Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Ready For Spring" Flower Pot Stakes

I don't know about you, but for me it's hard to be psyched about this particular time of year. It's vacillating between warm and freezing, so on warm days, even though you may WANT to do spring-y things like starting flats of seedlings or pots of flowers, it'll be awhile before they poke their heads through the surface. In the meantime, flower pots filled with dirt are just depressing. :(

I went to JoAnn's recently and saw that they had pots and pots of "flower pot stakes" - little stakes with beautiful toppers. I told my sister, "Forget flowers... I'll just decorate with pots of flower stakes!" :) I went a little crazy and filled up my cart... however, by the time I reached the checkout line, I decided I could make my own! I returned the manufactured stakes to their pots, did a quick cruise around the store for some materials, and returned home to get started!

These are easy and fun and the possibilities for color combinations/toppers are endless. While the ones pictured below are in fun springtime colors, I can't wait to do some in black and silver for year-round use.

"Ready For Spring" Flower Pot Stakes
First, gather your supplies:

2 (or more) colors of paint in coordinating or contrasting colors (for this tutorial, I'm using two shades of purple, one in a flat finish and one in a metallic finish)
1 1/8" dowel, cut into 12" lengths
5 wooden beads with at least a 1/8" hole
2 12" lengths of coordinating or contrasting ribbon
1 "topper" - I used a 25-cent painted wooden piece from Michaels, but you could use a pretty button, larger bead, molded clay, whatever! :) I know some of you are way more creative than I am and don't need to resort to buying prepainted wooden pieces!
A paintbrush (not pictured)
A hot glue gun and glue (not pictured)
Okay - step one!
The first thing you need to do is get your beads painted. There are lots of ways to paint beads - on a string, on a drinking straw, etc, but this is what I did: I grabbed some bamboo shish-kebab skewes, bent them slightly like this -
And slipped a bead on it!

This holds it in place while you paint. When I was done with one bead, I set in in a drinking glass and moved on to the next.

If you make your "bends" at different heights, the painted beads won't bump into each other as they dry.
You're going to want to give all the beads 2 coats of paint.

Ooh, look, so pretty - and this isn't even our craft! :)
While your beads are drying, grab your dowel, ribbon, topper, and hot glue gun and get the glue heating.

Take your topper and apply a long line of glue from top to bottom.

Press the stake into the line of glue and hold it (by the other end, or your fingers will suffer!) in place until it cools.

Ta-Da! Look at your happy topped stake. :)

Lay it face-down and lay a tiny drop of hot glue about 1/4" below the bottom of your topper.

Find the center of your ribbon and attach it.

When cooled, flip it over and tie a pretty bow.

Okay, time to go back to those beads (which are dry by now, right?) Thread your beads onto the bottom of the dowel, alternating colors.
Push them uop snugly against the ribbon, place the dowel face-down, and lay a drop of hot glue directly below the last bead.

Find the center of the second ribbon, and attach it to the dowel.

Flip it over, and tie the bottom ribbon into a cute bow. You're done!

Isn't that adorable? You can change up the colors of the beads and ribbons, and the kind of topper, and create a whole potful!

This bee stake is my favorite... it's destined for my beekeeper-sister's flower pots!

Romantic red and gold stake (still working out my Valentine's Day inspiration, I guess, lol).

I hope you have fun making these while waiting for spring! :)

No comments: