Saucy didn't want to fuss too much with real flowers for some of the photo shoots for the wedding dress upcycle challenge. She enjoys cutting and arranging little bouquets, but if the weather turns sour before shoot time and she has to cancel, she's stuck with fresh flowers and these days, it might be a while before she can reschedule.
Enter the butterfly bouquet. It's not new. It's been floating around the Internet for a few years, a version was even featured on the cover of Martha Stewart Weddings. It makes a handy little bouquet for this upcycling project because Saucy had bunches of these feather butterflies on hand from other crafts over the years. Like, literally years. In the depths and recesses of the craft supplies.
Also, these aren't the really nice quality butterflies that can be found at Michaels or a reputable florist supply. These bad boys are from Dollarama... of course.
As you can see, they're totally adequate. However, you will have to prep them for use in a bouquet, lest they fall apart and litter painted feathery bits everywhere.
Most of these feather butterflies arrive on flimsy wire. You can wrap the flimsy wire with white florist tape... but as Saucy found, the wire is so weak and already a little twisted, it doesn't cover as nicely as it should. Eventually, Saucy cut a heavier gauge craft wire to pieces about eight inches long and prepped them for use by rolling them with the florist's tape.
Then, use some hot glue or a super-glue to tack the covered wire pieces into the foam body of the butterfly (underside). Now is a good time, while the glue is out and the butterflies are upside down, to hit key spots under the wings where you can see the feather edges. Go ahead and reinforce with a good clear glue.
Lay them all out to dry, careful that they don't touch.
Saucy used about sixty butterflies for this bouquet. They come six on a card at the dollar store so, ten dollars. That's the math. This would be a very affordable option for flower girls or bridesmaids to carry at a wedding.
It's piddly, picky work to cover the wires with the tape. It made Saucy's arthritic fingers sore. It only took about two hours to do all of the prep work, but the way she bitched and complained about it is supposed to make you think twice before attempting it, but don't. It was actually super easy, just fiddly and moderately time-consuming.
When the wires are dry and secure in the bodies of the butterflies, begin twisting pairs and trios of varying sizes together.
Eventually, you'll gather the pairs and trios together into a pleasing shape. Keep it random... or, it might be cute to do a bouquet completely of monarchs or one colour of butterfly.
Anyway, get out the craft pliers you picked up at the dollar store and make sure you pinch those wires together, forming a handle as you go. It's very pliable and workable. Tuck the ends underneath at the bottom so no sharp bits poke out anywhere.
The florist's tape makes the wire super sticky and easy to work with. It kind of wants to stick to itself... voila!
When you're satisfied with the shape and size of the bouquet, cover the stem you created with several layers of the florist tape. You can continue to bend and manipulate the handle as you go.
To finish, cover the handle with some pretty ribbon and tie with a bow or secure it, ends down, with florist pins. Saucy decided to fashion this bouquet sans bow.
Saucy thought the little ball of butterflies was amusing and it inspired her for a woodland-theme shoot.
This was a drastic wedding dress upcycle. Incredible, really. Saucy is going through the pictures now... if you want to see the results, tune in on Wednesday.
Because if Saucy bitched and whined about taping sixty feather butterflies, what do you think she had to say about picking a million and a half sequins off the bodice of a 1957 wedding gown?