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Nature Crafts: Deconstructing Flowers

Over a week ago now, I bought myself bright flowers and displayed them in tinted jars.  I enjoyed them every single day. Today, when I glanced over at my kitchen table, the flowers looked a little tired. But there was still a little perkiness in the petals.

How often to we glance at a simple flower without truly appreciating the complex wonder contained in each one?  I was challenged to do this very thing by photographer Qi Wei Fong and his exploded flowers series. So, before I disposed of the gerberas, I thought: why don’t I take a few moments to examine them with the kids? The activity took less than 10 minutes and gave me opportunity to reinforce the wonder all around us, if only we take the time to look.

Exploded Flowers by Qi Wei Fong

Deconstructing Flowers

Materials

Flower

Scissors

Hard surface

It’s best to work out of the wind, so we found out very quickly!

nature crafts -- Decontrusting flowers

Cut the stem off.

nature crafts -- Decontrusting flowers -- cut stem off

Pluck the petals and arrange of a white piece of paper, cardboard or directly on a table.

nature crafts -- Decontrusting flowers -- pluck petals

Display.

nature crafts -- Decontrusting flowers -- arrange petals

exploded flowers

I love these unforced times, when anyone can join in if they like.

I said, “Hey, I’m going to pull apart these flowers to see all the bits. Anyone want to do it with me?”

The two little ones hovered for a bit, interjecting, chatting and taking turns at pulling petals, and then they left to continue their game.  Then, my 9-year-old daughter and I were left, and we sat together plucking petals and arranging them.  It was a truly lovely experience.

When we finished, I called out to no one in particular, “We’re done if you want to have a look! I’ll leave it on the table for the rest of the afternoon, so if you’re interested, come and look at all the amazing pieces of just one flower!”

It didn’t really matter if they got messed up. I left them there until dinner. Everyone looked, and loved it. I watched the children pause, every time they walked past the table.

nature crafts -- Decontrusting flowers

The petals are in the bin now. I wonder, was that a waste of time? To sit and pluck the petals off flowers? I mean, who has time to do that, right? Well, I do, I guess. I’ve learned the value of just doing stuff.  Capturing the moment.  Acting on an idea and threading it into our life…because I have more time than I think. Time woven, not caught.

Next time I look at a flower, I will have a little more wonder than before. And I hope the kids do too. Yes, time well spent.

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Sheri
    August 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Wow Kelly what a beautiful idea! I’m glad you were inspired (challenged) to do this–as I never would have thought to do it. Now I want to go hunt some flowers just so I can tear them apart! 🙂 Will be adding this to Pinterest and sharing on FB.

    You ALWAYS inspire me!

  • Reply
    Kelly Be A Fun Mum
    August 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks Sheri. This comment rocks my socks! x

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    That is not a waste of time, we rush so much & our kids are now wrapped up in this hectic world we live. How nice to sit, pull apart flowers, re-arrange & then admire the beauty of all the flower parts. I’m inspired to do this with my kids when I next have flowers in the house. Thanks for the tip!:)

  • Reply
    Squiggly Rainbow
    August 23, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Love this, just gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Gaby
    August 25, 2012 at 2:42 am

    This is totally awesome! I just found your blog, and loved this project so much that my little girl and I already picked and deconstructed one flower and turned it into a pretty cool collage :). And we will go out to pick some more once the baby wakes up! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    Kirsty@BowerbirdBlue
    August 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    That’s a totally new idea and the result is really beautiful. Look out flowers I think some plucking is headed your way!

  • Reply
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    Renee Veldman
    January 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I absolutely love the incredible ideas you share – so simple but so effective! Can’t wait to try this with my girls.

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    Kristin Alicia
    July 25, 2018 at 9:32 am

    What a creative idea, Kelly. I would have never thought of that. These are really beautiful. By the way, gerberas are one of my favorite flowers.

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