I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve shared a personal post here on the blog, but this weekend I took on a little project that I thought would be perfect to share on the blog, because I think it has the potential to inspire someone else who might be planning a photo session soon (or who just wants to explore their creative side with some silk florals!)!
Before I get into the details, I want to preface by saying two things:
First, I am by no means a floral design expert. I have zero background in floral design and I’m not making these items to sell – I just put them together for my own use for an upcoming anniversary photo session I’m planning for my hubby and I … because I’m always a fan of including some unique or special accessories to make our photos look a little more editorial! In other words, I’m a little extra when it comes to our photos and I’m not ashamed to say so! 😉
(Also, my bestie made her own floral crown for her maternity photos and it totally inspired me!)
Second, I am NOT a crafty person. I rarely take on a DIY project by myself, and I literally didn’t even own a glue gun before this project. So to all my fellow non-crafty-or-diy-proficient ladies: if I can do this, so can you!
Okay, let’s get into how I did this!
First, I scoured Pinterest for tutorials.
Like any Enneagram 3 would do when trying a DIY for the first time – because we want to get it right the first time, am I right, fellow 3’s?? 😉 And ultimately, I found a few blogs that gave me enough confidence to attempt this on my own. I’m going to list them here because I’m a big fan of giving credit where credit is due, and I wouldn’t have been able to pull off this little project if it weren’t for these other bloggers who did it first!
Gathered Living’s DIY Flower Crown Bar – this post actually recaps a gathering of friends who participated in a “Flower Crown Bar” where they spent an afternoon together making their own crowns! (Side note, now I’m dreaming of put together a ladies’ afternoon like this one day – y’all comment at the end of the post if you’d be up for it!) They used real florals (I used silk), but this post was helpful because it had really good step-by-step photos of how to attach the florals.
Easy Flower Crown Tutorial on Brides.com – this post is specifically a tutorial on making your own flower crown and again, goes into great detail about how to attach the florals to the halo and what materials to use!
I also wanted to make some sort of floral accent for our pup to wear, and I had a hard time finding someone who had done exactly what I wanted to do, BUT the closest thing I found (and my launching point for my own little design) was this Easy DIY Wedding Flower Dog Collar blog post.
Second, I took a little trip to Hobby Lobby for supplies.
(And God bless my husband, he came with me… although I think he regretted it by about 30 minutes in. My b, babe.) Here’s what I bought in total for all 3 of the items I ended up making:
- three large sprigs of different greenery / small blooms that I thought coordinated well with each other – they have varying textures but they all have muted greens with cool undertones (as opposed to having green leaves that look very “warm” or yellow-y).
- five individual floral blooms of white ranunculus
- grapevine wire
- a cheap glue gun (I think it was about $6) and glue sticks
- floral tape
I think I spent about $45 on these items, which isn’t bad considering I could have spent that much on either a floral crown OR floral dog collar alone on etsy! (Plus now I have leftover greenery, floral tape, and grapevine wire that I can use next time I decide to DIY some florals!)
The only two things that I already had at home were the ribbon (not from other DIY projects – because as I’ve already stated, I am not an experienced DIYer – but because I keep ribbon on hand to take with me to style details on wedding days!), and wire cutters (I didn’t have “floral” wire cutters, but I knew Jason had some electrical wire cutters that would easily cut the floral stems so that’s what I used). If you don’t have wire cutters, you’ll definitely want to get some before attempting a silk floral project – regular household scissors just don’t quite do the trick.
Here are the greenery sprigs I used:
And the individual ranunculus blooms:
I only photographed 4 of the ranunculus because I wasn’t originally planning to make a boutonniere for Jason, but once I got into making Mona’s corsage and my flower crown, I realized I could easily do a boutonniere for Jason too, so I went back and spent the additional $2 on another ranunculus bloom for him!
I made what I am calling Mona’s “corsage” first, and here’s how I did that:
First of all, I don’t know if calling it a corsage is really accurate, but I think it works so I’m going with it. Second, I had a hard time finding a tutorial I really liked for this on Pinterest, because I had some particular ideas about how I wanted to do it (story of my life). Most of the tutorials I found on Pinterest involved buying a cheap nylon collar from a pet supply store and gluing silk florals directly onto the collar. But Mona has a nice, Italian leather collar with her name stamped on a metal plate that is attached to the spine of the collar itself (no jingling tags in our house!) so I really didn’t want to go buy a cheap nylon collar for photos. I really wanted to create something I could use with her collar, which meant I needed to make something that was removable.
I ended up deciding to make a base out of grapevine wire, that could slide on and off the collar, and I think it turned out to be exactly what I wanted! Here’s how I did it:
First, I picked out the greenery and the flower I wanted to use for this and I played around with some arrangements until I created one I liked (which I still ended up modifying slightly later on, but for the most part the design I originally came up with is what I ended up creating for her).
To be honest, when I started playing with the floral pieces, I originally started taking photos (with my phone) so I could remember how I wanted to put it back together when it came time to glue it – and then I ended up deciding to share a blog post once I got a little further into the process, because I already had a bunch of photos to use!
