Saturday, November 12, 2005

Book Review - Layer by Layer - Collage Projects for Home Decorating

Layer by LayerLayer by Layer: Collage Projects for Home Decorating
Publisher: Martingale and Company; (July, 2004)
ISBN: 1564775429
Paperback: 96 pages

Ready to expand your craftsmaking skills beyond the typical paper crafts project? Try applying collage to a well-worn or plain household item to give it new life. Take a boring wooden wastebasket, charger plate or clock base, decoupage a cut-out image or two, glue on a few embellishments, and apply your altered art skills to something the whole family can enjoy. That’s the premise behind Martingale & Company’s "Layer by Layer: Collage Projects for Home Decorating," a collection of 15 projects that tap into techniques near and dear to a paper crafter’s heart.

The projects in this paperback were created by multiple crafts artisans, rather than one author. There’s both good news and bad news with this particular compilation.

Readers can learn from the different techniques and tools used to apply materials to a variety of surfaces. For example, Saralyn Ewald favored pH Neutral PVA Adhesive and Spray Adhesive when layering background paper on her Collage Wastebasket (pages 9-12). By comparison, Genevieve A. Sterbenz preferred High-Tack White Glue and Matte-Finish Decoupage Glue when applying papers to a similar surface in her Travel Desk Box project (pages 77-80). Each approach produces a different look, increasing your personal knowledge of why you'd use one glue over another.

Is this book for beginning, intermediate or advanced collage artist? I’m not really sure. Some projects contain sparse instructions while others contain very wordy steps. I guess a mission statement of the targeted audience would have helped the authors gear their projects accordingly. But maybe the publishers wanted to address a variety of skill levels. Personally, I felt the book lacked consistency...and not just because of the varying difficulties among the projects.

Each of the 15 projects has step-by-step instructions and Designer’s Tip items in highlighted boxes. Not all of the tips are particularly insightful, as in "to reuse your foam brush, be sure to wash it..." A little obvious, right? In a few cases, the Designer’s Tip boxes were nothing more than filler.

Finally, if the editors wanted to create a collection of projects that all crafters could understand, they missed one important visual tool – step-by-step images. Sure, each project has at least one full-color photograph of the finished project. But the numbered instructions would have been infinitely clearer with the addition of thumbnails for each step. I’ve got to hand it to Genevieve, though. Her Cake Plate and Dome (pages 51-56) has detailed line drawings, complete with call-outs, to aid the crafter in positioning design elements. And Jill MacKay has a similar drawing in her Mosaic Candle Luminary (pages 41-45), along with its legend on tile colors.

By the way, not all of the projects in this book are based on paper crafting. You may have noticed that the last two projects use mosaic tiles. It doesn’t hurt to branch out of your comfort zone once in a while.

In summary, if you're looking for a book that meets one particular crafts interest or skill level, look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a book with something for everyone plus an eclectic mix of teaching approaches, this is a good choice.

Product Resource Guide
  • Buy this book at

  • Article Description: Transfer your paper crafting skills to home décor with this book for the collage lover

    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    Technique – Make a Distressed Paper Tag

    Having just finished decorating a cardboard box for a Michaels Arts and Crafts store demo, I felt something was missing. It needed a little extra oomph to finish it off and I knew just what was in order – a distressed tag of some kind. Sure, there are several ways to get this look, but for now, I've chosen something relatively easy...working with ink.

    A representative of FiberScraps, makers of the E-Z Walnut Ink used here, demonstrated her approach to this technique for me at a crafts trade show. She provided me with a sample bottle for use in this article. I really like using the product because it is not messy at all. The ink bottle works well for stamping and stippling, too. Now don't limit yourself to just using Walnut Ink. Check out the FiberScraps site for more shades or rummage around your existing inkpads for some interesting color combinations. I sure did!

    My Materials & Tools
  • Manilla paper hang tag(s), available in different sizes from office supply stores
  • Bottle of Original E-Z Walnut Ink #FS-102 2 Oz. Bottle with dauber applicator by FiberScraps
  • Memories Acid Free Dye Ink Pad in Sand by Stewart Superior Corp.
  • Brown, copper, gold and silver pigment inkpad combo, like Ultimate Inkpad Paintbox2, in Precious Metals #13010 by ColorBox/Clearsnap
  • Compact Mini-IronTM by Clover Needlecraft

    My Steps
    Click to enlarge images. Click the back button to return to this article.)

