Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coral Bouquet Inspiration

Well friends, it turns out I've chosen the Color of the Season as my wedding color!  Coral, Honeysuckle, Rose, whatever you want to call it, it's popular.  Given that so many other brides will be using similar elements in their weddings, I wanted to share my collection of inspiration photos.

I'll lessen the suspense - I won't be making my own bouquets.  My bridesmaids rallied against me and forbade it, insisting on me relaxing instead (gotta love 'em).

My bridesmaids dresses will be various shades, shapes, and textures, and I want that theme to come through the flowers as well, so I plan to go with a mix of blooms in shades of coral.  My wedding planner is making the, and she may use hydrangea, calla lily, gerbera daisy, ranunculus, mums, billy balls, roses, garden roses, peonies, carnations, lilies, hibiscus, dahlia, or hypericum!

photos from harmonious palette, wedding planning 101, and the wedding row

photos from poppies and posies events, bouquet wedding flower, the knot, and I am a Weddingaholic

photos from the Knot and My Wedding

photos from the Knot

photos from Branches Floral, DK Designs, and Birdie

photos from Lisa's Flor Decor, Wedding Chicks, and Martha Stewart Weddings

I had originally thought adding pops of blue or yellow would be fun,  but I'm worried about them being too crazy, so I think I'll avoid them.  Same thing with lots of greenery (maybe).  They're pretty though, for an arrangement or against all-matching dresses!

photos from Elizabeth Anne Designs, Ruffled, and the Knot

Oh, and we can't forget the boys!  I thought the ones below made from fabric were just darling, and the live flowers are beautiful as well!

photos from Lisa's Flor Decor, Wedding Wire, Branches Floral, and Bella Fiori

I can't wait to share the final results!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rose Cake

After my recent discovery that wedding cakes cost upwards of $6 per 1.5"x1.5" slice, I decided to see just how difficult making one myself might be!

I really like cakes with a lot of texture, like the popular ruffle cakes and rose cakes.  I don't know how to make ruffles (and I hear they're fondant), but I have made a rose or two from buttercream icing before!

Googling led me to this tutorial by I Am Baker on how to make a rose cake.

It's pretty simple!  Make some cakes, stack them up with buttercream layers, frost a base layer, frost some roses!

I spent about $10 on two boxes of cake mix, fresh eggs, and two 2-pound bags of powdered sugar.  Being a diligent Southern baker, I already had the crisco.  I found the cute cake stand for $25 at TJ Maxx.

I made the first box of mix according to directions, and made two 8" round cakes.  To the second box I added several drops of red food coloring so I'd have some pretty pink layers inside my cake.  It took about an hour and a half to mix and bake the cakes.  I let them cool overnight (this is important!  I tried remove the first one from the pan, still warm, and it was a disaster!  I glued it back together with frosting...)

The next night, I made up the buttercream frosting recipe from the link above.  It sets up nice and sticks well, preventing massive frosting failures on the sides of the cake.  I highly recommend it!

I put a layer of buttercream between each cake layer, and alternated the pink and white cakes.  Then I coated the entire cake with a base of frosting.  This helps cover up all the cake, preventing pieces from getting into the "good frosting".  I didn't bother making it very smooth, since the roses should cover up most inconsistencies.

Then I set to work making the roses.  You need a 1mm star tip for making roses.  To make a rose, you start in the middle and swirl your tip around, making a rose shape.  I started in the middle and worked my way around the top, then did the sides.  If there were any blank spaces, I filled them in with lines of frosting along the same arcs as the roses.  I kind of winged it on this cake, but would be more exacting on wedding day.

The frosting (including layers, base, and roses) took about an hour to complete.

All in all, about $10 and 2.5 hours of labor for a cake that should feed 25-30 guests.  Sure beats $200!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Silver Chrome Coral Table Numbers

As a table accent for my "nautical but nice" wedding theme, I decided to make silver coral table number holders to accompany the centerpieces.  While I think they'll look great at the wedding, I think they'll look even better accessorizing the homes of myself, friends, and family!  It's been a real goal of mine to make sure our wedding stuff will have a second home after the big day.

I got this idea from my ever so crafty and creative friend Maizie over at Chic Done Cheap.  She was helping me design my wedding stationary and we were chatting about table number when she had the epiphany to use these.  She had just bought the materials to make one of her own as home decor, and we decided it was perfect for the wedding.

I started with cheap plastic fish tank corals readily available at Wal Mart.  I realized after buying out every store in my greater metropolitan area that these aren't frequently restocked items, so I had a few purchased and shipped from others parts of the country to add to my collection.

Maizie had used Krylon Premium Original Chrome spray paint from Michael's on some other crafts, but when I couldn't find it at the hardware store, I bought Rustoleum Specialty Metallic spray paint, thinking it looked to be about the same stuff.

I set up a big drop cloth in my back yard, laid out all the corals and shells, and got to work.  I chose the warmest day we've had in January, with the thought that I might not get another chance to do this for at least another two months.

My trusty partner was enjoying the nice day, too!

After evenly coating 22 corals and 10 shells in Rustoleum, I decided it just wasn't shiny enough (chromy enough, as my Mom would say).  So I trekked over to Michael's for the good stuff.  The Krylon chrome paint really is shinier than Rustoleum.  So much so, that I would never use the Rustoleum for projects like this again.

So I sprayed all the coral and shells a second time with the shinier chrome spray paint.  After drying for a day I noticed a few spots where the original color was peeking through, so I did a few touchups, but overall it came out pretty well the first time.

This project took about two hours of labor overall, not counting the second trip to the store.  I paid $5.99 for the Krylon, and about $3.30 for each coral.  Sounds like a bargain to me.

Cute, nautical, marine sciencey table decor, completely repurposeable as home decor.  Totally worth it!

Want some for yourself without the DIY?  Head on over to my Etsy shop!!!