Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

by Rita Vainius

As winter continues to run its course, we all become eager for warmer temperatures and the glorious colors of spring. To go along with our Flower theme for March, our kids' project will show you how to make some colorful pansies to brighten your room while we patiently await springtime!

What you will need:

3 skeins of Watercolours threads: one each of Peach Melba, Amethyst and Buttercup
Pearl stamens - one package (a total of 12 stamens)
Floral wire - one package each of #20 gauge and #24 or #26 gauge
Green florist tape - one roll
2 packages leaves - one of large leaves (1 inch approximately) , one of smaller leaves (about 3/4")

Here we go:

Step 1 - Cut one piece of the # 20 gauge wire to 16 - 18 inches. Fold wire in half.

Figure 1

Step 2 - Cut the #24 or #26 gauge wire into 11 pieces, each 4 inches long. Fold them in half. (Figure 1)

Step 3 - Using the Amethyst thread, open the skein by untying or cutting the threads securing the label. Untwist the skein. Cut through the loop in the skein (Figure 2), opposite from the end from where the label was (Figure 3.) Unfold and lay the skein flat in one long piece. (Figure 4).


Figure 2  Figure 3   Figure 4

Step 4 - Cut the thread into 6 pieces, each 2 inches long (Figure 5).

Figure 5

Step 5 - Repeat step 3 with the skein of Buttercup thread.

Step 6 - Cut the Buttercup thread into 4 pieces, each 3 inches long.

Step 7 - Take the stamens and using 5 pieces (Figure 6), which have a total of 10 stamens, one at the end of each piece, and put them through one of the shorter wires, in the fold (Figure 7). Twist the wire together tight around them (Figure 8).


Figure 6  Figure 7  Figure 8 

Step 8 - Put the 6 pieces of Amethyst thread through the 6 pieces of smaller wire, and twist to tighten around threads (Figures 10 and 11).


 Figure 10 Figure 11 

Step 9 - Take the stamens and surround them with the 6 pieces of Amethyst threads (Figures 12 and 13). Holding them with the wires all close together under the threads, wrap the florist tape around the wires close to the threads (Figure 14).


 Figure 12 Figure 13 

Figure 14

Step 10- Take the 4 pieces of Buttercup threads and surround the Amethyst threads with
them (Figure 15). Again wrap the wires with the florist tape for about 1 to 1 inches down the stem (Figure 16).


 Figure 15  Figure 16

Step 11- Place the wrapped threads making up the flower in the loop of the long # 20 gauge wire (Figure 17). Then twist the wire around the stem close to the threads and over the florist tape. Twist the wire around the stem as you move down the stem several times so it all becomes one long stem (Figure 18). Then wrap over this with the florist tape about 2 inches down from the stem, but do not cut the tape.


 Figure 17 Figure 18 

Step 12- Secure one of the large leaves by laying the wire below the leaf next to the stem. Then wrap around the leaf wire and the stem to secure the leaf. About 1 to 1 inches below the first leaf secure the second large leaf in the same way, but place this leaf on the opposite side of the stem from the first one. Do not cut the florist tape while you are doing this since, after all the leaves are attached we will continue wrapping the rest of the tape all the way to the bottom of the stem. Next secure one of the small leaves 3/4 to 1 inch below the second leaf, again on the opposite side of the stem and finish wrapping the stem. You now have a complete pansy which just needs a bit of trimming and touch up to look almost like the real thing , and better yet, it's blossoming right now!

Step 13- Smooth down all the threads so that the are evenly dispersed around the stamens in the center and are laying down fairly flat. The Buttercup threads should be longer than the Amethyst threads. Trim the Buttercup threads to about 1/4 inch longer than the Amethyst threads all around. Then trim the Amethyst threads so that they are all approximately the same length (Figure 19). Bend down the leaves slightly so that they are projecting out from the stem. Behold your completed flower and feel the promise of spring around the corner!

Step 14- Follow steps 1 through 13 to make the second Pansy, substituting the Peach Melba threads for the Amethyst threads in the Pansy you just completed. Now you have a pair of Pansies. If you're really ambitious, or really in a hurry for Spring to arrive, you can make more Pansies using the same colors or substituting other threads to suit your fancy!

Step 15- When you have completed as many Pansies as you want, hold the stems of each flower together and wrap around all of them with the florist tape below the leaves, joining them all together into a posy (bouquet). Then if you want to add a really special touch, add some Baby's Breath sprigs all around the Pansies and secure the stems of the Baby's Breath to the stems of the Pansies by wrapping with the florist tape. You can place your Pansies in a vase where they will last through spring and many more seasons. You can also make a corsage by eliminating all of the leaves except for one large one on each flower and using a shorter stem on each. You can also make a single shorter flower and wear it in your hair. However you display your Pansies, they're sure to bring a fresh breath of spring air your way!



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