Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A sweet way to decorate

From cupcake wrappers, creative flowers bloom

May 03. 2014 12:14AM
By Geri Anne Kaikowski


Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store, West Side Mall, Edwardsville, offers free monthly Make It and Take It craft classes from 2-3 p.m. Saturdays. The classes are usually geared toward but not limited to school-age children, and the store provides all materials.

The next class will take place May 10 and will be a mixed-media needlepoint brooch, a perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

For more information, call 570-288-8851.


Supplies and tools:

22-gauge stem wire

Colorful baking cups

30 inches of 1-1/2 inch ribbon

Green floral tape


Wire cutters

Directions: Cut floral wire in half, using one half for a flower. Create a small loop at one end of the wire. Poke wire down through the middle of one baking cup and slide up to the loop. Turn a baking cup inside out and slide on, following same procedure as the first. Repeat with two more baking cups to form the flower. Using a 4-inch piece of the floral tape, tie a knot right below the flower. Wrap a 15-inch piece of floral tape around the stem starting at the knot, covering the knot working down the stem. Tie a bow on the flower stem using the 30-inch ribbon.

Source: Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store

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It starts out as a cupcake wrapper. But it ends up as a flower. And, all in all, it’s a sweet way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

The best part is that it can be any kind of flower you want. A single-stemmed rose. A bouquet of wedding flowers. A corsage for your grandmother.

When eight children got together at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store in the West Side Mall in Edwardsville, fingers were quick and imaginations quicker. The Make It and Take It classes are offered on Saturdays once a month to introduce crafts to school-age children.

“These classes are the perfect opportunity for kids to explore their creativity,” Jonnell Brown, district team leader for Jo-Ann, said. “And they can customize their craft to suit their own taste.”

Brown said the class is structured loosely at different levels so a child of any age or skill level can make a flower. “It’s an opportunity for a child to learn a new craft,” she said. “The kids love it.”

For Cupcake Liner Flowers, all you need are cupcake baking cups, a stem wire and ribbon along with tape, scissors and wire cutters.

Sarah Piontkowski, an associate at Jo-Ann, led the children through the steps to fashion their own flowers. “You can make it look however you want it to,” she told the group. “There’s no special way to do it.”

As the lesson progressed, Piontkowski encouraged the group, looking across the table and saying, “Take your time.”

Kayla Rhodes, 9, of Wilkes-Barre, is interested in sewing and bracelet-making. “I just like doing crafts,” she said. “This is fun. I also make scarves.”

Logan Smith, 7, of Larksville, intently set upon making three flowers for the female members of his family. As he inserted another liner — this time a blue, green, yellow and pink one with dots — through the wire to make a layered flower, he pronounced: “I like this.”

Tammy Taylor of Swoyersville said she came to Jo-Ann to pick up some items when she and her son Zac, 7, heard about the class. “He turned to me and said, ‘I’m going over there’ and took off,” she said. “He really likes to keep his hands busy. He’ll draw, paint and do gardening.”

Brown said the classes turn everyday items into fanciful creations. “You wouldn’t think of a cupcake liner as a flower, but it can be one,” she said.

She said many children today enjoy the opportunity to explore new ways to craft. “Mothers today are more into crafting and taking time to teach that to their children more so than our mothers did when we were young,” Brown said, noting that social media sites such as Pinterest pique interest.

The aim of the class is its name, Make It and Take It, store manager Joyce Allen said. You make your craft and take it home. She said the goal is that every child walks out of the store with something he has created.

Smith proudly twirled his three flowers around as he waited for his aunt Heather Sorokes and her daughter Katie Sorokes, 16, of Mountain Top.

Should you get that creative streak, never fear; the store provides a how-to diagram anyone can follow. You can even take it home along with some supplies and create your own floral shop sure to rival your garden. Taylor bought some items so her Sunday-school class could make flowers. Her son also made sure mom purchased some extra cupcake liners just for him so he could add to his expanding bouquet.


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