Every now and then I run across a DIY project that makes me nuts. This is one of them. It is a ring bearer’s pillow made of stephanotis. Yes it is beautiful. Yes it will smell fabulous. Yes you CAN do it yourself. Should you? Well let’s take a little look at what they don’t tell you.
First off the let’s look at the flowers themselves. Stephanotis is beautiful alright but they are one of the most fragile flowers out there. They must be handled much differently from other flowers. As cited in the article there are special cotton tipped stems that must be used to keep them fresh. First you remove the natural stems and insert the moistened cotton tipped wires which you then wrap in floral tape. That is not as easy for a novice as it sounds since steph’s will discolor from the slightest touch. A florist knows to only touch them on the back side of the bloom. It’s also very time consuming.
The article calls for 150 to 175 blooms. I checked yesterday and the current wholesale price is $1 per bloom. Unless you have an inside connection to the floral wholesalers they aren’t going to sell to you. That means you will be paying retail, more like $2 per bloom. I’m betting that you aren’t going to find these bad boys at Costco either; so be prepared for a bit of sticker shock.
The second glaring inconsistence in the article is the use of floral foam. Makes sense on the surface but falls apart in reality. Literally. A 6” x 6” x 1” block of floral foam, once soaked will snap in half from its own weight. So now your little 5 year old nephew is carrying a very fragile, heavy, drippy thing that turns brown where ever he touches it. Good times.
Not only have you got a mess on your hands but it’s a mess you didn’t need in the first place. Remember all the work you did to remove the stems and replace them with the cotton tipped wires? Think about this for a minute; if the blooms have no stems how are they possibly going to soak up water from the foam? Besides, wasn’t the whole point of replacing the stems to give each bloom its own water source?
There are a lot of wonderful DIY projects out there; this my friends, isn’t one of them. Save your money and your sanity and find one that you can do in advance. In fact, this one might just be do-able out of silks. Now I’ll bet that is something you never thought you’d hear your Wedding Diva say. I did kind of shudder as I typed it.
The article is in the Aug Sept 2008 issue of Modern Bride, page 178. Sorry guys, but you know I call them as I see them.