Wedding On A Budget: Thrift Store Flowers

Wedding On A Budget: Thrift Store Flowers

Just like any other modern day bride, Pinterest is my new best friend. Although the website is great for gathering ideas, inspirations, and how-to's, it isn't great at breaking down the price in the description box under the picture before you fall in love with the pin. 

One of the first things I did after finding my dress was look for a gorgeous, huge bouquet that I would be carrying down the isle. However, after talking with multiple florists and asking different new brides, I found out that my dream bouquet would cost me about $600, and that with all of the bouquets for the rest of the wedding party, I would most likely spend about $2000 in flowers alone. 

So, this is where I found out about fabric flowers. While doing more research on my wedding and the cost of all my vendors, I found few blogs about how to cut costs at weddings. While the blogs always talked about being your own DJ, hiring your cousin to video tape the wedding, and getting married in a park, I also read a little bit about fabric or fake flowers. 

Fake flowers have their perks- they last longer, their color doesn't rub off on your dress, they don't wilt and die half way through the night, etc. However, personally, I think fake flowers are tacky. I looked a little more into fake flower alternatives, and this is where I discovered fabric flowers- true fabric that you make into whatever flower you want. 
Obviously, one of the main materials needed to make fabric flowers is fabric, which if you don't pay attention, can be just as expensive as real flowers themselves. This is where thrift store fabric comes in. Most formal dresses are 100% polyester, which when exposed to heat, melts on the edges and creates a pedal shape. Also, most dresses range from $5-20 at thrift stores, making it a lot less then buying a few yards of expensive polyester.

You will need the following items to make your flowers:

• Dress/Garment of Your Choice
• Scissors
• Candle and Matches
• Sewing Needle and Thread
• Button/Brooch for the center of the fabric
• Glue

Once you have all your materials, you are ready to begin! 

First, pick out a garment

• Make sure the dress or garment is 100% polyester
• Match the garment with your wedding colors
• Look at the price and be sure to compare it to actual flowers.

Next, you need to cut the garment into pieces that will allow you to cut out your flowers easiest.

• Cut the fabric up in sections that will allow you to get the most bang for your buck. Cut it out along the trims and apart from the sections you can't use in the flower

Next you need to cut circles out of the fabric (These circles will be your pedals).

• Cut circles out in sizes that you want. I like to have the bigger flowers that are the size of English roses- large, luscious flowers. With large flowers comes many sizes of pedals, so go down a few sizes in the pedals as well. I typically do 2-3 large circles, 3-4 medium ones, and 2-3 small circles.
• Don’t throw away extra pieces- you will be able to use them in some way in your bouquet.

After you have cut the circles, it is time to melt the edges.

• Don’t Touch the Flame to the fabric as it will burn it- instead, just set the flame near it and it will melt on its own.
• Rotate the fabric as it Melts
• Use Tongs If Needed- the flame can be hot so be sure and have tongs or tweasers near.

Next, you will lay the pedals on top of each other to create the flower.

• Lay Them In Appealing Way that creates a pretty blossom. Don't just lay them on top of each other and call it good.

After you have the pedals where you want them, you will need to secure then with a stitch.

Finally, you nee to insert the center of the flower.

• Use Something With a Flat Back that will lay nicely.
• Glue Or Secure the item in the middle. I am using my grandmother's brooches in some of the flowers, so I am securing them with thread. For my bridesmaid flowers, I am using old button that I am sewing down. 

What’s Next?
I want to be able to use my flowers in more ways than one after my wedding. I have already started creating a bouquet, and next I will make my flower girl's headbands with some of the flowers. In the mean time, I have been decorating house hold items with them.

Written by: Jennie Ritchie


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