How to Create a French Country Floral Arrangement
Silk Hydrangea Are Perfect for a Country French Home
The Expensive Arrangement That I Duplicated for Much Less Money and A Little Work
When shopping for furniture, I saw this gorgeous floral arrangement. I really wanted it, but could not see spending $79.99 plus tax on it, especially considering there was a grammatical error on it. It said "Le Fleur", which means "flower". There were lots of flowers in the arrangement, so it should have said "flowers", or "Les Fleurs". Yep, I'm a stickler for correct grammar, syntax, etc. A few weeks later, I saw the same arrangement in another store for an even higher price. I decided I could make my own, using flowers that would complement my color scheme of ivory and aqua.
This hydrangea arrangement has a purpose other than to match my color scheme and to look pretty. It's main purpose is to hide the cords connecting our TV to the cable outlet, so the flowers are specifically placed for that purpose. Our TV sits atop an etagere in our bedroom, and this flower arrangement sits in the floor beside the etagere.
First I Searched for a Bucket - My Local "Junque" Shop
I knew exactly the place to look. There is a wonderful little shop with a bit of everything: some very nice antiques, and some good junk, too. They also have really nice plants for much better prices than your local big box home improvement stores, and better than local nurseries and garden centers. They are on Hwy. 466-A, near the intersection with U.S. 301, in Wildwood, FL.
This is my favorite little junque shop in our area. Unfortunately, road work at the above-mentioned intersection has made it almost impossible to get to the shop. As a result the owner has closed the shop indefinitely.
This is Their Supply of Old Buckets and Tubs
I could have gone to several antique shops and junk shops (opps, I mean junque shoppes), but I knew if this one didn't have what I needed, I probably wouldn't find it. I found lots of tubs and buckets but all were either the wrong shape or too large for my needs. I gave up my search and resigned myself to the fact that, if I wanted the right size and shape bucket quickly, I would have to find a new one.
These Are the Main Items Needed
In this photo you see the main items needed to make this Country French floral arrangement. At first, I thought these were the only items I would need to create my arrangement. Not so. Additional items were needed, such as sandpaper and paint. Also needed was a large Sharpie pen (which I happened to have lying around my studio) for writing "Les Fleurs" on the little piece of burlap to be attached to the front of the bucket.
The container/bucket is the same size, shape, and material as the one used in the original arrangement I saw in the furniture store. I bought this bucket at Michael's. It was originally $15.99, but was on sale at 50% off, plus I had one of those rare coupons for a percentage off all items whether on sale or not. Lucky me! The problem? My bucket was too shiny and new. It was supposed to look old. Time to find a way to age this very new bucket.
This bucket was intended to hold ice and canned or bottled drinks, so it has a coating over the metal to prevent rusting. To make it look old, I tried vinegar, then nail polish remover. Neither of these would removed that protective coating; both simply beaded up like water on a well-waxed car. I decided to paint it to make it look old. Of course, by then I knew the acrylic paints I planned to use would also bead up. Next I tried sandpaper to remove the slick finish. That worked very well.
Sanding Off the Protective Coating
Here, I'm using a very fine grade sandpaper to remove the shiny coating on the bucket. I rubbed vertically, horizontally, and around in little circles, trying to cover every square inch.
These Are The Items Used to Age the Bucket
Sandpaper and paint.
One of my favorite flowers, the mophead hydrangea.
A Closer Look at the Paints I Used
These are some acrylic paints I had in my studio. Mixed together, they were perfect for aging the bucket. The colors are Neutral Gray, Value 5 (Mixing Gray), and Parchment
My New "Old" Bucket
Putting on the Finishing Touches to the Bucket
Burlap is so loosely woven, pulling out threads to create a bit of fringe was easy. I used this large-point Sharpie to write "Les Fleurs".
The New "Old" Bucket is Ready for Flowers
It took a couple of attempts to get the wording centered. On my first attempt, the words were centered vertically, but not horizontally. Because of the grid created by the large threads in the burlap, it was easy to count the spaces to find where to start writing.
I used little squares of Velcro with adhesive backing to attach the burlap to the bucket. I used only the stiff part of the Velcro, not the piece with the soft loops. I pressed the rough side of the Velcro squares onto each corner of the burlap with the sticky side out, then pressed the sticky side of the Velcro onto the bucket. The burlap simply clings to the Velcro squares. This makes it very easy to change to a piece of burlap with different wording if I ever want to, or if I decide to use the bucket for something else.
simply stuck the Velcro squares onto
My Total Cost Was About $30 - Compared to the Furniture Store Price of $79.99
I paid approximately $6 for the bucket.
Some of the flowers were on sale for 70% off
Some flowers were 50% off
All together, the flowers cost me approximately $20.
I bought 1/4 yard of burlap fabric at JoAnn's Fabric Store also with a 50% off coupon, for about $1.50.
I already had the paints, sandpaper, Velcro, and the Sharpie.
All totaled, this arrangement cost me about $30, versus the $79.99 at the furniture store.
Do you do your own decorating? Make your own draperies and/or throw pillows? Or crafting? Knitting, maybe? These are wonderful ways to make your home design your very own, so that it will reflect your individual personality.
Thank you for visiting my how-to page. I hope you enjoyed it. You should be able to adapt this design to your own décor by using whatever type container and your favorite flowers suit your taste. If you decide to make one of these or something similar, please send me a photo, and (with your permission) I will post it on this page. Please leave your comment, and let me know you dropped by for a visit. Happy crafting!
© 2013 MariaMontgomery