The weekend before Thanksgiving, I visited my friend Jill, specifically to craft.
Two winters ago, Jill reconnected with Derek, another of our friends from college. They each were newly single. They each had a child. They're both no-nonsense, get-things-done kinds of people who are wickedly funny.
Less than two years later, they were engaged.
They're getting married in a low-key affair next summer. It's not going to be the sort of wedding with bridesmaids or elaborate flower arrangements or a cake shaped like the bride.
But it will have crafts.
Jill loves crafts. She's good at crafts. She's also thrifty and unbelievably thoughtful with details, so I knew we would make something interesting and cool.
The craft of the weekend: orbs covered in Kusudama flowers, which are made from folded paper.
We hunkered down in her living room and Jill pulled out plastic bags of paper squares she'd cut from her son's homework, her fiance's son's homework and her great-grandmother's sheet music. She gave me instructions, and we set about folding.
Essentially, we folded paper squares into petals, glued the petals onto a stem (Jill used barbecue skewers), then poked the stems into a Styrofoam ball to create a paper flower bouquet, which, in Jill's case, blends keepsakes from her child, her fiance's child and her grandmother. The effect is pretty and personal, and they'll line the aisle at her wedding next year.
Paper Flower Bouquets
Hot glue and gun
Cut paper into desired size. We used a variety of sizes — 3-inch, 3½-inch and 4-inch squares. Select five squares that are all the same size. These five papers will make your first flower.
Fold one square of paper diagonally to create a triangle. Fold corners up to the top of the triangle, creating a square. Fold the same corners down (the effect will look a bit like a tulip). Open the flaps created by folding the corners down and flatten them. Fold the tips of the triangles down so they are flush with the rest of the square. Fold the flaps in half. You'll end up with a square. If this is confusing, rest assured there are many tutorials available online. Repeat four more times.
Bring the flaps together and secure with hot glue. This makes a petal (We held the petals in place with a bobby pin while waiting for the glue to dry). Then glue each petal to a skewer cut to the desired length.
Once you have a bunch of flowers, begin inserting them into the Styrofoam ball. A smaller bouquet might take around 12 flowers, but we used closer to 25. If you'd like, you can add a ribbon so you can hang the flower ball. Or you can set a bunch on a table or in a basket.
Difficulty: Three (out of four)