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Project and Photos by Erica O'Brien Piped flowers are perfect for everything from backyard weddings to bridal showers to formal affairs. Although they had fallen out of favor during the height of the fondant craze, piping has made a huge comeback. You can use any buttercream recipe you like, but we prefer Swiss meringue buttercream. Because it's made with real butter, it has a slightly yellow tint, so be sure to practice on a small batch before adding lots of color. What You’ll Need: Small (8” or 10”) piping bag fit with leaf tip (such as Wilton tip 68) Large (18” or larger) piping bag fit with small star tip (such as Wilton tip 1M) Ivory, light pink, dark pink and leaf green buttercream Large icing spatula Small icing spatula To fill the piping bag, fold the top third over your hand. Use small icing spatula to fill small piping bag about half full with leaf green buttercream. To fill large piping bag, open base of piping bag wide so tip is visible. Think of interior of piping bag as a circular (pie-shaped) cavity divided into thirds. Fill large piping bag with ivory, light pink, and dark pink buttercream, placing each color to fill only one third of the interior of the pie-shaped cavity in the piping bag. Twist piping bag to create pressure on buttercream. Hovering above cake surface, squeeze piping bag until full star is formed. Release pressure so buttercream ceases to flow and lift up and away from cake . Repeat shape directly touching previous shape. Continue on top and side of cake creating a round, piped mound. Continue creating round piped mounds around edge of cake. To create leaves, twist piping bag to create pressure on buttercream. Hovering above cake surface, squeeze piping bag until buttercream starts to come out. Gently touch buttercream to cake surface to adhere. Gradually release pressure while pulling away to create a pointed leaf. Enjoy!
Project and Photos By: Mary SwensonFresh cranberries are readily available in grocery stores from mid-September throughout December, and this recipe turns them into a sweet/tart treat perfect for packaging up and giving to your guests as favors! Ingredients and Supplies: 2 cups of sugar 2 cups of water 2 cups of fresh cranberries 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar Small lidded glass jars Steps One and Two: 1- First, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has fully dissolved. Do not bring the mixture to a boil. 2- Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. The water should be warm, but not too hot. Combine the cranberries with the sugar water in a bowl and cover; refrigerate overnight. Step Three: The next day, drain the liquid from the cranberries and toss in a bowl with 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar. Spread the sugared cranberries onto parchment or waxed paper and let them dry for about an hour, or until the sugar has hardened. Step Four: Package the treats inside the jars and cover tightly. We used spice jars, which are perfect for individual guest favors; use larger jars if you're giving out one favor per couple. This recipe filled six 3.4 ounce spice jars; adjust accordingly for the number of favors you will need. Step Five: Add a simple personalized tag, and you're done!
By Mary SwensonWarm-weather weddings, whether they're indoor or outside, call for plenty of liquids for your guests. These subtly-flavored waters are easy to make, are a creative way to hydrate your guests, and can do double-duty as table numbers! Purchase glass bottles with airtight stoppers (like these) for your water; they look great, and the stoppers will keep your water as fresh as possible. We used a simple number stencil and multi-surface acrylic paint to put the table number on each bottle. No stencils? Painting the number by hand can be just as charming. Once the numbers are fully dry, you are ready to start flavoring the water. Start by adding the flavorings of your choice to each bottle, fill them to the top with water, and secure the stoppers. Done! We combined cucumber and mint in our bottle, but the flavor possibilities are endless. Try raspberry and lime; sliced lemon, peaches, watermelon, or strawberries; vanilla beans...whatever you like! Make sure any fruit you use is washed thoroughly before using, and use spring or filtered water for the best taste. Chill your water before placing them on each table. As guests arrive to their tables, they can help themselves to sips of the refreshing brew. Ahhh! By Mary Swenson
Photos By: Jordan FerneyIt's simple, sweet and eco-friendly. Now we have the step-by-step on this popular DIY from Jordan Ferney! Supplies + Sources: A Tray of Irish Moss, Mini Terra Cotta pots($1/each Home Depot,) Metallic Spray Paint ($5 Home Depot), Ribbon ($3/spool Paper Source) Paint it Shiny: Lay out some scrap paper outside and spray the Terra Cotta pots following the directions on the can of spray paint. Then turn the pots over and spray the second side until it is all silver. Did you know? A tray of Irish Moss is just $12 for 25 at Home Depot! Get your Hands Dirty: Separate a section of the moss and shape the soil with your hands so it fits in the pot. You want the moss to have a round shape, add or remove soil until it is at the right height. Clean Up: Tuck the edges of the Moss into the pot so it has the round shape and no soil is showing. Brush any dirt off the top of the moss and wipe off any soil from the pot with a rag. Make it Pretty: Add a ribbon and if desired attach a little sign or name tag to a toothpick. These can serve as place settings or cute favors. We love using moss for lots of reasons, but we love it most because of it's modern shape and feel.
