Girls Camp Craft ~ Frames with Paper Flowers


This year I was in charge of the  arts and crafts at girls camp for my church.   On Day 2 we embellished wood frames and made paper flowers using Mod Podge and DCWV Paper. There are many ways to make these frames, but this is a tutorial for two ways in which we made them.

My main goal for the week was to show them how much fun it can be to create something beautiful.  My secondary goal was to teach them how to use different textiles in different purposes.  Therefore we made:

Girls Camp Craft ~ Frames with Paper Flowers

The first way to make them is a little more complicated and good for adults and older girls.  At the bottom of this post I included a super easy way which I would recommend when doing a girls camp craft or youth night activity for kids.  I learned the hard way that camp crafts should be four steps or under. {snicker}

Materials to Embellish 1 Frame:

Wood Frame ~ I got these for $1 at Michaels
Mod Podge
Foam Brush
8 1/2″ x 11″ Paper
2 1/2″ x 12″ strip of coordinated paper
Large Button
4″ piece of string
Hot Glue

How To Organize The Craft:

I assigned each group of girls their paper according to the animal group they were in.   This way their frame would properly reflect their week at camp!  For instance, all the girls in the Giraffe group were given Giraffe print paper, all the girls in the Zebra group were given black and white striped paper, and so on.

We had around 50 girls each hour to teach how to make the craft.  So to keep things organized, I put each of the girls paper and buttons into an accordion file.  This way when the girls came into the craft room, they lined up to receive their paper, and my youth leader in charge looked up their group and handed it to them.  It worked smoothly.

Prep The Tables

At each table we had scissors, pencils, foam brushes, Mod Podge, frames, and candy all laid out for them.  We also had baby wipes on hand for the girls to wipe their sticky hands at the end of each craft.

Tip:  This craft can be a little messy.  If you have the budget, consider covering each of the tables with a disposable table cloth for easy clean up.

Draw Template on Back of Paper

On the back of each 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper we traced a template on the back of what the girls should cut out.  It was basically just the inside rectangle of the frame given extra room all the way around of it to leave room to wrap around the inside of the frame.

Ready. Set. Craft!

Give A Few Tips To Set Up For Success

1. Once all the girls have arrived, briefly give the girls an overview of the craft as well as a few tips to set them up for success.  Such as:

  • Do not over-think this craft.  It’s easier than it looks, so have fun with it and take your time.  It does not need to be perfect and it will still look amazing!
  • Write their first and last name on the back of the frame.  Closer to the inside as the paper will wrap around the outside.
  • How to cut out the template.
  • Cut “chicken feet” the corners of the paper.
  • Paint the Mod Podge onto the paper NOT the frame.
  • Hold the sides of the paper down for 30 seconds on each side in order for the glue to dry.  Any less than that and the paper won’t stick.
  • Accordion the strip of paper to make the flower.
  • Then we had the girls take up their frame, flower, and button to the front of the room so the YCL’s {youth camp leaders} to hot glue gun the paper flower. together, button on the flower, and the flower on the frame.  Only the YCL’s were allowed to use the glue gun for safety and organizational purposes.
  • If they have any questions to raise their hand at any time and a YCL {youth camp leader} will come to help them.

Hand Out Paper & Button

Our camp theme was “A Jungle Out There” and therefore each group of girls had their own animal mascot assigned to them.  I wanted them to be able to display a captured memory in their room when they got home from camp.  Therefore, we embellished frames in their coordinating animal print paper.

2.  Each girl was given:  their 8 1/2 x 11 animal print paper with a template on where to cut drawn on the back, coordinating strip of paper, and a button.  Remind them to write their first and last name on the back of the frame.  Closer to the inside as the paper will wrap around the outside.

Cut The Paper

3.  I found that most of the girls did not know how to cut the inside of the paper without cutting through it.  So be sure to teach the girls how to cut the inside of the rectangle before they start cutting.  “Gently pinch the paper in half and cut a triangle out with your scissors with 2 cuts.  This will allow you to cut the inside of the triangle easily.”

How to Cut Chicken Feet

4.  At each of the four corners have the  girls cut “chicken feet” or 3 straight lines.  This will help the paper fold into the inside of the frame without tearing.  The “chicken feet” cuts do not need to be long, less than 1/2 an inch.  Just enough to allow the paper to wrap around to the inside and make a clean fold inside the frame.

