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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Petal to the Metal!

Husband is in the middle of a monster road trip, somewhere in Arkansas, on his way to Texas for the summer. I have a field trip to go on tomorrow, and then report cards to do, class awards to decide, files to update, assessments to grade, gifts to make, and a class to corral for FIVE. More. Days.

Tonight, I should have been productive but I wasn't. At all. And it felt gooood. Life is moving FAST right about now, isn't it?

So, Wednesday of last week, I decided that a better Mother's Day idea for my class just wasn't coming to me, and I decided to go with an easy one- flower pens.

I'm sure most of you have made these before. If not, they are completely easy. I'm thinking of making some flower mechanical pencils for next year that ONLY get to be used at my guided reading table. (Hopefully, flowers would make it obvious where my pencils disappeared to!)

Basically, get some fake flowers. Pick out the best looking ones. I find that I do well at Dollar Tree, but I hear that these are easy to find at thrift stores, too.

I get 5-6 flowers for a dollar, usually. Start out by bending each flower away from the bunch.
Because these flowers do still have wires in the stems, I used a pair of scissors to cut the plastic.

Then, I just bent the wire back and forth a couple of times until it broke.

Keep doing this until you have eleventy-billion flowers. For me, I wanted my students to choose 2 flowers each, so I went a little crazy. They were so cute- some even knew their mom's favorite colors or flowers!

Now, find some pens. I snagged most of these from the "parent donations" bin in our supply room. Smoother pens are better, but any will do. My sample was made from an old hotel pen.
Check that the flower stem is not longer than the pen (and re-cut if it is). Then, start wrapping the floral tape around the pen a few times at the top. Floral tape is a little stickier on the outside of the roll, usually, but it's pretty hard to tell. It will stick either way, but not immediately. Starting the tape on the pen was the hardest part for my students!

Once you have it around the pen 5-6 times, stick the flower stem next to it and wrap tape around both, together, at least 4 times. Floral tape will stretch, so be sure you pull it tight.

From here, pull the tape and rotate the pen!

At the bottom of the pen, pull hard enough to tear the tape and then press it down. It will stick to itself. 

If you wrapped just a layer or two, your cap might fit. I had a kid or two in the class that were insistent that their moms would want the caps. (I don't know if that's inside their purses, or what...) 

My favorite thing about this project is that, when I first showed the kids, they gave me this look like, "Yeah right! I won't be able to make it look like THAT." And then, really, most of them did! They were so proud when they were done.

My worry the night before was how to make this look presentable. After Dollar Tree, my next stop was Hobby Lobby, where I found the floral tape for less than two dollars and the "vases" for 40% off.

They're can coozies! I just hot glued a cute piece of ribbon around each one. Ta-Da!

These make great easy gifts that the kids can really make. I know Mother's Day crafts are over and done, but a bouquet of flower pens could make a great end-of-the-year gift for the school secretary who essentially runs the school, that Title I teacher who works her tail off, or those room moms that deserve a little something extra.

The kids really enjoyed this, and I helped small groups through it as the rest worked on writing a short essay about what makes their mom so great.

I was pretty happy with how they turned out, and I like that it's a practical gift a mom (or grandma, or important female in their lives!) can really use.


  1. ha! That is too funny! The things they say sometimes! I love the Mother's Day gifts!

    Totally Terrific Teaching Tools

    Lohren Nolan

  2. I love this! Such a cute idea and cheap! :) The city i applied to was clark-pleasant. I think it's near the center. I actually did check lafayette but they didn't have any posts. I also looked at madison because it's so beautiful but again, no posts. We'll see what happens. I'll keep ya updated! Have a good weekend!

    Fun in Title Math

  3. Ahh I love this! I am totally making some for myself. I've always seen them, but never knew how to make them. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm not too crafty, so you might need to send some of your students my way!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  4. LOL Oprah.

    I like the pens, but I love the idea of the guided reading table pencils. I have special pencils that I purchased with bees on them and I throw a tantrum if I see them anywhere but my table, but kids are sneaky. Bad little people.

    Great idea with the koozies!
    Buzzing with Ms. B

  5. These are adorable!!! I have never made these pens before, but have always wanted to!! I always leave my pens all over the classroom, so I'm thinking this may be a good way to not lose them, since they are so bright and colorful!! And ribbon is amazing... it can seriously make anything look pretty!!!

    Lessons with Laughter

  6. Thank you for visiting my blog and for the sweet comment!! I am your newest fan and follower!! The flower craft is cute!!

    The 3AM Teacher
    Visit The 3AM Teacher FB Page

  7. I love these pens! I need to make some. And I love the idea for Mother's Day. Maybe if I can find floral tape at the dollar store (idk if they sell it there...?), we'll make them too! Thanks for the tip!
    Teaching in the Valley


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