[Image courtesy of @bittersweetfloral.design]
As usual, Valentine’s Day snuck up on me from around a corner this year. Surprising me as it hid itself in plain sight between the flurry of the holidays, a New Year, some long winter weeks and the upcoming Spring. Every year without fail, between the layers of cold weather gear, school activities, work, life… everything… Cupid’s big day catches me off guard and leaves me scrambling to smack some shoddily cut out craft paper hearts on the walls of our home in an attempt at some loving cheer. Every. Single. Year.
And before you label me a cynic or jaded in my middle aged years of losing sight of the fun hidden somewhere in those chalk-tasting Necco Conversation Heart candies, you should know I absolutely love Valentine’s Day in my own quiet way. So this year, I decided to test the waters of being a craft-mom for a moment and attempt a quick DIY project that can actually be done any time of year, but I decided would be deemed for Valentine’s Day simply by using varying shades of pink spray paint.
I shamelessly borrowed the idea from my sister-in-law, with permission. She is an incredible artistic talent and florist, so naturally I copied her after I saw what she “just threw together” to brighten her living room. She created this installation in three easy steps:
- First, she cut poultry netting into the rough shape of a heart.
- Next, she spray painted dried baby’s breath with various shades of pink.
- Lastly, she arranged the flowers into the netting and… DONE!
Armed with this easy DIY inspiration, I decided to create my own iteration to see what I could come up with. So here it goes with my version.
As mentioned, a great way to create a base for this type of art installation is poultry netting – also known as “chicken wire” – but you can really use a number of things. I already owned a large wreath that I thought could use a little nod to spring with some bright flowers. But you could also use foam, cardboard or even a recycled egg carton. For any materials that are not naturally porous, poke small holes throughout your base for the flower stems.
While out on a grocery errand, I purchased all the baby’s breath flowers at Trader Joe’s and left them in an empty vase for a day to dry out. (This step isn’t required, but it helps give you a better idea of how it’ll all turn out as the flowers will naturally pull back a bit after they dry.) Once my flowers were dry, I took them outside to spray with various pink paints. I used a floral spray paint as it isn’t as heavy as traditional spray paint, but it isn’t required. To be honest, I didn’t have a plan ahead of time so I just divided the flowers equally into three piles leaving me with white, light pink and dark pink.
After my flowers dried, I cut the stems down so there was only 2-3″ left below the flowers. I put my wreath flat on the ground and simply started pulling the stems through the willow branches of my wreath to create clusters throughout it. Knowing this was a temporary embellishment, I didn’t fasten them at the back as their dried stems held them somewhat in place. And this way, after Valentine’s Day I can simply pull them out.
And…….. That’s it! Three easy steps to a fun Valentine’s Day wall installation. I have to admit that I feel very accomplished this go around. Although, last night did I still do the swearing shuffle at Target as I blitzed through the craft section to purchase glue and glitter to slap onto an old shoebox for my oldest child’s pandemic friendly Valentine’s Day party at school after forgetting about it until the last minute? Why yes, I absolutely did. That must be part of my own personal ritual of celebration. Right? But when the glitter settled, I did sit back for a moment and enjoyed my new love-themed display installation.
[Quick semi-pro tip: Want to make it feel more like art than craft? Call it an installation. It definitely hypes it up a bit.]
[Images courtesy of @hudsonandwilde]
- Base structure: I used a wreath I already owned, but poultry fencing, foam or cardboard are all great options.
- Floral spray paint or regular spray paint: Pick your colors! Here is the brand I used.
- Baby’s Breath flowers: The more the better. I purchased 4 bundles from the store.
- Scissors or pruning shears.