Phenomenal Flowers

So, I won’t say that this project came out perfectly, or that I’d do it exactly the same way again, but it was fun to make and it turned out good enough! Building a floral letter was actually fairly straight forward and ended up being a fun activity. I’d definitely change a few things – which I’ll tell you about below – and I actually think it would make a world of difference. 

So let’s recap. This week I worked to make a floral letter as part of the decorations for my sister-in-law’s baby sprinkle for her daughter. 

For this project you’ll need:

  • Fake flowers
  • Green floral foam
  • A glue gun
  • Glue gun glue
  • Wire cutters – which I didn’t anticipate, but scissors just don’t cut through the fake flower stems!
  • Some kind of knife

Here are the basic steps:

  • Layout a letter with the green foam
  • Glue foam together
  • Cut stems from fake flowers (leaving about two inches to the stem)
  • Stick the flowers into the foam to decorate

 

I began by laying out a shape with the green foam. It’s easy enough to lay out and be able to determine what letter you’re looking at, but then you need to think through how it’s all going to attach. Since I skipped a few of my planned steps – totally ignored the cardboard backing idea – I had to stick some smaller pieces of green foam into weird crevasses so I wouldn’t have gaps. This worked out fine for two reasons – the first being that the flowers covered it up, and the second being that hot glue makes ANYTHING stick together.  

I had to cut a few edges – which I did CAREFULLY with an exacto knife. This was a struggle – the blade, although sharp, was tiny, so it required a million little cuts to try to make an edge, which made a mess. After a bit of time cutting the foam, I hot glued it all together, holding the glued pieces for 30 seconds while it set.

First steps in placing the flowers onto the green floral foam
Green floral foam with fake flowers

Once I had my letter, I moved on to getting the flowers ready. I had purchased a lot of fake flowers at different points, so I laid them all out to get a sense of which looked best together.

I tried to incorporate more open flowers with a few smaller, tighter ones. I also ended up making use of some of the leaves that were on the stems of the flowers – especially to cover the inner sides of the foam.

Once I had a sense of which flowers I was going to use, I tried to cut down the stems to leave only about two inches on each. Another snag – this didn’t work. I actually think I caused some potentially serious damage to my scissors, but I haven’t had to use them again yet so I’m not totally sure! Luckily my husband was home and found wire cutters for me. He helped me snip down the flower stems, so this actually became a pretty precious couple’s project.

The great thing about working with the foam is that you can push the flower stems right in – and take it out and move it again if you don’t like how it looks. I placed and moved dozens of the flowers until I was happy.

The sides of the letter were the biggest issue. I decided not to decorate the back or the bottom since they wouldn’t be visible. I tried placing big flowers on the outside edges and greens on the inside edges. I had to play with this a lot, and to be honest, I never quite loved it.

003flowers

Next Time I would:

My first tip is to make the base big – that was my biggest issue. Once I added all the flowers on, because I hadn’t made the letter itself big enough, it began to look a little like a blob. This is why I didn’t quite love it. Although I could tell that it was a K – and I imagine that those who understand its meant to be an initial would read it the same – it sort of lost its shape. I realized this was because the flowers spread out a bit, especially the ones on the sides, and it loses it’s form. See? It sort of looks more like a blob of flowers than an initial!

My second tip is that I’d work with more Dollar Tree flowers – I think the more expensive ones could have been skipped and the result would have been about the same.

I’d also use a larger knife to make the cuts – the exacto knife was so tiny that I ended up shredding some of the foam and couldn’t get the edges straight. Oh, and I’d do the cutting over a trash bag or an easily wiped surface because the foam gets everywhere.

Overall, I’ll definitely be trying this again for other occasions.

Floral Fun

So, because in many ways I’m a people pleaser (something I’m working on!), overachiever (but not when it comes to folding laundry), and really need my reminders to prioritize my own brain/health (hence this blog!), in the two weeks following my wedding for over 200 guests, I’ve agreed to hosting a family holiday and co-hosting a sprinkle for my brand new sister-in-law. My sister-in-law has a two year old and another baby well on its way. For those of you who haven’t heard of a sprinkle before, instead of a full blown baby shower, baby number twos now get sprinkled with love, instead of showered with love.

I didn’t invent the concept, but whatever, I’ll get behind it – I’m always happy to have a party.

As part of my duties, I’m putting together some decorations for the sprinkle. This is my first time hosting a sprinkle, but don’t you worry, I’ve got a second one to host in just a few short weeks!

This mama-to-be is leaning in to all things pink for the nursery. As for the party, going for a sprinkle theme  – so think sprinkles on a cupcake, in a vase with flowers, in balloons. I’m also incorporating flowers. I found inspiration for a flower letter on Pinterest –  and without any real preparation, I’ve decided to undertake the construction of one.

Based on the images I saw on Pinterest, I came up with a quick supply list.

Here’s what I’ve purchased:

  • A ton of overpriced fake flowers
  • A few normally-priced fake flowers
  • That green stuff to stick the flower stems in – which is called Green Wet Foam or Green Floral Foam – weird names, but if you ask at a craft store, they’ll know what you mean
  • A glue gun
  • A lot of glue

01Floral

Most of this I got from Michaels Craft Store – don’t forget your coupons! I ended up adding in some flowers from the Dollar Tree as well since I was trying to stick to a budget that I was quickly ignoring. I selected the flowers based on the tones that are being used in the nursery – pinks and peaches. I also grabbed some greens to balance the bright tones. 

As for the letter itself, luckily, I’m making the first initial of the baby’s name, a K. -Theoretically I’m thinking this should be much more straightforward than the construction of a S or a Q or one of those with curves and complications, but you never know!

Here’s my plan:

First things first – make the shape. I have cardboard which I will paint – I’m painting mine white because there’s a lot of white furniture in the nursery. I think going for a green back would also make this look really clean, especially if you incorporate greens or succulents into your design.

Once I have a shape I’m happy with for the cardboard – which will be an adventure with an exacto knife, the likes of which I haven’t used since middle school tech class – I’m going to cut and attach the green stuff to it with a hot glue gun.  Also, a PSA here: although I encourage you to pause for prosecco during all craft projects, I highly recommend that this pause comes after the cutting part is done.

My plan is to trim up the fake flowers so they only have a short stem. My initial approach is going to be to just shove the stems into the green foundation and then I’ll see if I need to add glue into the mix. 

I have some concerns about this project. I’m envisioning this being a standing letter but

  • Will it be structurally sound?
  • Do I not put flowers on the bottom then so it can stand?
  • If I do that, what if the mom decides at some point she wants it hung on the wall instead? Do I just add flowers?
  • What if this comes out awful and I have spent all this money on overpriced fake flowers?!

I’ll let you know how it goes.