Jasmine: When Andrew and I conceptualised our vintage picnic shoot, one thing that I knew I’d like to have on “set” was a birdcage (which would not only double up as church decor, but could also be re-purposed for decorating a future home, heh).
(Andrew: When Jasmine said she wanted to do ‘bird-cages’, I thought she was just going to buy some and add a few flowers/decorations here and there. I never knew that it was such an elaborate project – but I should have known – everything wedding-related for my Dearie is a huge project. Heh.).
This is my tutorial on doing a DIY floral arrangement within a birdcage.
Step 1: Assemble all materials
Our birdcage was bought from Exim Arts and our silk flowers from Exim and surprise, Cold Storage.
I decided to keep it to three colours maximum as it was my maiden attempt at floral arrangement and I didn’t want it turning out too messy.
Step 2: Prep the base
I lined it with some lilac raffia that I had saved from the 1st anniversary bouquet Andrew had ordered for me last year, and proceeded to glue on some leaves. You can choose to skip this step, but as our birdcage had to endure several car rides, we thought it was better to secure as much of it as possible.
A slightly better shot of the lilac wrapper, cut down to size. I pushed the wrapper down later because I had quite a few flowers, but if your arrangement is sparse, you can afford to have the wrapper peek out more.
Step 3: Begin with base flowers
A basic flower arrangement should have three layers of flowers for height and dimension, but I made do with just two layers. I began with the first and lowest layer: two balls of silk hydrangeas. (I got the saleslady to snip off the stalks for me with her pro scissors. But when all else fails, kitchen scissors and a great deal of twisting wires until they snap will suffice.)
By the way, my silk hydrangeas were $5 for a ball at my trusty neighbourhood supermarket. They came to me a little crushed:
So I opened them up by separating the individual stems, so they would look fuller and larger:
Ok, this pic may be ever so slightly exaggerated, but the simple action of opening up the flower petals increased the volume of the hydrangeas by at least 30%. Kinda like a good mascara.
Step 4: Add height to your floral arrangement
I bought a bunch of filler flowers, and after cutting them down to the desired size and removing unwanted foliage, I tied them together with twine (just moved house, couldn’t find rubberbands).
Arrange your second layer of flowers. For a more 3D, naturally overgrown effect, I pushed some of the fillers and hydrangea petals out from the birdcage.
Step 5: Add fauna to make the whole arrangement look cohesive.
For me, this simply meant closing the birdcage lid and winding some fake berries around the top and having them cascade down.
Step 6: Decorate birdcage door and around the birdcage (optional)
My scrapbooking materials came in handy for this step. It took less than 5 minutes to glue on a couple of colour-coordinated Prima flowers.
I also found an Ikea wreath that my brother had bought for my mum many moons ago, which was just the right size to go around the birdcage.
And stuck some leftover flowers on the wreath to tie it in with the filler flowers in the birdcage.
That’s the first birdcage:
Oh, and did I mention I bought a second birdcage too?
Here’s the mini one:
The Ikea wreath and scrapbooking flowers on the birdcage door were actually applied to this mini birdcage, but otherwise, I left this one empty as this is the designated angpow box (fear not, we’ll enlist vigilant receptionists!), and only scattered some paper flowers in it.
Both the birdcages!
Did a “full dress rehearsal” with all the picnic props:
Jasmine: Another tip I gleaned from scrapbooking websites it to always do groupings in odd numbers, in this case, two cakestands and one birdcage.
And here’s how it looked for reals, at Botanic Gardens (again, another of our outtakes):
(On Andrew: custom-made tux shirt from Rossi; on Jasmine: custom-made “Prada lace” dress from Angelique)
Andrew: The bird cages really added a nice dash of colour and freshness to the whole setup – made it seem rather vintage and had a good out of Singapore vibe. We didn’t have that many nice shots of it unfortunately, but now it serves as a decorative piece in Jasmine’s home. :) Thanks Dearie for putting so much effort into our wedding photoshoot!