Monday, December 17, 2012

DIY: Flower Sheet Music Ornaments

 This year I decided I was going to give all of my students small gifts at their last lesson of the year. I did last year, except it was in the baked variety. I think I gave them pumpkin bread, but since I don't remember I have to conclude that they don't either.  Thanks to pinterest, I got a few ideas for some sheet music art and decided to see what I could come up with to create my own sheet music ornaments. I did two different kinds, the one you can find here and the other I'll show you how to make. The modern paper ornaments I did half the size that the instructions give, and they were perfect sized ornaments, I just did sheet music strips on the outside to make them more music-ish.
      The end result was (supposed to be) that each student got a cupcake and an ornament, but I had cupcake-counting/cupcake-frosting issues and in the end a few students didn't end up getting cupcakes. I felt bad, but what can you do?
Chocolate-peppermint-candy-cane cupcakes: yum!

  So, without further delay, here's how you can make your own lovely sheet music ornaments.
( A few credits in order: I combined ideas from this post and this post that I found on pinterest to create my own.)
probably about half of the ornaments i made total...

Sheet music ornament
This project takes a lot of time. Don't try to do this for 20 students unless you either have a lot of time ( I didn't), or are incredibly foolish (I was...) and (like I did), have no idea what you are getting yourself into.
Consider yourself sufficiently warned.
Sheet music
neutral colored card stock (for the flowers)
cardboard or dark colored card stock (for the template)
faux half-pearl stickers (I got mine at Michael's in the card making section, I used gold and brown colored)
gold embroidery thread
a hot glue gun
pencil and an eraser
scotch tape
(although we did run out of scotch tape half-way through so I used packing tape and it was okay)
Step #1: Copy some sheet music onto card stock.
If you, like me, love music, you too will shudder at the mere thought of someone desecrating old sheet music by cutting it up. Copy it onto nice colored card stock. You'll be glad you did, and your music-loving friends will be glad that you spared them all that emotional pain.
     I used some cream colored card stock I had leftover from using it as a cover for my transcripts, so I had a whole package of one color. I used the facsimile of the autograph manuscript in the back of my J.S. Bach 6 Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. I also used a part of my Bruch Violin Concerto, the part that's not completely murdered with pencil markings of fingerings and bowings and dynamics from three different teachers.
exhibit A: card stock + sheet music
Step #2: Using a different color card stock, create a petal template.

I used black, and you can see the shape I used in the picture below. 

tracing the template
The petals ended up being about 1 1/2" wide and
I think about 2" tall, but I can't remember exactly.
Step #3: Trace 6 petals on the back side of the card stock and cut them out.
If you are planning on making more than one flower, then trace as many as you plan on needing. Six petals will make one flower, though you can change up the number of petals; some that I made had 7, some had 6. I found the fastest way to do it was to trace until I had filled my whole sheet, and then cut them all out at once. Mass production! Make sure you trace them in pencil....
Be careful about tracing too close to the margins,
depending on how much of a margin your sheet music had. I cut the margins off before
I traced the petals so that I didn't have huge white gaps on some of my petals.

Step #4: Erase the pencil marks.

This is important. Your flower will look a lot sloppier if you are lazy and leave the pencil marks on. Believe me. It's a pain to erase marks on every petal, but it's worth it.

Step #5: Create your petals.
     From the base of the petal (the pointed end is the tip, the straight end is the base) fold the petal in half, but don't crease it all the way to the tip. Make sure you are folding the blank side under, so that the mountain crease is on the music side of the paper.
Fold in half length-wise but don't crease it
all the way to the tip, only about a third of the way.
     Next, fold up the sides to meet the center. Once again, just make sure the corners meet the mountain fold of your previous fold, don't worry about creasing all the way to the tip. It will look better if you don't.
Your end result should look like this:

Now pinch the folded base together and use a tiny piece of scotch tape to hold it together. Once it was taped, I held the base together and bent the tip of the petal up. Use enough tape that it will hold, but a small enough amount that you can't see it. You want to tape it across the folded base so that it doesn't show from top or bottom.
When you first pinch the base of the petal together it will look something like this:

When you bend the tip up it will look like this:
Repeat on the rest of the petals!
Step #6: Glue your flower together.
     I used a hot glue gun to glue my flowers together, and I don't think that even a really strong craft glue would hold this together well, though you could experiment.
 I found that gluing the petals in pairs worked best.   Here's the method I developed out of my madness:
You are going to want your two petals to end up like this:

So put a tiny dot of hot glue on the side of one of the petals and, turning it upside down....

You can see where I taped in this picture. Make sure you don't
 use too much glue, you don't want to burn yourself!
 ...pinch it together with its partner until the glue has set.
Repeat until you have your three sets of two, and then using the same method, glue two of the sets together.

Then you have two options. Either put glue on each of the remaining sides and put the last section in, or put glue on one side, insert the section and hold it on that side, and when it sets then glue the other side to complete the circle. I did it the latter way most of the time.
Now turn it right side up and put a dot of glue right on the center. You can see all the lovely hot glue strings all over mine, in case you are as clumsy as I am with a hot glue gun, just pull the strings off. Hold your flower in place until the glue is almost set....

And then place your half pearl in the middle, right on top of the glue dot to hide it.
When I did this I would press the center piece down, grasping the flower with my thumb on the half-pearl and my index finger on the bottom of the flower still in the center, and I was always surprised by how strong the center of the flower was. But, just in case, I always turned it over and put a little glue in the cavity in the bottom of the wrong side of the flower:
Let it dry upside down, and your flower is almost ready to go! I threaded mine with some gold embroidery floss to make it an ornament.


This is also a great teacher gift too, my sister needed teacher gifts so we made two of these, and then for her literature teacher she had text paper with words on it and we made a flower out of that. For her geography teacher she had text paper with a map on it which we copied onto the card stock and used to make two more flowers. They all looked beautiful!

For my students I paired them with cupcakes:

Devil's food cupcakes with peppermint frosting,
sprinkled with candy cane bits. YUM!
Merry Christmas!

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