How To Make The Most Amazing Floral Backdrop Ever
What do you do when faced with hot glue gun withdrawal symptoms and overindulgence on Pinterest looking at wedding flowers? Well, you make a hanging floral backdrop, clearly. At least, that’s what I did, using my sister and her 16-year-old friends at her pre-prom as guinea pigs. Prepped by the wonderful Sarah from Mrs Umbels, who’s been lovely enough to share her tips below, I forayed into floristry.
Not to toot my own horn (toot toot) but I think it looked rather fantastic, and would be a stunning visual addition to a wedding ceremony at the altar. (I tried ot get my boyfriend to stand under it with me to give you the full visual, but unfortunately he wasn’t playing along. One day…) It’s understated, but truly impressive, different but supremely romantic…and brings a lovely bit of DIY to your big day. Oh, and its SO easy to make it’s unreal!
A stick. As long as you like, but ensure that it’s sturdy as the flowers end up being heavier than you think. (No joke, I used my boyfriend’s dog to help me scout out the best sticks locally, but you could use anything you liked. Genuine sticks do lend something magical to the rustic look of the backdrop though)
Transparent jewellery beading wire
Flowers. As many as you need for your stick, as spaced out as you like. I’ve used 21 here (remember to factor in the size of the head though, as they may be a little wider than you’d imagine, and you want them to hang neatly, not all jumbled and crossed over and under each other). Sarah recommends chrysanthemums, carnations, roses (if tight), eustoma, tulips, freesia, or craspedia. This tutorial is done with carnations (whose proper name is dianthus, don’t you know?)
You’ll need to:
1. Pre-plan your time to keep your flowers as fresh and sprightly as possible. Flower guru Sarah suggests Chrysanthemums and Carnations as “the absolute best in terms of lasting – they can be done the night before and should hold as long as the environment isn’t too hot.” (my flower backdrop hung in a hot conservatory for 24 hours and still looked amazing). They also serve the best with dehydration. As for the others, they’d all need to be done “on the morning of the event, if at all possible. There’s potential for the strings to be done ahead of time (no more than a day ahead) and kept in a fridge, but no colder than 6 degrees otherwise they may get frosted!”
2. Treat your flowers well once you’ve got them. “Conditioning is absolutely key”, warns Sarah, so “on receiving/collecting, all wrapping should be removed, stems cleared of any foliage below the water point, stems cut at a 45 degree angle and placed in cold, fresh water.” (Ideally overnight).
3. Then – it’s showtime. Cut lengths of the jewellery wire and tie them around the stick. This backdrop works really well when the flowers are all at different lengths, whether random or ascending/descending. Whether you decide this by cutting different lengths of wire or cutting the flowers to different lengths is entirely up to you!
4. Continue down the stick, spacing them out until you’ve finished – then put a blob of glue on each to secure it in place. (I was just paranoid one would fall on my sister’s head.)
5. At this point, I left it for a couple of hours to go and make some Pimms. The beauty of this method is that it allows for you to do it in stages, reducing the time you then need to spend between flowers.
6. When you’re ready (read: as late as possible), thread one of the dangling wires through the stem of the flower. Try and get as central as possible, otherwise you’re playing a potentially dangerous game. Once through, tie it to the other dangling wire left by the knot, and cut any excess wire off.
7. Again, I glued the knots here again, just in case.
8. Repeat down the line, and you’ll soon have a luscious flower backdrop to use in your wedding!
If you wanted a curtain of flowers with multiple flowers hanging at intervals on the same piece of string, the method is very similar – however it’s not as easy to spread this method out and pre-plan it. You just knot the wire around the stick, thread through one flower (through the head though this time), tie a knot, and repeat all the way down.
Love the look but don’t want to try it yourself? Get in touch with Sarah at Mrs Umbels, general flower queen, who’ll be happy to help!
Written by Ellie Kime
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