Friday, September 10, 2010

Deep South Party: Rose Topiary How-To

Are you ready? I am getting ready to give away one of my deep secrets. I feel completely vulnerable, sort of like I am speaking to a crowd in my underoos. Yikes that is a scary mental image. Read closely these are E-A-S-Y. They will take you a few times to get the hang of them, but before you know it you will feel prepared to enter floral arrangement competitions...that might be a bit much to be honest.

I am often called upon to make these Rose Topiaries for parties, and after a few years I assume I must now pass along my wealth of knowledge.

Assemble your supplies:
  • One medium sized container (or two or three depending on how many arrangements you would like) Terra cot pots work great and can be painted over and over to match your parties theme.
  • 1 1/2 to 2 dozen roses - You can mix colors or stick with a single color. When first attempting to create this on your own start with 1 1/2 dozen as it is less to handle and manipulate.
  • Durable scissors that you don't care too much about
  • Floral wire
  • Pete moss or reindeer moss (prettier and less messy)
  • A large rectangle of decorators foam to fit your container
  • Old newspaper
  • At least 1 1/2 inch wired ribbon in the pattern/color to match your party
Follow the directions:
  • Find a good spot in your kitchen near a sink and lay your roses out.
  • Tear all the leaves and more prominent thorns off leaving only a few sparse leaves near the actual flower.
  • Measure the height you would like your roses to be from about an inch in your container up. Your roses will stick about and inch into your foam so you want to adjust your height accordingly. I definitely just eyeball this and hold one rose next to the container to decide.
  • Cut one rose to this measurement. Use this rose as a guide to cut the remaining roses. Do not try to make this perfect.
  • Gather 3 roses in your hand to be your center, and add the other roses a few at a time around this center. Don't try to even up the bottom of the stems to match, but make the flowers create a sort of half-circle (if this doesn't make sense look at the picture of the final result and you will understand).
  • Once all roses are gathered together very tightly, tie a piece of floral wire at the level you want your bow. In order to achieve this very tight, crisp effect you will want to borrow a second set of hands to tie the initial floral wire while you hold tightly above and below where you want the wire. The wire should be TIGHT. Repeat with me "TIGHT". Wrap the remaining wire around the initial tie very tightly as well. Now take a second piece of wire and do the same thing about 1 inch from the bottom of your stems. This will anchor the roses more tightly.
  • Tie your ribbon around the upper wire and create a bow (I sure hope I don't have to explain how to tie a bow - If you have ever worn shoes with laces we should be good on this point. If not, you might want to google how to tie your shoes)
  • Now take your floral foam and cut it to fit your container. I usually stuff newspaper in the bottom of my container really snug and then put my foam on top of the newspaper. I also use newspaper to anchor the sides of the foam. Stuff LOTS of it to make it super secure (Yes, Super Secure would make a great crafting superhero).
  • This is the real fun. Save up all your aggression for this portion of the craft. Take the tied together stems and jab them swiftly and forcefully into the foam. Do this in a straight line, otherwise it will end up all wonky. I usually have someone hold the container still while I jab away. If done correctly and the foam is anchored correctly, it will stand up on its own. You may have to push the stems a little further into the foam after the initial jab.
  • Now take your moss and arrange it cover the foam and wire at the bottom.
This is what your end result will look like (Minus my dad in the mirror in the background - that would be pretty hard for you to achieve without some additional directions)
This is an example of how it looks on a round buffet table for a wedding shower. If your table is oval or rectangular, I recommend creating two of these beauties. The topiary shown is using 1 1/2 dozen roses. I like a simple and classy it appears without being too frou-frou.
Let me know if you have any questions, but practice does really make perfect in this case.

with Belles and Beauxs

***Don't forget to enter the Giveaway below on The Sweet Kitchen: Whats on the Menu? for this week. Entries close this Sunday at 8:00 pm EST.***

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