A crafty bachelorette party

What's a crafty bachelorette party? Well it's kind of like a regular crafty get together except the craft is folding paper penises. Add in paper flower craft and you can create bouquets, crowns, or corsages for the bride to be. And when you're crafting "origami penises" there's bound to be some laughter.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hosting the crafty bachelorette party pictured in this post for two of my gal pals with upcoming weddings. This was a pre-party on a Saturday afternoon to make bouquets that they can take out on the town during their individual celebrations. 

None of the gals in attendance had ever made paper flowers so I gave a little tutorial. Everyone did great! Each guest folded a penis and made a flower to contribute. Some opted to embellish their paper penis with tattoos and piercings. Scroll through the pics to see all their fabulous creations. 

At the end of this post is everything you need to know about hosting your own crafty bachelorette.

Decorate, cut, fold, and glue.

Decorate, cut, fold, and glue.

Making flowers.

Making flowers.

The brides holding their crafty creations.

The brides holding their crafty creations.

Paper penises in all their glory, drawn on, taped, decoupaged, and pierced!

Paper penises in all their glory, drawn on, taped, decoupaged, and pierced!

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I finished off the bouquets by wrapping the stems with ribbon.

I finished off the bouquets by wrapping the stems with ribbon.

Want to have a party of your own? You're gonna need some templates! (Includes instructions).

You can incorporate paper penis craft into your party in a number of ways and I lay out some options below. Also an FYI; there were 10 girls at the party I hosted and we created enough paper penis's and flowers for two bouquets. You can get a lot done with crafty team work.

Basic activity
Have the crafting be one component of an evening/day/weekend of fun. As a game alternative have everyone decorate and fold a paper penis. Hole punch and attach a pipe cleaner stem. Pair the penises with pre-bought fake or real flowers to create your bouquet. Tie the bouquet together with a ribbon. (Allow for 1 hour of crafty fun. You can especially keep this activity to an hour if there is some prep work done ahead of time to cut out the parts).

Glue a paper flower center inside the paper penis or use a hole punch and pipe cleaners to create stems.

Glue a paper flower center inside the paper penis or use a hole punch and pipe cleaners to create stems.

Advanced
The full shebang. Make the whole party about dirty crafts and spend an evening or afternoon folding paper penises and making flower craft. Instead of pipe cleaners use the floral wire technique in the above picture.

Paper flower craft resources
— Check out the post I wrote about the book Paper to Petal. It's full of options and flower petal templates.
— You could make a flower and penis crown instead of a bouquet. Honestly WTF has this great tutorial that could be modified. She demos several types of flowers. Note that she uses glued crepe to secure her flowers and stems instead of floral tape. For a beginner using floral tape will be easier.
— If you really want to customize your color palette you can dye your crepe paper!

Paper penis materials
Templates!
— Scissors (if you don't own a ton like me ask guests to bring there own)
Glue sticks OR a tub of Yes! Glue. Perfect for paper crafts. Apply with q-tips or craft sticks.
— Things to decorate with (Markers, colored pencils, stickers, washi tape, etc.)
— Hole punch
— Green pipe cleaners for stems
— Ribbon to tie the bouquet together

Optional materials
— Some of my friends were more comfortable with x-actos, rulers, and cutting matte 
— Flower craft supplies (crepe paper, tissue paper, floral tape, floral wire, pips, cotton balls)

Bonus tips and tricks
— It's likely not all the guests will have the same crafty skills. Prep some penises ahead of time so there are options for all skill levels.
— If you make paper flowers I recommend choosing the paper in a limited color palette so everything coordinates.
— During the opening of gifts save all the ribbons and notions so you can incorporate them into the Penis bouquet. 
— At the party I hosted I served fondue along with phallic vegetables because it seemed like the most crafty food one could serve. Well, let's just say there were lots of giggles and wincing when we pulled our vegetables from the cheese. I've got tons of pics here of penises but the fondue photos make me blush so I'm going to spare you. It was however hilarious.

Lastly if you love the idea of the paper penises but aren't throwing a bachelorette party I also sell them as individual cards.

Tie Dyed Paper Flowers

Tie Dye Paper Flowers

You have not time traveled back to the 60's but these petals are sporting some tie dye flower power. Okay, so I did not tie up my paper with marbles and rubber bands but these papers are not store bought. They're dyed using alcohol inks.

I recently went on a little craft supply shopping trip to Castle in the Air in Berkeley to get some high quality Italian crepe papers. While I was in the shop they shared some of their paper flower techniques. As you can see the one I've been playing with is dyeing the papers with alcohol inks.

Because the inks are alcohol based the liquid evaporates quickly leaving the dye and your paper structure exactly as it was before you applied the ink. Previously I've used water colors on crepe paper. With water you have to be careful because it can degrade the paper. These inks are a great alternative. The same would work well on tissue paper which I'm sure you can imagine might melt away when water touches it.

For these flowers I dyed the papers first and then cut out petals and leaves. You could get more detailed by cutting your petals first and then use the inks more methodically to create petals you might find in nature. 

The inks above are still a bit wet on the crepe.

