Create a beautiful vintage bouquet from seeds wrapped in cellophane! Simple tutorial based on a vintage craft kit, modernized for today!
I come from a long line of crafters, but I have to say that I most likely got my crafting gene from my grandmother. She was a master crocheter, master seamstress, she gardened and canned a lot of her own food, and she worked full time while doing it all. She was the master of crafting ADD.
When I was younger, she would send me occasional kits from a craft club that she belonged to called National Handcraft. For a small monthly fee, she received a craft kit each month. They always contained everything that she needed to complete the project of the month. Established around 1947, the National Handcraft Club existed for about 25 years. There are similar clubs that exist now, but nothing that brings back the charm and memories that these kits do.
When my grandmother passed away a few years ago, I inherited all of her craft kits that she had stored in her attic. In storage for many years, some had deteriorated, but I was able to sort through everything and put together the components for about 10 different kits. This tutorial is for one of those kits.
For this project I used:
Dried Baby Lima Beans
Dried Small Pea Beans
Blue Cellophane Sheets
Lavendar Cellophane Sheet
This kit is dated 1972, so keep in mind that the beans that I am using are nearly 40 years old! I was amazed at how well preserved they were and was determined to use the kit’s original components if I could. But I do plan on planting a couple of these beans just to see if they grow. Wouldn’t that be cool?
I began by cutting the blue cellophane sheets into roughly 2 1/2″ squares. They don’t have to be exact. (In order to duplicate this project, you can purchase cellophane sheets in all colors from any gift wrapping supply store or party center). The lavendar sheet is then cut into 1 1/2″ squares.
For each blossom, you use 5 Lima Beans, and one small pea bean, 5 pieces of blue cellophane, 1 piece of lavendar, a 2″ piece of wire, and about 10″ of florists tape.
Place the bean on the cellophane sheet as shown, fold it over top of the bean, fold over each side and then twist snugly around the bean, creating a “stem”. This will hold so that you can set it aside and start the next one.
Once you have wrapped 5 large beans and one small lavendar bean, insert the wire into the last twist of the cellophane stem on one of the beans. As you hold it in place, secure the end of the florists tape tightly around the stem and stretch the tape as you wrap it around it. (This makes the tape sticky). Add the center lavendar bean, wrapping as you go, and then the other 4 large beans, securing them with the tape one at a time.
Bring the remaining length of tape around the ends of the cellophane stems and wrap firmly around the wire. Then shape the petals by pushing them out into the position that you prefer. I made 25 of these. They take a bit of patience, but are easy to do while watching reality tv. Ha!
The white doily is place under the styrofoam disc and held in place with a rubber band at the top edge, creating the gathers. I then tied a blue ribbon around it and place the flowers into the styrofoam, arranging them in a sweet little bouquet.
The final touch is adding some small greenery to spruce it up and there you go! A sweet little bouquet! Or as the craft kit states, “A bouquet that’s full of beans…a perky touch of whimsy and a gay array of color to enchant all who see it!” Are you enchanted?
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may like my tutorial on Hand-dying Yarn. Another old art that is enjoying a comeback.
Or check out my Batiking with Crayons Tutorial. This old art deserves a second look too. A simple and unique way to create the batik look for pennies.
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