Next, I coiled up the grapevine wire into a base that formed a “loop” that I could slide on and off of her collar. See below:
I slid the loop on and off her collar (and over her name plate) before I glued it, to make sure that it was a good fit – not too tight, not too loose. I wanted to be able to get it on and off easily, but I also wanted it to sit snug in any given position (in case it was more comfortable for her to wear it up at the top of her neck instead of the bottom). When I knew I had it the right size, I used hot glue to glue the wire together to form a solid base for the florals.
Next, I glued all the background florals onto the base (this is when my earlier photos came in handy to remind myself how I wanted to do this!)
Then I glued the ranunculus bloom on top of the other florals, slid it onto the collar, and tried it on our girl. Now, if you don’t know, our dog is a coonhound – and one characteristic of a coonhound is their large ears. I realized when I tried this on her that the original orientation I had created it for (with the greenery sitting above the ranunculus) was not going to work because her ears were so long that they were getting stuck in the greenery sprigs. (Yes, it was kind of funny.)
So I decided to flip it the other direction, which in hindsight I actually like even better!
I had toyed with the idea of adding a ribbon bow to the back of my crown and to Mona’s arrangement, but when I flipped her florals upside down, I didn’t feel like there was room for a full bow. So instead, I just looped the ribbon through the grapevine base and tied it in knots in the back – so there’s no bow, but from the front, it looks like the ribbon is what’s holding the flowers onto the collar and I think turned out even cuter than I’d imagined. I’m a little obsessed, to be honest.
If you’re interested, the two solid ribbons (the ivory and the slate blue / gray) are recent purchases from Hobby Lobby (I think they’re $3-4 each) and the lace ribbon was an older purchase from Michael’s.
(Notice how, even flipped upside down, her ears still touch the top of the florals. Hound dog ears are the best, y’all. Also, I know I’m biased, but how cute is our Mona girl?!)
Then it was time to tackle my second project – my flower crown.
Just like with Mona’s corsage, I had a few ideas of what I wanted when I started out. I didn’t want greenery all the way around the halo, and I wanted it to sit asymmetrically rather than centered on my forehead.
The first thing I did was create my halo out of grapevine wire. That part is pretty self-explanatory – cut a length of wire that fits your head (plus a little extra room to twist the ends together), and twist the two ends around each other so that it forms a circle/halo.
(The only thing I wish I had done differently was to keep the size of my halo snug to my head. I left a little extra room because I thought the floral stems and tape would add more bulk to the inside of the halo than they actually did. I think I could have made it snug to my head from the start and it still would have fit, even with the florals attached – and I think that’s the case because I didn’t wrap greenery and florals all the way around it. If you’re making a crown with greenery wrapped all the way around, then you may want to make your halo a little bigger than the size of your head.)
So here’s my halo and some of the greenery I knew I wanted to use in the crown:
I knew I wanted to use three ranunculus blooms in the crown, and I played around with what greenery I wanted to use around each bloom before I started attaching anything. (And again, I took photos so I could remember roughly how I wanted to surround the blooms.)
Once I had an idea of how I wanted to surround the individual blooms, I laid them all out in a line so I could see what the full arrangement would look like in a line on the halo.
Then, I attached them (which, I’ll be honest, I didn’t document well – mostly because once I had things exactly how I wanted them on the crown, I didn’t want to stop and take a photo because I was afraid they would shift to a different position on the grapevine wire!).
I ended up taping some of the greenery to the ranunculus blooms (with floral tape) first, then attaching that grouping (the bloom + the greenery) to the crown, with more floral tape. I found it was a little easier to keep the greenery in the spot I wanted it around the bloom if I taped the greenery and bloom together first, then attached it as a single piece to the halo.
I attached the middle flower and greenery first, then the front flower and greenery, and then the back flower and greenery. In between attaching each grouping, I also tried it on in the mirror to make sure I was happy with how it sat on my head, and where I was planning on placing the next grouping.
(It was during this stage that I realized I had made the halo a little too big, so I ended up wrapping a second piece of grapevine wire around it to try to make the fit a little more snug – it helped some, but I still wish I had just made it snug to begin with!)
Last, I tied a ribbon bow onto the back of the halo so that the bow will sit in the center of the back of my head.
Et voila! A DIY floral crown that I’m honestly super proud of!
I didn’t originally intend to make Jason a boutonniere (honestly, I just didn’t think about it at first!) but the thought occurred to me while I was working on Mona’s corsage, and by the time I finished my crown I had decided that I definitely wanted to make him one so that all three of us would have a little floral accent for our photos.
After making the first two arrangements, the boutonniere was super easy in comparison, and I did it exactly like I did the others. I arranged my greenery and bloom first, then I used the floral tape to tape them together! (And I left the stem long enough to be able to pin it to his suit!)
So there you have it – a girl with zero DIY prowess who successfully made three DIY floral accents for a photo shoot, in one weekend, for under $50! (And in case you’re wondering how our full ensembles turned out, I blogged my faves from our 10th anniversary session and yes, I am obsessed with how big of an impact these florals made!)
Have I inspired you to make your own floral accessories yet?! 😉
Tell me in the comments if this is something you’ve tried or want to try – or if you have any questions about how I made these!
pssst! If you liked this post, you may also like these other photo-session-planning resources:
free PDF download: Photo Session Shopping Guide
blog post: 4 steps to a swoon-worthy portrait session