Monday, May 12, 2014

Gerber Daisy Wreath made with Alcohol Ink Colored Flowers

Last spring I saw an adorable simple gerber daisy wreath on pinterest. I knew it would be the perfect spring wreath, but I didn't want to have to buy bunches of different colored daisies, and most of the nice looking silk gerber daisies were not cheap.  So here I was, another spring had come, and I still wanted a cute spring wreath for my door, so I dug into my stash of leftovers and found some large white daisies, and I thought, I could color them--I've seen tutorials of using alcohol ink to dye silk flowers for cardmaking and scrapbooking, it shouldn't be too hard.  So, I had talked myself into it.

I had 5 white daisies, so I picked out 5 bright springy colors to dye them. I started with purple (because it's my favorite). I used a few drops of rubbing alcohol on my applicator before dropping 4 or 5 drops of alcohol ink on to the applicator to thin the ink down a bit and help it soak into the flower. Then I started stamping on a covered surface (I used a craft mat, but wax or parchment paper would work fine too). The ink soaks into the flower as you stamp, so just press down and rock the applicator a little bit and continue stamping. I had to reapply ink about 4 times to finish each flower. The last step was usually to run a line of alcohol ink right along the edge of my applicator so that I could get in tight along the center of the flower.

The flowers did lighten a bit as they dried, and if areas looked a bit too light after I was done, I went it and touched up just a bit.

So I colored my flowers, watermelon red, purple, orange, bright blue, and lime green (from the dockside picnic set and the summit view set) .  Probably not realistic, but certainly springy. I was pleased with the way they turned out.  I don't remember how much I paid for these flowers (I used them for another project years ago and they were just laying in a bin), but I'm sure it wasn't much, so I'm really happy that I was able to make these bright gerber daisies for next to nothing.

So after I had dyed the flowers, the next step was making a wreath.  I only had 5 flowers to work with, so I knew I needed to make a relatively small wreath.  I got out a cardboard box and traced a large plate.  When I cut it out, I went ahead and traced another plate that was smaller and left me a ring that was little over an inch wide.

After my cardboard ring was cut out, I used some black grosgrain ribbon that I picked up for a quarter on clearance to cover the cardboard ring.  I used a hot glue gun to secure the ribbon in place on the ends and added a dollop of glue every few inches to make sure the ribbon stayed put.

Then I laid out my flowers leaving a space for a bow.  I cut off as much of the stems as I could and glued them to the ring with some hot glue.  The flowers came with some trilobal leaves.  I decided to cut the leaves apart into a pair and a single leaf.  I alternated gluing the pair on one side and the single leaf on the other all the way around the ring.

When it was finished, I grabbed some black and white ribbon and made a double bow to fill the space that I had left open.  I managed to make my wreath just with stuff I had laying around at home, but as long as you had the alcohol ink (or stumbled upon a multi-colored and inexpensive bunch of gerber daisies) you could easily make the wreath for less than $5. Such a great inexpensive pop of color for the front door!

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