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  • Writer's pictureanupcycledartist

In the News Flowers

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

It won’t be too long before newspapers become a relic of the past. In many ways, they are already there. As a matter of fact, I don’t even remember the last time I saw one. I know their eminent demise is for the best, but for me, it’s also a little sad.

Like many others, I grew up with the newspaper being a household staple. They were comfortable, simple, and laidback, unlike their showboating, shiny, full color counterparts – the magazine. There were paper boys that would deliver them outside of your home or apartment. Once brought inside, family members would each take a section to read before trading off for the other sections. They were read in bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and even bathrooms. I am guessing the latter was an early way of multi-tasking...

Besides reading them, they were also used for multiple purposes. My grandmother and great grandmother used them to cover their freshly washed and dried linoleum floors for some reason unbeknownst to me. They were used as kindling to light fireplaces and barbecue grills. They were used to wrap fragile items that were being shipped. Sometimes the cartoon section was used to wrap a child’s birthday gift. Some were stuffed under doors to keep the draft out. We even used them to potty train our precious pets.

In my adult life, I have used newspapers mainly for artistic purposes. Over the years, I have created several items using them that I turned into paper mâché. There has been jewelry, sculptures, bowls, etc. When I was in kindergarten, I remember making roses out of them and then tying them with different colored, fuzzy pipe cleaners. Aaaaaand there’s my version of making flowers out of newspaper that I am going to share with you.

Being that I was a draftsman years ago, I accumulated many different templates. Here is a great one that I used to draw different sized circles on newspaper. If you have one, great, but if not, you can use jar tops, drinking glasses, cans, etc. After drawing the circles using a pencil, cut them all out.

At this point, I take a coarse haired stencil brush and use my different colored chalks to cover the newspaper. You could also use watercolors, markers, or acrylic paints. I just happen to like the subtle chalk effect on mine. You don't even have to be neat, and you can use whatever colors you would like. I use different colors on one circle, but you can use the same color. It doesn't really matter.

Once all of the different sized circles are colored in, I take a metallic pen and go around the edges of each one. I used 4 circles for my flowers, but again, you can use more. Start by placing the largest circle down and then layer up until the smallest one is on top. I then take the point of my scissors and poke a tiny hole in the middle. Then I insert a fastener.

Now I just take each set of fastened circles and crumple them up like crazy. The more wrinkled they become, the more I like them - sort of like my long 100% cotton shirts that I don't iron.

They are so simply constructed, and they look so elegant. I also love the fact that the print shows through, too. I decided that I would use these as an adornment on a package that I think would be just lovely for a holiday gift. As you can see, I wrapped the package with a wide, forest green, grosgrain ribbon topped with a thinner gold glitter ribbon and then adhered the newspaper flowers with double stick tape.

This is just one example of what you can do with these flowers. They could also be attached to a gift bag, a name tag, a notecard, or on a mixed media art piece that can be framed. And after the package is opened, the flowers could be used to 'pretty up' a potty-training pad of newspapers... 'jest' saying. ;)

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