Thursday, June 25, 2009

Alien Mutant Plants of Doom: Building the Foliage

These are the instructions for building the flower components to Alien Mutant Plants of Doom, a math puzzle. You will be building flowers and vines with stems. Since these are alien plants, the color doesn't matter. In fact, the flowers you buy can be the strangest looking ones in the store.

I considered making these with floral tape but the floral tape isn't durable enough for this kind of use. You can also substitute duct tape or masking tape. However, the electrical tape has a wonderful sort of elasticity to it that makes it just about perfect.

You need:
one bush of flowers with at least 6 stemmed blooms (I found mine at Dollar Tree)
12 bamboo skewers (I pilfered mine from my pantry)
electrical tape (again, pilfered, this time from the garage)
wire cutters
a pencil

Make the Flowers:

Remove the blooms from the stems.

Use wire cutters to blunt the ends of the skewers by cutting off about ¼.”

Place each bloom onto the narrow end of a skewer.

Wrap the length of the stem in tape. Start at the top and wind down toward the bottom.

Cut off about an inch of tape and wrap around the bloom/stem junction to secure further.

Make the Vines:

Remove and discard any leaves left on the stems.
Use wire cutters to remove individual stems from the bush.

Cover each stem with tape by wrapping down the length as with the flowers.

Wrap each tape-covered stem around a pencil to create a coil.

Attach the coiled vines to the pointed end of the skewers using tape.

Wrap the length of the bamboo skewer with electrical tape.

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