The inks above are still a bit wet on the crepe.

When working with the alcohol inks keep in mind that they will soak into the paper along the paper grain. They can create accents but would probably be difficult for creating detailed drawings on the paper. They're actually designed to be used to dye materials like metal and ceramic. Because of that you need to clean them up with rubbing alcohol or acetone (which worked best for me when I spilled on tile). Lay down some plastic to be on the safe side. You don't want to tie dye your dining room table.

In the photos below I've outlined how I used the inks with the papers. If you're in need of paper flower making resources I've got links at the bottom.

Using white crepe paper as the base I chose just two colors of ink for these flowers. Letting multiple drips soak into the paper and overlaping each other created this pattern. Reminds me a little of ikat textiles.

Using white crepe paper as the base I chose just two colors of ink for these flowers. Letting multiple drips soak into the paper and overlaping each other created this pattern. Reminds me a little of ikat textiles.

I drew lines with all 6 of the inks I bought onto white crepe for a modern circus pattern.

I drew lines with all 6 of the inks I bought onto white crepe for a modern circus pattern.

These were my first experiment and reminded me most of tie dye. I just dripped a limited color palette onto a two toned double thick piece of crepe paper. The split frame at the top of this image shows two sides of the same paper.

These were my first experiment and reminded me most of tie dye. I just dripped a limited color palette onto a two toned double thick piece of crepe paper. The split frame at the top of this image shows two sides of the same paper.

Dripping the ink on patterned paper creates a unique effect as well. I glued (using glue stick) two polka dot sheets of paper (blue and red) together for this example.

Dripping the ink on patterned paper creates a unique effect as well. I glued (using glue stick) two polka dot sheets of paper (blue and red) together for this example.

The left swatch shows two green inks applied to white crepe. The right swatch shows the same inks applied to green crepe.

The left swatch shows two green inks applied to white crepe. The right swatch shows the same inks applied to green crepe.

New to flower making? Some resources to get you started.

— You need supplies! Castle in the Air has a great online shop if you can't get there in person.
— The alcohol inks can be found at scrap booking shops or most likely your favorite craft store.
— The book Paper to Petal is filled with everything you need including templates.
— Lia Griffith makes very realistic flowers both from crepe and printer paper. Her crepe paper tulips would be perfect for accenting with the alcohol inks.
— Brittany Jepsen has a Skillshare class if you'd prefer video over reading/looking at pictures.
— Okay, now you have the alcohol inks and might be wondering; what else can I dye? I first saw these inks being used by Rachel Smith to decorate votive candles.

Peeps poppies, paper, and pink

Peeps poppies, paper, and pink. Easter time is peeps time. It's become a personal tradition to craft a Peeps project this time of year. I've been making paper flowers lately so they became the perfect perch for Peeps. You can find my past Peeps projects; Crown of Peeps here, and Tower of Peeps here. 

I recently saw this quote:

I challenge you to find any other food product where a full one-third of the purchases don’t go to their normal, intended use: eating.

— Brian Bachrach, senior marketing manager of innovation at Just Born

Is that not the truth? I've eaten at least as many Peeps as you see on my tree. I found the above quote on the ultimate Tumblr Peepikidia; Peepin it real.

It's a Peeps bush! The flowers themselves are attached using floral wire to a Christmas decoration I've repurposed. In trying to find a storage place for this branch turned ornament tree I realized it could be kept out of a closet if I nestled dried Starflowers in the branches to springify it. 

The wooden box is covered in silver washi tape and is evidence of it's holiday past. Luckily silver is a neutral.

From my crafting bookshelf: Paper to Petal

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Paper to Petal is a gorgeous book. I can easily lose time looking at all the details in each spread. More than being beautiful it is a recipe book for crafting paper flowers. Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell have meticulously laid out instructions complete with every last material needed for each flower they've shown in the book. This is why I say it's a recipe book. With all cook books that come into my life I look at the recipes for inspiration and then use the ingredients I have on hand. Using this book was no different.

The magenta flowers are based off the books Five-Petal Sweeties and the bigger blooms were my own exploration based on techniques from the book.

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Paper flowers are of course a perfect thing to adorn gifts like the one below. That special wrapping was for a baby shower gift. The flowers used techniques from the Rainbow Ruffle book instructions, just with a bit less ruffle. 

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I used watercolor pencils to accent some of the crepe paper before making the flowers. The leaves are made from tissue most likely saved from a shoe box .

I used watercolor pencils to accent some of the crepe paper before making the flowers. The leaves are made from tissue most likely saved from a shoe box .

There are some other pertinent details about the book. It is Martha approved complete with a lovely forward by Stewart. The back of the book contains petal templates that you can trace or photo copy as well as an extensive list of resources. It is a book I know I'll use for many years. 

Making fall

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Day light savings is over and Halloween has passed. Sometimes in San Francisco the weather doesn't match up with the season. We're not known for our fall foliage so I made some of my own with watercolors and water color pencils.

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I repurposed my Halloween pumpkins. If you follow me on Instagram you'll recognize the sticks from my Halloween decor. I've been really into sticks lately and have been collecting them on outdoor excursions. 

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