Before I tell you what a Kadam flower is and where they can be found, I should probably mention that this project was literally one of the “kismet” moments. I work part time for a company that owns several websites, one of those being a travel site. I moderate photos that are submitted by users. One day one of those photos just happened to be this beautiful flower from the Kadam tree, submitted by someone in Bangladesh.
The Kadam tree (Neolamarckia cadamba) is a tropical evergreen native to South and Southeast Asia. It grows up to 45 meters. Umm. That’s almost 150 FEET tall! Of course, that’s if it’s growing in optimal conditions, most likely in India somewhere. Apparently they are available here in the U.S., though I have never seen them, and chances are closer to 40 feet tall is more likely here. Here’s some more information at the website Dave’s Garden.
Here are some photos of the beautiful blooms that populate this giant of a tree. Photo credits below.
1) Flickr member: Pervez Robin
2) Flickr member himagni
3) Flickr user aapon
4) Flickr user 3Point141
So anyway, it just so happens that I also work for Copycat Crafts and had just recently featured this cool project for some Anthropologie inspired blooms from Homemade Ginger.
So when I looked at the Kadam flower picture that came through my moderation queue and thought back to the flower project I had featured recently, I immediately knew what I wanted to make.
I actually have to admit that when I featured the flowers from Homemade Ginger, I scrolled through her post, but didn’t really read the instructions. However I did notice that in her version the color was on the outside. She did that by brilliantly rolling the finished bloom through food coloring.
With a Kadam flower, the color is actually toward the inside and the tips of the flower are white. I wanted to replicate that look, so I made mine a little differently. After inserting a wooden dowel into each Styrofoam ball, I then painted them yellow. I actually used some stencil paint, simply because it’s much thicker than regular acrylics, but acrylics will certainly do the job just fine.
Then after cutting the Q-Tips in half, I held the fuzzy end and dipped the cut end into some water tinted with yellow Rit dye. I dipped the Q-Tip just far enough for the colored water to creep up the cotton, but not enough to cover it completely, leaving the tips white.
I used one of the cut Q-Tips to poke holes in the ball first, to make it easier to add the colored swabs. Then I dipped the cut end into white glue and inserted it into the hole.
This was not a difficult project by any means, but it was time consuming. I actually counted the Q-Tips on just one of the balls and there were 160 tips, so 80 cotton swabs were used for one!
I really do like the way they look. I made a few different ones and think the ones with the tips closer together look nicer. A fun way to spruce up a room!
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Here in Australia in tropical North Queensland, we have a native tree that grows 50 feet tall and has flowers just like you have made, the Liechardt tree, Nauclea Orientalist. The flowers are highly perfumed and turn into a mushy fruit that is edible, but only to flying foxes and birds as it is said to be bitter. Google it as it is interesting. You did a great job of recreating the flowers from the Leichardt tree.
Amanda Formaro says
Interesting! I did some googling and it looks like that it’s the same tree with two names or very close relatives :)
Bonnie Atkins says
Love this project. Is it possible to make it weather proof…would like to put outdoors..in my flower pot garden.
Amanda Formaro says
Hmm that’s a toughy, you would need to make it with completely different supplies as Q-tips will not hold up to the weather and neither will Styrofoam balls. I saw something cool once where someone took chicken wire and formed it into a ball, attached it to a metal stake and spray painted it purple. Something like that might work :)
Very pretty! I’m partial to the color, and I have to make these to give my place a boost of happiness. Thanks for sharing!
Martha Lofton says
MY this is a very different flower. I like it and will try it also. I love crafting and do not sell my crafts. I give them for gifts.
Amanda Formaro says
Thanks Martha, have fun!
norma brooks says
was looking again at the site where you made the flowers out of balls and q tips. and am trying to read the sign on the wall in the background about family and would love to have a copy of it so I can make it for our house.
Hi Norma, that sign is posted here https://craftsbyamanda.com/2011/03/distressed-family-definition-sign.html There’s a link within that post to the place I bought the vinyl sign from :)
Sharon Gullikson says
Very different and cute!
I was wondering if you have announced the winner of your recent giveaway?
sharon dot gullikson at gmail dot com
The giveaway isn’t over yet, it ends on the 25th :)
Cheryl Swoverland says
I made the ones I found on Pinterest with color on outside. I also did an all white one. My grandchildren loved the “wish flowers” (dandelions gone to seed)and the “half” yellow one that looked like a dandelion bloom. They were fun, but time consuming. They are heavy enough to be saved from year to year, also.
I really like these!! And the red jug you have them in really sets the whole piece off. Is it possible to find finer buds?
Cookie 17 says
These are different you ladies sure come up with some interesting craft’s thanks & keep up good work…So pretty in the pitcher you have then in.
Those are just the cutest flowers! I appreciate the information on the Kadam tree. I think this is a project I’d like to try.
Oh,,,how do I change the little pic next to my name???
Linda Rielly says
Gonna try these. Love it I’ve been looking for something I can do for my Daughter-in-law. Thankyou
Amanda…….wow..very busy Lady…how do you have to time to have such a great web site with everything else you do? I love these flowers, they came out perfect. Nice,bright and summery( is that a word?). Thanks so much for sharing such a great unique project. Have a super day! ~ Holly
Angie @ Bigbearswife says
oo I really love the way these look!!