T-Shirts and Long Days

I swear that there is some conspiracy among clock makers who decided to make time pass twice as slowly on the day before Thanksgiving. As it seemed like everyone in the world was leaving for their holiday travels, my coworker, Maja, and I sat at our desks watching time creep by. Hearing people leave the office one by one and knowing that we were in it for the long haul — or at least until 4. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about staying at work. If I really wanted to leave early, I probably could have, so no pity necessary.) It made for a very long, very slow day in Coworker Services.

But I survived! I’m writing to you today aboard the Union Pacific Northwest Metra line. I’ll be meeting my brother in Arlington Heights and riding with him back to our home, sweet home. I’m leaving behind my sparkly, big city for a holiday in good ole Rochester, Illinois. Good bye crazy traffic, hello country roads! Good bye public transportation, hello car! Good bye high-rise apartment, hello high school bedroom! It’s not that I’m not completely in love with the city, but I am still incredibly excited to go home!

As I was packing yesterday for my trip, I tried to open my bottom drawer and realized that I could barely get it open because it was stuffed-full of t-shirts. University of Illinois shirts, shirts from every city I have ever (or known anyone who has ever) been to, shirts that I made with puff-paint, the list goes on and on. Looking at my pile of shirts made me remember this cute idea I found online to turn an old t-shirt into a flower decoration. Problem solved!

Or so one would think. As I pulled t-shirts out of my drawer, one at a time, unfolding each one and analyzing its value, I kept finding reasons to hold on to each one. Some reminded me of track meets, others took me back to adventures I took with friends and some were reminiscent of my meaner days (Operation Ice anyone?). I got to the bottom of my drawer and realized I had accomplished nothing more than making a huge mess and discovering that I’m probably a hoarder.

But at this point, I was already set on making the t-shirt flower! So I opened my craft cabinet and realized that I had just enough fabric left over from a purse I made for my (practically) sister’s christmas present last year. That would have to do. I think a t-shirt would have made a cuter flower, since it’s the same color on the front and back, but I think this way worked out just fine. This idea was inspired by this t-shirt flower. I modified it slightly. It looks like a lot of steps, but really, I just took a lot of pictures.


t-shirt (or other cotton fabric)
sturdy paper such as card-stock or a thick magazine cover
glue (fabric glue would probably be better, but I just used Elmer’s white glue)
felt circle (I didn’t have any felt, so I just used a piece of thick construction paper)
silk ribbon


1. You will need to make a flower stencil. Start by folding a piece of thick paper in half. I used the cover of a magazine.  

Then fold over about a third of it.

Fold in the other third.

Cut it at an arc. 

Unfold it into a flower!

Trace the flower with permanent marker onto the backside of the fabric.

Do that eight times and cut out your eight flowers.

Fold each petal in half, and then in half again. Dab a bit of glue in the corner so it will hold. Pinch it tightly for about 15 seconds so that the glue holds and it doesn’t unfold.

Cut a circle out of felt or thick construction paper. Don’t use crummy paper or it will get soggy. Frost it with glue.

Attach four of the folded petals in a layer on the circle.

For the next layer, attach three petals on top of the first layer. 

Take your last petal and fold it together a little bit to make it a cone shape. Glue it a little bit to secure it.

Glue the cone in the center.

Put a large blob of glue on the back of a button and secure to the middle of the flower. (How cute is this heart-shaped button!?)

Put a little glue on the center of the ribbon and glue to the back of the flower.


Attach it to a scarf or a blazer, tie onto a vase or top off a pretty present with it! 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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