• White paper doilies of varying sizes (For this 4 foot strand, we used 2 packs large, 2 packs medium, and 6 packs small)
• Glue gun and glue sticks
• Tea, for dyeing
• Food coloring, for dyeing
• Thick brown floral wire (doilies and brown floral wire bought at Michael’s)
First we’ll start and make the flowers with doilies….
Step 1: Fold the circle in half. Step 2: Bring both corners up to the center, making a diamond
Step 3: Fold the center out to meet the edge
Step 4: Open both corners, press them flat. Step 5: Bring the edge in towards the center
Step 6: Bring both sides together to form the petal.
Now time to dye the doilies!
Lay the petals in a shallow pan and pour the tea over them. Let them soak for about 15 minutes. Pull them out of the tea and lay them flat on a drying rack, baking pan, or anything flat you can find. Let them dry overnight. Different teas have different colors so choose your tea accordingly. Rooibos tea is a red tea, whereas black tea is much darker and has a deep brown coloring, etc.
With Food Coloring
This string of garland was made for a bride whose color scheme is gold, mint green, and blush so those are the colors I used. Feel free to use whichever colors match your scheme since flowers come in all colors. Mix water and food coloring together, start with a few drops and add until you get the brightness you want. You can choose to skip this step if you prefer a more traditional white string. Or for a more rustic feel you might choose to do only tea dyeing, it’s up to you! For my larger flowers, I used a two-toned dyeing method. First, I dyed the entire petal a very light green, (It is important the first color is the lighter one). Then I dipped the lacy tip of the doily in blush pink. Hint: If your flowers end up brighter then you expected, you can lightly spray on some bleach to tone them down, although too much bleach will turn them back white.
Gluing The Petals Together
You want the glue to be on the outer edge of the petal. For the larger petals, make a line that goes from the edge of the lace to the tip of the petal, bring the glueless side over and hold together for at least 15 seconds. For the smallest petals, you may only need a dot of glue.
Gluing The Flowers Together
Set aside five petals the same size and color. Place a large dot of glue on the side of petal number one, under the lace. Firmly press petal number two against the glue dot and hold until it is sturdy. Repeat this with petals three and four. Now that you have four petals glued together, place a large dot of glue on petals one and four. Press in the fifth petal, making sure that both of its sides are touching the glue on petals one and four. This is the most important petal as it will hold your flower together. Make sure that it is
held firm until it is dry.
Place the Flowers in Order and Measure Out the Wire
Divide your flowers into groups based on size. I had three sizes small-medium-large. Now divide the smallest group in half; for instance, if you have 16 small flowers make two piles of eight. Do the same for your medium size pile, but not the large. Place all the largest flowers in a line in the middle of your workspace. Turn them upside down, so that the pointed end of the flower faces up. This will be the middle of your garland. Now place half of your medium size flowers on each side of the large flowers, continuing the line. Do the same with the small flowers. Your line of flowers should flow like this: small-medium-large-medium-small.
After you have your flowers arranged the way you want them, measure out your thick brown floral wire the length of your line. Give yourself an inch or two on each side. You can always cut it off at the end if it’s a bit too long.
Gluing the Flowers to the Wire
Take your first flower from the line and hold the wire tightly to the tip of the upside down flower. Add an abundance of hot glue on top of the wire and let gravity pull the glue around the tip of the flower. Hold this steady until the glue turns white. Continue doing this until all of the flowers are attached to the garland.
And you are done! Hang your garland for your ceremony, around your reception tables or anywhere you’d like!