DIY Easter Lily Backdrop

Veronica from My Hands Made It is back with us again, now sharing with us one last project she made for her wedding. She is also the brains and crafty hands behind Coco Irene, a fabulous accessories shop with the cutest belts and statement necklaces.

Easter Lilies Altar backdrop

I’m pretty sure the first time I saw the Easter Lily altar from Martha Stewart my heart stopped beating for a second. I had been searching for a ceremony backdrop with a 1930s look and that altar was so sculptural and had such a great deco feel to it – I HAD TO HAVE IT. Unfortunately a couple hundred fresh Easter Lilies are not within our budget nor are they even available in late June for our wedding. So I went with artificial lilies, and although they are definitely not as fragrant, they still look seriously awesome.

The cheapest flowers I could find were bought by the bush, which meant a lot of time spent stripping the flowers and leaves from their plastic stems and then removing the stamens. The flowers then had holes running through the centers – perfect for stringing onto wire.

To make our 7 ft tall x 4 ft wide altar, I used:
- Approximately 450 artificial lilies
- Two 3 ft long wooden dowel rods
- Bendable wire
- 4 ft long leaf garland
- Masking tape

DIY do-it-yourself easter lilies altar ceremony decor backdrop

The process is actually super simple. Make an “O” at the end of a length of wire and drop your first lily on, bell side down. Then crimp and twist the wire so that the bottom of the next lily will just graze the top of the first. Add another lily and so on until you’ve reached your desired length. Wrap the top of your wire around a dowel rod and begin on the next wire. I also added leaves from the lily bushes for a little extra color. Keep working with the dowel rods separately and vary the length of wire. When both dowel rods are filled, tape them together to achieve the width of your altar. The flowers will then overlap, creating great depth. The leaf garland is great for camouflaging the dowel rods – simply attach with wire.

Pretty romantic stuff, right? I can’t wait to see the sun shining through this gorgeous curtain of flowers as I walk down the aisle.

Real Brides: Veronica of My Hands Made It

Veronica from My Hands Made It continues to share some of her favorite DIY projects she is doing for her wedding. She is not only a very crafty bride, but she also makes wedding dresses made to order which you can see on her site. So it was only fitting (no pun intended) that she made her own wedding gown!

I made my wedding dress. Wha-what? Yeah that’s right. *high five* Now to be clear, I make wedding dresses for other people all of the time. But while making someone else’s dress can be a little stressful, making your own is terrifying. When Keith proposed, I knew, without a doubt, that I would be making my dress. Not only was I going to save tons of money but I also thought it was kind of old-fashioned and romantic. Um yeah, I wouldn’t exactly call the process of making one’s dress romantic. Frankly, every dress goes through a million stages before it’s ready and maybe some of these stages shouldn’t be seen by the bride – they’re not all pretty. I had moments of major insecurity and fear that I was completely destroying the most important dress of my life. Every imperfection was heart-wrenching. Yes I am serious – it was monumental.

sketch wedding dress

But I pushed through the horrifying stages and now it’s ready, and I am out-of-my-mind excited. It’s crazy that it came from my own two hands. When I first started the design process I would walk to my bus stop in the mornings imagining my dress fluttering around my feet and blowing gently in the breeze. I longed for a frilly, frothy, flowy goddess of a dress with ruffles. No not just ruffles. Ruffles, ruffles, ruffles! And very 1930s. Something Ginger Rogers would wear while being thrown around the dance floor.

Handmade Ruffled Wedding Dress

And it was pretty cool that I could change the overall design as I worked – making it more flattering for my shape, adding elements I had never even considered. The ruffled bolero is the crowning touch and I threw that together on a whim.

Even though it was an emotional, overwhelming, terrifying ordeal, it was also super fun at the same time. Sort of like the entire wedding planning process, right? I really don’t think I can describe how it felt the day I finished it. I put the dress and little matching bolero on the dress form, backed away a little and just stared at it, completely awestruck. So many ruffles. And all of a sudden the dress has gone from a source of stress and insecurity to something I deeply cherish and want to share with our future family. It’s my very own precious wedding dress, and I made it.

p.s. If you are at all considering taking on this project and you don’t have a ton of experience, BACK AWAY SLOWLY. I say this for your own good. Trust me on this one. xo

What is your biggest DIY project that you’re tackling out of love? Please share!






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Real Brides: Veronica of My Hands Made It

Hope everyone had a beautiful weekend! Today is the last day of our Real Brides guest blogging series, giving you a last peek of a real wedding spin off. Our guest blogger today is Veronica, from My Hands Made It, who you may remember from this DIY wallpaper table number rosette she sent us a few weeks ago. She has three projects to share with you, so let’s get started!

The one major factor contributing to our debt-free wedding is some serious DIY-ing. Not one aspect of the wedding has escaped my hands (except for food – I don’t do food). I initially thought ordering flowers wholesale and creating bouquets the day before the wedding was the way to go – so thrifty! But then I started imagining the day before the wedding – my entire lunatic family running around decorating the tent, moving furniture (we’re getting married at my parents’ house), setting up tables, etc. And I expect to sit in the middle of it all and make bouquets? That is so not happening.

DIY Chiffon Flower Bouquet how to

Then I came across this tutorial by Tresa Edmunds of Reese Dixon. She makes flowers out of organza by melting the edges of the fabric. *light bulb* Maybe I could make my bouquets after all? I got to work, changing the process a little, and made five bouquets for $30. AND they were all ready six months before the wedding. True. Love. Now I’m here to show you how to make your very own.

Materials Needed:

- Polyester fabric (I used a combination of poly chiffon and linings – anything will work, but it must be polyester)
- Floral wire
- Needle and thread
- Candle and lighter or match
- Scissors
- Styrofoam cone (I used a 6? cone)
- Feathers (if desired)
- Felt (if desired)
- Floral tape (if you’re desiring feathers and felt)
- Tissue paper or fabric
- Ribbon (if desired)
- Straight pins

DIY Organza Flower Bouquet

Step 1: Begin by cutting four layers of fabric in a general flower shape. I used three layers of pink and one layer of green (for leaves). There is no need to make these perfect – the more oddball, the more natural they will look later.

Step 2: Light your candle and one at a time, gently hold each layer of your flower above the flame – focus on the edges and be careful not to get too close. The heat will melt the edges and dimple the centers – play around with different techniques to create different shapes.

Step 3: Cut a small slash into the center of each layer (your flower petals) then curl the end of a length of floral wire – larger than the slashes. Drop each petal onto the wire.

Step 4: Grip the petals around the curled wire and with your needle and thread sew a few stitches through all layers, securing your petals and creating a flower shape.

Step 5: To add feathers, simply wrap the end of each feather to floral wire using floral tape. Couldn’t be easier and the feathers are so fantastic peeking out from between the flowers. For even more dimension, cut leaf shapes from felt and secure to wire with floral tape. Gray felt makes a great faux Dusty Miller.

Step 6: Insert your flower, feather and leaf stems into the flat end of your cone. Wrap the cone in tissue paper or fabric (a vintage hankie would be crazy cute) and secure with straight pins. If you wish, add ribbon, also securing with straight pins.

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