3 Geeky Upcycled Flower Crafts for Mom

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These upcycled flower ideas for Mother’s Day require very little expense but show a lot of love. Image by Lisa Kay Tate.

There is a common misconception brought on by Mother’s Day advertising that all moms want expensive items and store-bought cards.

Resourceful parents understand children shouldn’t have to cough up their allowance or birthday money to come up with a department store trinket. Instead, something homemade, thoughtful and genuine is all they want. This is where upcycled crafts are perfect, and even parents can help make them for grandmothers, teachers, aunts, and other great women…or men…in their life. Everyone loves flowers.

These three easy upcycled flowers craft can be used to give a geeky or punky mom a homemade flower for Mother’s Day with little effort and even less expense, but with a whole lot of love and imagination.

These items are similar to some popular crafts found on Pinterest, Etsy, or other art and DIY sites, only these have been given a special edge to appeal to mom’s of different tastes and personalities.

Gothy Industrial Water Bottle Blossoms

These blossoms are a good way to use that abundance of plastic water bottles. Image: Lisa Kay Tate.

Items needed:
Plastic water bottles
Cheap plastic novelty rings
Spray paint, nail polish, or craft paint

Cut the bottom and top off a plastic water bottle, making sure to cut out the mouthpiece. Using the natural shape of the bottle, cut around to it resembles flower petals. Older crafters can further shape the petals by holding the ends over a candle flame and gently molding them. This will get hot, so only adults should attempt this step.

Water Bottle Blossom steps: Cut the top and bottom of the bottle, warp the ends with a candle, color the the blossoms with paint of felt tip markers, and glue the layers together. Images: Lisa Kay Tate.

Use nail polish or craft paint to create some designs on the underside of the petals, than spray over them with the spray paint (or use dark craft paint). The designs will remain visible through the top.

With jewelry or metal glue, glue the layers of the flowers by placing the “top portion” of the bottle with the bigger center hole in the back. Glue guns can be used, but remember heat will continue to warp or melt the plastic and make it very hot to the touch. Proceed with caution if using one for this step.

Paint or decorate a cheap spider or skull ring left over from those endless Halloween carnivals to look a little steampunk or like a Día de los Muertos calavera (skull). Clip the flimsy back off the ring, and glue it to the center of the flower. Add other embellishments if you want.

Place the complete blossom on a magnet or pin back.

Rockabilly Egg Carton Rose Tattoo Cards

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Cardboard egg cartons can be made into easy roses, as pictured in this vintage tattoo art card. Image: Lisa Kay Tate.

Items needed:
Cardboard egg cartons (Styrofoam works, but isn’t as pretty)
Card stock paper
Felt tip or fine line markers, watercolors, colored pencils, or other drawing materials

Cut the individual “egg holders” out of the carton, and clip around the four corners to resemble a “flower petal.”

Color most of the flower one color, and color around the outer edge of the flower with a different color to resemble a vintage tattoo. You can color the inside of the petals black or a dark color, to add to the shading, and give it an outline with a black marker. Glue the carton layers together to form a simple rose. Three or four layers makes a decent-sized rose.

Egg Carton Rose steps: cut individual egg cups into flower shapes of various sizes, paint each layer then glue them together with the smallest layer on the inside. These roses can be attached to a tattoo-style card for "Mom." Images: Lisa Kay Tate.
Egg Carton Rose steps: Cut individual egg cups into flower shapes of various sizes, paint each layer, and glue them together with the smallest layer on the inside. These roses can be attached to a tattoo-style card for “Mom.” Images: Lisa Kay Tate.

Fold a letter-size piece of card stock in half and draw a “Mom” banner, leaves, or other items that are common in vintage tattoos (birds, hearts, anchors, stars, etc.), leaving a space for the flower. Don’t trace it. Even if your drawing isn’t perfect, it will be original.

Use strong craft glue or a glue gun to attach the completed carton rose to the card. Give this as an art card, or place a fun frame around it for a cool art print.

For ideas, here’s a link to some vintage tattoo designs.

Bohemian Comic Book Paper and Cloth Flowers

Old comics, magazines, and scraps can make colorful, gypsy flower accessories. Image: Lisa Kay Tate.

Items needed:
Old comic book or magazine pages
Felt or other scrap cloth
Assorted plastic or paper beads

This is as easy as folding tissue paper flowers, only with a much more colorful medium…comics!

Layer two or three comic or magazine pages and fold them in an accordion pattern, like a simple paper fan.

Using a few pieces of yarn, gently tie the fan in the center and either tear or cut the edges of the page to the desired flower sizes you want. Slowly pull the flower layers apart, to make a carnation style flower. The pages may tear a little, so be very careful.

Bohemian Paper Flower steps: Fold the paper in an accordion pattern, and secure with yarn or string. Gently pull the layers apart. For the paper beads, cut papers into long wedges and roll them over a toothpick. Images: Lisa Kay Tate.

Cut out some leaves or additional petals with felt or scrap cloth, then randomly glue them between the layers.

To make a paper bead, cut a strip of magazine or other paper in long, thin, triangle formations, and lightly cover one side with school glue. Place the wide edge over a toothpick, and roll it up like croissant.

Embellish with plastic or paper beads by tying them to the loose ends of the yarn.

These finished paper flowers look cute as Bohemian or gypsy-style hair or hat pieces, and can be glued on pin or barrette backs.

Remember, the one thing most parents love more than anything as gifts is just a genuine acknowledgement that they are somehow being a great mom, one that is worthy of a hug around the neck or a homemade “thank you” from their family.

Although, you could also let them sleep in for just one morning.

Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. In addition to serving as Associate Editor for her local arts and entertainment guide, El Paso Scene, she has been a regular contributor to the site ihogeek.com and maintains her own blogsite at lisathegeekmom.wordpress.com. She and her husband, writer/photographer Rick, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.