08/21/13
39 comments Make This: Giant Fresh Flower Ampersand DIY by   |   39 comments

flower-prop-diy

This week marks the second installment  of my DIY series with Flower Muse. And it’s a fun one – fun to make and fun to play around with. Definitely more light hearted and playful than the first DIY in this series, so there’s a little something for everyone so far with these projects. 

This time, I made a DIY fresh flower ampersand that is filled with gorgeous blooms like (my favorite) ranunculus and a some seriously stunning garden roses. BUT I didn’t want to make just one of these, so I made two. One smaller ampersand that will keep the flowers fresh longer and one giant one that is big impact. The smaller version is great for photo booth props, table top decor, or as a cool centerpiece at a party (or wedding). While, the much larger version, which was over 2.5 feet tall, can be hung from a door (inside or outside), used as home decor, or as a giant prop for a photo booth.

Each one is made a little differently – the more complicated of the two being the smaller, floral foam one (they’re both pretty easy though, honestly). So I have a more detailed step by step for the first one and then the basics for the larger version.

garden roses & ranunculus

Flowers:

I used a combination of garden roses and ranunculus. Here’s the exact breakdown…

Other materials you’ll need:

floral foam sheet (as big as you can find) // a knife or other sharp object to cut with // scissors // floral wire

Before you get started:

Be sure to cut 1/2″ to 1″ off the bottom of each stem, at a diagonal to maximize water intake. Remove leaves/foliage before placing them in buckets filled with 3″ – 4″ of room temp water. If possible, keep flowers in a cool area away from direct sunlight until you are ready to use them. More flower care and handling instructions here.

step by step: diy flower ampersand

How-To:

1. Freehand an ampersand using a knife as your pen, directly onto your sheet of floral foam. You don’t have to carve deep yet. You’re just making guidelines for carving in step one. I looked at a few different typefaces on the computer before deciding on one that was relatively thick and drew it a couple of times on a piece of paper first to get the hang of it.

2. Once you’re happy with the shape you’ve created, it is time for the fun part – carving the foam. Using the same knife, begin cutting away pieces of foam from the sheet, using the guidelines you created in step one. This will keep you from accidentally cutting off an important part of the ampersand. Note: If you do accidentally cut off a part of the ampersand that was supposed to remain intact, you can reattach the pieces with floral pins.

3. Once your ampersand has been completely cut out, soak it in water according to instructions on your floral foam packaging and set aside.

4. Now, it’s time to tackle the flowers. First, remove any leaves from the stem and then cut the stem down to 2-3 inches in length. You want the stems to be relatively short so they’ll easily go into the foam when it’s time.

5. For stems that are not as sturdy on their own (like ranunculus), cut a small length of floral wire (2-3 inches) and poke through the bottom of the stem, leaving at least a 1/2 inch of wire sticking out from the bottom. This will make it easier to poke the stems into the foam.

6. Once your floral foam has soaked in water according to instructions, you can start adding the flowers. Poke the stems through the foam one by one, until each one is secure, making sure to keep the shape of the ampersand as you place each flower. This is especially important for a smaller piece like this one. Continue this process until the entire piece is covered. The flowers will stay fresh for 4-6 days with this method. And here’s the finished piece…

ampersand photo booth prop diy

And here’s how to make the giant floral ampersand:

In addition to the flowers listed in the first section, you’ll need two sheets of foam core, duct tape, an Xacto knife or box cutter, scissors, and a glue gun.

1. For the most part, the process is very similar, only this time you’ll be using foam core instead of floral foam. Start by taping two pieces of foam core together to create a piece that is at least two feet tall.

2. Then, freehand an ampersand onto the foam core with paint and a brush. It’s much easier to paint something this large then draw it with a pen, just FYI.

3. Once the paint has dried, cut out the ampersand with a box cutter or Xacto knife.

4. Then start preparing flowers by cutting off the stems entirely, so you have a flat(ish) surface for attaching the flowers to the foam core.

5. Begin placing and attaching flowers to the foam core by adding a few generous beads of hot glue to the back of each bloom and then gently (but firmly) pressing it down onto the foam core for about 5 seconds. The glue should hold it from there. Continue this process until the entire piece is covered. And if you want to hang the finished piece from a hook, add a string or some cording to the top and you’re good to go. The flowers will stay fresh for 2-3 days with this method. 

hanging diy flower project

Use it as a giant photo booth prop. Perfect for weddings and b-day parties. Or rest it against a wall or credenza (or mantle) for a special occasion or party…

fresh flower DIY // ampersand

close up of flower ampersand diy

pinks, oranges, and reds

DIY // flower ampersand home decor project

I must admit…I was pleasantly surprised by how well both methods held up. But my favorite part? The smell! I really wish you could have smelled this piece. It was so cool to have a piece of art that filled the room with a soft rose scent. Not many art pieces can do that!

2.5 feet tall flower ampersand

So what do you think? Do you see a giant flower ampersand in your future? If you’re on the fence, this may help…

Awesome Giveaway:

Flower Muse is giving away over 100 stems to one lucky winner on Facebook.

The winner will receive 6 dozen roses and 30 stems of ranunculus. With that many flowers, you can totally make one of these beauties and still have plenty of flowers left over. Enter to win on Facebook right here. And be sure to visit the first installment of this flower series too: how to make a fresh flower framed mirror using peonies, thistle, tulips, and more. It’s pretty special, if I do say so myself.

