Turning Trash Into Treasure – How to Make Faux Glass Flowers

A bouquet of "faux glass flowers!"

For a one-of-a-kind embellishment that is guaranteed to “steal the show” on your cards or scrapbook pages, try your hand at one of these “faux glass flowers.” The color possibilities are endless!

"Trash" to some is "embellishment" to others (tomato, tomahto)

I know what you’re thinking: trash is trash. Even when it goes into the recycling bin, it’s still trash. And things made from that trash often look kind of… homemade. (As opposed to “handmade.” Or “custom made.”)

But what if you could turn that trash into something you couldn’t buy in any store? What if it took only a few minutes to do? And what if it was fun, to boot?

Making these flowers checks all those boxes and more. You can customize them to fit any color scheme, plus they’re practically indestructible.

Let me show you how…

Note: I am in the exciting process of learning to create video tutorials. It’s never too late to teach this old dog a few new tricks. Please bear with me, and I’ll update this tutorial in the near future with a snazzy new video version!

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Acetate “trash” – think of the bubble packaging that takes a box knife to cut through (and maybe a few colorful words)
  • Flower dies (I used Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers, Spellbinders Rose Creations and a couple of flower punches whose names I don’t remember)
Flower dies for punching out the acetate shapes
Any flower shape will do - the more varied, the better

It doesn’t matter what shapes you use because the outcome is going to be changed anyway. So try all of your dies to see what happens!

Different inks used to make faux glass flowers
The colors all have one thing in common - alcohol

This is where things start getting fun. For the colors, you’ll need:

The flower shapes with colors pounced on in a random manner
Work it until you're satisfied

Each piece is one of a kind

1. Squeeze a couple of drops of each color onto the pad. Keep them fairly close together so they can start the blending process with the first strokes of the pad.

2. If desired, squeeze a drop or two of blending solution (or alcohol) onto a corner of the pad and pounce here and there on the flower shape. Watch how the color moves away from the solution to form interesting designs. Repeat with all shapes for each flower. Let dry.

3. Ink up a finely-detailed stamp with StazOn ink and stamp each flower shape. I usually use a fine script background stamp.

A fine script background stamp inked up with Staz On black ink
For added interest and visual texture
Flower shapes stamped with fine script
Starting to look good

4. Now for the finishing touch before we finish up. The edges need defining, don’t you think? Some crafters use acrylic paints, but that’s pretty messy because they take ages to dry, even with a heat gun. I just use more of the same StazOn applied with a bitty Finger Sponge Dauber. (I use these babies  for ALL of my edge-inking needs.)

Edges of plastic flower shapes darkened with StazOn ink
NOW we're talking

Now turn these flowers to "faux glass"

This is where the REAL fun begins, and I apologize that I don’t have a photo or two for you. I will explain it instead and will have that video up PDQ!

Take your heat tool (mine is a no-name cheapo that gets HOT… FAST) and turn it on in one hand while holding a flower shape in the other. VERY gently and gradually, focus the hot air onto each petal until it starts to melt/shrink. Once it starts, it happens FAST. Move on to the next petal, then the next. It might take a petal or two to get the hang of it, but you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. This is where the petals take on a life of their own.

Notes:

  • If a petal starts changing shape too quickly, just steer the heat tool away from it – it’ll stop melting. Then gradually bring the heat back to the petal and continue.
  • If a petal starts bending backward, set the flower down (turn off the heat tool first) and quickly mold the petal in the shape you want. It’ll be pliable for a few seconds until it cools. Then continue until all the petals are shaped.
Finished faux glass flowers
Same technique, 3 different looks

Once you’ve curled and melted all of your flower shapes, it’s time to attach the smaller ones to the larger ones using a glue dot. Make sure you offset the petals of the smaller ones.

Add a center gem or pearl, and voila, you have a rainbow of faux glass flowers!

I use mine on cards such as this “just because” card I sent to a good friend during this crazy pandemic, but you could put them on scrapbook pages, a purse, a headband, a denim jacket… the uses for these decorations could be endless!

Now it's your turn

Try your hand at making one (or many!) of these fun faux glass flowers and share them on Facebook. We’d love to see your color combination(s) and the shapes you’ve used!

We’ll wait for you – happy crafting!

A bouquet of "faux glass flowers!"
Who knew trash could look so pretty?
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Hi, I'm Shea!

Hi, I'm Shea!

Do you prefer handmade to store bought? Would you rather make something than buy it? If you want to tap into your inner creative genius and say, "Yes, I made that," stick with me. From greeting cards to soap to old-fashioned desserts "from my mother's recipe box," (sprinkled with tales of life as an almost-senior), you'll learn that handmade beats the socks off store bought!

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