    1. Take a standard paper tag, any size, and remove the string.

    2. Gather your ink supplies. Pick any combination of beige, brown, walnut and/or earth-toned inkpads, re-inkers or ink bottles with daubers. You can even use sponges with any ink to get the look you want. The choice is up to you.

    3. Crumple the tag in your hand, perhaps starting by simply folding it in your palm. Continue to crumple the tag at different angles. Be gentle and selective when crumpling -- too many creases and your design may look too busy or muddy when the tag dries.

    4. Flatten the tag somewhat. Using a direct-to-paper inking approach, apply the beige or sand inkpad directly to the hills or creases of the tag. You want to create a little three-dimensional contrast between the different shades of brown, if you can.

    5. Grab one of the brown pads from the inkpad combo and apply it to the tag as well.

    6. Dab the brown applicator ink on the flat valleys or uncrinkled areas of the tag. Depending on how much of the original tag color you'd like to remain, you can apply a light coat of this wet ink or a heavy coat for deeper color saturation.

    7. Highlight here and there with one of the copper pads from the inkpad combo. You might even brush this color on the edges of the tag to create a "halo" effect. Try a bit of gold ink, if you're bold.

    8. Let the tag dry overnight, out in the open. I've experimented with sandwiching an inked tag in between paper towels and I've experimented with putting the tag out on the porch. Try different drying approaches for different looks.

    9. The next day, if you'd like to set the ink and make the tag flatter, iron it on low heat using a press cloth between the iron and tag. Now many crafters suggest ironing crumpled tags, including well-known artist Tim Holtz, who was seen antiquing tags for a Distressed Tag Journal Project on the Carol Duvall Show. In my box project, I didn't bother to iron the tag because I liked the crinkled look better. Eventually, I ironed my distressed tags for other projects, though.

    I really like the Clover Mini-iron, mainly because I didn't have to set up the ironing board to use it and the small head meant I was less likely to burn myself. Don't let the small size of the tip fool you -- it does get hot! If you don't have a crafts iron, you can use a clothes iron as long as you don't plan to use it on clothes anymore. You never know what your iron will pick up and transfer to your favorite shirt, so don't risk it! I remember using a good iron on a project, only to transfer some unwanted bits and pieces to a shirt the next day. Well, I learned that lesson the hard way.

    10. When you're ready to add your tag to one of your paper crafts creations, tie your distressed tag to some fiber (or tie some fiber to your tag). Either way, you're ready to embellish.

    You can use your tag on a greeting card, on a scrapbook page or, like in my example (see below), hang it from a paper box.

    Project Tips
  • When crumpling your tag, don't study it too much. Be random and let the creases fall where they may.
  • Create a watermark using a rubber stamp, clear ink and clear embossing powder. Apply these before you add any brown ink to the tag. Your clear image will appear ghostlike or ethereal.
  • You can add beads or buttons or bits of lace to your tag, if you want. Mix it up with different additions to your antiqued creation.
  • For more tips on distressing paper, be sure to visit the Rubber Art Stamping site. Editor Cecile Pryor has two articles on "Getting The Old-Fashioned Look."

    Reading and Viewing Recommendations
  • Tag Creations, a special issue of Paper Crafts magazine
  • Tags Reinvented: New Approaches to Creating Scrapbook Tabs, by Erikia Ghumm
  • Its All About Cards And Tags, by Nancy M. Hill
  • An Altered Journey with Tim Holtz (DVD), Studio: PageSage
  • (Using) Walnut Ink, by Beverly Seymour (Author), Suzanne McNeill (Editor)

    Product Resource Guide
    · Order your E-Z Walnut Ink at FiberScraps
    · Find Manila Shipping Tags
    · Clover Mini Iron
    · ColorBox Pigment Ink Pads
    · Walnut Ink Antiquing Solution 2 Oz Spray
    · Tim Holtz Distress Ink Stamp Pads
    · Most project photos taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera
    · Browse for Paper Crafts Books at

    Article Description: Need an altered style embellishment to enhance a greeting card or paper maché box? Try antiquing a paper hang tag for that shabby chic look.
  • Monday, June 20, 2005

    Getting Organized - Sort Your Ephemera

    I wish I had all the shelves, drawers, cabinets, totes and containers I would ever need for paper crafting. But like many crafters, my storage solutions are often seat-of-the-pants and at the expense of aesthetics. Sometimes I just don't have the money, time or patience to find one more container for one more project.

    I started "bagging it" when I began participating in crafts swaps. A crafts host would announce a theme -- say, celestial artist trading cards -- and I would start hoarding related ephemera (i.e. stars, moons and planets) in a gallon-sized, zippable plastic food bag. If I had several swaps in mind, I'd have a bag for each.

