March 1, 2016

Faux Flower Bouquet for the Cheap & Lazy Bride

Well hey, gang!

As my buddy Mark so eloquently told me the other day, it's been "a while" since my last post and he's "tired of looking at that chair". I suspect that is true for a good number of you, so today I'm sharing my quick little tutorial on how to arrange fake flowers into a wedding bouquet (or for a vase to display at home or whatever suits you).

We're down to 90 days and there is simply not enough time to do all the things I think I need to do! I had these huge plans to DIY everything from the music to the flowers and all the decor, the gifts, the veil, the sash - it goes on. But over time, it has become more of a battle of time and energy versus money spent. Sometimes, it seems, it's worth while to just spend a little more and worry a little less. But that's a post for another day!

Clearly my intentions were to have mostly paper flowers to decorate with. And that's still the case. But I intended to have real bouquets done up for me and my bridesmaids... until I started researching the prices. After several seconds of consideration, I scrapped that plan and opted to buy fake flowers to make bouquets. This option still isn't "cheap", unless you're using dollar store flowers (which I did not), but it's still cheaper in the long run than real flowers. Not only will they be beautiful on the day of and give the appearance of real flowers for photographs but they'll also last forever without the need to be preserved and I can easily keep them together to commemorate our wedding day (or break them apart and decorate the house). And I love me some floral displays.

I was lucky enough to shop the Michael's Craft Store 50% off flower sale and got a deal on their real touch flowers. If you're not familiar, real touch have the look and feel of real flowers, more so than the best of the best silk ones. That being said, I decided to use both, as the real touch flowers tend to range from $8-$13 per stem.

On two separate occasions (once for my bridesmaids and once for myself) I walked around the store for about an hour gathering flowers in various hues of coral pink and white and collected a few filler pieces (like greenery) to give the bouquets some fullness. For my bridesmaids, I bought a small pre-arranged bouquet and a few additional stems to add to them. For my own, I bought each stem individually. I held the flowers together until I was satisfied with the general aesthetic, picked up some ribbon and marched my way out of the store.

My bouquet came out beautifully and I'm so happy with the end result. The total cost for all five of the flowers for my bridesmaids and myself ended up being about $130  (compared to $300+ if I had real flowers put together by a florist). It took a little time and some pretty serious effort to cut some of the stems (the wires were really thick!) but if I can do it, you can definitely do it. So here you go:

What You Need

Faux flowers of your choice
Wire cutters
Empty toilet paper rolls (options)
Hot glue gun + glue sticks
Floral tape

What You Do

1. I started by gathering all the flowers and filler together and arranging them together in various ways to get an idea about what I wanted the bouquet to look like. I then used the wire cutters, to separate each bud stem from the original one so that all of the flowers would have stems independent of one another. I also guesstimated about how long I wanted the stems to be, and cut off the excess.

2. After I had all of the flowers cut apart, I laid them out on the table, pulled most of the leaves off of each stem, and decided on my base. I chose the largest of the flowers to be the center and gradually added to it, one flower at a time in a circular motion. As I added flower and filler, I taped each stem to one another to aid in stabilizing the bouquet.

**Note: if you've never used floral tape before, it isn't naturally very sticky. You have to gently pull on it until the tape turns a slightly lighter green, which activates the stickiness.

3. After some trial and error (particularly with the filler pieces), I was able to tape each flower and most of the filler together to make a full size bouquet. After the bouquet was fully put together, I taped around the full circumference of the stems to keep them tightly together.

4. I opted to use a empty toilet paper roll as a way to round-out the stems where I would hold them. I thought it would give a more stable/rounded place to hold. I failed to take a picture of it, but I cut up the length of the toilet paper roll so that I could tightly wrap it around the stems. I used a bit of hot glue to secure it into place.

5. I then cut a small strip of ribbon, and glued it to the base of the stems (along the bottom) so that the ends of the stems could not be seen.

6. After that small piece was glued into place, I wrapped the ribbon around the full length of the stems and upwards, covering about 6" of the base of the bouquet. I opted not to glue along the way, in the event that I changed my mind and decided to rearrange them, but if you're feeling confident, you can certainly glue the ribbon in place.

7. And.. that's it! It really wasn't complicated at all. It took some time, mostly because I was indecisive, but I LOVE how it came out. It's beautiful and it's done - three months in advance.

If you're thinking about doing faux flowers for your wedding, DO IT! It'll save you money, time, aggravation and you'll have them forever. So happy with the choice I made.

Until next time!



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