I've saved all of the corsages my now-husband gave me for Prom and Homecoming when we were in high school. I’ve always loved flowers and couldn’t bear the thought of throwing them out after the dance. Instead, I hung them from my corkboard bulletin board in my room where they stayed for many years. The flowers dried out and lost a lot of their brilliant colors, but they are still a beautiful reminder of our evening.
I wanted a way to display these flowers, and the memories so I framed them in a shadow box. I used some brown kraft paper that had a floral pattern on it for the background and used glue and a needle and thread to keep the flowers in place. In keeping with the romantic theme, I included a poem: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It’s one of my favorite art pieces in our home.
The entire project cost very little to make, the only thing I purchased was the shadowbox frame, which retail for anywhere from $10 to $30, depending on size. I did not have to purchase any of the other materials. The corsages did have a cost that my boyfriend paid, but since I am using them after their intended use was over and done with, I am not counting their original cost.
To make your own Framed Floral Arrangement you will need:
• Shadow box style frame, with glass
• Flowers and/or corsages or boutonnieres (must be dried, to dry flowers, hang upside down in a well ventilated area for a few weeks or until completely dry)
• Decorative paper like scrapbook paper, pretty stationary, pages from a book of poems. The brown paper that I used was from a decorative paper bag.
• Liquid glue, like Elmer’s Glue
• Sewing needle
• Thread, try to match the color of the thread to the color of the florist tape on the corsages/boutonnieres or to the dried stems of the flowers
• A romantic poem of your choice, can be taken from a book or typed and printed from a computer, use pretty paper or stationery if you can.
The first task is to decorate the backdrop for your flowers. I used liquid glue to adhere the decorative paper to the cardboard insert that came with the shadow box frame. If your frame doesn’t come with a cardboard insert, or if the cardboard is too flimsy, you can cut a thicker piece of cardboard to size. The cardboard needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the glue and flowers, but thin enough that you can pierce it with a sewing needle. Be sure to allow the glue to dry before continuing to the next step.
Before gluing or sewing down any flowers, play with the arrangement you want. Try several different options by placing your flowers, corsages and poem in different positions. I like to take photos with my digital camera of an arrangement before creating a new one. That way you can look at all of the possible arrangements at once before making a decision. Once you have an arrangement you like, lightly glue your poem and each flower and corsage in place. Only put glue on the parts of the flower/corsage that touch your backdrop when the flower is laying flat. Allow the glue to dry.
Once the glue holding the flowers in place is dry, reinforce the flowers by stitching them in place. Use a simple running stitch and be sure to match your thread to the color of the corsage or the stem of the flower. Once every flower is stitched in place you can frame your floral masterpiece!
This DIY project is lovely way to preserve flowers from special events in your life. Be sure to keep the frame out of direct sunlight, to keep the flowers from fading. Enjoy!
Have a healthy and happy Valentine’s Day!
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