- Miss Galaxy
- 6 years ago
- Wedding: May 2011
So I love the look of flower petals lining the aisle, rather than having the flower girl throw them. Plus I’m not using any real flowers, but I don’t really love the look of silk flowers. So most of my flowers will be fabric, but for the flowers down the aisle, I wanted something with a little more “bang.” And that fit in my budget, and let’s face it, fabric can be expensive. So…I bought 4 packs of coffee filters (160 filters a pack) for a buck each, and a skein of white yarn for 2.99. I also got a package of RIT dye for I think 5 or 6 dollars. I dyed 3 of the packages of coffee filters a light pink, then mixed in the remaining white with the pink to make beautiful flowers!
Coffee Filters (I use 7 filters per flower, so you can figure out based on that)Dye of your choice color(s)Large mop bucketYarnThumbtacksHot waterTarp (optional)
1. Prepare your dying area (that sounds so morbid!) I dyed inside, so I laid a tarp down on the floor, but if you do it outside you are probably okay without a tarp. Be however careful you need to be. 🙂 We strung up yarn back and forth in the room above our heads so we could dry the filters on it. I have heard you can dry them in the dryer or in the oven, but I haven’t tried either of those methods.
2. Following the directions on your dye package (I’ve also heard you can use koolaid or food coloring, but again, I went with RIT dye), prepare your dye water. I diluted my dye water extremely much so even though I bought the bright pink fushia dye, the flowers ended up being a really pretty pastel. I’d suggest doing this at a time you have enough time to dye all your filters at once, so you have consistency in color. Otherwise measure the dye you put in carefully so you can match it. My first batch turned out significantly darker. If you want a variation in color, start light, do a package of filters, add more dye, do another package, add more dye, etc.
3. Separate the coffee filters. My fiance found a quick way to do this by flattening the filters in his hands then rubbing them together. Once your fingers are wet I found it really hard to separate, so I’d suggest separating all the filters first.
4. If you’re dyeing a dark color, for sure wear gloves. My gloves had a hole and since it was so diluted, my hands were fine in the water, but be sure to protect your hands if it’s dark or close to the wedding!
5. Once you have the water ready, dip a handful (I did about ten or twenty at a time) into the bucket. Depending on how diluted your dye water is and how dark you want your filters to be, wait between 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Pull out the handful of filters and wring the water out by crumpling them tightly. If you are leaving them in for longer than a minute, go ahead and put another handful into bucket so they can dye while you separate the wet filters. After you wring most of the water out, separate each filter and hang it up to dry. It is easier to do this with another person (one person sits and dyes, the other person stands and hangs). (Man, that sounds SO morbid! 😀 ) By the time you are done, the next handful should be ready. Continue until you are done! (If you want white filters to add in or if you want just white flowers, simply follow this process with plain water. Soaking and crumpling them really helps to break down the stiff bonds so they crumple nicely.
6. Let the filters dry for 6-8 hours. Or turn on a fan or open the windows or whatever. 🙂 We did them at night and let them dry overnight.
7. Stack your dry filters into piles of white, light, dark, etc. (If you care. If you don’t care or they are all the same color, just stack ’em all together!)
8. Using a sharp yarn needle, sew a “button” hole into a stack of seven filters. Find the middle of the filter and sew up one side and back down the other. Cut the thread so about two inches of yarn is left from each side. Tie them together (not too tight to break the filter, but tight enough to hold together).
**You can stop here at this point and make a bunch like this and store them flat. Then a week or two before the wedding, have some friends or your mom or his mom or your bridesmaids or whoever help crumple all the flowers. This way they will not get dusty hanging out for 3-4 months before the wedding, or get crushed in storage.
9. Crumple the flowers. Starting with the top layer crumple it down as small as possible. Then take the next layer and crumple it. It’s important to do each layer one at a time, otherwise it won’t come out right. So crumple, crumple, crumple. By the time you get to the last few layers it will be like a ball of trash. Its kind of fun!
10. Carefully uncrumple (but don’t “smooth”) the last layer most of the way. Then uncrumple the next layer, leaving it crumpled enough to see the last layer. Repeat until you are done. The first two layers will still be mostly crumpled, but you can fluff them up nicely.
11. Decorate away! These could go on tables as centerpieces, on top of your cake as a topper, down the aisle, hanging at the altar, be creative! If we ever have a daughter, I decided I’d decorate her room with these in the window! To hang them together, just hang a piece of yarm as long as you need, then using the ties on the back of the flowers, knot each one where ever you want a flower to be. I’m going to lay down some yarn in the aisle of the sanctuary, then tie on flowers to keep them together.
Oh yeah, and we also decided that these could make really cute bouquets! Just attach one (or two or three!) to a handle with some ribbon and viola!)