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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Enamel Flower Bouquet

I personally LOVE alternative bouquets and I’m constantly on the look for new materials that I can make bouquets with. Don’t get me wrong I love live flower bouquets but non-traditional bouquets can become a family heirloom and can have deeply personal touches added to them. This tutorial is a play on a simple paper bouquet but adds the element of durability. I have seen several beautiful paper bouquets but I always question how long the paper will last. There are so many “what ifs” on a wedding day the last thing you want to worry about is your bouquet falling apart. The great thing about this bouquet is that the enamel gives a nice hard coating which will protect your flowers and will look great all day and night long! The only drawback to this tutorial is that there is a small investment for necessary tools but if you are planning to become or are a serious crafter than it is totally worth the cost.

Things you will need for the flowers:
  • Flower Paper Punches
    • Choose punches that will give you enough variety for a dynamic bunch of flowers. Also make sure you choose a small flower punch that you will use for the center of your flowers.
  • Beautiful Papers
    • I found some beautiful papers from Paper Source but you can find papers at any craft store.
  • Ranger Sue Weinberg Melting Pot & Tools
    • I got my melting pot on Ebay for $25 with shipping. It also came with the tweezers and spatula.
  • ¼ Yard Fabric
    • Choose any color that matches your bouquet color to wrap around the bottom of your bouquet.
  • Non Stick Craft Paper
  • Utee Thick Enamel
  • Gorilla Glue
  • 12 Guage Floral Wire
  • Small Block of Dense Foam
  • Craft Tacky Glue
  • Rubber Band
  • Small Buttons or Pearls for the centers of the flowers
Things you will need for the bouquet handle:
  • 6” Wooden Dowels
  • Lace or any fabric / ribbon you want to wrap your handle with.
  • 3”-4” Diameter Foam Ball
  • Small Buttons
Things from around the house:
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Needle Nose Pliers with Wire Cutter
  • Small House Fan

Optional Tools:
  • Sizzix Die Cutter
    • If you are a “hardcore” crafter like Mee! This is an amazing investment! I got my die cutter on sale at Joann’s for $70 and that doesn’t include the different dies you have to buy to use it. But once you know the ease of die cutting paper, felt, fabric, etc. you will never want to go back!

Step 1:
Either punch or die cut your flowers. I suggest at least investing in the paper punches otherwise you will be hand cutting flowers for a LONG time. Once you have a substantial pile of different size flowers in all the same colors or a variety of colors you are ready to glue.

Step 2:

Take each flower cut out and cut from the edge of one of the petals to the center of the flower. Take your Craft Tacky Glue and put a little on one of the petals next to where you just cut and glue the adjacent petal to it. Depending on what kind of paper you are using you might have to clip you petals together and let them glue. In my case the Tacky Glue was enough so I didn’t have to clip which was nice. Repeat this step until all your flower cut-outs are 3D! Let everything dry and by hand fold back your petals or curl them around a finger.

Step 3:
Plug in your Melting Pot and put it to the Utee setting. Make sure you have your non-stick craft paper rolled out nearby otherwise you are going to make a huge mess. Pour in a good amount of Utee Enamel into your pot and let it melt without stirring it, which cause air bubbles. I like to have a small fan next to me when I work because it helps dry the enamel faster as well as clears the fumes from the melting enamel.
I used clear Utee Enamel which turns an amber color very fast but is still pretty. You can purchase many different colors and test out how it looks with different papers. After the enamel is melted take your per-made 3D flower cut-outs and dip them one at a time into the enamel. Using your tweezers and coat both sides of the flower and then place it onto your non-stick craft sheet. This sheet is amazing! You can drag your flower along it to get the excess enamel off and after a few seconds the enamel will be dry enough to peel off the craft sheet and throw back into the melting pot! Repeat this process until you have dipped all of your flowers cut-outs. Tip: If you excess enamel on your petals you can simply use a pair of small scissors and it will snip right off. It is always easier to do this process when your enamel is not fully dry but can be done after. It takes less than 60 seconds for the enamel to fully dry so working quickly is key.

