Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dryer Sheet Flowers



I came across a the idea of making flowers from dryer sheets and decided to give it a go.  That lacy, slightly ratty fiber left over after banging around in the dryer seemed the right texture for some shabby blossoms.


I've been saving the dryer sheets and put the used ones back in the dryer with wet clothes several times to really soften them.  First step is to spray the dry sheets with color - I used homemade sprays - a few drops of ink in a small mist bottle.  Spray evenly and then let dry.  My sheets were pretty shabby and had some small holes after their frequent trips through the dryer, and the color obviously saturated the intact fibers more than the more beat-up spots.  I wasn't all that happy with the purple (top right) as it looked almost black.  I also tried just swiping Distress Ink right onto the sheet - the  blue flower in the bottom left of the  photo below was done just by swiping - I like that technique as well as the sprayed version.

Next, cut out three or four different sized circles - I did this by hand, using various paint containers as templates. Don't be concerned about getting these circles perfectly round - round-ish works fine.


I used two layers of each size circle for the flowers to make them fuller, except for the purple which really looked black with multiple layers.  I only used three circles to make the purple one; the others had five or six.  I liked the look of a contrasting center, so cut out some extra small yellow circles for the centers.  I snipped the edges on some to add some texture interest to the centers.  The purple one got a drizzle of glitter glue to lighten it up some.  Stack the layers , each one slightly off center .  I sewed small white buttons  through all the layers to hold them all together.  You could used brads - must try that next time!

These quick and easy cards showcase the flowers nicely.


I stamped text on an uncolored sheet and really like that look!



And now, a PSA about dryer sheets .  While investigating dryer sheets online ( now  you know how exciting my life is!), I found some frightening things - turns out that dryer sheets are filled with toxic chemicals and, get this, animal fat!  I use the fragrance-free kind, but even those have harmful chemicals and that pesky animal fat, hiding under the fancy name "stearate".  Apparently the heat in the dryers melts the softening agents and  it coats the fibers, making them slippery, which we interpret as "soft".   Check out some more information here and here.   Makes me think I should start investigating some of the other stuff I use!

 Dryer sheets are a marketers dream-come-true, convincing us we "need" something and then creating a product to meet the "need".  Natural fiber fabrics don't get all clingy in the dryer, so using more natural fibers and fewer man-made ones can eliminate the static problem.  I've been cutting back on my dryer sheet addiction, using them only in every other load, but I'm going to check out  Mrs. Meyers Basil Dryer Sheets. I love the natural smell of MM basil counter cleaner, so I'm looking forward to basil- infused towels! There are all kinds of recipes out there for homemade versions as well.   Of course, hanging clothes outside would be another solution and while that makes clothes smell great, I'm not that noble!


Check out all the great DIY projects over at The 36th Avenue Link Party!

8 comments:

  1. You always surprise me!!!! Absolutely love your cards made with the wonderful, colorful, zesty flowers.....these could go in SS's mag.....

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    1. HA! Not perfect enough for prime time, but fun!

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  2. thank you for sharing your ideas! I love all sorts of paper crafts. I think using old dryer sheets to make pretty flowers will be fun. Thanks again
    Sherrill Graff istmpnv@aol.com

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    1. Sherrill - thanks for stopping by!

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  3. So creative! (I would never have thought to do this!)

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    1. Thanks! It was fun - and since I'm weaning off my dryer sheet addiction, there won't be so many wadded up in the laundry basket. I'm hoarding all of them!

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  4. Wonderful! I like the stamped text flower, also. I have some used ones waiting for projects right now. Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Carrie

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    Replies
    1. Carrie - Have fun and thanks for stopping by.

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