Family time. It’s never perfect. But with the help of Kelsey Glasstetter’s book 100 Simple Paper Flowers, it can at least be really pretty. I decided to give it a try with my mom and three girls: my 12-year-old Nicole, 9-year-old Allyson and 4-and-a-half-year-old (don’t forget the half) Mallory.
We met Glasstetter at Tropical Smoothie Cafe where she works as a manager. There, she had a copy of her book along with the necessary supplies: tissue paper, scissors, craft wire, glue and a little bit of pre-dried clay. (And a smoothie for everyone.)
The book’s publisher, Ivy Press, approached Glasstetter about the project after seeing her work on designsponge.com. A naturally artsy person, Glasstetter’s first paper flower project was a Thanksgiving centerpiece. She got started using how-to books. “The ladies who wrote those books are actually online friends of mine now,” she says.
Our project was an anemone—which made the kids happy. “Like in Finding Nemo!” they said. After we chose our colors (purple and pink were a popular choice with this crew), Glasstetter showed us the templates from her book. Mercifully, she did the cutting. “I usually use really sharp scissors, so I do paper cutting for the younger ones,” she says.
We started with the flower’s pistil—the black, fringy center. A little bit of glue (a little, Mallory!), and we each wrapped the black, fringed paper around a tiny piece of dried clay on the end of craft wire. Next we added glue to a long piece of stem-colored paper and wrapped it around the length of the wire. This was going well, so far.
Next came the petals. “I usually do what’s in nature, so six petals on this one,” Glasstetter says. “But you can add whatever you want.” My kids took that to heart. Evidently, they like their anemones a little more on the full side. We just gathered the bottom edge a bit. Mallory crumpled her petals into little balls, so Grandma stepped in and helped. Then we added a little glue (just a little, Mallory!), fought over the glue bottle a bit and finally placed the petals around the center of our flowers.