Photos By: Mary Swenson Simple, inexpensive clay pots can be turned into lovely little favors and centerpieces with just minimal effort and even less cash. Here's how! To make the favors, we started with a small three-inch high pot. We cut the top off a plastic water bottle (make sure to keep the cap on), which fit perfectly inside as a liner for the pot. Cut a piece of wet floral foam to fit inside the plastic liner. Insert the liner and the foam into the pot, and fill the inside of the liner with water, so that the foam absorbs most of the water. The liner will ensure that the water stays away from the inside of the clay pot, preventing it from getting dark and wet (and, from leaking out of the hole that's in the bottom of most pots). We purchased an inexpensive flower arrangement at a grocery store, cut out the flowers we wanted to use, and inserted the cut flowers into the foam. Since these favors will be going home with your guests, the foam will keep their arrangement intact during travel. Our finished favor arrangement is sweet and simple! Creating a matching centerpiece is even easier -- simply use a larger pot, and stick a cup of water inside the pot for your stems. We used the same flowers as we did for our favors, and added tulips for an extra touch. The coordinating favors and centerpieces create a cohesive, beautiful look for your event! To personalize your arrangements, print out guest names and table numbers on regular printer paper, cut into strips, and affix with double-sided tape or glue to the pots. So charming!
From deep reds to snowy silvers, these shades are perfect for your cold-weather winter wedding.
1. Powder Blue
We love this cool hue for brides who are braving the cold and exchanging vows in front of a snowy winter backdrop.
Our picks (from left to right): Kip by Butter London ($15) // Caleigh by Scotch Naturals ($17) // Bikini So Teeny by Essie ($8.50)
2. Snowy Silver
Use a shimmering shade of silver or blue for a glistening look that will compliment your all-white ensemble.
Our picks (from left to right): Moon Rendezvous by Deborah Lippmann ($18) // No Place Like Chrome by Essie ($8.50) // Petrol by Butter London ($15)
3. Matte Rose
This romantic shade is perfect for the winter bride who wants a pop of pink that's not too bold.
Our picks (from left to right): Incognito by Dior Vernis Gel ($27) // Chanilly Lace Spring Collection by Deborah Lippmann ($18) // Beige Leger by Yves Saint Laurent ($27)
4. Deep Red
Go bold yet classic with these classic shades of red. This staple winter hue is sure to make a statement for your walk down the aisle.
Our picks (from left to right): Bordeaux Lust by Tom Ford ($32) // Nails Inc.London ($9.50) // Myrtle by Julep Beauty ($14)
5. Bright Nude
If you don't want to pull focus from your bridal look, stick with lighter neutrals that are reminiscent of a snowy winter scene.
Our picks (from left to right): Bubble Bath by OPI ($8) // Ivory Queen by Ciaté Paint Pots ($15) // Yacht Transatlantique by Dior Vernis ($30)
NEXT: 14 Neutral Nail Polishes for Brides
Photos By: Chelsea FussThese sweet and wild green wreaths are perfect for anytime of year (just change out the ribbon to suit the season). They look gorgeous on church doors, bride and groom chairs, or as pew markers. Total cost: $5 per wreath. Materials: Spool wire Floral tape Clippers Greens (about 15 stems per wreath, we used rosemary, bay and boxwood) Ribbon 1. Form a circle (whatever size you need. Remember your wreath will be slightly bigger than the form) with the spool wire and double it over several times. 2. Cover the circle in floral tape. 3. Cut small pieces of greens and, take excess leaves off about an inch of the bottom stem. 4. Secure each piece with wire. 5. Make sure you overlap the stems to cover any wires or mechanics. You may need to fill in with a few extra pieces. 6. You can make these up to a week ahead of time. Spray daily with water and keep in a cool, dark place. 7. Hang with ribbon and afterwards send them home with special guests. Add this natural touch to your big day - and have fun! Photos By: Chelsea Fuss