DIY Succulent Boutonnieres + How-to Wire Succulents for Arrangements

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I went into my sister’s wedding week with no knowledge regarding how to properly prepare succulents for use in bouquets and boutonnieres. Through a lot of google searches and trial and error I came up with the following hybrid method for securely wiring succulents for use in bouquets, table arrangements, and groomsmen’s boutonnieres, so I thought I could share that with you today. Let’s start with the basic wiring method, and then I’ll show you how to turn a wired succulent into jaunty little boutonniere!

How-to Wire Succulentssucculent-boutonniere-supplies

  • Floral tape
  • Florist wire – 24 gauge (sold on spools and paddles) AND 16 Gauge Stem Wire (sold in pre-cut lengths)
  • Needle-nose pliers with wire snips
  • Small succulents

For each succulent you will need to have two portions of 24 gauge florist wire, each cut to approximately 6 inches length, and one 16 gauge stem wire . If you will be using the succulent in an arrangement or bouquet, be sure to keep your 16 gauge stem wire nice and long.

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1. Start by removing any wilted leaves from the underside of your succulent. | 2. Take your 16 gauge wire and insert it into the center of your succulent’s stem from the underside of the plant. Make sure the wire is fully embedded inside the stem. If it pushes through the front side of your succulent, don’t panic…just pull the stem wire back a bit until the end is hidden back inside the succulent.

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3. Pierce your two 24 gauge wires through the succulent stem in a cross-like fashion, leaving an even amount of wire sticking out on all four sides. | 4. One at a time, carefully begin twisting the 24 gauge wires up around the thick 16 gauge stem wire.

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5. Once all wires have been wrapped securely around the stem wire, use your pliers to snip off any excess wire. Be sure to leave the large stem wire intact. | 6. Starting near the succulent stem, begin wrapping floral tape around the wires. Work your way downward, and then back up again to finish. Snip tape. TIP: be sure to pull the floral tape outward as you work to activate the adhesive.

You’ve now successfully wired a succulent!

DIY Succulent Boutonnieresdiy-succulent-boutonniere-supplies

  • Wired succulent
  • Floral tape
  • Ribbon (non-wired | approximately half inch width)
  • Hot glue gun (low heat) with glue stick (not pictured)
  • Pruning shears
  • Scissors (not pictured)
  • Corsage pin (not pictured)
  • Greenery | I used two Dusty Miller leaves (from Flower Muse)
  • Filler flowers | I used Baby’s Breath
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1. Select the greenery and any filler flowers that you would like to use. I chose two Dusty Miller leaves for this boutonniere, as well as some Baby’s Breath. Since the backside of the Dusty Miller leaf is just a paler shade of green than the front, I chose to face one leaf forward and one backward for a contrasting effect. | 2. Place your greenery and filler flowers exactly how you’d like them to look in the finished boutonniere and use floral tape to attach them together. Start taping at the top, work downwards, and then wrap upwards again to finish where you started.

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3. Place your pre-wired succulent on top of your taped greenery, and wrap both layers securely together with floral tape. Use pliers to snip off excess stem wire. TIP: make sure to cut the wire all the way back to the edge of the floral tape so that the loose end doesn’t snag on any of the groomsmen’s jackets. | 4. Place a dab of hot glue on the top backside of your boutonniere and adhere one end of your ribbon to it.

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5. Wrap your ribbon around and down the stem, and then back up again. Apply a small dot of hot glue on the top backside of your boutonniere (where you started) and adhere the end of the ribbon to it. | 6. You’re done! Be sure to include a corsage pin with each boutonniere.

 

diy-succulent-boutonniere1Succulents are easy to work with and look fantastic in all sorts of arrangements…but the best thing about using succulents for your wedding or event is that you can plant them when you’re done! I followed this tutorial from Needles + Leaves for propagating succulents, and the ones we have from my sister’s wedding are already sprouting roots!

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions! xo Ez

A special thank you to Flower Muse for providing the florals, greens, and succulents used in this post.

My Sister’s Wedding Flowers

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You guys…my little sister is married!! Her big day took place last Monday in the beautiful San Miguel Mission, and it was was a magical occasion filled with laughter, smiles, and tears of joy. I had the honor of arranging all of her ceremony and reception flowers with stunning blooms from my friends at Flower Muse.

