depending on what materials you use, they are different levels of eco-rad. So here’s the how-to. At the bottom you will get the cost run down.
I love that the next photo after mentioning eco-radness is a photo featuring the Caution notation. I looked it up and it’s best to wear a mask and gloves while using dyes in powder form. I used about a fifth of a packet of dye in about a gallon of water and had more than enough to do my two pieces. I cut up two different kinds of sacks, bleached and brown, to see how each took the dye. I wadded the paper up, stuck it in the dye for about an hour and carefully hung it out to dry. In the morning I ironed them flat.
I loved the yellow on white paper and the blue on brown paper. By the way, do this with tea bags and paper bags to make some neat buried treasure maps for kiddos that look like they are ages old.
I used 6 inch plastic design trays that I had reused from a past event and some floral foam (not so eco-rad but convenient… Convenient is eco-rad’s nemesis). But YOU can use the bottom of a yogurt container, an old bowl, whatever. To hold the flowers in place, you can use sand, dirt, pebbles, sticks. All you need is something that will give a minimal amount of support to keep the flowers from flopping around. For the yellow arrangement, I cut out triangles and started on the inside layer of petals, gluing them near the top rim of my container. I worked my way around and down, gluing the final row of petals under the container and tacking to the side. For the floppy blue flower, I cut out basset hound ear shapes and sandwiched two together to give them more support. Looking back, I would have added some wire to my basset hound ear sandwich so I could bend and twist the petals easier. I then rolled the edges under for more support and a softer edge. I added water to the center and shoved in about 6 Carnations. For more added eco-radness, use flowers, berries, rocks, or pods available in your native habitat. Finally, I rolled and bent the petals until they looked about right.
All in all, the supplies I used cost $12.60 and I have dye to spare. If you use your own flowers, container, and flower support, then you are only paying for the dye which is about 2 bucks a pop. I think one box of dye would have gotten 15-20 flowers worth of paper. Not to shabby. I’ll be completing the set with a large leaf this weekend. Then, we’ll see how much it brings in at the auction.