April Showers Box o' Flowers

You will need: empty cereal box, scissors (and X-acto if you like), paint/primer, paint brush, clear tape, glue, light blue and green construction paper, cellophane, fabric, brass fastener, coffee filters, markers, food coloring, bowls, empty egg carton, small hole punch, fishing wire, two sequins or buttons, rocks or some other weight.

To make the window:
1. Cut the front of the cereal box. Leave the bottom third of the box intact, but cut an operable window into the top two-thirds by cutting the top and side of the box along the seam and then a straight line across the front of the box. The window panes are easiest to cut with a sharp X-acto.

2. Tape the top flaps of the box top in place by applying tape along the inside of the box.

3. Paint the box. I used two coats of primer. Surely you could use whatever color you want.

4. Once the box is dry, glue a sheet of light blue construction paper inside as the backdrop. Add some fringed green paper as grass.

5. Tape a sheet of cellophane to the inside of the window. One it's in place, drop dots of glue on it to make rain drops.

6. Cut fabric in the shape of curtains. Glue along the outside of the window.

7. Insert a brass fastener loosely at the bottom of the window.

To make the flower part:
8. Instructions for making coffee filter flowers can be found here.

9. While the flowers dry, put together the egg carton flower bed. Cut out a part of the egg carton three sections long. Using the tip of the scissors, cut small holes in the bottom center of each section. Using the hole punch, punch two holes on each side of the egg carton, close to the top, in between each section.

10. Lay the egg carton along the top of the cereal box and mark the placement of the holes. Punch two corresponding holes in the top of the cereal box, centered from front to back.

11. Here's the trickiest part. One at a time, thread fishing wire through the holes on the top of the box. You want to make a loop suspended from the ceiling of the box. (I used one of my kid's fingers to hold the loop in place while I tied it.) With both ends of the fishing wire above the box, and a loop inside the box, tie the fishing wire around the buttons or sequins.

12. Now thread fishing wire through one of the holes in the egg carton. Pass the wire under the egg carton and back through the hole on the other side. Leave this wire nice and long, about 15 inches or so. You can tie the two ends together. Repeat for the other two holes.

13. Insert a bunch of flowers into the egg carton sections, allowing the tips to come out of the bottom.

14. Line the interior of the box with rocks or weights. Lay the egg carton on top of the rocks, carefully letting the fishing wire dangle out of the front of the box.

15. Starting with the wire that is closest to the window hinge, thread the wire through the ceiling loop and tape it to the inside of the open window. Opening the window makes the fishing wire lift the egg carton. Open and close the window a few times to get a sense of the best place to fasten the wire in order for the egg carton to rise appropriately. Thread the other wire through the other loop and tape it along the inside of the window at a place where it will keep the egg carton level.

16. Snip the excess wire. Enjoy!