Monday, July 20, 2015

May Arts Ribbon Round 2 Design Team Finalist Submission

Here's my round two creation, as finalist for the May Arts Ribbon Design Team 2015-2016
I've created "Floating Lotus Flower Ribbon Lights".    
I have an inexpensive planner and right away, started jotting down ideas.  I came up with about 10 different project ideas.  What stuck in my head was doing a floating project.  A floating lotus made out of ribbon.  And, maybe a light in the middle?  How about a ribbon flower wrapped around the light?  So, that's how my idea took form and here's how I implemented it.  

I googled lotus flowers and was inspired by the photo below and this article from Liz Larson, a student at North Dakota State University.  Lotus Flower Article.  Did you know the lotus flower only blooms in pink or white and is often mistaken for the Water Lily, which blooms in many colors?  There's your fun fact of the day. 

As you can see, I chose to make one white and one pink.  

The ribbons that I'm featuring today are:

My tutorial will include instructions for making two of the floating lights.  

Below are the supplies needed for the Float, Lily Pad, and Lotus Flowers.  Actually, the lily pad was a last minute add on.  After looking at all those googled flowers, I couldn't imagine making a floating Lotus without a Lily Pad.  Bonus!  I hope you'll be patient with me as I break this tutorial down into sections, starting with the float.

For the float you will need:

- Two 5" Circular Craft Foam  (available as a 2-pk at Dollar Tree)
-Two battery operated tea light candles (available as a 4-pk at the Dollar Tree)
-Large knife

To begin, measure and trace a 2.5" square in the center of your craft foam and trim edges 
off with a knife. 

Well, that was easy!  Now, let's create the Lily Pad.  You will need:

- One 8.5"x11" sheet of vellum paper
-Clear Glue
- Extra Fine Glitter
-Paint or Ink/Mister
-small paintbrush
-heat embossing tool (optional)
-hot glue gun

To begin, if you have May Arts Ribbon spools this is going to be super easy.  Just trace your circle with the lid of your spool onto your vellum!  Or you can use a die-cutting machine such as a Cricut or Silhouette and cut a 4" circle, or go old school and measure and hand cut.

(Originally, I trimmed a center circle to place the lily pad over my tealight, however I didn't like the height of the lily pad so just ignore those inner trimmed circles.  That step will not be necessary.)

Paint your vellum circle with green paint.  I chose Spellbinders Silk Luster in Luscious Lime which comes with it's own brush attached.  

The vellum will curl, so you may need to use something to hold it down while you paint.  I often turn to my Cricut tools for this but the point of your scissors would work, as well.

Allow to dry or use a heat tool for a minute or less to dry the paint. 

Next, cover your painted vellum circle with clear glue.  I love Tombow Mono Aqua glue because it has a fine tip on one end, and a wide tip on the other end.  The wide tip is perfect for large coverage.

Sprinkle with glitter while still wet.

Allow to dry overnight or for several hours.
Re-shape as desired, then apply to craft foam with hot glue gun.

See the lighter circle?  I thought I'd try one without the paint.  Which led me to believe, YES, it needs paint!  Sometimes it helps to see what works and what doesn't, don't you think?  Crafting is not a perfect science and it just might save you the heartache of skipping out on the paint.

I decided that I wanted a yellow bud in the center, as many of the white lotus flowers have a yellow center.   I chose to make a rolled, quilled ribbon flower.   

You will need:

- Four 3" long trimmed strips of yellow KA27
-Two 3" squares of  Heat n Bond (found in Walmart and Craft stores)
- fine tipped Scissors
-Quilling Tool
-Rolled Flower Die
-Die cutting machine (I used my Cuttlebug)
-Heat embossing tool

First, if using wired ribbon, remove the wires.  Trim one edge only from each strip.  Overlap two of the ribbons approximately 1/4" in the center with
your trimmed edges in the center. 

Repeat for the second bud.

Add your heat n bond, glossy side down and iron for 8 seconds or so.  Don't hold too long or you risk burning your ribbon.  This step is necessary to provide a cleaner, crisper die cut. 

Peel off your backing.

Place your ribbon and die through your die cut machine.  In this case, I used my Cuttlebug.
I ran this through several passes to make sure it was cut well.  Even so, a few strands may need to be hand trimmed with fine tipped scissors. 