Step 4:
After you have dipped all your cut-outs it is easier to see how many layers you want your flowers to be. Stack your dipped cut-outs and make your desired flowers. After you have your stacked piles take out your floral wire and cut it to approximately 4” lengths. Bend the end of each wire with your finger or with your pliers. Put a good amount of hot glue on the inside of your bottom layer of one stacked flower and glue down the wire. My die cut pattern had a hole in each flower but if yours don’t you can simply cut one in your bottom flower layer so you can thread your wire through. Once the wire is glued continue gluing your layers as you had already stacked them.

If your flowers don’t have enough surface area to glue into the next layer cut a small piece of dense foam and glue in-between the layers to act as a spacer.
Once your flower has all its layers glued including its small center piece take a rhinestone, pearl, button, or anything else you can think of and glue it in the very center of your flower.

Now you can place the wire steam of your completed flower into your block of dense foam block and continue on to the next flower. Depending on how big your foam ball is (which will be attached to your handle) and how big your flowers are will tell you how many flowers you will need to make. In my case I used the Sizzix Flower Layers # 3 with a 3” foam ball and used 19 flowers to complete my bouquet.

Step 5:

Making the handle!
I am sure there are hundreds of ways to make a bouquet handle but this is what I made up and it works well. You can also buy plastic bouquet handles with dense foam tops from Michaels Craft Stores for about $5. For my handle you need to either find (6) 6”wooden dowels or cut dowels down to 6” lengths. I found 12” long dowels at Michaels and used a small hack saw to cut them in half. After you have your dowels at the length you want them take your hot glue gun and run a line of glue down one of the dowels and then glue two together. Continue gluing in a circle until you have your handle. If you have cut your dowels yourself make sure the rough cut edges are all in the same direction and the smooth factory edges are all level and on one side.

Once the dowels are glued cut a piece of the same paper you used for your flowers and cut it to size. Cut out a piece of lace or matching fabric that is larger than the diameter of the bottom of your handle and glue the piece to the factory edges of the dowels. Cut the excess fabric edges and wrap it around the side of the dowels and glue them down. I wrapped the same paper as I used for the white part of my flowers around the dowels and glue the edge with your craft tacky glue. I used a piece of lace and covered the edge of the paper and also wrapped a 4” piece of lace around the paper so the user can hold the lace and not the paper. You can use any type of fabric, lace, and paper combination for the handle. I also glued on a few small buttons along the length of the handle for decoration.

Now take your foam ball and push your finished handle (the cut rough end) into the top of it. Push it down about 1” in depth. Pull the handle out and I put some Gorilla Glue into the hole and replace the handle back in. Let that dry and now you have a handle or a pretty foam microphone which is key for singing alone at home!

Step 6:
Take your handle and wrap your ¼ yard of fabric or lace around the top and wrap an elastic band around the bottom of your foam ball.

Now that you have your dry handle and your dry flowers with wire stems……it’s time to assemble! I like to arrange my flowers by pushing the stems into the foam ball until I like the way it looks. Once I have arranged the flowers the way I want them to look I take my Gorilla Glue and cover the bottom of the stem. Be careful with the Gorilla Glue it expands when it dries and can be hard to work with but it is the best glue for foam because it expands inside the foam and really becomes secure. Repeat this process and you have done it!

You just made a unique handmade bouquet that will last forever! As long as you don’t get to drunk at your wedding and smash it (not saying I would ever do that)….hehe….you will have a beautiful bouquet for years to come. The hard work you put into it will pay off for your big day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

First ETSY sale!

Thanks to Karen and Mark I have a beautiful photo from their Cali wedding! I created custom wedding cake toppers to represent Karen's dress and Mark's suite. The custom toppers look beautiful on their amazing wedding cake! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Finished Save the Dates!!

After I finished my save the date card design I printed them on my home computer on card stock paper. They looked ok but not great and I ended up spending about $40 on ink and paper. Then I looked online and found a bunch of deals on printing postcards. I got a great deal on for 100 free postcards all I had to pay for was $10 shipping. I got the postcards today and they look great. I used xyron magnetic tape from Paper Source that I got for $12 and put 2 small pieces on the back of each postcard so that they can be used as a magnet. 

I put each postcard into metallic gold envelopes I got from eBay for $12 and stamped them with a custom return stamp from eBay for $10. I also got 150 labels from Paper Source for $5 and downloaded the template from to easily print out all the addresses!