    Click to Enlarge
    Ephemera Sorted by Theme

    For labeling, I chose a temporary fix. Rather than write directly on the bags with indelible marker, I'd create a small label on plain paper and adhere it with clear packing tape. I'd fold a tiny end of the tape back onto itself to create a tab for easy removal. When I finished making the swaps, I removed the label and saved the bag for the next theme. Soon I gathered materials in anticipation of themes. Now I have a bin full of different bags, waiting for the creative muse to strike.

    But sorting by theme doesn't always meet my needs, I've found. There are days when I'd rather do art based on color or texture. One day I was in the mood for everything Egyptian, but I didn't have enough ephemera on this theme. After rummaging through my bags and bins, I pulled together lots of gold and metallic items, which satisfied my artistic appetite.

    Click to Enlarge
    Ephemera Sorted by Type or Color

    Another nice thing about "bagging it," is the portability. I can grab exactly what I need for a crafts session. It saves lots of time in pre-class preparation.

    What have YOU done to organize your crafts space? Let me know!

    Additional Reading
  • More Ephemera, by Beth Cote, Suzanne McNeill

  • Product Resource Guide
  • Words Ephemera, by Hot Off The Press

  • Vintage Ephemera, by Hot Off The Press

  • Buy your craft supplies at

  • Wholesale Arts & Crafts Supplies

  • Most project photos on this page were taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera

  • Article Description: Are your paper crafts ephemera, found art and other materials taking over your life and home? Try this quick fix.

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    Project - Make a Mini Book From Found Materials

    At the coffee shop the other day, I found myself eyeing yet another paper coffee sleeve. You know the ones. They're brown cardboard, to protect your hands from the heat, and imprinted, to advertise the business. Most coffee sleeves are either corrugated or embossed with a design, making them perfect for paper crafts. The next time you finish a latte at Starbucks, remove the sleeve from your coffee cup to take home for this project.

    A Penny for Your Travels - CoverA Penny for Your Travels - Center Spread
    Mini Book From Found Materials

    Materials & Tools
    A. Basic book construction
  • Brown paper grocery bag, from your favorite supermarket

  • Paper trimmer, like 12" Portable Paper Trimmer Item #95987097 by Fiskars

  • Brown cardboard coffee sleeve, like one purchased with a drink at Starbucks

  • Good pair of comfortable, teflon-like coated scissors, like Velvet Touch Scissors by Armada, or a craft knife

  • Bone folder, for creasing folds in the mini-book's pages

  • Handheld paper punch, like 1/8-inch Round Punchline Punch Item #52400 by McGill

  • Black twist tie, from a bag of bread

  • 1/4-inch hole punch

  • Pencil

  • Metal ruler or straight edge

  • B. Outside Collage (Front Cover)
  • Torn paper scraps

  • White glue or acrylic adhesive, like Perfect Paper Adhesive in Matte by US ArtQuest

  • Small cheap paint brush for gluing

  • Small feather

  • Copper or burnt orange colored glitter, like Ultra Fine Pumpkin #56 by Art Institute Glitter

  • Embossed copper tag, cut from copper sheet or scrap

  • Glue dots, like Craft glue dots by Glue Dots International

  • Earth-toned fibers

  • Faux tooth-shaped beads

  • C. Inside Collage (Pages, Center Spread)
  • Torn paper scraps, again!

  • White glue, once more

  • Cancelled foreign postage stamps

  • Pigment inkpad, like Really Rust Classic Stampin' Pad by Stampin' Up!

  • Brown and gold pigment inkpad combo, like Ultimate Inkpad Paintbox2, in Precious Metals #13010 by ColorBox/Clearsnap

  • Small artistic rubber stamps, like Dawn Houser's Faux Foreign Post Cancellation Marks, by Inkadinkado

  • Black solvent inkpad, like Jet Black by StazOn

  • The Steps
    Click to enlarge images. Click the back button to return to this article.)

    A. Basic book construction

    1. The main items you'll need to make one mini-book project are one cardboard coffee sleeve and (pieces of) a brown paper grocery bag.

    2. Cut pieces of the grocery bag into 2-inch by 4-inch pieces. Make 4 pieces per book.

    3. Use one of the page spreads as a template. Using a pencil, lightly trace the page spread on the smooth side of the coffee sleeve.