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When all was said and done there were over 30 table arrangements, 11 bouquets, 14 boutonnières and corsages, as well as flowers for the cake and the church. Needless to say, it was a big job, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. At the end of the day my sister was absolutely thrilled with how everything came together, and I couldn’t have asked for better flowers to work with than the ones provided by Flower Muse. Now I’m going to let these snapshots that I took (and few words) do the rest of the talking.

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I couldn’t resist including this photo of my little nephew smelling my sister’s bouquet!bridesmaid-bouquet5

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In a few weeks, I’m hoping to share a post with photographs captured by the incredible photographer Jennifer Young. Those are going to be stunning (I already got a sneak peek…shhh)!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow…I’ll be sharing tips on how to wire succulents for use in bouquets and arrangements, as well as a quick DIY succulent boutonnières like ones I made for all the guys (but neglected to capture in action…bummer). See you then! xo Ez

Sources: Flowers from Flower Muse | Wedding Dress - BHLDN | Bride’s Shoes - Badgley Mischka | Cake Design - Deni & Mo Confections | Cake Topper - The Glittered Barn |

The floral ingredients for my sister’s wedding flowers included: Blush Peonies | Light Pink Garden Rose – Keira | Peach Garden Rose – Juliet | White Garden Rose – Alabaster | White Majolica Spray Rose | Baby’s Breath | White Sweet Peas | Dusty Miller | available by request | Succulents

This post was made possible through a partnership with Flower Muse. A very special thank you goes out to their team for making my sister’s wedding dreams come true! All images and opinions expressed here are my own. Find more from Flower Muse on: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Snapshots from a 15th Birthday Party

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Hi friends! Over the past couple weeks on Instagram you might have caught glimpses of the party decor that I was working on for my daughter’s 15th birthday. Well yesterday her big day finally arrived and I was able to surprise her when she got home from school, with a room decorated with sweet things inspired by everything she’s into these days (namely: “Doge,” anything cute (aka kawaii), animals, and unique sweets (she wants to own a candy shop company some day) .

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Since our finances have been stretched to the max lately, I knew that I’d have to come up with a creative way to make the day feel special without spending an arm and a leg. The large animal paintings (glued to recycled cardboard for stability) were the solution that I came up with (cost $0). The only thing that I did ended up spending money on decoration-wise, was for the purchase of a few sheets of colorful cardstock ($4) that I used to make the confetti garlands with.

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My daughter is really into trying out unique candies and sodas, so I also set up a soda tasting station for her (with tasting note cards for added fun). All the sodas were purchased at Rocket Fizz and World Market.

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Affordable blooms from Trader Joe’s are the best, and a great way to add an extra fresh burst of color to the room!

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My daughter loved everything (including the hand-me-down Instax Mini Camera that was her “big” gift). Hooray!

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I feel so incredibly lucky to be the mom of such a wonderfully kind, fun-spirited, and beautiful (inside and out) daughter. Fifteen years have flashed by in the blink of an eye! I can’t wait for all the adventures to come over the next fifteen! xo Ez

A Craft Party with DIY Tote Bags Inspired By Ford Fiesta

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Hooray! I’m super excited to finally be able to share the project with you that I’ve been working on in partnership with Ford, using the Fiesta Movement as my inspiration. You might recall the sneak peek I shared a few weeks ago with the video that I used as my concept springboard…did any of you guess what I was up to? Well, here it is! A fun craft party with Fiesta-worthy DIY tote bags!

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This party set-up is really simple, and the project results are so fun to customize and create, that there’s no reason not to host a craft party with a few of your favorite friends a.s.a.p.! I hope by the end of this post you’ll be feeling inspired to put together your own take on this challenge…and if you do, I’d love for you to stop back and share the results with us all! Now let’s Fiesta!