Use your quilling tool to roll your ribbon flower.  

*There is a slight learning curve if you've never quilled before.  You can find the tool in most craft stores for under $3.00.  You can also find videos on YouTube.  As a special treat, I've made a video for you today, showing you how to roll this flower.  I must warn you; I don't do videos as you will soon see.  In fact, I had my husband hold the camera so I could use two hands.  Maybe this is just the impetus I need to start doing videos?  I highly doubt it.  But, one never knows.... so here's my ah, hem.... video.  Laugh, if you will.  I can take it.  I do hope it's easy enough to help the newbie out.

Terri's Quilled Flower video

If you'd like something a little more "professional", then check out this under 2 minutes video from Judy Morrow and My Favorite Things, makers of the rolled scallop die that I used for this bud:

Allow your flower to slightly unravel.

You will need to slightly heat set the quilled flower so that it maintains it's shape and fits properly over the tea light.  Turn the flower upside down and heat for just a few seconds.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before proceeding.  You may need to insert a pencil up through the bud to open enough to fit over the light.

It's also removeable, should you need to replace the tea light.

Let's wrap this up with instructions for the lotus flower.  We're getting there, yay!

You will need:
-40 2.5" leaf petals made with JC01 and JC17 (20 pink and 20 white)
 -Heat n Bond (optional if using Cricut/Silhouette)
-Spray Starch
-Wax paper
-Hot Glue Gun
*optional- decorative string or ribbon around base of flower

However you choose to cut your lotus petals, you will need 12 - 2"x11" strips of ribbon to make 2 lotus flowers, if using a die cutting machine.  You will need to iron on strips of heat n bond, just as you did for the bud above.

I used this Cricut Explore Design Space file to cut my leaf petals.  It was created with free basic shapes so you are welcome to use if you are an Explore owner.  Simply click the link and log on to Design Space, then save the file:

You'll need to turn your leaf petals sideways to cut horizontally on the ribbon.

  Once leaves are cut, spread out on wax paper and spray both sides with spray starch.  I read online that this was a good way to stiffen ribbon or fabric.  Blot excess spray from the wax paper.  Cover with another layer of wax paper, press down and allow to dry overnight.   

Did it stiffen to the degree that I expected?  I'd like to say yes, but I have to say no.  It was not as stiff as I would like.  However, it was workable.  

Now, divide your leaf petals in groups:
6, 6 and 8 per float

To better stabilize the petals, trim the bottom so the edge is flat. 

Stack 6 petals and trim 3/4" off the bottom. 

Place your tea light in the center, as a guide for gluing your petals around it. 
Hot glue around the base, taking care to not glue the tealight itself.  Slighty overlap each leaf petal and tack with extra glue as needed to stabilize in an upright position. 

Next, lay 6 petals flat around the base of the inner flowers, as pictured above, evenly spaced and hot glued to the lily pad.

Finally, add the outer layer of petal leaves. 
For these 8 petals, only trim 1/2" flat from the base.  Begin gluing, alternatively spacing around the inner lotus petals, tacking as needed to maintain an upright position. 

I added some mini pom poms ribbon in white around my white flower,  If you have excess hot glue that you'd like to cover up, this is an option.

I know this was lengthy and I appreciate your patience.  I wanted to cover all my bases and I hope I did so.  Thanks so much for allowing me to share this with you today.  These photos were taken at my brother's house where he has a very nice swimming pool which was the perfect backdrop for my photos.  Yes, I just "hated" that I had to go swimming today... haha.  Did I mention that it's mighty humid in Alabama?  As evidenced by my pink lotus..... it wanted to wilt just a bit in this humidity.  The white lotus held up nicely though.  Like I said.... crafting is not a perfect science..... but it sure is fun!

#cre8time #mayartsribbon #ribbon #flower #lotus #lilypad #crafting


  1. This has got to be one of the coolest and most creative things I've ever seen! You are a crafty genius and May Arts would be so lucky to have you on their design team! Good luck!

    1. Good golly, Becca, that is high praise indeed! Thank you so much!!

  2. That is one amazing project. I am so jealous of how creative you are. I can't wait to see what you create next.

  3. These are just gorgeous Terri! I love how realistic looking they are!

  4. These are fabulous! I need to make several for gifts for my friends who have pools - thanks for the tutorial!


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