    4. Using a ruler and the pencil, draw a border around the page shape just slightly beyond the page tracing. About a 1/4-inch distance should do it, if you have the room. Now trim your book cover. You can see in the photo that I used a pair of scissors. You would get a straighter line with a metal straight edge (ruler) and a craft knife.

    5. Using a bone folder for precise creasing, fold the cover and each of the grocery bag pages in half.

    6. Nestle the pages together. Hold everything steady and punch four holes in the folds. Hint: Punch the pages as a group separately, then use the pages as a guide to punch the cover. You can always try the "grit-your-teeth and punch it all together" technique, but I attempted it and failed, so you've been warned. (smiles)

    7. Cut a black twist tie in half then fold each piece.

    8. Push one tie half into a set of adjoining holes, then twist the ends together on the back of the book spine. Repeat for the second set of holes.

    Your mini-book is now assembled. Now it's time to collage on your "found art" creation.

    B. Outside Collage (Front Cover)
    9. Refer to the finished project pictures (top of page) for layout suggestions. Now select and tear your choice of paper scraps for collage. I chose a palette of earth tones, with beige and brown mostly.

    10. Using a paint brush, apply white glue liberally to the backs of your paper scraps , then apply these scraps to the book cover randomly.

    11. You can use any embellishments you like to collage on top of the paper scraps. I added a small feather, some glue and copper colored glitter.

    12. I embossed a tag, cut from a piece of copper, by burnishing the design with a bone folder and a real penny. I added earth-toned fibers to the tag then tied faux tooth beads to the yarn ends. I adhered the tag to the cover with glue dots.

    C. Inside Collage (Pages, Center Spread)
    13. Refer to the finished project pictures (top of page) for layout suggestions. Tear some paper scraps, again! Open the book to the center page spread then collage these scraps with White glue and a paintbrush.

    14. Select a few cancelled foreign postage stamps and add these to the pages with white glue. I used three stamps, each from a different country. If you can't find foreign postage stamps, you can buy them on eBay.

    15. Rub the rust, brown and gold inkpads onto the pages and postage stamps, until you achieve the desired shading.

    16. Using the black inkpads and rubber stamps, stamp faux cancellation marks on top of the postage.

    Check back often for other versions of this project, or better yet, sign up for our newsletter and I'll include a note when I've updated this page.

    Project Tips
  • Choose pieces of the grocery bag with printing on them, to add some personality to the pages of your book.

  • When tracing your cover , try to align the middle of the book pages with natural folds in the coffee sleeve. This will save you time and frustration when folding the cover in half.

  • Collage isn't meant to be exact, so go with your gut when applying paper scraps and embellishments. Position embellishments at contrasting angles for a less "studied" look.

  • When selecting a black inkpad, choose wisely. For black, I prefer pigment or solvent inkpads, rather than dye inkpads. Hint: Look at the package! I like StazOn Jet Black, even when I don't need a solvent ink for paper, because it's vivid and tolerates lot of ink layering.

    Additional Reading
  • Making Mini Books, by Sherri Haab

  • The Bookmaking Kit, by Ann Morris, Peter Linenthal

  • More Making Books by Hand, by Peter Thomas, Donna Thomas

  • The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books, by Gabrielle Fox

  • Product Resource Guide
  • Buy your craft supplies at

  • Wholesale Arts & Crafts Supplies

  • Most project photos on this page were taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera

  • Article Description: Millions of paper coffee sleeves are thrown away every day in local coffee shops. Save one to create a collaged handmade book.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Project - Recycle a Planter into a Shabby Chic Treasure

    Later this month, summertime will arrive officially. I've started to think about creating more decorative items for my patio, including a few planters.

    A friend was cleaning out her closets and asked me if I'd like a metal planter she was about to throw away. Someone had painted flowers on the planter's outside. The design wasn't my style, but I thought I could probably recycle it into something more appealing.

    Altered Book Pages on a Metal Planter
    Altered Book Pages on a Metal Planter

    Materials & Tools
  • Metal planter

  • Low-tack painters masking tape

  • Book pages, like those removed while working on an altered book

  • White tacky glue

  • Cheap paint brushes for adhering the glue

  • Walnut-colored pigment ink, like e-z walnut ink by FiberScraps

  • Purple acrylic paint

  • Sponge brush

  • Glitter glue

  • Spray acrylic sealer, like Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating by Krylon

  • Tacky tape

  • Lilac ribbon

  • Flat-bottomed colored marbles

  • The Steps
    (Click to enlarge each image. Click the back button to return to this article.)

