Trash to Treasure Flowers and Vase

Hello everyone! It's Bibi here today (the owner of Rubber Dance Stamps) with a project I made for Unruly PaperArts, where the theme this month is "Trash to Treasure", so it's all about making something out things you'd normally trash (unless you're a crafter...), or in other words "upcycling" - which can be defined as the process of turning waste materials into new materials or products of better quality, or in my case - something prettier.

I had been down with the flu for about three weeks when I finally felt well enough to find some materials to use for my upcycling project. I sat by my craft table for a long time thinking, while blowing my nose every thirty seconds .... I just couldn't think of anything to use! And this is coming from someone who saves and collects and hoards anything that won't grow mould and take on a lifeform of their own.... I have drawers and boxes full of junk - er, I mean treasures - that I will alter into something quite astonishing, for sure, some day.... And yet, here I was, and I had no idea where to begin, or with what. So, I felt really miserable and blew my nose once more. Poor me. Hey, wait a minute! I had been surrounded by these "treasures" for three weeks now, and I hadn't seen their value beyond blowing my nose into them??? I took a new tissue paper out of the pack and scrutinised it, as if seeing it for the very first time. Hello there, you pretty little thing! What can we make out of you? Honestly, I didn't know ... but Google is my friend - "Tissue paper DIY" will give you nearly 10 million hits. I needed only one and I found it right away! A few hours later, I had made these:

They are super easy to make and really fun to colour:

1) Accordion fold a rectangular piece of tissue paper

2) Bind with wire in the middle
3) Whirl the wire around a skewer.
Add some hot glue to secure them in place.
4) Make a V-cut at the ends

5) Pull the layers apart.
Hot tip: After having made a bunch of flowers,
I realized that it was easier to pull the layers apart FIRST,
before you start accordion folding them (step 1). Duh!

6) Dye the flowers using ink sprays

My flowers needed a vase, of course, and since I already had quite a few milk cartons laying around .... 
I made this:

Bits and pieces of scrap cardstock and deco paper, decoupaged in random to the milk carton.
Painted with Gesso and coloured with Gelatos, then using a stencil and baby wipes
 to remove some of the Gelatos and bring out white leaves.
Butterflies from our "Antique Botanicals" stamp set, stamped with dark purple StazOn.

I wanted to make one more thing, so I asked my sweetheart if he would help me brainstorm. But storming of grey matter wasn't necessary - he suggested right away that I could make some magazine clipping butterflies. Where on earth had he heard about those, you might ask? That's what I asked, too. Turns out they have some on the wall at this workplace! (Yeah, I know.... I haven't been there yet.... *bows head in shame*) Anyway, I tossed the idea around a few times and made my own versions of those - newspaper that I first painted with Gesso on both sides, then stamped the circles before folding:

Fancy pipe cleaners with glitter is used for the antennae on this one.
Stamps from our Round in Circles stamp set.

How to make the butterfly:

Decorate two squares of paper, one slightly smaller than the other.

Accordion fold the squares diagonally.

Fold at the middle to form one set of wings.

Either glue or bind the top and bottom wings together.

Make the body out of a small roll of paper,
press it flat and twirl the top end.
I used a glue gun to adhere the body to the wings.
You can make the antennae out of  a roll of paper, too,
or pipe cleaners like I did on some of mine.

Now you can start folding out the wings in the shape you want them.

And here they are, the tissue paper flowers in a milk carton vase with newspaper butterflies:

Some of the flowers and the butterfly are adhered to drinking straws, the kind with a bend,
so I could make them bend out from the rest of the bouquet.
The green flower in the front is made out of kitchen roll paper that I had used to clean up ink from my work desk.

Next time you have a cold or a nasty flu and you're tired of blowing your nose, think happy thoughts of fluffy flowers and pretend I sent you a blooming bouquet :-)

Upcycled materials:
Tissue paper, Drinking straws. Wooden Skewers, Cardstock scraps,
Newspaper, Milk carton

Craft supplies:
Circle and Butterfly stamps from Rubber Dance
Leaf Flourish stencil from Ranger/Dylusions
StazOn ink, Distress ink, Distress ink sprays
Gelatos, Gesso, Decoupage glue, Hot glue, Stickles, Wire
Baby Wipes

I hope you liked my trash treasures so much that you want to make some yourself! If anything was unclear in my instructions, feel free to ask in the comments below. (Feel free to leave me some lovin' as well ♥)

Remember to check out other Trash to Treasure projects on the Unurly PaperArts Blogzine this month!

Did you know that Rubber Dance is sponsoring their fun readers' challenge this month? Check it out here. The theme is "I should be so lucky" and my entry is in this blog post here.


Let your Muse Loose!


Majo said…
Holy cow, you make spring come around in a flash, beautiful creation, dear Bibi!
Craftyfield said…
Amazing how the trash became this colourful and pretty vase!
Susanne Rose said…
That's totally awesome! Such a great creation. I love it.
Artatag said…
Wow Bibi, that is awesome. And how cool creating a vase for the flowers!
Unknown said…
Love that you created something so cheery using your runny nose as inspiration Bibi! Love it. The mark of a true crafter ;-) x
massofhair said…
Hope the nose blowing and sniffles disappear very very soon Bibi!

Some fantastic ideas made into beautiful treasures, loving the milk carton vase very much.

Have tried to see where/how you enter the Unruly PaperArts Challenges and came up empty handed, am off to see if i can find some help on their home page:-) xxx
Unknown said…
Very very cool ;)
Bibi Lindahl said…
Thank you all for your kind words! I appreciate it a LOT!! ♥
These were all so fun to make, and made spring arrive a little sooner - at least in my studio :-)
I'm done with the flu now.

After seeing massofhair's comment, I changed the text at the end a little bit so it should be easier to find Ulruly's challenge page (

Thanks, sweeties!
mamablitger said…
Hello Friend
I hope you feel better by now. So you can save all the tissue papers for flowers. Oh gosh... They are awesome !! Love your idea. Love that you even made a vase and a butterfly..
Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas
Hugs from Monica... Spain
Karen Petitt said…
Seriously simply stinking cute Bibi! Love them and love the idea so I might try this for my home - so craving spring, sunshine and warmth right now lol! Hope you feel much better soon - that flu is nasty. Karen x

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