DIY Teacher Gift: Potted Flower Pens
BY JEN KOSSOWAN, MAMA.PAPA.BUBBA.
Jun 19, 2017
Long ago, at the very first school I ever taught at, our administrative assistant had this beautiful pot of flower pens sitting up on the front counter. As soon as I saw it, I realized how absolutely brilliant it was. Besides adding a little bit of colour and cheer to the office, there was always a pen available for those in need of one and no one ever walked off with them because it was quite obvious if you did! Thus, the pens always stayed exactly where they were supposed to and were ready to be used when needed. Smart, right? Of course it wasn’t long before I borrowed the idea and made my own potted flower pens for my classroom. They kept me from misplacing several pens a day, they were perfect during conferences when parents wanted to jot quick notes down and my students absolutely loved borrowing them for their special projects.
With the end of the school year quickly approaching, a set of potted flower pens would make a lovely appreciation gift for that special teacher, principal or administration assistant at your child’s school. Besides being a useful gift, it’s affordable and it’s something the kids can help make! Other than the floral tape, all of the required materials are available at many dollar stores, putting this project at a cost of around 10 dollars or less.
Here’s what you’ll need to create a set of potted flower pens:
- faux flowers
- wire cutters or a pair of utility scissors
- a set of pens
- floral tape (green washi tape will do in a pinch, but floral tape is much easier to work with)
- a clay pot
- acrylic paint
- a paint brush
- small pebbles as a pot filler
Since it does take a little bit of time to dry, I like to start with painting the pot first. Of course you can skip this part and leave your pot its natural colour, but I think painting it gives the finished project more of a personalized, handmade look. Once you’re done, set the pot aside to dry.
Now to transform those plain pens into gorgeous flowers! Start by snipping the individual flowers away from the bunch using your wire cutters or utility scissors. You want the flower stems to be approximately half the length of your pens and the stem to be free of all leaves and little nubs.
With your flowers trimmed and ready to go, wrap your floral tape around the very top of the pen a few times.
Next, take a flower and place the stem right along the pen’s barrel, making sure the base of the flower sits directly above the pen’s end cap.
Now wrap both the pen and stem tightly with tape. This step might take a little bit of getting used to, but a) it really doesn’t have to be perfect and b) by flower number two or three you’ll most likely be an expert! The key here is angling your tape’s path down towards the tip of the pen, which is much easier when using floral tape as it’s got a good amount of give to it. If you’re using green washi tape, just do your best. The finished product is going to look great either way!
Once you’ve wrapped the pen all the way to the bottom, switch directions and wrap your way right back up to the top. This will give your pen a double layer of tape and ensure that your tape end will be at the top of the pen where it will be hidden under the flower petals and stay more secure. Once at the top, cut the tape and press the end down firmly so it stays in place. And that’s it — your first pen is done!
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Now onto the next! Use the same process to create as many flowers as you’d like in your pot. Chances are, you’ll be faster with each one!
When you’ve finished putting together all of your flower pens, it’s time to check back in with your painted pot. By this time, it is more than likely it’ll be fully dry, but if not, a little blast with a blowdryer should take care of any remaining wet spots. When it’s ready, fill the pot nearly to the top with pebbles and begin building your arrangement by sticking the pens down into the rocks.
When you’re done, you’ll have a charming flower pot full of colourful blooms! Just add a little note of appreciation and you’ve got a beautiful end of the school year gift that’s ready to give.
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