Spring and all its glory will eventually greet all Canadians, but take heart, you don’t have to just sit back and wait. Early-blooming flowering trees and shrubs such as forsythia, flowering crabapple, purple leaf sand cherry, flowering almond and pussy willows, among others, can be encouraged to bloom indoors.
The amount of time it takes to ‘force’ these branches into bloom will depend on how close it is to their natural outdoor blooming time. Generally, it can take anywhere from one to six weeks depending on the plant. Forsythia and pussy willows usually force in one to three weeks, while crabapple and magnolia branches are more difficult and known to take three to five weeks.
Depending on where you live, you could have blooms in time for Easter. Large vases filled with forsythia blooms and pussy willow branches will add a dash of spring to your holiday décor. For a finishing touch to your arrangements, add colourful spring ribbon and a pretty Easter or spring paper embellishments.
While the blooms are sure to put on a brilliant display all on their own, the embellishment, made from colourful scrapbook papers, provides a burst of colour and whimsy.
You will need
- Easter-themed cookie cutters
- Two or more sheets of colourful scrapbook paper
- Matching ribbon
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Craft glue
- Double-sided tape
Here’s how to make your vase wraps
- Use Easter or spring-themed cookie cutters as a guide. Choose a bunny, chick, tulip or butterfly… Place the cutter on top of the scrapbook paper (good side up). Choose paper in a bright colour or pattern that will complement your décor. Trace around the shape with a pencil. Cut out the shape.
- Next, place the cut-out shape onto a second sheet of scrapbook paper in a complementary colour or pattern. Trace loosely around the cut-out, leaving a border. You will shadow the cut-out, giving you a larger version of the same shape to use as a background. Another option: trace an Easter egg shape onto the second sheet, making sure the egg is larger than the cut-out.
- Use fine grit sandpaper to smooth the edges of the cut-out shapes. Stroke outward around the cut-out.
- Layer and centre the cut-outs and glue the smaller one to the background. On either side of the smaller shape, make a vertical cut through the background using a utility knife. Make the cut long enough that the ribbon will slide through. Slide one end of spring ribbon (cut long enough to wrap around your vase with a slight overlap) through one slit, around the back of the embellishment and out the second slit in the front.
- Centre the embellishment on the ribbon and attach the ribbon to the vase. Wrap it around, and use double-sided tape at the overlap. Make sure the ribbon is snug.