Introduction: Reclaimed Wood: Popsicle Stick Flower
~ From Ice Cream to Flower ~
I'm sure you have at least once fallen upon a popsicle stick. Finishing your refreshing ice-cream on a hot summer day, you toss away that little stick which once held the delicious dessert... but what if instead you could transform it into something useful?
In this Instructable you will learn how to properly re-purpose the popsicle sticks from your favorite ice-cream into a cute little flower. Whether you are professional woodworker or just a hobby DIY-er, if you eat ice-cream, this is for you!
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Step 1: Gather Your Materials
To make 1 flower, you will need:
- 2-3 Popsicle sticks from ice-creams or popsicle
- Mod-podge (or school glue)
- Green string (simple sewing string)
- Paint: Your choice of color (acrylic)
- Pressed (Hard) Felt ~normal felt would technically work too
- Optional: a stem (a stick, a wire, a pipe cleaner)
- Few hours of Popsicle stick prep and 15 minutes of assembly
Step 2: Cleaning
You wouldn't want your whole project smelling like ice-cream or popsicle, so after gathering your popsicle sticks, you first need to clean them.
Soak the popsicle sticks in hot water for about 10 minutes.
Drain the water (since it will now be dirty), rinse the sticks and soak again in new hot water for 30 minutes or, if you can, overnight.
To completely get rid of any residual smell, use a paper towel to wipe some vinegar onto the popsicle sticks. After a few minutes rinse them out and let them dry. ~ As a general rule: if something smells, use vinegar! :)
Step 3: Curving
To help the flower petals curve. Soak the popsicle sticks in boiling water for 5 minutes and carefully use your finger to curve the wood (careful it will be hot!!!). Place the sticks in a cup to help it hold this shape.
Step 4: Cutting the Petals
After letting the sticks dry, use a razor blade to cut thin strips of wood from 2 popsicle sticks. These will be your petals so try to keep them about the same length and width. (my petals were only about 1 1/2 inches long)
Save a slightly thicker and slightly longer piece to use as your base/stem (it should be a little skinnier than the one in the picture). If the popsicle sticks were soaked well enough, you should be able to crack a popsicle stick in half and peel a piece off.
~ Always remember to be safe when using a knife!
Step 5: Assembling the Flower
Use string to wrap some of the petals around the thicker middle. One by one, add petals and wrap string: add a petal, wrap around once with string, add another, wrap around once again... and so on. Try to use longer petals towards the middle and shorter ones on the outside. Add as many as you want making sure to distribute them equally in a circle.
When you decide you have enough, use your finger to smear some mod-podge or school glue on the string to keep the end from unwrapping. Let it dry.
Step 6: Finishing It Off
Spread out the petals of the flower and curve them outward with your fingers
Use some pressed felt (you could also use just felt or paper) to cut out a leaf shape of your choice.
Attach the leaves by wrapping the butt of the flower completely in green string, hiding all the wood. Glue it in place by covering with mod-podge (don't worry, it dries clear).
If you want, you could also attach a stem of your choice.
Finally, finish off by dabbing the tips of the petals in some paint. Use red to make it seem more like a rose, yellow to make it seem like a dandelion or even use all the colors of the rainbow!... the splash of color helps keep the project looking fresh and pretty.
Enjoy! Make a batch to give as a gift, or just use as a cute ornament on a shelf, whatever the case, know you have successfully saved a good piece of wood from being thrown away :D