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How-to: Hanging Roses and Crystals

Annnd...we're back!

I'm telling you - two back-to-back conferences can really take a lot out of a girl.  Especially when, for one of them, she's in charge of styling three events for 800 people!

As promised (and now that I'm caught up on sleep) I'm going to share some of the decorating how-tos.  First: Hanging Roses+Bling

These are from the more formal of the three events, and were suspended over the entrance to the tent.  Believe it or not, this was a project born out of boredom.  The committee was sitting around our hospitality suite one night (sorry about all that late-night laughter coming out of room 1101) and I saw that we had a bunch of crystals and wire left over from another project.  Maybe they could be strung somewhere else?  Maybe over the entrance?  So as we sat around chatting, I absent-mindedly strung crystals onto silver florist wire.  I made three sizes, four strands in each size.

The next day I took them to the space where they'd hang.  Eh...they were just ok.  Didn't really have much pop.  Maybe adding some ribbon would help?  No, that looked cheesy.  Another committee member suggested adding a rose - yes!  Genius!  The rest of the room was decorated in red roses and this was a great tie-in.


Hanging Roses+Bling How-to
(in a perfect world there would be step-by-step photos, but I was working on the fly in the event-planning world!)  :)

You will need:
Wire cutters
Needlenose pliers
Crystal beads of varying shapes and sizes (avail. in bead aisle of your local craft store)
Silver florists' wire, fine enough to fit through the hole of a bead
Floral tape

1) Cut a long lenth of wire - much more than you need.  Using the pliers, bend the wire into a tiny circle at the end.  You may want to do it twice.  This will prevent the beads from sliding off the end.

2) Separate the beads by shape and size.  Decide on several patterns, and then repeat them inversely on the string, with a few spacing beads in the middle.  For instance, if pattern 1 is "big diamond/small round/medium square" and pattern 2 is "medium round/diamond square/big square" you'll want to do 1-2-several small beads-2-1 on the wire.

You know what?  That's more complicated than it needs to be.  Just make sure the beads you choose look good together.  :)

3) Once you have all the beads on the wire, tie two more small circles near the topmost bead.  Leave the extra length of wire intact.

4) Snip a rose down to 1.5" of stem.

5) Cut another length of wire, and poke it through the stem of the rose.  One length of wire might not be strong enough, so you may have to double or triple the wire.  You should now have a rose with wire poking through the stem.  Form that wire into a small loop and snip off the extra.

6) Slide the loop over the wire holding the crystals.  Decide where you want the rose to hit (I positioned it so that the topmost rose petals were hitting the top of the crystals, as shown in the picture). 

7) Give the loop a squeeze, and twist it together with the extra crystal wire.

8) Cover the stem and loop with floral tape.

9) Get yourself on a ladder and decide where the roses+bling will hang.  I think it looks great when the roses are all even.  Position your wire accordingly, and then give it a good twist so it won't slip off.

You're done!  I have to say, it was most gratifying to see people snapping pictures of the roses and crystals...and to think it was the one decorating element that was totally unplanned!  Sometimes the best ideas come when you least expect it.  Always bring extra supplies!

Another view.  I love how they appear suspended in space.

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