How to make a skirt with real flowers
As a floral designer and event stylist, I am constantly inspired by the wealth of blooms that surround me. Recently while working in the garden, I found myself mesmerized by the beauty of the Annabelle Hydrangea, and imagined myself sprouting out of the ground, surrounded by the beautiful flower. The idea for a floral dress took hold, and I decided just to do it. Let’s see what it looks like to walk around in a flower!
Thanks to my handy-man husband, a crafty mother-in-law, and an engineering brother-in-law, I was able to bring a petticoat, wiring and a whole bunch of blooms to life.
- Dress form mannequin
- Pex piping
- Long strips of velcro
- Screen large enough to wrap around the petticoat
- Florals (see below)
With the flowers, be creative! I went with around 500 white carnations, 50 white roses, 50 white hydrangeas, 75 mini green hydrangeas, 50 white ranunculus, two bunches of white majolica spray roses, and 40 orchid blooms.
Step 1 — The Foundation
So that you understand the concept, channel your inner Scarlett O’Hara and think of hoop skirts from the 1800s. We took a petticoat and lined it with hoops made of pex piping (skinny, light piping cord used for plumbing). Start with the biggest hoop at the bottom seam of the petticoat, and move up towards the waist, with hoops spaced about a foot apart.
There were a series of velcro straps sewn into the skirt, running vertically from the waist down to the hem of the skirt. The strapping wrapped around each hoop of pex piping to secure the hoops in place. We crimped the ends of pex together with metal clamps to close the hoop.
Step 2 — The Screen Overlay
Using a high-quality window screen, we created an overlay. This is what I wired the flowers to, but I kept it separate from the petticoat so that it could unfurl and lay flat to travel. Standing up, the screen will be used to wrap around the petticoat.
Step 3 — Adding the Flowers
I then made a bunch of boutonnieres and wired them on. I grouped carnations in clumps of two or three, put a wire through the calyx and used floral tape to secure to the wire. I did this also with the roses. Replacing all the stems with wires let me wire the blooms as close to the screen as possible. I did use mini Oasis iglus toward the bottom for the white hydrangea to have a water source. It took about 20 hours of hand wiring to get a sturdy dress that could hold itself up.
Step 4 — Bringing it All Together
The model stepped into the petticoat, and the screen with florals was wrapped around and secured with the velcro in the back. All done!