    1. This is the metal planter I'm planning to decorate. Let's get started.

    2. Mask off the top and bottom edges of the planter, right on top of the acrylic paint. You can also use a new planter -- one that's unpainted -- if you're concerned about covering up someone else's artwork.
    Fold the tape back onto itself to leave a small tab. This will make it easier to remove the tape afterwards.

    3. Remove several pages from a discarded book. If you enjoying altering books and have alrady removed some pages, no'w your chance to do something useful with them. Tear the pages into threes. You'll use the top and bottom thirds of these pages.

    4. Brush glue on the surface of the planter and on a piece of torn page. Notice that I am aligning the page margin with the masking tape. The tops of the pages go on the top, while the bottoms of the get the idea. This technique creates a plain border around the container. Overlap the torn pieces, to create an altered look and cover page numbers. To seal the edges, apply more glue on top of the pieces, but sparingly, please. Hint: you'll stain the paper later.

    5. When you have covered the middle of the planter, all the way around, let it dry. Now remove the masking tape carefully.

    6. Create an altered look by using brown pigment ink to stain the pages. Hold the ink dauber in place to create darker sploches of color here and there.

    7. Crafting is a creative process, so I often change my idea halfway through a project. After surveying my work so far, I decided I wasn't satisfied with the original design after all (not even a smidgen). I covered the planter with more paint. If you started with an unpainted or new planter, you may not need to do this, but you may want to paint the planter anyway. It's up to you.

    8. After the paint dries, you can decorate more, if you like. Not one to stop at simplicity, I added glitter glue with blue flecks. Maybe it doesn't really go with the shabby chic theme, but I couldn't help myself. I love glitter! You, on the other hand, can forget it, if you choose.

    9. To protect the design, spray the outside of the planter with an acrylic sealer, as noted in the materials list above. I chose a glossy sealer, but you might prefer a matte finish.

    10. Using strong double-stick tape, attach a piece of ribbon around the planter. Adhere flat-bottomed marbles to the ribbon with the same tape.
    Altered Book Pages on a Metal Planter
    Altered Book Pages on a Metal Planter

    The Moral of the Story: Never throw anything away, I always say. One woman's trash is another woman's treasure...or at least has some potential. And because I can never leave well enough alone, in the fall, I might recycle the planter again into a back-to-school design.

    Project Tips
  • After staining the pages, try sanding them to give the design a more weathered look.

  • You can substitute other colors of ribbon and paint.

  • Play around with the position of the ribbon on the planter, before you adhere it with double-stick tape. Once you add the tape behind the ribbon, it will be difficult to reposition it without ruining the altered page "cummerbund."
  • If you prefer a more rustic look, substitute colored raffia for the ribbon.

  • Product Resource Guide
  • Buy your craft supplies at

  • Wholesale Arts & Crafts Supplies

  • Most project photos on this page were taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera

  • Article Description: One woman's trash is another woman's treasure, in this project that uses altered book pages on a recycled metal planter.

    Monday, May 09, 2005

    Project - Chocolate Rosebuds for Your Son's Prom Date

    The school year is nearing an end. High school students are attending proms, performing in music concerts, and so on. Kaity – my high school freshman – has a choir solo this Tuesday night. I want to give her something special at the end of the performance, so how about a dozen roses? But for my Kaity, traditional roses just won't do. I need a better idea.

    By coincidence, my hair stylist gave me a hand-made chocolate rose this Saturday. I've seen similar roses in hotel gift shops but I never paid close attention until now. I asked Drea how she made hers and she invited me to "reverse-engineer" it so I could spread the word. Now, in my own words, I can show you how to craft rosebuds from one of my daughter's favorite snacks -- Hershey’s Kisses.

    By the way, these inexpensive rosebuds make a cute bouquet for your son's prom date. What a fun and inexpensive way to combine chocolate with flowers!

    Chocolate Rosebuds

    Chocolate Rosebuds for Your Son's Prom Date

    Materials & Tools
  • Floral Stem Wire, 12 pieces, 18 inches long, like 16 or 18 Gauge Green, White Or Silver, Item #561618 by Panacea Products Corp

  • Pair of Comfortable Jewelry Pliers with Cutter, like Round Nose Pliers by Artistic Wire

  • Foil-Wrapped Milk Chocolate Drops, like Hershey’s Kisses, Silver Wrap, 1 Bag, Net Wt. 16 oz. (1 lb.), for plenty to snack on while working

  • Double-Stick Tape, like Permanent 2-Sided Tape by LePage’s, Inc.

