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Sunflower Crafts (3 Easy, Artistic Ways To Use Everyone’s Favorite Flower)

Who doesn’t love sunflowers? Easily the most recognizable flower, sunflowers are a worldwide symbol of peace, love, and joy! Sunflowers are gorgeous in the garden, but their beauty doesn’t have to die with the end of the season. Use the following crafts to preserve and enjoy sunflowers year round!

Step up your flower game with these simple but impressive sunflower crafts: homemade bird feeders, DIY flower crowns, and living forts. There is no end to the ways that you can enjoy sunflowers, but we’ve brainstormed three of our favorite ways for the whole family to enjoy these classic flowers. 

3 fun and easy sunflower crafts

Whether you have young kids or a classroom of middle school students, the following sunflower crafts are perfect for kids of all ages, especially the young-at-heart. 

  1. Birdfeeder wreath

    We aren’t the only ones who love sunflower seeds–birds love them too! Draw birds to your garden and feed them with sunflower seeds (and the insects that are drawn to sunflowers). Birds will happily eat seeds straight off sunflowers heads left in the field, or you can craft wreaths to hang on your porch or patio. 

    The following craft is adapted from National Garden Bureau (“Sunflower DIY Ideas”): 

    Supplies:

    • 1 grapevine wreath, any size 
    • Mesh screen to fit the wreath
    • Florist wire
    • Twine
    • 3-5 sunflower seed heads
    • 2 cups sunflower seeds
    • 1 hook
    • Scissors or wire cutters

    Directions: 

    1. Carefully cut the wire screen to fit the grapevine wreath (you might want to wear gloves and safety glasses). 
    2. Take a homemade grapevine wreath, or one bought from a craft store, and affix the mesh screen to one side of the wreath using florist wire (Old window screens and screen doors work well, or you can buy screen mesh online by the roll). 
    3. Cinch the wire in at least four places, and tighten it so that there are no gaps between wire and wreath. 
    4. Attach dried sunflower heads to the wreath, seed side up, with florist wire. 
    5. Take four 12-inch pieces of twine and tie them evenly around the wreath–if you were looking at a clock, imagine the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.
    6. Secure the four loose ends into one even knot so that the feeder hangs level when suspended.  
    7. Hang the birdfeeder anywhere–rainwater will drain through the mesh. 
    8. Add home-harvested sunflower seeds to the feeder or use storebought birdseed, then sit back and watch the birds!

    Tip:

    Giant sunflowers like Russian Mammoth have large enough heads to make standalone birdfeeders! Cut the heads from their stalks when the seeds reach peak ripeness and thread twine or fishing line through the head, handing the head seed side up. Once birds have picked the sunflower seeds clean, add more sunflower seeds or birdseed to the “tray,” and birds will continue to use the feeder! 

  2. Flower crown

    Remember the days of daisy-chain flower crowns? Take your favorite childhood craft up a notch with a flower crown featuring sunflowers. Smaller sunflowers like the dainty Italian White or the burgundy Moulin Rouge Hybrid with blooms averaging between four and six inches across. Use a few sunflowers as focal flowers, and incorporate smaller blooms like zinnias or daisies, along with some greenery and foliage, for a fuller effect. 

    This craft is adapted from Floret Farm’s A Year In Flowers (Chai et al. 157-159):

    Supplies:

    • 2 ft paper-covered wire (for the headband)
    • 3-5 sunflowers
    • 5-8 supporting flowers like zinnias or daisies
    • Foliage and filler for greenery 
    • Ten 5 inch pieces of 22 gauge floral wire
    • Green floral tape
    • 2 ft decorative ribbon
    • Scissors or garden shears

    Directions:

    1. Harvest sunflowers and gather any other floral ingredients. Leave two inches of stem for all flowers and leaves.
    2. Assemble 10 tiny bouquets of small flowers, taped together with floral tape
    3. Wrap the paper-covered wire around the intended wearer’s head, allowing two extra inches on each end. Twist one end into a loop and cut the wire at the other end. 
    4. Reinforce each sunflower by running a piece of floral wire through the stem and into the head, then bending the wire back into the head. Attach the sunflower to the headband with the other end of the floral wire. 
    5.  Attach small flower bouquets to the crown around and in between the sunflower heads, adhering each bundle to the headband with floral tape. 
    6. Place the crown on the wearer’s head and fasten it by running one end of the headband through the looped wire. 
    7. Tie decorative ribbon to the back of the flower crown, and feel like royalty for the day!

    Tip: 

    Preserve your flower crown forever by air-drying it. Lay the crown out flat in a cool, dark place for two or three weeks to preserve the color.


    field of sunflowers

  3. Sunflower fort

    Kids of all ages will love this living sunflower fort! All this sunflower craft requires is enough space to grow sunflowers and a couple of packets of sunflower seeds. Early sunflowers like Pro-Cut Hybrid Mix are perfect for this project, as you will get to enjoy the sunflower fort in as little as 50 days. Ring of Fire is another excellent choice for building materials, and this particular variety is available in bulk–in case you decide to build a city of sunflower forts! 

    The following idea is adapted from Almanac (“How to Grow a Sunflower House”):

    Supplies:

    • 2-4 packets of sunflower seeds (choose varieties that grow at least six feet tall)

    Directions:

    1. Choose a well-draining, flat location that receives full sun (between six and eight hours of direct sun per day). 
    2. Mark out the fort location with flags or string line. The fort can take any shape but aim for a “room” at least eight feet across and a “door” about two feet wide. 
    3. Dig a shallow trench along the perimeter of the fort at least six inches across. Weed the area to be seeded.
    4. After the last spring frost, direct sow two sunflower seeds every six inches along the trench. Bury the seeds an inch deep and water the seeds in.
    5. Keep the seeds weeded and watered when young, but once sunflowers mature, they need very little care.
    6. Patiently wait for the fort to take shape, and once it does, let the fort take the shape of anything from a fairy castle to a cabin in the woods. 

    Tip:

    Train the sunflowers inwards towards each other as they grow for a tipi-type fort. Weave sunflowers among each other for denser walls. Plant vining plants like morning glory or trailing nasturtiums to create a green roof–tie pieces of twine between the walls, and once the vines climb the sunflowers, they will climb the strings, closing in the roof. 

In summary

No flower garden is complete without a few sunflowers, and now you have an excuse to plant an extra row or two! Sunflowers make gorgeous cut flowers that last a week or more in the vase and hold their color when dry–making them the perfect flower for a myriad of crafting projects, from birdfeeders to flower crowns and everything in between. 

Resources

Chai, Julie, et al. Floret Farm's A Year in Flowers: Designing Gorgeous Arrangements for Every Season (Flower Arranging Book, Bouquet, and Floral Design Book). Chronicle Books, 2020.

“How to Grow a Sunflower House.” The Old Farmer's Almanac, https://www.almanac.com/plant-sunflower-house. Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Sunflower DIY Ideas.” National Garden Bureau, 27 July 2021, https://ngb.org/2021/07/27/sunflower-diy-ideas/. Accessed 18 May 2022.
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