It was love at first sight when I first saw a poinsettia in a magazine, many years ago. I wanted to have one, but they weren't available in our florist shops back then, like they are today. I managed to get a few cuttings, just a few days before Christmas, but they had to grow more before turning into a bushy plant, with red-colored leaves. I studied the picture in that magazine, over and over again, admiring the beauty of the poinsettia flowers and then an idea occurred to me: I could make a fake one, out of colored paper. Nowadays, on Christmas, the stores are full with fake poinsettias made of paper or plastic, which look pretty good, almost real. But they weren't there when I wanted them, so I went on with my plan.
I always save the nice colored paper bags or wrappers from food or other things I get, which I think will serve me for making crafts, so I knew I had to have something I could use to make a fake poinsettia. I searched for some red colored paper and I found a few sheets of corrugated paper in all colors, from the flower bouquets my daughter and I received during the years. I took the red one and drew the shape of a poinsettia leaf on it with a pencil, then cut it off from the sheet and used it as a pattern for making more leaves. When I had enough leaves, I started to make the flowers. I glued the leaves together with a simple glue, by laying the next petal over the other so they would look like a star, as the real flower looks like.
The flower was ready and I was happy with it - as stylized as it was - but now it needed a few stylized stamens too. I saw they were coming out from the centre of the flower and they seemed like some small beads, or so it seemed to me. At that time I didn't know that those stamens were, in fact, the real poinsettia flowers and that what I was calling "flowers" were in fact the colored bracts. I decided to use a few pearl beads for making the fake stamens which I sewed in the middle of the flower, with a needle and a red thread. But first I had to glue a small square of corrugated paper in the middle of the flower, for holding the beads onto the flower. I used longer threads for each bead, which I tied up with a knot after getting it through the paper, so the beads would stay still in the middle of the fake poinsettia. The long threads were meant to be useful for tying the poinsettias to any Christmas decoration I would want to use it for, such as wreaths or candle holders, made of cones and fir tree branches.
Since I was into Christmas crafting, I was observing any fake poinsettia I saw in the movies or on TV shows, decorating the rooms and studios, and another idea occurred to me after I saw some gorgeous shiny gold fake poinsettias: I could make some of those too, out of an old shiny gold chocolates box I had. I always save any shiny gold wrappers for my Christmas crafts, such as the shiny gold coffee bags or a cake box like this one in the picture, which is my latest aquisition. I'll use it for making more golden poinsettias for this Christmas. For the golden fake poinsettias I used the same leaf pattern, but since they were made of shiny cardboard I couldn't use glue to stick the petals together because they slipped. I used duct tape instead, on the dull back of the flower, sticking the opposite petals with a long piece of duct tape, so the tips of the leaves would be close together in the middle of the flower.
For the stamens I used long stripes of golden coffee bags. I took one and made a knot in the middle, then bent over the two parts of the stripe. For making the "stalk" of the stamen, as accurate as possible, I rolled the stripes in the shape of a tight spiral, then rolled transparent duct tape over it to keep it stiff.
I made several stylized stamens, then stuck a few together in a clump, with duct tape. I made a hole in the middle of the flower with the scissors, through the duct tape from the back of the flower and inserted the stamens clump through that hole. I stuck the stamens clump to the back of the flower with 2 or 3 more duct tape stripes, then tied the clump with a piece of wire so I can attach it on any Christmas decoration.
Last Christmas I had some spare time which I thought I could use to make more fake poinsettias for decorating the Christmas tree. This time I used a red colored paper from a bag I saved. The petals were easy to be glued together, leaving a small hole in the middle. I had a better idea for the stamens which proved to be easier than the other ones I made before: I used small shiny gold chocolate foil wrappers which I save and put between my cookbook pages. I folded the foil on its length until it became very thin, then twisted it and bended the tip, so it would look like a stalk with a round tip. I tied four of the fake stamens together and stuck them through the hole from the middle of the flower.
I'm using my fake poinsettias for decorating my big Christmas tree, the Christmas wreaths, the Christmas railing or a pinecone candle holder I also made. I save all the Christmas ornaments I make, including the fake poinsettias, but also the pinecone wreath, fruit basket, Christmas tree and candleholder, to decorate my home every Christmas.
I hope you will enjoy making fake poinsettias as much as I did and will decorate your Christmas ornaments with it. Nothing compares to the Christmas crafts you make yourself, thus saving some good money!
Merry Christmas everyone and A Happy New Year!