Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Sunflower Craft

Completed sunflower made by Mia, age 3 1/2

Finished Sunflowers
  • paper plate
  • brown paint
  • yellow construction paper (about 2 sheets per flower)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • buttons
  • bubble wrap (I didn't try this, but you could paint on the bubble wrap and then press it onto the flower's center to make a print.)
  • ink pad (I didn't try this but you could make thumb print art in the flower's center- possibly for younger children)
  • sunflower seeds or dried beans (I didn't try this, but the texture would be neat, and you could make interesting patterns in the center of the sunflower.)
  • yarn (I didn't try this, but I am envisioning a long spiral starting in the center of the flower and working outward.)
  • green construction paper (Our flowers don't have them, but you could include stems.)
  1. Turn paper plate upside down. Paint center of paper plate brown. Let dry.
  2. Cut petals from yellow construction paper. 
  3. Glue buttons or other embellishment, to center of paper plate, if desired.
  4. Glue petals onto plate so that they touch the brown center section. Work around in a circle until white part of paper plate is no longer showing.
  5. If desired, cut strip of green construction paper and glue to back of sunflower.
  6. Allow to dry completely and display your finished sunflower project.
  • I made two different sized petals. For the flowers with small petals, I folded the paper into sixteenths and then cut into strips. For the larger petals (quicker to finish, possibly better for younger children), I folded the paper into eighths and then cut into strips. 
  • I made templates for the two different sized petals, cut them out, made a pile of about 6 strips, traced template on top strip, and then cut out petals. I repeated this until I had all of my petals cut out. It saved a lot of time rather than cutting each petal individually.
  • My petals were drawn free-hand. They don't need to be perfect. They took up most of each strip of paper.

Close-up of flower with larger petals
Close-up of flower with smaller petals. I think this is more realistic.
General Crafts Tips:
  1. I like Aleene's Tacky Glue. It works for most craft materials and dries clear.
  2. I use the sponge type paintbrushes for most of Mia's projects. They have a large surface for holding paint, wash easily, and are very affordable (so if one gets ruined, I don't feel bad throwing it away). You can find them on sale at Michael's and stock up (20 for $1, usually).
  3. I usually use acrylic paints for projects. They are relatively inexpensive (I recently saw them at Michael's, 3 for $1), come in many colors, and quick-drying. The main downside to acrylics, is that they stain clothing so I usually have Mia roll up her sleeves and wear a paint smock.
  4. I like to use old plastic divided trays from microwave dinners for mixing paints. They have lasted for years and it keeps something from ending up in a landfill! If I know we will use more than a couple of colors, though, I like to use egg cartons. They're a nice size for holding little amounts of several colors and keeping them separated, if that is what you want.
  5. While waiting for paint to dry, I sometimes have another project for Mia to begin. Otherwise, a hair dryer works nicely to speed things along. 
This project was adapted from: http://mama-jenn.blogspot.com/2010/05/sunflower-crafts-galore.html

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