Happy Sunday! I’ve fallen off the blog wagon and it’s about time that I hop back on. What better way to get back in the saddle than with a DIY Sunday! My husband and I are temporarily living with family while we plan/build our new house and we’ve had to downsize both our living space and storage square footage – so DIYs are a much bigger project now than they were a year ago when we were living on our own. Excuses, excuses… I know!
My wedding bouquet has been dried and sitting in the bottom of my closet in a plastic bag for over 2 years now. Not only did they fill my closet with a subtle smell of past-their-prime flowers BUT it has been incredibly challenging to use my closet for anything, for fear of crushing the delicate bouquet! Yesterday I decided, enough is enough – I’m was either going to figure out a way to preserve them OR they needed to go. Note: While many of you may not have decaying wedding flowers in your closet, you MIGHT have dried roses from various anniversaries, holidays, ceremonies, etc. Use what you have or buy some flowers and start them drying!
Trip to Michaels
I had pinned various shadow box pictures on Pinterest since (let’s be honest) before we were even engaged so I had an idea of what I was looking for. Armed with a 40% off coupon, we headed to my favorite craft store. First, I needed some type of sealant spray to protect the flowers and make them less fragile. We ended up finding Krylon’s Triple-Thick Crystal Clear Glaze which lists “dried/silk flowers” as one of it’s uses. Done! Next, we needed a shadow box – whadayaknow – all shadow boxes were 50% off this weekend! I ended up choosing one that is 6″x14″ for just $7.49.
Set Up – The Bouquet
Knowing that the flowers would take some time to dry we decided to spray them with the Krylon Glaze on Saturday afternoon. Disassembling my bouquets (I had mine and two of my bridesmaids’) was THE MOST NERVE-WRACKING PART! I was so nervous – as it turns out, for no reason. The daisies didn’t fare too well but I expected those to give me trouble. The roses and miniature roses separated beautifully with not a single casualty. We took our production outside and proceeded to spray each flower – top, sides, and bottom – and placed each one in a vase, ensuring that they had space to dry without getting stuck to one another. One coat seemed to do it, but if you have a little more patience than me, I might recommend a second coat after the first dries.
Set Up – Everything Else
While the flowers dried we moved on to figuring out the rest of our plan – I knew I wanted to include some other wedding items but wasn’t sure how to incorporate things without making it look too busy. I decided to break out my treasured “wedding bin” (remember when I said we have limited storage here? yeah. I still brought my wedding bin. #overprotective) and see what I had to work with. Leftover seashells and sea glass from our centerpieces – oh, heck yes. Tiny glass bottles leftover from our favor production – yes, yes! And then I saw it – our silhouette cake topper – I’ve been dying to use this piece in one way or another since our wedding and I had the perfect plan for it! **I also grabbed the pins that had been securing the cloth around the bouquet stems but didn’t end up using them for anything. They would have been perfect if I had chosen to include a wedding photo but, alas, I did not.
Putting It All Together
In addition to the shadow box and everything that I decided to put inside, we used: wire cutters, scissors, a hot glue gun, and lots of hot glue.
- The first thing we did was cut the little legs off the bottom of our cake topper. We used a simple hand saw and very carefully sawed through each plastic leg. Once the bottom was flat we hot glued the back of the topper right to the front of the glass in the bottom-right corner, careful to keep the hot glue close enough to the center that it didn’t puff out the sides when we pressed it down.
- Next, we cut the tops of each flower off, as close to the petals as we could, using a combination of the wire cutters and the scissors. My shadow box is fairly shallow so we had to fine-tune our cuts as we went to make sure the roses would fit without getting flattened by the glass.
- Now it was time to arrange everything – and then re-arrange everything – until I was satisfied with the order and positioning. We used the backing of the shadow box as our base and every so often lowered the glass down on top of our design to make sure that everything lined up.
- Once we were happy with the design, I started in the top corner and one-by-one, hot glued each flower to the backing. The key here was to leave just enough space around the edge that we would be able to lower the glass down without crushing anything.
- Finally, it was time to piece it all together! Tipping the glass frame up so it was close to vertical, we filled the bottom with a mixture of shells and sea glass, nestling the glass bottle filled with flower petals that had fallen off of the more fragile flowers among the shells so it looked “hidden”. This part took some trial and error to make sure that he prettiest shells and glass were visible from the front. With the shells in place we gently rested the front glass-side-down on the carpet (to prevent scratches to the frame) and lowered the rose-covered backing down. It was a tight fit so we used the scissors and discarded flower stems to help us wedge everything in to the frame. Lock the back on and flip it over to look at your masterpiece!
That’s really it! Like I mentioned before, you don’t need to have wedding flowers to do this project. I’ve seen some really cool heart-shaped patterns and I’ve seen people make flower-borders around photographs or invitations. Surround your baby’s first outfit or a painted wooden letter. The options are really endless and I can’t wait to try another myself! If you take this project on, please share your results!