Fun Foam Flowers and Chicken Wire Napkin Rings

Fun Foam Flowers
I have more farm birthday stuff to show you, but I had to take a break before Easter comes and tramples right over me. Farm birthday goodies are coming, but for today I had to share this little project with all of you preparing for a big Easter meal and looking for a quick and cheap way to dress up your table. If you can work a glue gun you can make this in a matter of minutes, and for less than a dollar each flower.

I originally intended these flowers to go on top of napkin rings, but I made them WAY too big. Which ended up working out great because the napkin rings looked better unadorned and these flowers let me have a seasonally dressed up table in a house that needs to be kitty and wheelchair friendly. I can’t have china out on the table all week long if I want to keep it, but if these end up on the floor (and they have) then no harm done. Just a quick brush to get the cat hair off and back up to the table for a little spot of loveliness.

Step 1
Out of Fun Foam, you’ll need to cut your pieces. One large piece of foam is enough for one of my big style flowers. You’ll need one circle piece roughly 1 1/2″ in diameter, and then you’ll need four sets of petals in different sizes. I freehand cut one of the large petals (it’s about 3 inches across) and I specifically did not aim for uniformity or a pattern because nature is random. It looks better messy. You’ll need a little tab at the bottom to give you space for glue, so the finished petal looks a bit like a fat teardrop. Once you get the petal the way you want it, cut out five more. Then take one of those petals and trim about a 1/4 inch from around it. Cut five more just like that. Trim off another 1/4 inch, cut five more that size. Trim one more time and cut until you have five petals in the smallest size. Five petals in four different sizes, plus the circle for the center.

Step 2
Use a heat gun to warm up each piece of foam. The heat gun gets wicked hot, so I used a little needle tool I had on hand to keep the petal where I wanted it without burning myself. A pencil will work, or anything that keeps your hands out of the way. As the foam heats up it will naturally begin to curl in on itself. You don’t need much curl, particularly on the bigger petals, you just want to add a little dimension. Heat up each petal.

For the center piece, heat up the circle until it begins to be pliable. Then fold it into quarters and heat it up again. Hold it in that folded up position until it cools and you’ll have a little bud shape.

Step 3
On a piece of parchment paper, spread a pool of hot glue. The parchment paper is a fantastic non-stick surface to work on and this will let you stick the petals down into the glue when the first layer doesn’t have something to stick down on top of.

Step 4
Arrange three large petals in a triangle shape, and then add the last two to make the star shape by gluing those last two petals on top of the others.

Step 5
Add the next few layers by putting hot glue onto the tabs on the bottom of each petal, offsetting the petals as you apply them. You don’t want them to line up with the petals below them, you want that organic random look. If you aim to have that seam where the petals overlap in one layer land right in the middle of the petal in the next layer, you’ll get great fluffy volume too.

Step 6
Spread some hot glue on the curved bottom of the center bud piece and tuck that right down into the middle.

Step 7
If you’re unhappy with the shape of any of your petals, you can bring the heat gun back out. Heat up any offending petals and use your fingers to hold them in the shape you want until they cool down.

Napkin Ring Step 1
So my original vision for this project didn’t work out, but that doesn’t bother me any. Instead of one project, I get two. And these wire napkin rings are even simpler than the flowers.

Cut a piece of decorator chicken wire to 6″ x 3″.

Napkin Ring Step 2
Bend it around and use the wires you cut to wrap it together.

Fake Flowers
Since I had a bunch of dye out to dye some Easter eggs, I decided to take the largest petals and dunk them, just to see what happened. I ended up with just the faintest hint of color on the outermost petals, which I think adds to the look so much. Flowers often take on a touch of color on the outermost edge and it helped to make it look a little less pretend.

Flower Centerpiece
I’m not typically a big Tablescape person, but I’m starting to see the appeal. In the week since I finished these projects my dining room table has actually stayed clean. No leftover meal messes, no homework piles, just a bright spot of Easter loveliness. I might give this Tablescape thing a try more often.

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