This post is about love letters. I know it looks like it's about flowers, but if you ask me, flowers are love letters. They both serve the same purpose, don't they? No one sends flowers to say Hey don't forget I hate you! Love, Julie. Letters and flowers are both for saying "HEY I REMEMBER AND VALUE YOU AS A HUMAN BEING." The best part about flowers is that they're the easiest love letters ever, because you hardly need words! That means all of you who start to write a note and get stuck after "Dear Sara," can just let the flowers do the talking. Flowers don't even have to cost an arm and a leg. Look: you can absolutely give not one, but FIVE small bouquets for $10. Seriously upgrade someone's week with flowers. I don't know anyone that has ever felt too remembered or too valued lately. We all need a little extra lovin' sometimes. I guarantee your friends, family, and even your mailman will appreciate the gesture.
For this project, I spent $10 on flowers and used a bunch of junk I already had at home. I realize that you might not have the same junk at your house, but I would be willing to bet you could find something that will work. Here's all the random junk I used:
- Flowers of your choice. This is the only item I had to buy. I got two $5 bunches of flowers from my local grocery store. If you're short on cash, you can get by with one bunch (but you might have fewer bouquets). Or look for a pre-made bouquet that you could split into smaller bunches. Don't be afraid to just talk to the person behind the counter and see what they can do for you, too. Saying something like "Hey I have $5 and I just need a bunch of daisies" might get you more than you think. (Plus daisies are the friendliest flowers. Haven't you seen You've Got Mail?)
- 5 plastic water bottles. These will serve as your vases. Of course, if you don't have plastic water bottles, you could use any of the following items: a plastic cup, an empty half-gallon milk jug, mason jars, an empty peanut butter jar, an empty jelly jar/pickle jar/etc.
- 5 brown paper bags. If you don't have any brown paper bags, you can always substitute. A few ideas: wrapping paper, tissue paper, newspaper (SERIOUSLY IT COULD BE CUTE. Someone try it and show me, okay?), fabric, etc.
- Ribbon, or fabric you could tear into ribbons. I didn't have any ribbon on hand, so I found this scrap of olive-colored fabric. I tore it into strips to make bows. Other items that might work: an old shoestring, a flannel shirt or flannel pajama pants torn into strips, washi tape, etc.
- Scissors. I can't remember the last time I made a project that didn't require scissors.
- Tape. Seriously, a necessity in life. Some girls keep lipstick in their purse. I like to hoard tape. Just ask my mom.
- 5 of something small and heavy, like a rock. These will weigh down your plastic bottles to keep them from tipping over. I used rocks, but you could use sand, or marbles, or golf balls, etc.
- You are loved! gift tags. I made them for you-- click here to view and print them!
- Optional: Paint, spray paint, markers, etc. to decorate the paper bag. I used a little gold spray paint I had left over from another project. Totally unnecessary, but I loved the way it looked.
You ready for this?
STEP ONE: CUT OFF THE TOPS OF THE WATER BOTTLES
I used bottles of all different sizes. I mostly left about 5 inches of bottle on the bottom and cut off the rest with scissors. Pretty simple. It doesn't have to be perfect or straight (MINE WERE NOT. I just covered it up later.)
STEP TWO: PREPARE YOUR FLOWERS
Cut the flowers. I cut my stems quite a lot-- the flowers were probably about 7 inches tall when I was finished with them. I also tore off the leaves because I didn't want them.
STEP THREE: WEIGHT YOUR CONTAINER AND ARRANGE YOUR FLOWERS
At this point, I realized that my plastic bottles were likely to tip over because they are narrow and tall and top-heavy when the flowers are in them. I stole a handful of rocks from my driveway (sorry, Dad) and put one in each bottle. I filled the containers with water and arranged my flowers.
STEP FOUR: TEAR YOUR PAPER BAG
If you're using a paper bag like me, you'll notice it's too tall for your arrangement. You could cut it if you want. I decided to tear mine and fold them over instead. I tore about halfway down one of the creases of the bag. Then I folded over the top of the bag. (NOTE: if you're going to spray paint or draw on the bag, now's the time to do it. I LIGHTLY sprayed some of my bags with a little gold paint before I moved on to the next step. I left a few of them plain, too. Variety or laziness? I'm not sure.)
STEP FIVE: CRUMPLE THE BAG AND TIE YOUR RIBBON
At this point, you can set your flower arrangement in the bag, and then crumple the bag so that it wraps sort of nicely around the arrangement (see the picture on the left). Then take your ribbon, or a torn piece of fabric, and tie a bow around the arrangement.
STEP SIX: ADD A LITTLE LOVE NOTE
Hopefully you already printed and cut out the gift tags I linked to before. If you missed them, download and print this "You are loved!" tag here.) In an ideal world, I would have printed these bad boys on card stock, but all I had was regular printer paper. Luckily, it turned out just fine.
I wanted to stick these guys out of the tops of my arrangements, but I didn't have anything to put them on. So I took some of the flower stems I had cut off earlier and taped my "You are loved!" tags to them. That's called reduce, reuse, recycle, my friends.
STEP SEVEN: GIVE THEM AWAY
This is the very best part. Don't hoard the flowers to yourself! Ok, maybe you can keep one. (I might have.) But also you can surprise your grandmother, your secretary, or the lady at the dry cleaner's. I bet they'll love it.
Happy gifting, friends.