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Setting up the party is half the fun. Here are few tips for setting up your craft party:

  • To protect your work surface(s), use a roll of cheap white craft paper as a covering. Guests will feel more comfortable if they aren’t worrying about spills.
  • For the best flow, create several different stations for various portions of the tote bag creation: 1. Template tracing and cutting mat station 2. Ironing station 3. Painting / glittering station (this one should take up the largest portion) 4. (optional) food station
  • Cups and mugs work great for keeping craft supplies for different tasks organized and easy to access. Plates work well for holding paint bottles, so that you limit drips and spills during crafting.
  • Don’t forget the snacks. I just kept it simple with some store-bought cookies and bottled soda. Feel free to get as creative with the food as you want, or scrap it all together, if it doesn’t fit in with your idea of the perfect party.

fiestacraftparty3San Pellegrino Limonata…yum! Now we’re ready to make some totes!

Freezer Paper Stencil Tote Bag How-to:diy-freezer-paper-totes-14

Gather your supplies. For a basic freezer paper stenciled tote you will need:

  • Free Printable: Decorative Shape + Alphabet Stencils
  • Cotton tote bag | I found a good assortment at a local craft store, but they can also be found by searching for “blank tote bags” on Amazon
  • Freezer Paper | available in the kitchen storage / paper goods section of many grocery stores, or here.
  • Craft knife
  • Pencil
  • Self-healing cutting mat | In a pinch you can use a thick piece of cardboard in place of the cutting mat, but your results will be more precise and your craft knife blade will last longer with the mat.
  • Acrylic Paints or Fabric Paints | Any colors you’d like
  • Textile Paint Medium | If using acrylic paint you will need to use a fabric paint medium to convert the paint into a fabric paint. I purchased mine from the craft store.
  • Paint palette or small dishes for mixing paint
  • Sponge-tip paint brushes | These can be found at craft and hardware stores
  • Assorted paint brushes
  • Scrap cardboard | Trimmed to fit the size of your tote
  • Iron + ironing board

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Step 1. Download and print the Decorative Shape + Alphabet Templates onto standard copy paper. Place a piece of freezer paper (waxed side down) on top of the template design you’d like to use so that you can see it faintly through the paper, and use a pencil to trace the design(s). Keep in mind that the interior portion of your stencil will be cut away and will represent the design that will be painted onto your bag.

Step 2. If you will be using text, you will need to trace the letters you want to use as well. They don’t need to be lined up with your final design concept during the tracing phase, since each portion will be cut out separately in the next step.

Step 3. Place your freezer paper on top of a self-healing mat and use your craft knife to carefully cut out your design. I recommend cutting out small elements, such as text first, so that the paper around it gives the design stability while you trim.

Step 4. Finish cutting out the larger design elements and set the paper scraps aside (or dispose of them).

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Step 5. Place your design (waxed side down) onto your tote bag where you would like the final placement to be. Heat your iron to a medium temperature and make sure that the steam setting is turned off. Slowly iron the freezer paper (waxed side down) onto your tote bag until it adheres fully. Pay special attention to any fine points and corners…you want to be sure these are attached well.

Step 6: If you will be applying text to your design, you will iron each letter on individually at this point. Applying text templates (resist templates) the way that I did here creates a barrier to the paint in the shape of the text, so that the final text design is seen with the tote material, not in paint (refer to the final completed tote image if needed).

Step 7: Now you’re ready to choose your paint colors and mix up your paint solution. Refer to manufacturer directions on the textile medium bottle when adding to your acrylic paint. If you are using pre-mixed fabric paint, you can simply select your colors and go to the next step.

Step 8: Place your pre-cut piece of scrap cardboard inside your tote bag, and then place a piece of freezer paper (waxed side facing up towards the fabric) on top of the cardboard. This will keep the paint from leaking through your bag. Your your sponge-tip paint brush and begin applying paint to the open areas inside your ironed stencils with an up and down (not side to side) dabbing motion. Be careful not to over-saturate your design and be sure that you’ve gotten paint into all corners. Set your bag aside to let it dry. Acrylic paint dries pretty quickly, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Note: If your bag looks a little wrinkled, don’t fret…everything will smooth out during the heat-setting step (later).

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Step 9: Once your paint is dry, slowly peel off the larger paper stencil(s).

Step 10: If needed, use the tip of a craft knife to help loosen the edges of smaller paper stencil elements, and peel those off as well.

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Step 11: (optional) Use a fabric marker to add fine details to your tote – such as the twine I drew for the bunting banners on my bag.

Step 12: (optional) When you peel off your stencil there may be a few edges where the paint is not as crisp as you’d like it to be. Use a fine-tipped paintbrush with a bit of matching paint to even things up.

