Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dried Rose Topiary

Hello my friends and happy October! I lovey the month of October and cant wait to dive into some autumn inspired projects. But first, I must show you a project that I recently finished.

You may recall that back in August, I shared with you my first professional event planning experience. With that event, I took home a few dozen roses from the centerpieces with intentions to craft them into something. You probably thought I forgot huh? No, it just took me forever and a day to complete the project(s). I worked on a couple of things using the leftover flowers and today I'm going to share with you my progression in making a dried rose topiary.

I first started by separating the roses from the greenery, pitching what I either didn't want or what wasn't any good to use. I was left with a good selection of roses. I then began the drying process. This was a learning experience for me so I tried several different methods. I first started with silica gel, a fine powder substance that allows you to microwave-dry your flowers. This stuff works pretty well but for this project I noticed that it left my flowers a little extra-crispy and smelling a little funny. I guess I overcooked them; though they kept their shape, they were extremely brittle. Not what I was looking for. So, I just laid all of the flowers out to dry, which took several days. I simply took a cooling rack, placed it between two chairs so that it would allow the stems to dangle and keep the flowers upright, placed each flower in its respective slot, and waited. This worked well and gave the flowers a natural dried look. Except, it took a while. So I sped up the process by sticking them in the oven. Once my flowers were all dry, it was time to gather my supplies. I began by selecting a pot that suited my style. I picked up this ivory one for around $5-$10 thanks to a 40% off coupon. I have one styrofoam ball pictured here but actually used two. One for the actual topiary and one to place inside the pot to hold the topiary stick. These crazy little balls were the most expensive piece to the whole project, about $4 each. I happened to have some Spanish moss on hand so that's what I used to cover the base but there are several different types available to choose from. I also picked up some greening pins to hold the moss in place and wood picks to adhere the flowers to. All of these supplies can be found at your local craft or floral store, I happened to get all of the supplies shown at Michael's. Except for the stick, I found that for free in my back yard. Once you have all the supplies needed, here's how you can put together your very own topiary.

Start by shoving the stick up, lets try that again. Gently insert the stick into the styrofoam ball. Cover with moss, ensuring that it is kept in place by the greening pins. Talk about a bad hair day! Once the base is generously covered, its time to prepare the roses. Shorten the rose stem so that it is just long enough to attach to the wood pick. Line the stem up with the pick and wrap the wire around until the flower is secure with the pick. Stick the flower into the base, being careful not to smoosh it. Repeat process until all of your flowers are used up or your base is adequately covered. Next, ask your trusty side-kick if it looks alright. Meow! Two paws up!

At the time, I was out of dried roses and the topiary was looking like something that belonged in the compost bin. So there it sat, on my dinning room table. For days. Which turned into weeks. I managed to kick it back into gear and finished placing the remaining dried roses into the topiary. It was finally turning into something presentable.

I completed the project by inserting a styrofoam ball into the pot, covered it with moss, and gently inserted the other end of the stick into the bottom base. An ivory satin bow completed the look. Pretty simple really, just took a bit of time and ample working space.

I have one other project that involves the use of these flowers but you'll have to stay tuned to find out the details. Until then...

1 comment:

PaintinfarmMom said...

Ah well, now, that turned out pretty good! Amazing what a little patience will do, huh? How does it smell? You could probably add a couple drops of rose oil???(Just for a little more rosey smell.)