Create beautiful egg carton flower bouquets while recycling egg cartons. Children as young as five can make this project, with the help of an adult.
What you needEmpty cardboard egg cartons
Empty Styrofoam egg cartons (white, pink, yellow, blue, etc.)
Chenille stems (pipe cleaners)in a variety of colors including green
Construction paper in a variety of colors including green
Tissue, bright or pastel colors
Scissors, regular and funky-edged
Nail or other sharp instrument for poking holes
Jar, clean and dry (label removed)
Wide ribbon, to match flowers
Below are instructions for making two types of floral stems: stalks or spikes (bell flowers, fox glove, larkspur, etc.), and single flower stems (tulips, daffodils, etc.).
Cut the egg cartons apart into individual cups. Cut around the edges of each cup so the lip is smooth. As an alternative, you may want to cut around the cup edges with funky scissors for a patterned or zigzagged lip.
For spired flowers (on stalks), cut several smaller cups as well by cutting off the tall tops of the cup dividers (found in many cardboard egg cartons). These will be flower buds at the tops of the flower stalks.
Now, decide what types of flowers you want to make and select or mix paint colors accordingly. Paint the cardboard cups thoroughly, inside and out, and allow them to dry. NOTE: Do not paint Styrofoam cups because the paint will peel off. Instead, use these as is (usually white or pastel colors, perfect for spring flowers).
Once dry, poke two holes in the bottom of each cup, 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart, and insert a green chenille stem, as follows:
For single flowers – from beneath the cup, insert tip of stem up through one hole, then loop around and push back down through second hole, allowing about an inch or so to extend and twist around the stem at the base of flower.
For flower stalks or spikes – from beneath the cup, insert tip of stem through one hole, then run it through the second hole and out; then carefully slide the flower cup about 1/3 down the stem. Add a second, third, and forth flower cup in the same way, sliding each down snuggly against the next. (Flowers should be staggered, not all facing the same direction.) At the top of the stalk, add two or three smaller bud cups in the same way, finally twisting the end of the chenille stem downward at the top of the stalk.
Cut leaves from green construction paper, using smooth or funky-edged scissors. Fold slightly down the middle of each leaf to give it shape. Poke hole in one end of each leaf, and slide two leaves up the stem. Spread out and glue together at the stem to prevent them from sliding around.
Create additional floral interest for your bouquet by creating simple tissue paper blossom stems. Cut several two-inch squares or circles of tissue paper in a color that complements your flowers. Grasp each tissue at the center and twist until it looks like a small, soft flower. Create a small loop at the center of a green chenille strip, insert the center of one tissue flower, and tighten the loop around it creating a flower similar to a sweet pea and add tissue flowers to the stem every inch or so up to the top of the stem.
Place two or three stems of flowers into the glass jar and add one or more tissue flower stems to your bouquet, and arrange. You may want to twist stems together and bend to fit the shape of the jar.
Tie a matching bow around the center or lip of your vase. Display on the dining room table, a dresser top, or a windowsill, and enjoy!
Prior to inserting stem into cup, cut a small green construction paper disk and poke two holes in the center. Insert the chenille stem through the disk first, so it is placed beneath the flower cup for small sepal leaves. Continue to loop stem through and back out of the cup (and paper disk) as described for single flowers in step 4, and twist to hold. You may also use a larger floral colored disk to create outer flower petals to create a flower shape such as a daffodil.
Slip a small yellow chenille strip through the green loop inside the flower, bend the ends up, and twist the ends together to create a pistil or curl them outward to create stamens. Use your imagination to combine colors and flower shapes for creating interesting floral designs.
Tip: Let young children design their own flowers, choosing the colors, shapes, and construction of their choosing.
Tutorial contributed by Sandra K. Weston