Friday, October 30, 2009

Mexican Paper Flower How-To

Last year I made some paper flowers for my wedding reception centerpieces (blogged here) and I made a new batch of flowers for my Frida Kahlo 'self portrait' Halloween costume!

Paper flowers are very inexpensive to make and lots of fun, all you will need is tissue paper, pipe cleaners (or string) and a little bit of time!

Here's what you need:

1. Tissue paper or crepe paper

2. colorful pipe cleaners or yarn

(I chose yarn this time around because I want to tie them around a headband to put in my hair for my Frida costume and didn't want to worry about pipe cleaners poking me in the head) :]

3. Scissors

Start off with square pieces of tissue paper. The more pieces you use per flower, the fuller your flower will look. To make extra large flowers use full sheets of paper, for medium flowers use 1/4 of a full sheet, for small flowers (like the green one I made for this tutorial) cut the paper down even more to 1/8 the size of a full sheet.

Once you have your squares cut (I am using 9 cut squares to make one flower, but you can use more for a fuller looking flower), stack them on top of each other then fold them into an accordion shape.

Cut a triangle shape on each side of your 'accordion'.

Tie a string or wrap a pipe cleaner around the center of your flower. Make sure your knot is at the bottom of your flower (the bottom of my sample flower is dark green).

I like to trim the edges because sometimes my square pieces aren't completely square, this way your flower petals will come out more evenly on each side of your flower.

I also like to cut the tips of the 'petals' into a wavy shape (or cut triangles for a jagged look) to make the petals look more realistic, because flower petals in nature usually have pointed or rounded edges.

Fan out your flower and start to pull each 'petal' towards the center, carefully...

until you have completed a whole side. Once one side is complete, you can move onto the other side.

Once you're finished your flower will look something like this.

As you can see, I went a little crazy. I probably won't be using all of these for my costume but the left overs will be great for shrines, altars, and other craft projects!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


My 'Calavera Centerpiece' write up was also posted at:

‘Day of the dead’ skull centerpiece How To:

What you’ll need:

Spray paint (wal-mart has paint for .96 cents a can)
Ceramic Skulls (dollar tree, craft stores, ebay)
Acetone (optional, but will help clean the surface so the paint will stick better)
Foam Florist Squares (or circles, if the kind you get is too thin, just place some crumpled newspaper under it to raise it up)
White Glue
Paint (to paint details on the skull)
Felt Cut Outs (optional)
Faux flowers (or handmade flowers)
Newspaper (to spray paint on)
Mask (optional)

I originally made these last year for my wedding party (our 1 year anniversary is this Halloween) but I recently went to the Dollar Store and they still have plently of these white ceramic skulls in stock, all it takes is a little bit of imagination (and a bit of glue, paint and glitter!)

1. I purchased the white ceramic skulls at dollar tree.

2. I prepped the surface first by cleaning off the skulls with acetone to help the spray paint stick better. Apply one coat of gloss color, allow to dry, apply another coat if necessary.

3. Once the paint dried I brought them inside for the fun part...decorating! I had my favorite bold colored glitters on hand and some ‘glossies’ brand paint (adheres well to most surfaces, including glossy ones), and went downtown on embellishing the eyes, mouth, nose and adding details. Tip: apply white glue to the eyes, mouth and nose sockets and then shake in some glitter (do each color separate and carefully over a paper towel or wax paper so you can salvage the remaining glitter and put it back in it’s proper container) then when slightly dry you can paint around the eyes and nose, no problem!

4. Next, when everything dried (well mostly, I have no patience) I placed a florist foam square (the cushy green stuff, also sold at most dollar tree stores) into the skull container and stuck some faux flowers in it. The black roses are from the .99 cent store but you can also make some colorful crepe/tissue paper flowers on your own for super cheap, you just need some tissue paper or crepe paper, pipe cleaners and some imagination! has a great tutorial on that, just look under her ‘projects’ page, you’ll find other inspiring stuff too!

5. I placed some super cute, bright colored felt cut-outs under the skull for cheeriness (Day of the dead is a celebration!), these were also found at dollar tree.

Halloween DIY Costume FRIDA KAHLO

Although the cashier at the goodwill had no idea who Frida Kahlo is (don't we live in L.A.?), it didn't damper my spirits, or will to be a dia de los muertos version of Frida this coming Halloween. Although my embroidered goodwill dress is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this years costume (complete outfit pictures coming soon!) it took me all day to embroider and I just couldn't contain myself when it came to showing off my needle work...boy are my fingers tired!

Sugars skulls and cobwebs, it's a fiesta of colors!

It all starts with a sketch!

Needs a colorful sash or belt...

Perhaps a few more accessories...

Close up of Frida

Close up of Diego

Spiderwebs, oh my!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

NEW Bang Bang Necklace!

Bang bang, shot my baby down, old skool gun gag necklace!

Peace love and kitties! -L

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ikea box project!

I have been purchasing and decorating Ikea boxes for probably as long as they have been making them, something about starting with a blank canvas (unpainted wood) just gets me going.

My first box, which was about 10 years ago, was decorated with bottle caps. The next one got a bit livelier with hand written Bukowski poem excerpts and drawings. Now that I cast my own resin pieces, I decided to glue my cast offs onto the box before painting them. This process reminds me of the day of the dead shrines with the little silver colored milagros, or at least like the painted macaroni art I made for my grandpa when I was little, hey I had to start somewhere.

You basically just need the following...

1.Ikeas box (needs to be assembled)

2.Spray paint (I recommend spray paint because it really gets into the nooks and crannies with ease, and you can add extra coats quicker and easier than with a brush).

3.Embellishments to glue onto the box, (Tip: sand the back of the embellishments before gluing them for extra staying power). If you don't have any resin castings like mine, you can try buttons, charm packs and castings from, rocks, macaroni, go crazy!