After living in our house for more than six years, I’m happy to say that I’ve finally had some success with growing some flowers in our yard! (I think our neighbors are even happier about that, considering that I was the most prolific weed grower on the block until now.) Admittedly, I’ve definitely killed off a few flowers as well – but my cosmos are blooming all over the place, and they are just beautiful. Cosmos have a reputation for being easy to grow – and I’d have to agree with that assessment. I planted mine from seed in May, and they are showing no signs of letting up on the blooms any time soon. But fall is just around the corner, and I’d been wanting to find a way to hold onto my flowers for as long as possible.
I’ve also had some wood slices I’ve been wondering what to do with for over a year, until I got this project idea yesterday. I cut them up last fall with our miter saw, and made a whole huge pile of them in just a few minutes. I used only five of them to make this pretty summer flower garden mobile – and if you don’t have any spare tree branches or a miter saw, you can find small wood slices for quite cheap on Etsy.
All you need to make this mobile are:
Since the color in flower petals doesn’t last long, it is important to either use flowers you have just picked, or flowers that can stay fresh for a few days after cutting. Cosmos will lose their petals very quickly, but I also used some rose petals that worked very well. The third flower I used was a marigold, which just barely worked because their petals can get rather ruffled. Whatever flowers you use, make sure they aren’t too thick, and that they lay flat well. You also want to pick flowers that have symmetrical petals – my gladiolas and snapdragons didn’t work at all for this project. No matter what flower you use, expect them to brown a little when the project is done.
If you’ve ever done any decoupage work, you’ll know this is quite an easy craft to create. Simply pick off the petals, lay down a layer of ModPodge onto a wood slice, and start adding petals to the wood.
I found it easiest to lay down one petal, topcoat it with ModPodge, then lay down the next petal in a circle. That way they could overlap each other and still have all surfaces come in contact with the glue. After you finish decoupaging all the petals onto the wood slice, let it dry thoroughly and give it a second coat of ModPodge. If you want your garden mobile to last a while, use Outdoor ModPodge and coat both sides of the wood slice.
While the flowers are drying, take your two sticks (mine were about 8 inches long) and tie them together in the middle with either wire or string. All you have to do is wrap it in an ‘X’ pattern like this:
I also used this cheap jewelry wire (found at the dollar store) to create a loop to hang it with. But you could just as easily use string for these two tasks if you don’t have any wire around the house.
I had actually planned on hot-gluing some cute old buttons into the centers of the flowers, but I honestly forgot. It was so cute as is when it was finished I guess I didn’t need them! But you may want to do that with yours, especially if the petals come together in the center a way that looks sloppy.
Then to finish the mobile craft, simply tie string to each wood slice and tie the other end to the sticks at the top.
When you hang the mobile outside, you’ll find that even the slightest amount of wind will send the mobile parts spinning like crazy. In fact, it took about 20 attempts with my camera to get a shot of the mobile with all the flowers facing the same direction. I suppose I could have put flowers on both sides of each wood slice… hmmm… I think I should have done that!