Slow Flowers Summit – Flower Wall Demo
Hello, hello! Today I want to show you a super cool new way to build a flower wall. We built this beaut as a communal building experience for this year’s Slow Flowers Summit attendees. If you haven’t heard about it, read about it here. Need I tell you that its foam free? No, I do not. Of course it is!
We’ve used this flower wall technique in the past for Seattle’s 2016 Art Fair; where it wowed outside during a hot, sunny August day in Seattle (hot and sunny DO happen in Seattle, we just don’t tell you about them). The point is, it holds up in heat, is pretty easy to construct, and is more sustainable than a van full of foam. This particular construction is strong enough to be stacked into an enormous wall. You can see such enormous wall stacking and construction of this in video from last year’s ART FAIR if you click here!
PS, if you are here looking for FLOWER WALL PRICING AND SPECIFIC INGREDIENTS, we are giving that away to folks who want to be part of our email flower posse. There’s a link at the bottom.
But back to our flower wall demo. About a month ago, I had the privilege to speak at Seattle’s first Slow Flowers Summit. Have you ever had a communal experience where you are surrounded by inspiring people and all you can think is “YASSSS, These are my people.” And suddenly it’s all you can do to NOT throw your arms around complete stranger and babble like you’ve been friends since you were 13? Like you ARE 13?!
This was one of those times. My talk was about Reinvention. But we also were asked to demo this wall. Really THE wall. We got the royal treatment as the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, SUOT farms and Alaskan Peonies donated buckets of flowers. Ehem, did I mention that we got the first cut of Alaskan Peonies, which were then airplaned (is that a verb? … is now.) with their human caretakers. These peonies were larger than my face, and my brother says my face is large.
For Flower walls, we use two methods. This one is the “moss and cage” or the “moss sandwich”. Our other go-to wall is a bioboard wall. We demo that soon. Stay tuned for a DIY video on how we made the Queen Bee’s backdrop, which is equally excellent but is useful in a totally different way. Here’s a breakdown of why you would use each wall..
Now that you get the basics, lets get your materials together! For this moss and cage wall, you will need:
- (3) Lumber 2in x 2in x 8ft
- Drill and bit
- A roll of chicken wire
- Zip ties
- (2) 4 x 6ft display grids, we got ours from Grand and Benedicts but you can find them at any retail display fixture store. If you are in a city, you probably have one.
- (5) bags of moss
- Wire cutters
- Saw (human powered or otherwise)
- Flowers, flowers and more flowers!
- 2 saw horses or a table. This is easier to build horizontally
Step 1: Wrap the Grid
Cover one side of each grid with chicken wire.
To get an idea of how this will look, try imagining the structure like a sandwich. The “condiments” (chicken wire) will be on the inside of the bread (the grid) to hold in the meat (the moss). For us, two long pieces of chicken wire was just the right amount to cover one side.
Starting with one piece of chicken wire, secure it to the grid with bind wire. Make sure you weave around the perimeter and throughout the middle. This keeps it from slipping or bulging. To save some bind wire, I cut a couple 3″ pieces and did little twist ties in random spots.
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Spacers
We are going to use the 2X2s as spacers, this ensures your thickness is uniform. We are going to pack in the moss but the spacers ensure that if there is a thin/ or dryer spot, the face won’t warp. It’s also critical if you are making a wall that is larger than your grid size (like in that video).
Measure the length and width of your grid. Cut your 2X2s to size. Remember to cut your short ends to account for the width of the longer pieces. We will want the shorties to fit inside the long pieces. All spacers should be attached Under the perimeter of your grid.
Step 3: Drill the Spacers and Zip Tie to the Grid
Choose a drill bit that gives enough room for one zip tie to slide through.
Next, drill a hole about two inches from the end and then continue to drill a hole every 4″ or so.
Once they’ve been drilled, attach the wood spacers to the grid by securing a zip tie through every other hole.
Step 4: Repeat on Other Grid
Cover the other grid with chicken wire as you did in Step 1. You won’t need spacers on this one, just the chicken wire. This will be the top piece of ‘bread’ to our sandwich.
Step 5: Moss It Up and Close the Sandwich
We’ll be adding moss to the grid with the spacers, so you may need to switch your setup now.
Grab your 5 bags of moss and get to town! Don’t spread this sparingly; pack as much moss in as you’ve got. Its very important that this is thick. You want your stems to be lodged in the moss and hydrated. Too loose and your stems may stay but they won’t get as much hydration.
Once every area feels full and even, lay the other grid on top of the moss. Grab more zip ties and connect the spacers to the top grid. Try adding one on one side then adding one on the opposite side for an even and super tight grid. Ensure your zip ties are rotated to the outside of the spacer- so your top grid can be cinched down right on top of the spacer.
