DIY Sunflower from Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Celebrating the end of fall.

Article: Katherine Bell
Children’s Program & Outreach Manager, Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Photography: Kyra Stickford, Anderson Ranch Arts Center

This bright and cheery seasonal sunflower can be used as a table centerpiece around the fall holidays or on your desk throughout winter as a sunny reminder of warmer days. This project combines collage, watercolor, oil pastel, and lots of family fun!

Gather Supplies

Gloss finish Mod Podge
Elmer’s white glue
Hot glue gun w/ glue sticks
Flower pot 4-6” tall
Water color palette
Oil pastels
1” foam brush
Water color paintbrush
Water color paper
cardboard for stem 10”x1”
Yellow cupcake liners
Sunflower seeds
Tissue paper
Decorative paper

ONE:  Decoupage flower pot. Using foam brush, paint a layer of Mod Podge onto small working area of flower pot. Lay on small, torn pieces of collage paper. Brush a layer of mod Podge. Continue layering papers and mod Podge around the pot. Let dry

TWO:  Draw sunflower petal on watercolor paper. Cut out and trace 8-10 matching flower petals.

THREE:  Using oil pastel in Fall colors, draw decorative lines onto flower petals in varying sizes and colors. Minimal oil pastel work is best, as watercolor work will follow.

FOUR:  Using different shades of yellows, oranges and light browns, watercolor sunflower petals. Layer on different colors and be surprised to see the oil pastel stand out against the watercolor for a rich textured effect. Put aside petals to dry.

FIVE: Using different shades of greens and yellows, oil pastel cardboard flower stem entirely. Mix and blend colors for a richer look. Put aside

SIX: Using white glue, join multiple yellow cupcake liners and fluff out sides as desired. Pour glue into the base of cupcake liner and sprinkle sunflower seeds to cover the round base.

SEVEN: Assemble flower petals as desired. Cut out round piece of paper to glue flower petals onto. Glue cupcake liner piece in center of flower petals. Lay flat and put aside to dry.

EIGHT:  Fold bottom two inches of the stem. Using glue gun, place a dab of hot glue in the bottom of flower pot and glue down the folded surface of the stem. Add another dab of hot glue to top of the stem and secure the sunflower head. Hold and secure tightly.

NINE:  Fill flower pot with wood trimmings, wood chips, straw, shredded paper or whatever you prefer. I used wood trimmings from the Anderson Ranch wood shop. The filling adds lots of texture to the piece and provides needed support to the sunflower.