Overall I feel like I did well with my save the dates! I am glad I learned my lesson trying to print the end it is cheaper and better to print them professional as long as you can find a good deal! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My DIY Save The Date Card

I took one of my favorite engagement photos and I created my very own Save the Date Card for my up coming wedding! 

I think the calendar aspect of this Save the Date Card is a cute and unique. I took hits of color from the photo and use it in the text and flower above the calendar.  I used Photoshop to create this Save the Date Card. If you don't know Photoshop and love this card contact me and I can make you your very own! 

<3 Danielle

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lace and Felt Bridesmaid Clutch

Bridal or Bridesmaid Clutch

Every brides wants the perfect way to say thank you to her bridesmaids. A bridesmaid's job can be expensive and time consuming.....of course it is a friends pleasure to do so. But she should definitely receive a thoughtful thank you for her efforts. This tutorial is a great way to say a big and personal thank you to your bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and mother of the groom. Making an extra clutch for the bride to match the bridal party it will be super cute!

Things you will need:
  • DSMeeBee Rose Petal Template

  • Felt - $2 a Yard
  • Pearl Button - $1 for 4
  • 4” Wide Lace Trim - $0.40 a Yard
  • Satin Fabric - $5 a Yard
    • Need less than a ¼ yard for this project.
Things from around the house:
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Pins
  • Ruler
  • Needle and Thread
  • Sizzix Big Shot
  • Sizzix Flower Petal Die Cutter
  • Sewing Machine
  • Brother SE400 Embroidery Sewing Machine
Step 1: Optional
I used my Brother SE400 Embroidery Sewing Machine to embroider a heart with the words “thank you” for inside your clutch. The heart is a cute way of saying thank you to your bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and mother of the groom. If you don't have an embroidery machine you can always use iron on letters and iron them onto the heart.

Step 2:
Cut out a 8 ½” x 11” sheet of felt and wrap the lace trim around one end of the felt. My lace trim was a little over 4” wide and was perfect for the dimensions of this clutch. After you completely wrap the lace around the felt, fold the lace edge under itself and pin it down so there are no loose edges. Sew all the edges of the lace down with a sewing machine or with a needle and thread.

Step 3:
Where you just sewed the lace down and have the seam of the lace is where you should now fold the lace and felt assembly down on itself to create a 3” pocket and pin it down. On the other side of the felt layout the lace trim with the scalloped edge hanging over the felt edge. But this time only pin the lace on one side and let the rest of the lace hang over one edge. Take your satin heart and pin it down on the lace. This will be the inside face of the clutch. Using a sewing machine or needle and thread to sew the edges of the pocket and sew down the lace and the heart. Once everything is sewn down take the excess lace and wrap it in the front of the clutch. Now pin it down and again fold the edge of the lace on itself to create a nice seam. Sew all of the loose edges of the lace down with a sewing machine or with a needle and thread.

At that this point you have a beautiful lace clutch but if you want to do add a little something extra follow the next steps.

Step 4:
I used my Sizzix Big Shot to die cut felt and lace petals to cover the front of my clutch. You don't need to have a die cutter to cut the petals but it is obviously much faster to use one. The alternative is to use the DSMeeBee Rose Petal Template to cut out the petals out with scissors. Cut about 30 large felt petals, 15 large lace petals, 6 small felt petals, and 6 small lace petals. After you have cut your petals out set them aside.

Step 5:
Cut a 7”x3 ½” strip of felt for the front of the clutch and layout the petals as you want them to be. I used layers of 4 petals alternating felt and felt with lace petals to create layered flower effect. After laying out each layer of petals I then sewed down that row and then mirrored it on the other side. At the end using a needle and thread sew down the small petals to create a small flower in the middle. In the center of that small flower sew down a button.

Step 6:
Using a sewing machine or needle and thread attach the strip of felt with the petals sewed down onto it and sew that down on the front of the clutch.

Now you have beautiful, handmade, and personalized clutches for your bridal party! Let your bridal party know how much you love them and how thankful you are for all of their help! These clutches are also awesome because you can fill them with small gifts such as jewelry and give them to your bridal party at your rehearsal dinner. What a lovely and thoughtful gift to show your gratitude!