Photography by Sarahdipity Photos for Paper & Stitch // Concept and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

flowermuseThis post is brought to you by Flower Muse, a company dedicated to bringing the very best flowers right to your doorstep, direct from flower farms around the world. You can follow Flower Muse on Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // and Instagram. All opinions and ideas are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

39 comments to Make This: Giant Fresh Flower Ampersand DIY Click here to reply

so stunning! great color choices and a fun idea, I think you outdid yourself with this one.

juni commented on August 21st, 2013 at 9:47 am

Aw. Thanks Juni. You’re so sweet.

papernstitch commented on August 21st, 2013 at 9:48 am

Oh my gosh, this is too gorgeous!!! In my dream life I would be able to afford that many fresh flowers every week and would have one of these up in my house at all times!

-Becca
Becca recently posted..DIY Painted Cork Coasters

Becca commented on August 21st, 2013 at 10:45 am

Thanks Becca. You should totally enter Flower Muse’s Facebook contest. If you win, you’ll have as many flowers as I did for this project. Dream fulfilled. :)

papernstitch commented on August 21st, 2013 at 11:00 am

Knocking it out of the park over here, Britt! I may love that little one you made just as much as the giant one. They are both just so gorgeous! So great for a wedding!
Kelly @ Studio DIY recently posted..DIY Balloon Stand

Kelly @ Studio DIY commented on August 21st, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Aw, thanks Kel. Either one would be perfect for a wedding…or even a baby shower.

papernstitch commented on August 21st, 2013 at 12:10 pm

This is absolutely stunning! The ranunculus are gorgeous next to the roses, and thank-you so much for naming the flower…I’ve been wondering for years what they were called!
Angela recently posted..Trerice House, near Newquay

Angela commented on August 21st, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Thanks Angela. Ranunculus are my favorite flower! They really do look good with the roses…especially those red piano roses…don’t get me started. :) I could talk about those for days.

papernstitch commented on August 21st, 2013 at 12:37 pm

So adorable idea and your performance!
Kisses
Magda and Agnes:)
Magda & Agnes recently posted..Ślub: przystrojone wino zamiast kwiatów dla pary młodej *Wedding: decorated wine instead of flowers for the bride and groom

Magda & Agnes commented on August 21st, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Brittni, this is downright gorgeous! The coloring is just spectacular!
Rachel | 52 Weeks Project recently posted..DIY Monogrammed Vase

Rachel | 52 Weeks Project commented on August 21st, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Thanks Magna, Agnes, and Rachel! I can’t take all the credit though…The flowers are so pretty on their own, it’s easy to make projects look good.

papernstitch commented on August 21st, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Gorgeous! And congrats on your Skillshare class too Brittni – such a great idea.

Rach commented on August 21st, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Thanks Rach. :) I’m excited about the Skillshare class too..launches next week. Yay!

papernstitch commented on August 21st, 2013 at 5:26 pm

This is so beautiful!

Emily commented on August 21st, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Thank you Emily. I appreciate that!

papernstitch commented on August 21st, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Love this! It looks beautiful. I need more florals in my life.

Alex from http://www.polkadottedpixels.com
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Alexandra Pettinato commented on August 21st, 2013 at 6:41 pm

oh my goodness, this is amazing. in perfect timing for planning my best friends photo booth. love it – amazing job.
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andrea commented on August 21st, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Thanks Alex. And Andrea, this would be so perfect for a photo booth!

papernstitch commented on August 21st, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Oh my goodness I am so doing this for our up and coming anniversary party! Since it’s our 5 year anniversary but we’re still too young to get married any time soon we’re gonna do a mock wedding themed party and these will look perfect!

Ally Ebdon commented on August 22nd, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I love that you’re doing a mock wedding themed party, Ally. So cool. You’ll have to post a link to photos afterwards. Would love to see it.

papernstitch commented on August 22nd, 2013 at 2:29 pm

So pretty! I only wish flowers didn’t die so quickly!
I especially love the Swedish Dala horse in the photos :) It reminds me of my grandmother!
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Tia commented on August 22nd, 2013 at 5:24 pm

[…] stalking her dog on Instagram (works every time!) or her new haircut or her latest DIY project (um. That flower ampersand. Did you die a little at how awesome it was?). When it comes to asking for help, flattery will get […]

How to Email a Stranger | Paper & Stitch commented on September 3rd, 2013 at 8:00 am

no!! this is just too beautiful!! this is a labour of love… which would make it perfect for a super special event such as a wedding or special birthday… omg. xo
lyndsay // coco cake land recently posted..Dog Cake Topper DIY

lyndsay // coco cake land commented on September 3rd, 2013 at 4:26 pm

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omg it’s beautiful!

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6 Clever Engagement Party DIY Projects - The Knot Blog commented on December 20th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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Make This: Giant DIY ‘Flower Blocked’ Bouquet | Paper & Stitch commented on March 19th, 2014 at 8:00 am

Would you do anything differently when making the larger one using fake flowers? (Want to make it ahead of time for a photo prop)

Heather commented on April 13th, 2014 at 9:04 pm

No, I think it would be pretty much the same process for fake flowers. Good luck, Heather.

Brittni commented on April 13th, 2014 at 10:00 pm

where did you get the huge floral foam sheet from? i would love to try to recreate this

nancy nguyen commented on November 17th, 2014 at 2:02 am

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