• Kara Errico

Frugal Florals


It's that time of year again! Whether it's school dance with a theme (prom, spring fling, Sadie Hawkins, etc.) or a parent-child dance, more and more posts for recommendations for "inexpensive yet nice" floral arrangements are seen on social media.

Maybe it's the fact that I'm closer to 40 now and out of touch with the price point of certain items ... or perhaps it's just a lapse in memory about how much I spent back in my high school days for my then boyfriend's boutonnières for several proms we attended together. But, what in the what?!?

When our elementary school announced a Daddy-Daughter dance, excitement buzzed about our little SoCal apartment. She had a dress already (thank you, grandma!), but now we needed to add accessories. I contacted a few places for a small wrist corsage for a five-year-old girl and was blown away that the STARTING price was $40 (even at grocery stores)!

Not only do we not have that kind of money at the moment, but I know for a fact that my little lady will start complaining that her flowers are itching her and make Daddy hold them the rest of the night. The dance is only 2 hours long! No way am I dropping that kind of money on "live" flowers that will soon become trash.

For those going to a Mother-Son dance or anyone who's standing in as the family representative (or similar wording that our school mentioned in the announcement), the project described here can easily be adapted for a child boutonnière and adult corsage -- because we all know that not every family has a mom and dad. (My kiddo makes me beam with pride when I hear her talk about how every family is beautiful and we need to celebrate their differences!)

I have to commend Hobby Lobby once again for their selection of special event items and variety of fake flora. In one stop, I picked up a pack of florist tape, a pre-made boutonnière (in the wedding aisle), some delicate looking plastic flowers in fun colors to match my daughter's dress, a sheet of baby blue felt, ribbon, and some straight pins with pearl accents.

Prior to my shopping trip, I made sure I had plenty of sticks for my glue gun (I knew that would come in handy big time).

For my husband's boutonnière, I basically disassembled the one I'd bought and then rebuilt it using the steps shown in this You Tube video. (The Hobby Lobby one already had twine wrapped around it, so I just re-wound it back up once I'd added in the blue flowers and taken out a few items from the original, then finished it off with a straight pin.)

When it came time to create my daughter's wrist corsage, I watched countless videos and read through a few picture-based tutorials (much like the one I'm creating here). Of course, I'm blanking on which ones specifically. D'oh!

I loved the idea of a ribbon to tie around her wrist, rather than using elastic and having to be pretty accurate with measurements (to ensure it didn't slip off or wasn't too tight). Plus, the iridescent baby blue ribbon I found was such a close match to her dress, I couldn't believe it!

The corsage construction took awhile, but here are the basic steps:

  1. Cut a square of felt the width of your daughter's wrist (you'll need her to measure this out)

  2. While you have your daughter present, measure out a length of ribbon -- you want it long enough to tie and have a little extra hanging below the bow

  3. Next, cut a second, slightly smaller square of felt

  4. Cut a second length of ribbon (same length as the first)

  5. Determine which direction you want the flowers to go and how "tall" your spray will be

  6. Experiment a bit with leaf arrangements, then glue them down to the larger felt square

  7. Cut your flowers and accents to your desired length

  8. Determine how you'd like to arrange those pieces

  9. Begin gluing everything into place**

  10. Once it's dry and everything is "cemented" in place, flip over your floral arrangement

  11. Line up your ribbons parallel to one another (with flowers in the center) and affix with more hot glue on the felt backing

  12. Lastly, glue the smaller felt square overtop the ribbons (this will cover the glue spots seen through the ribbon and will also provide a nice soft surface that will rest against her skin).

But, that's it, folks! It was so simple to do and it made for such a sweet few moments captured (albeit blurry in some photos) of our baby girl's first dance.

So, when it comes time for your next special occasion, don't let the florist's price tag scare you. You can DO this and make something beautiful on a budget. Happy crafting, all!

#DIYcorsage #DIYboutonnière #fakeflowers #crafting #ribbon #dance #floralarrangement

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