Glue Using Mod Podge

5.  Use the foam brush to paint the Mod Podge sparingly onto the paper not the frame.  If you paste it onto the frame the wood frame will absorb the glue and the paper will bubble up.  Use the glue sparingly as it just needs to get a little damp.  A lot of glue will take a long time to dry and make a mess.  So make sure the girls know that a little goes a long way.

6.  Place the damp paper onto the front of the frame and smooth down with your fingers.  Then the sides.  The trickiest part of this craft is getting the sides of the paper to stick properly.

When gluing the sides,  do adjacent sides of the frame as the same time.  For instance, hold down the inside and the outside of the right side of the frame and hold for 30 – 45 seconds to give the Mod Podge time to dry.  If the paper comes back up then hold the paper down for 15 more seconds. Encourage the girls to just be patient.

How To Glue The Corners

7.  Gluing the corners are easier then they look.  First, take the inside of your “chicken feet” cut and fold it down.  Next take the outside cuts and fold them down onto the middle cut.  This will make a clean outside edge for your frame.  You will cut “chicken feet” on all 8 corners of the frame ~ inside and out.

Tip:  If your edges are too long, you are welcome to trip them up a bit so that they lay flat with clean lines.

This is what the finished frames will look like! Aren’t they cute?

How to Make the Paper Flower

8.  The next step is to make the darling accordion paper flowers.  Remember the paper fans that you used to make in Elementary school?  Well that’s exactly what we’re doing here.  Fold the long strip of 2 1/2″ x 12″ coordinating paper back and forth into an accordion. I followed the instructions from Imaginisce Blog’s paper flowers.  You can also print out a .PDF file with step-by-step instructions on how to make the paper flowers.

Next, fold the accordion paper in half.  Take a 4″ piece of string and tie it into the middle to hold the flower together.  Be sure to tie the knot onto the white side of the paper which is the inside of the flower {not the outside where the button will go}.  Cut off any extra yarn that might stick out of the flower.

9.  Place a very small dot of hot glue onto the bottom outside edges of the accordion paper flower.

10.  Hold the flower together with both fingers to allow the hot glue to cool.

11.  Use the hot glue to attach the button onto the front of the paper flower.

Tip:  I didn’t have enough large buttons for 250 frames.  Therefore. I layered several smaller buttons together to get a cool look.  I used hot glue to hold them together.

12.  Hot glue the paper flower onto the frame.  Then you’re done!

Be Flexible and Have Scraps

One thing I learned from my first experience with teaching crafts to 250 girls ~ be flexible and have scraps available!  I think the best thing that came out of this week was seeing the girls create.  They took my instruction into a completely new level with each craft and it was a thing of beauty.  I just loved seeing all of the finished projects and what the girls dreamed up.  So be flexible and have scraps of paper on hand for those who want to really get creative.

Here are a few pictures of the finished frames that the girls made.  Each one is completely unique and I loved seeing how they added their own personal style to each one.

Lesson Learned

For several of the girls, the above method was too difficult.  Therefore if I was to do it again, I would do an easier method of having four pre-cut strips of paper for the girls to glue flat onto the frame.  Can you see the difference in the two frames above?  The left is the more difficult method of wrapping the paper around the frame.  The frame on the right is the easier method that doesn’t wrap around and is glued on flat.

They are both adorable, but the frame on the right is significantly easier to make!  Which would be a better craft for girls ages 16 and younger.

Super Easy Method

You will use the same supplies for the super easy method of embellishing the frame.  The only difference is that instead of having one 8 1/2 x 11 page with a template to cut out ~ you would have four pre-cut strips of paper.

How to Make: Add Mod Podge onto one trip of paper at a time and place onto the top of the frame.  Smooth with your fingers.  {do not fold over onto the sides} Repeat until all sides are completed.  Then follow the instructions to make the flower.

Here are two more examples of the super easy method of embellishing the frames.

A HUGE thanks to Mod Podge and DCWV Paper for the free products.  We would have never been able to meet our budget without your generous donation.  Thank you so so much!  Here are the links to their blogs for more ideas on fun things to make.

More Girls Camp Crafts

Difficulty Cost Time Age Person Event
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  1. how fun! we did something similar at our girls camp last year… and it is tricky getting that many girls together for a craft, but definitely a good time! i bet your girls just love you!

  2. Im in awe of all these ideas! I have some vintage postcards from the 30s and cant find frames that have enough character..this is perfect!

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