Note: Acrylic fabric paint will need to be heat set with an iron once your design has dried fully…this will also help to release any wrinkles that occurred during the stenciling process. Refer to manufacturer directions on the textile medium bottle for heat setting and laundering instructions.

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Woohoo! You just threw an awesome craft party! Now your lucky guests have a totes (har har) awesome accessory to take home with them!

Here are two alternate versions that you can also share with your party guests:

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Create a glittered design by painting the inside of your template with fabric glue (I used Jewel It) and then sprinkling the glued portion with glitter (I used Martha Stewart brand glitter). When the glue has dried, tap off excess glitter and then peel off the paper template to reveal your completed design.

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And for a super quick DIY bag (if stencils are not your thing)…simply paint freehand designs (such as this polka dot pattern) directly onto the bags. Voila! I can’t wait to see what you’ll create! xo Ez

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This post was kindly sponsored by Ford Fiesta Movement. Find more from Ford Fiesta on Facebookand Twitter.

A Bastille Day Picnic with Free Printables and a Giveaway Inspired by The Little Paris Kitchen

The Little Paris KitchenI really don’t need much of a push to spend a fun afternoon cooking with my daughter. So when Chronicle Books asked if I’d like to use their new cookbook The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo as inspiration for a Bastille Day picnic, I couldn’t say yes fast enough! My daughter and I chose Clafoutis—Versions Sucre et Sale (Sweet and Savory Clafoutis) as our recipe of the day. I love how the one recipe can be transformed into both a dessert and a main course with only a couple minor changes! You can download a copy of the recipe from the book (generously provided by Chronicle Books) below:

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And before I show you what fun we had putting our picnic together you’re not going to want to miss out on the amazing Bastille Day Pinterest Giveaway Chronicle Books is hosting! I’m already jealous of whichever one of you wins!

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Click on the image above, or this link to enter for your chance to win (prize package valued at over $400). TIP: First make sure that you are logged into Pinterest. Once on the giveaway page, select the image you’d like to pin using one of the check boxes provided, fill in your email address and zip code (US residents only), and click “submit.” Your chosen image will pop up in a ‘pin it’ box…choose the board you’d like to add it to, and you’re done! Find more festive inspiration in Chronicle Book’s Bastille Day Fête board. I’m crossing my fingers that you win!

Chronicle Books is so stellar that they have also provided an entire suite of Free Printables for you that were inspired by The Little Paris Kitchen. There are all sorts of goodies (click each link to begin downloading)! Your next fête is going to be so fabulous!

littlepariskitchenslideonelittlepariskitchen8Summer-ripe berries! YUM!

littlepariskitchenslidetwoDon’t forget to have fun with your food while you cook!

littlepariskitchen14Pop those babies out of the oven and let them cool (or if you prefer, serve them warm topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream)!

littlepariskitchenslidesavoryWhile your waiting for the sweet Clafoutis to cool, mix up a quick savory version for your main course!

littlepariskitchenpinic1We filled our picnic basket with fresh salad and dressing, two types of cheese (labeled with the Free Printable French-Inspired Food Labels / Place Cards), raspberry lemonade, and our Clafoutis—Versions Sucre et Sale!

littlepariskitchenpinic3 For an added festive touch (and to keep them from getting squished in the basket), I wrapped the sweet clafoutis with parchment paper and tied each parcel closed with baker’s twine.

littlepariskitchenpinic7Instead of driving to a park, we decided that we wanted to take advantage of our beautiful yard, and set our picnic up outside our house instead. Such a grand idea!

littlepariskitchenpinic8littlepariskitchenpinic10littlepariskitchenpinic13I can’t believe that it’s taken us this long to get outside for a festive picnic. It’s my new favorite thing (thank you The Little Paris Kitchen for inspiring us)! If you don’t have a yard or decent park close by, it would even be a blast to just set up a picnic indoors! Don’t you think?!

littlepariskitchenpinic6littlepariskitchenpinic4I’m so happy that picnic season has just begun! xo Ez

chroniclebooks_sponsorbuttonThis post was inspired by The Little Paris Kitchen, and kindly sponsored by Chronicle Books. Find more from Chronicle Books on: Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram. All photos and opinions expressed within this post are my own.