Service Project: Create flower wreaths for the wise
Prep time: 10 minutes
Duration: 1 ½ hours (this includes drying time)
Lesson(s) learned: Create paper flower wreaths that will bring a smile to the wise, lovely people at a senior center.
How we did it:
Well, I have to admit that I struggled, just a little bit, with this Simple Service project. I didn’t struggle because the craft project itself was difficult. On the contrary, Addie and I were really happy with the pretty results. I struggled with what to name the project and how to address the recipients. You see, our recipients were the wonderful people down at our local senior citizen center. You may be thinking, ‘Just call them senior citizens!’ Well, perhaps I should, however, I feel like that name just doesn’t do them justice. It vexed me so much that I actually looked up synonyms for the noun. The closest thing I found that may actually do them justice was the word wise. So, that settled it for me and I decided to refer to our recipients as, The Wise.
As I get older, and creep closer to being wise, I realize that our younger generation could learn so much from the fountain of knowledge that The Wise carry with them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a mandatory course in school was to spend time with The Wise and learn from their life lessons? I can imagine it might be filled with advice like, "Don’t worry so much, Be kind, Love freely, Don’t be scared to try new things, and Lend a helping hand.”
This project gives your child an opportunity to spend time with lovely individuals from an older generation. Not only will the paper flower wreaths bring a smile to their faces (the young ones and the older ones!) but the simple act of talking to each other will be priceless.
Inspiration for this project came from http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Nature/paperflowerwreath/paperflowerwreath.html
What you will need to make 2 paper flower wreaths:
4 sheets of 12”x12” solid color paper (in various colors)
4 sheets of 12”x12” patterned paper (in various colors and patterns)
2 sheets of 12”x12” in green (these will be used as leaves. I recommend getting two slightly different shades of green)
[NOTE: Make sure that the paper you select isn’t too thick since it will make folding and cutting it more challenging]
2 10” paper plates
2 pieces of 24” long ribbon
Glue on jewels (optional)
First, gather all your supplies for the project. Note: We purchased our paper at a local craft store for 5 sheets for $1.00. We purchased 10 sheets of paper to ensure that we had a lot of variety for our flowers.
Tip: We didn’t end up using the glitter on our wreaths, however, I think it could be a really nice addition. We were going to use it as the center of the flowers but decided on a different look instead.
Yep, just two simple paper plates…..
Cut the middle out of the paper plates until you have a ring that is no more than ½” to 1” wide.
Start with your two pieces of green paper. Fold them in half.
Have your child cut them into 6”x3” pieces.
Have your child fold each piece of paper in half, length-wise, and cut a leaf pattern out of it. Have them experiment with making wide (thick) leaves versus narrow (thin) leaves.
They should end up with roughly 15 – 18 leaves. Addie cut up a few tiny leaves just because she thought they were cute. We ended up using these in our project. Score one for Addie! The next step is to cut all your leaves in half (across the widest section of the leaf). Check out one of the later pictures to see what this is supposed to look like.
Cut a hole in the middle of the plate border. Addie used a hold punch. Your child can easily fold the plate (gently) in two and cut a small hole in it. This is the same concept that they used in making the leaves.
Have your child thread the ribbons though each of the holes. Tie a bow at the top.
Now they’re ready for the fun part!! Take each piece of paper and cut them into quarters. Have your child measure 6” from each corner and mark the spot with a pencil. Have them do this on each side. Now have them cut in a straight line from one dot to the dot on the opposite side of the paper. Do this until you have 4 squares.
I utilized the fantastic directions at firstpalette in order to make these cute 5 petal paper flowers. There are also links that illustrate how to make 6 and 8 petal flowers. I chose to stay with the 5 petal flowers because I thought they were easier for Addie to help with.
Tip: Save your paper scraps! We demonstrate how to utilize them later in the project.
Once your child has completed cutting out all of their flowers, they can start assembling the wreath. Addie and I used our hot glue gun, however, you can use regular glue on this part.
Glue the straight side of the leaf so that it is closest to the center of the wreath. Alternate the different shades of leaves (lighter, darker, lighter, darker) and slightly overlap them.
Your wreath should now resemble this.
Addie had fun squishing the leaves onto the wreath!
Now, have your child arrange the paper flowers on the wreaths. Encourage them to get creative about the color and pattern combinations! Once they are satisfied with the arrangement, have them glue the flowers into place.
Remember those tiny leaves that Addie made? Well, here is how we used them! I wish we had made more because it looks great!
Remember those paper scraps that we recommended saving? Here is our bowl that we had set aside. Have your child take out various pieces and cut circles out of them. You can use those circles to enhance the center of your flowers.
See how we used a yellow, patterned circle to make our pink flower look nicer? This is also where you can use glitter instead of a paper circle.
Addie wanted to add some of our little jewels to the center of the flowers. Again, glitter could be used here.
A little secret note on the back of our wreath!
Once we finished our wreaths, we moseyed down to visit The Wise and deliver a little bit of sunshine to them!
Addie specifically wore this shirt for our visit. It says, “Smart, Honest and Kind.” I felt that it would be a reflection of those that we visited with. I wasn’t disappointed!
Yvonne (right) is the Director of the center and was so thankful for Addie’s creations. They will be proudly displaying them for all to enjoy!
While we were there, I heard many times how, “Wonderful it is that an organization is teaching children about kindness and serving their community.” Their smiles were so contagious! As we were leaving, Yvonne turned to Addie and said, “You’re smart for starting to do this at so young an age.” I couldn’t agree more!
Have fun with your Flower Wreaths for The Wise!
Kelli worked in the technology industry for 20 years before taking time off to raise her daughter. She has an 18 year old son and a 2 year old daughter that have taught her how to appreciate every moment with them.