Thursday, June 9, 2011

Eco and DIY Ideas for a Rustic or Garden Theme Wedding

Wedding season is approaching and Valentine’s Day is around the corner (which means proposals and newly engaged couples). Now’s the time to start planning and crafty DIY brides to be are brainstorming for fab ideas for decor and wedding accessories.

Here are a few ideas for eco and DIY wedding dcorations for a garden or rustic theme outdoor wedding.

A great way to be eco and DIY with a garden or rustic style outdoor wedding is to think outside the wedding box and look to traditional and old fashioned garden decor and even garden tools like wheelbarrows, wagons, watering cans, and buckets.

These can all easily be transformed into quirky wedding decor.

Try these ideas:

Have your flower girl carry an old fashioned watering can instead of a basket.

Use old vegetable baskets (like bushel barrels you see at the farmer’s market-only smaller) or small metal buckets (think old milking pails) as centerpieces for your tables. Fill them with flowers or the metal buckets with floating candles or floating flower heads.

Grab an old wheelbarrow and transform it into a fabulous place for guests to deposit your gifts.

Then you can just wheel it out- presents and all after the wedding. No wheelbarrow? How about an old wagon.

Old mailboxes make perfect card receptacles. A bit of sanding and a fresh coat of paint might be all they need to become something unique and gorgeous for your wedding.

Thirfted terra cotta flower pots filled with plants or flowers make great centerpieces- or scale them down to mini pots for growing favors to give to your guests. If you don’t like the traditional terra cotta color give them a quick and easy coat of paint to match your wedding colors.

Big garden items like trellises and arbors are always welcome wedding decor and if you purchase one for the wedding- you can reuse them in your newlywed yard and garden.

The same goes for any other garden related item – they can serve double duty by being reused after the wedding in your home or garden.

Start planning early to find a great collection of rustic garden theme wedding items perfect for both your wedding and your garden. Hit up flea markets, architectural salvage yards, antique stores, and yard and garage sales.

You just never know where you’ll find the perfect treasure.

Easy DIY Bridal Bouquet

The current trend in bridal bouquets are pretty, semi-round, hand wrapped styles which is great for those who wish to go DIY. The hand wrapped bouquets can be made with fresh or artificial flowers.

I prefer artificial simply because they are easier to work with. There’s no refrigeration required and you can make the bouquets in advance with no worries. Plus they will last forever. They’re great for displaying in a case or on a shelf and it’s a nice way to preserve wedding memories.

If you go with artificial flowers the best type of flower for these bouquets are ones with full, round, bushy flower heads like roses, carnations, and ranunculus.

To make the hand wrapped bouquet you will need:

Flowers- the larger you want the bouquet the more you’ll need

Floral wire

Floral tape

Pretty ribbon to wrap the stems of the finished bouquet - usually a wide one inch ribbon works well

A hot glue gun to attach the ribbon onto stems

Wire cutters


To make the bouquet:

1. Strip all the leaves and excess buds off the flower stem. You’ll want it bare so it can easily be wrapped. Start with one large center flower. It can be bigger, or a different color or the same. I like to make it the focal point everything works around. I usually use a large rose.

2. Next, choose at least four flowers to be the next layer. Four will make for an average to small bouquet. Each layer will need more flowers. It’s like creating a half of ball. You build layers around the center flower. Carnations or another puffy flower work great for this layer.

3. Position and tape each flower individually. This gives you wiggle room and the ability to move one flower without moving them all. Floral tape is wonderful because it will hold but allow flexibility if you need to redo anything. The goal is to have the top flower slightly above the first layer but still blending in a circular pattern.

4. The third layer will require six or more flowers depending on how big they are. You want full layers without gaps. Again full flower styles work best. This layer can be switched up a bit though. I have found mums and hydrangeas work nicely for this layer.

Remember to wrap each stem with tape to attach them individually. Believe me this is important. I made one bouquet where I just bunched and wrapped- ugh I couldn’t adjust or fix anything.

Usually once you have your third layer finished the bouquet is ready for finishing touches. However you can add a fourth layer if you want to go big. Just repeat all the steps and add a few more flowers to the layer.

5. If you think the bouquet needs something extra you can add small filler flowers like baby’s breath, or even leaves, berries or butterflies to add something extra or fill in any gaps. You may need to wire some items to secure them to the stems of your flowers.

6. Position and fluff flowers so everything fills in and makes a round shape. Cut the stems so they are all about the same length. Then tape them with the floral tape. Once everything is securely taped in you can start wrapping the bouquet with the ribbon.

7. I like to start from the bottom and wrap upward adding just a tiny dot of hot glue under each turn of the ribbon, just enough to secure the ribbon without making it a hard knot from the dry glue.

Once you get to the top of the stems (where they start to curve into the bouquet), cut the ribbon in a line to flow with the curve of your handle then glue and tuck it in out of sight.

You might want to experiment a few times with extra flowers or flowers that are not your actual bouquet flowers. That way if you mess up there’s no worries. Once you get the hang of it though you could probably make this easy bouquet style in no time.