Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kaleidoscope Love Stems

We held a Family Fun Night at our school last week. I thought it was important for the kids to do something that benefited others only, rather than focusing on projects and events there were entirely for themselves.

We made LOVE-STEMS. It was the perfect community project to get kids involved in. I learned about them this past summer. My own children worked with me to make a batch of our own for a friend. It was good for them and I expected it to be the same for our students.

We had about 50 or so people show up. I was limited to an hour so I pre-painted many toilet paper rolls to get the evening started. I also had an after school get together with a few parents to pre-fill the pots with plaster-a-paris and set our skewers. Our older students will be visiting a nursing home in November so we decided we would make sure we had enough to give each resident a flower pot. Any over and above that we will give to the senior center or another nursing home facility here in town.

I think we completed nearly enough that night for the planned trip in November. They currently line the tops of the shelves in our library. I have this many more to make plaster-a-paris pots for. Anyone want to come help?

If you are in need of a community service project or just interested in doing something nice for someone else with you own children or a community group of your own, consider trying this. Not only are they bright and cheerful which a lot of people could use these days, they contribute to recycling which is never a bad thing.

Here are the steps we use.

*paint your toilet paper roll one color inside then one color outside (prior to cutting). Let them complety dry.

*Poke one hole at the bottom of your roll and slide your skewer through to the top. Don't push your skewer through the top too far as the rolls will then slide down you skewer. In other words the bottom hole will be larger like the diameter of the skewer but the top hol will only allow the pointed end of the skewer through. I use a knife tip to start my bottom hole then slide the skewer through.

*Once you have a hole at both ends of the toilet paper roll, decide if your flower will have stems on each side or one. I personally think they look best with both sides cut. Cut your petals. I have learned if you make the petals very thin, they look darling although they offer less oppurtunity for design on the petals.

* Fill each cup with plaster-a-paris about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way.

* I pre-paint my skewers and put them in the cups prior to having the flowers made.
*Paint your designs on the petals, inside and out. I think they look better with dots, stripes and/or blocks of colors. Let these dry well.

*Slide your rolls on the skewers. Put some grass in the pot. Cut and tie on a tag. I think they look far better with a tag. I've done it both ways. Plus it's nice to have a note where as to where they came from. Our tags say Love-Stems on one side and Created with Love by a Kaleidoscope student on the other.

*Lastly, if you decide to do this, I think you should contact them and let them know what your doing. I think it is a fabulous idea and I know they'd like to see their idea growing!


Kim said...

I have never heard of Love Stems but what an incredibly lovely idea! I love how different and funky the flowers look. I think it is very important that children learn that there is a great big world out there that needs an occasional hug. Thanks for helping to instill those values in the children's lives that you touch!


ScottChrisCoriCassiCali said...

OOOh, I hope other people get on board. You wouldn't believe how people love them once they see them. I had people showing up that night not really knowing what to expect. Afterward, everyone was so excited about the end result.

It really is a fun and very simple way to make a darling little thing.
Glad you liked them!
Take care.