Step 6: Water and Flower Prep
You’re almost done! Have someone help you move this outside or somewhere you don’t mind getting a lot of water on the floor. “Is it heavy,” you ask? Yes.
Take your hose and drench the whole thing so that every area is dripping water onto the floor. Do it a few more times. You’ll want to give the moss a chance to really absorb as much water as possible. You can also pre-soak your moss before adding to the grid. That way you have full moss absorption but it is messier. We went for the less messy option this time.
Prep your flowers, cutting the stems to about 3″-4″ long.
Step 7: Make it a FLOWER Wall!
Add in those darn flowers and foliage and consider yourself a Flower Wall Extraordinaire! The moss should keep it moist for a full day and probably longer, but I would test it in your neck of the woods to be sure.
Although not necessary, you may want to build a boarder around it as we did with leftover bio-board and some wrapping paper.
Some additional notes:
- Timing: You can make this in advance but I would add a bit of flower glue to each stem to be sure it doesn’t dislodge in transport. I typically add greens in the shop and add all the flowers in on site.
- We’ve done this wall 3 times and I am ALWAYS impressed with how long the flowers last. They typically look great the next day and most of the flowers still look great days later. I include some images of what the flowers look like after two days squished in my hot van after the summit. You will be amazed. I am still conservative in adding flowers too far in advance but . I would urge you to test a patch in your area.
- Super thirsty flowers may not be a good idea for this wall type- though you can always tube your flowers and that works well. Particular species that I don’t use in this wall are Hydrangea, raspberry foliage, sweet pea, or any other herbaceous, soft stemmed flower or foliage.
- How much does this cost? Simply put, lots. Sign up for our Flower posse and we’ll go over that. If you’ve liked this information, you’ll like what you get as a part of our inner circle.
THE FLOWER POSSE!
I think you’re going to love this wall.
Thanks for reading!
Make Your Own Crown with Worbla
Hey beehive! As a creator of flowery, arty things, I often find myself stumbling upon new materials to work with.
Worbla just so happens to be one of those things that I saw and *could not* not buy. One thing I love about using different materials is that it constantly pushes the boundaries of what I think I am capable of and inspires the Queen Bee in me to be proud of the things I am able to make.
Both the flower crown here and the collar are made with a worbla base and covered in leaves and flowers. Raise your hand if you love leaves as scales. (I feel the wind of a thousand hands:)
Worbla is fantastic for many reasons, mainly:
- Its non-toxic
- You don’t have to be a super skilled crafts(wo)man to work with it. If you’ve ever dried your hair or stuck a sticker on something (not necessarily in that order) then you are good:)
- The only tool needed is a heat gun
- Scraps/mess-ups can be heated, molded back together and then used again!
For this styled shoot, we used this material to construct her crown and flared collar. We figured that this Queen Bee was going to be a force to be reckoned with so she had to bring something to the table that your average gardeny flower crown-wearing bohemian bee might not. I mean, the world can use a different flower crown. mmmmmm-iright?
Now that you’re feeling like you’re ready to push your flower crown boundaries, buzz on over to our Youtube Channel by clicking on the picture below and make your own with us!
Want to be a part of our busy bee circle? We are working up some sweet things for you! Add your e-mail below and gain access to my hour long floral demonstration where I explain the complete breakdown of centerpiece arrangements- all foam free. Oh, and you’ll also get updates on new DIY projects! Pretty sweet.
Hair and Makeup by Off White Makeup and Beauty
Dress by Laineemeg Bridal
Styling, flowers, stuff, and photography by Lola Creative
Every now and then, I pull together a project just because it sounds like a good idea (among other totally practical and business boss-like reasons (cough)). Only later can I actually put my finger on why it is so special to me.
This feature, is one of those. Introducing our Queen Bee wedding photo shoot about a regal, singular, badass bee siting atop her throne of flowers.
It’s all part of our new DIY series that starts with an inspiration shoot, and continues with a series of how-to videos about various creations featured in the shoot. For this shoot, we will be showing you how to make:
A modern pollen bouquet (okay they’re billy balls)
An impressive (and eco-conscious) flower wall throne- yes, it’s a wall, not really an actual throne. See how awesome that is?!
And a pollen crown….. because well, we can all use a new type of flower crown. And it’s a good thing because this queen bee bride eats bohemian vibes for second breakfast. She just pierces them on the end of her sharp little nail….. Doesn’t even blink… just gobbled on up.
We’ll add the links as they get finished up! But if you sign up to our newsletter, you get the videos in advance- plus bonus info about blunders and triumphs related to business, flower recipes, and more.
But for now, a story about bees.