  • Clear Red Cellophane, like Clearphane Film by Highlander Supply Corp, 30 inches by 25 feet

  • Good Pair Of Comfortable, Teflon-like Coated Scissors, like Velvet Touch Scissors by Armada

  • Floral Tape, like Self-sealing Floral Tape in Green by Fibre Craft, ½-inch by 60 feet

  • The Steps
    (Click to enlarge each image. Click the back button to return to this article.)

    1. Cut each 18-inch floral stem in half, to make 9-inch stems. I used a silver stem in the photo, but I prefer green stems because I work fast and don’t always wrap the floral tape exactly.

    2. Use jewelry pliers to create a bended loop -- about 1-inch in diameter -- in one end of each piece of floral wire.

    3. Count out 24 chocolate drops. You’ll use two for each finished rose bud. Keep the bag nearby for munching. It’ll keep you motivated. (smiles) Bruce -- my hubby -- made a dozen rosebuds for his mother this Sunday. Between the two of us, we only made two dozen. There were about 99 drops in the bag, so you do the math. (sheepish grin)

    4. Use a half-inch piece of double-stick tape to attach the bottoms of two kisses to each other.

    5. Cut red cellophane into 4 by 6-inch pieces. Cut 12 pieces for a dozen roses. If you’re having trouble cutting straight, try folding the cellophane back against its tube and, using a sharp razor-blade letter opener, slice the cellophane in one pass.

    6. Put a doubled kiss in the middle of a piece of cellophane. Slip the wire stem in place over the point of the bottom kiss. Fold the wide side of the cellophane in half, down over the kisses.

    7. Carefully fold the top left corner of the cellophane down to the right, crossing the chocolate drops. Fold the top right corner of the cellophane down to the left in a similar manner. See how the cellophane looks like the petals of a rosebud? Twist the bottom of the cellophane around the stem in the direction of the last fold.

    8. Starting just beneath the bottom chocolate drop, wrap the floral tape around the base of the rosebud, directly on top of the cellophane. Make at least two tight, closely-wrapped passes with the tape, to hold everything together. Stretch the tape as you work to help it grip. As you wrap, overlap the tape's edges to hide the stem. Slowly rotate the stem away from you while you work down the length of the stem. Continue wrapping until you reach the end of the stem. Cut the floral tape then wrap and pinch the end to seal it. Repeat these steps for each additional rose.

    Keep these easy-to-make flowers in mind for that next birthday, anniversary or romantic dinner. One lone rosebud will melt someone's heart away!

    Project Tips
  • You can substitute other types of paper for the red cellophane. Consider using clear cellophane or silver paper foil for wedding day flowers. Try gold origami paper or red tissue, too. Mix and match papers for an eclectic look.

  • It’s nearly summer and chocolate can melt, Keep the rosebuds refrigerated until it’s time to go out the door. That way, the drops won’t melt on the way to the prom or stage performance.

  • Using colored or patterned tissue paper, make a cone to hold the bouquet. A pretty ribbon around the tissue should hold it all together.

  • Some crafters recommend piercing the chocolate with the floral stem to make sure everything holds together. I'm not sure these stems were designed to insert into food, so I created a loop in the wire instead. If you're using colored stems, the paint could come off inside the candy and contaminate the chocolate.

  • Substitute any flavor of chocolate drops you like -- they don't have to be plain old milk chocolate. Use red foil-covered drops for a deeper red in the rosebuds.

  • For special flair, add a few artificial leaves to each stem while you wrap.

  • Additional Reading
  • The Usborne Book of Paper Flowers (How to Make Series) by Ray Gibson

  • Handmade Flowers from Paper and Fabric by Steve Biddle

  • Origami Flowers: Popular Blossoms and Creative Bouquets by Hiromi Hayashi

  • Product Resource Guide
  • Buy your craft supplies at

  • Wholesale Arts & Crafts Supplies

  • Most project photos on this page were taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera

  • Alternate Product Recommendations
  • Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolate With Almond Candy, 12 oz from Gristedes Supermarkets of New York

  • FCM Stem Wire Green 18 Gauge from Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts

  • FCM Floral Stem Tape Green from Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts

  • Long Nose Pliers 5-inch, Smooth Jaws from Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts

  • Scotch Double Stick Tape .427 X 450-inch from Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts

  • White Flower Bouquet Sleeves, 100 ct. from Twinkle Candy

  • Article Description: Wrap cellophane around chocolate drops for a special treat. Make just one or make a dozen -- they'll melt someone's heart away!