Build A Wooden Flower

Our gardens can be somewhat barren in late fall, winter and early spring. A bed of whimsical wooden flowers helps ease the garden past that transition with grace. This gives it time for the shoots of the first spring bulbs to begin repopulating and reviving our colorscape. Just as our real-life blooms should vary in size, shape and color, our wooden blooms will create more eye appeal when they are equally varied. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Look through coloring books or coloring pages (see Resources) to find flower shapes that please your eye. Choose flower outlines that will not require extensive scroll or jigsaw use to cut out the curves and corners.

2. Place the outline of the flower on the overhead projector. Trace it onto a sheet of easel paper. Move the projector closer and make a second flower template a little smaller. Move it farther away to make the third and largest template of that same flower. Repeat for each flower you have chosen.

3. Transfer the flower template onto scraps of plywood or stock lumber. Some of your flowers, especially lilies or tulips, should be cut from whole pieces of plywood. Others, such as daisies, carnations or sunflowers, will look more attractive when made from a variety of smaller pieces.

4. Make relief cuts from the edge of your piece of wood to just outside the edge of your wooden flower outline. According to woodworker Bruce Clark, making relief cuts will “Prevent the saw blade from binding on tight curves.” Begin at the outer edge of your piece; cut away areas that are mostly waste first. Stop your blade just before you reach the outline. Use files or sandpaper to finish a tight curve of deep V cut.

5. Sand entire flower. Drill a 1/4-inch diameter hole into the bottom of small flowers. Use a 1/2-inch hole for medium and a 1-inch diameter hole for the largest flowers. Insert a matching dowel rod for your stem.

6. Glue flowers to the end of each stem and paint as desired, using bright, acrylic colors.