If you didn’t already know, my parents owned a lavender farm. On that farm was rows of lavender, and among those rows were bee hives tended by a local beekeeper. Now, bees love flowers, but they especially love lavender and all purple flowers for that matter. Their visual spectrum of light is such that they can see ultraviolet light beyond the violet that we can see. It’s this type of light they are most drawn too. The point is, during peak flowering season, the fields are awash with bees partying on their favorite food. Literally hundreds of bees thumping drunkenly into your head, and crawling all over every bush. Harvesting one bunch of lavender can yield 15 bees in your hand.
The bees are so drunk on pollen that you can simply brush them off. They will lazily plop off and zoom over to another bush. In years of helping with lavender harvest, I’ve never been stung by these bees. Not once.
What’s more amazing, however, is the sheer level of noise they can produce. Sitting between rows of lavender at peak season will bring you to a secret world where all sound is lost but buzz and the only thing that is important is the work of the bees. Feed the queen, feed the family, take care of each other, everybody do their part- that is the work of bees.
This is also where I first heard of colony collapse disorder from our beekeeper who was losing half his queens.
In colony collapse, for a number of reasons about which researchers can’t seem to agree, the worker daughters leave the hive and disappear, leaving the community to starve. There’s been a lot of research since my initial introduction to colony collapse but the beekeeper was convinced it was because of selective bee breeding.
Honeybees had been bred to be good workers and docile. When all the bees (or anything for that matter) have a similar genetic makeup, they are susceptible to the same infections and diseases. Yet another reason to celebrate diversity.
At the time, our beekeeper was seeking out new queens from far off places that were feistier, fiercer, and hopefully with that, better at fighting off disease.
This shoot is dedicated to those fiesty queens keeping their family together:)
Oh! Thanks for reading all the way through. Here are our friendors who were crucial to this shoot!
Photography: Lola Creative
Creative Direction, Styling, and Floral Props: Lola Creative
Hair and Makeup: Off White Makeup and Beauty
Cake: Honey Crumb Cake Studio
Dress: LaineeMeg Bridal
Model: Cheyenne with Seattle Talent
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DIY Floral Frame Video for Your Wedding or Event
This quick DIY floral frame is a reusable piece that will surprise and delight your clients and their guests. I love this piece because it can be whimsical or romantic. It can be giant, or small and sweet. AAAAND my toddler can’t knock them off the table as he does with every other vase that enters my house.
For events, it will leave your guests blathering on about how clever you are.
Go ahead and watch our video if you’re wanting a more detailed version of this tutorial.
Lets get started!
- measuring tape
- (4) pipe straps
- (4) test tubes or party shot glasses
- wood, fit to the size of the shortest side of frame
- (2) screw eye hooks
All of these items can be found at Home Depot or your local hardware store. One note to add, when hanging this up we used the (2) screw eye hooks and some twine.
To begin, fit a pipe strap around a test tube and place it close to the center of your frame. Drill in two screws to each side. Continue to do this with the other 3 pipe straps and test tubes.
Next, we drill the piece of wood to the opposite side as a spacer so that the frame sits straight on the wall.
Finally, hang up your frame, fill the test tubes with water and throw in those flowers!
Thanks for building this DIY Floral Frame with us. I know it will wow at your next event.
As always, don’t forget to take a picture of your floral frame masterpiece and tag us on Facebook, Instagram (@lola.creative), and Pinterest (LolaCreativeCo)! Stay tuned for more DIY tutorials that we feature in our Subterranean Moth-Fairy photoshoot and SUBSCRIBE!
Here is how we used it in our recent photoshoot.
And this is pretty much how I feel right now if the rain doesn’t stop. Srrrrsly.
Warm fuzzies for you and yours.
It’s that time of year when we are balls to the walls busy (I recently learned that that term is an aviation thing- so is totally not what you were thinking). But in between making sure all is made, all is packed, all is ready to be set up for a big, glorious bash, we have glimpses into next year. What we want to work on. We’ve got big plans that will help your event design biz get a leg up (ehem, sign up to stay in the loop).
But first, there is a break. A small amount of time where there is nothing. Just slathering love all over my friends and family. Investing in relationships. And my brain will be happy for that break.
So in the spirit of break. Let’s reminisce on the sweet images from a styled photoshoot of winter’s past coupled with one of my favorite poems. Thank you Candice of Ivy and Tweed for a visual story of these two love birds. (ps, for styled shoots, get people that are actually in love). Shot at Trinity Tree Farms in Issaquah, Washington.
“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)I am never without it (anywhere I go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) I want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”
― E.E. Cummings
Happy Holidays, friends! Here’s to our winter break before the excitement of a new year.
Thanks also to Vintage Ambiance for the furnishings, and Honeycrumb Cake studio for the yummies.