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Flower Power!

Fun family flower projects are a great way to welcome spring and encourage creativity.

Flowers -- whether real, silk, or improvised -- offer a world of creative possibilities for little hands. Flower-crafter extraordinaire Patricia Doherty, author of "Petal Perfect: Flower Crafts to Color Your World" (American Girl, 2006), reminds us that "you can make a flower out of anything -- or any flower into a fun craft." Doherty brainstormed with us to come up with some easy flower crafts appropriate for kids.

If You're Using Real Flowers:

Let your child pick flowers from your garden or grab a few stems from the flower shop for these crafts.

Tulip Cupcakes

Need: Cupcake batter, cupcake icing, food coloring, twelve tulips

  • Bake a dozen cupcakes.
  • Make your icing a pretty spring color with a drop of yellow, red, or green food coloring (for pink, just add a tiny drop of red).
  • Carefully cut the tulip blossom from its stem and place in the center of the cupcake.
    Tulips are edible, but you should rinse them before eating in case of pesticide use.

Pressed-Flower-Medallion Necklace

Need: One flower, sealing glue, craft paper, picture pebble, cording

  • Choose a flower that will flatten in a nice circular shape, like a daisy or a zinnia, and place a piece of wax paper on each side.
  • Press between the pages of a heavy book and leave for 24 hours.
  • Remove the flower and using the craft paper, cut a circle just a little larger than the flower. Punch or poke a small hole at the top, and insert a piece of cording long enough to make a necklace.
  • Place the flower on the paper and apply a light coating of sealing glue. Brush the back of the pebble evenly with glue, and press into flower.

If You're Using Silk Flowers:

Silk flowers are great because they're long-lasting, so your child can enjoy her efforts all season long!

Flower Lampshade

Need: Small lampshade, a dozen or so silk flowers, hole punch, colored brads.

  • At the bottom of the shade, punch a hole.
  • Pull off the entire stem of the flower, so that you see the hole in the middle of the bloom.
  • Place the brad through the hole in the flower and the hole in the shade and open out; this is what adheres the flower to the shade.
  • Repeat all the way around the shade.

Blooming Picture Frame

Need: Flat picture frame, colored brads, craft paper, craft glue, silk flowers.

  • Cut a circle of craft paper smaller than the flower.
  • Remove entire stem from flower, so hole is exposed, and place on paper circle.
  • Slip brad through the hole and poke through paper. Now you have a flat surface and can use craft glue to adhere to the frame.
  • Use your imagination! Place one flower in the corner, two on each side, or one in all four corners.

If You're Simply 'Flower-Inspired':

Here are two fabulous and easy flower-themed projects to get you and your child in the mood for spring planting.

Painted Flower Pots

Need: Terra cotta pots, craft paint (best bet: use the kind designated for terra cotta), paintbrush, paper plate

  • Wipe off your pot and make sure it's free of dirt or debris.
  • Create your palette by squeezing colors of paint onto a paper plate.
  • Paint solid colors, stripes, polka dots, animals, moon and stars, mushrooms, ladybugs, fireflies, or anything else that strikes you!
  • Allow to dry overnight before planting.

Sparkling Flowered Note Cards

Need: Blank note cards, stick-on rhinestones, green colored-pencil

  • Create blooms by pressing different shapes of rhinestones in a circle, with a rhinestone in the center.
  • Draw stems with colored pencil.
  • Use inside of note card to invite friends over for a tea party or play date in the garden!

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CeReality: 5 Families, 5 Stories, 1 Critical Meal

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