I went shopping at a local discount/dollar store. With a few left over craft supplies, and around $20, I made 15 of these little flower buckets, and 4 small flower baskets. This is an easy craft to adjust depending on the time of year. Just change the color and type of flowers, as well as the exterior decorations for each season, holiday or event. I was able to to pick up the Favor Buckets at 3 for a dollar. Each of the flower bunches comes with between 5 and 8 flowers on each main stem. So you can get about one full basket with each bunch of flowers you choose, some times more depending on how many each bunch has, and how many flowers you use in each bucket.
Note from me: Sorry about not having pics. . . issues with the camera. Hope to correct it soon.
Things You Will Need
White Wedding Favor Buckets (you could use small terra cotta pots)
Various Silk flowers (holiday flowers)
Wire Cutters &/or Needle Nose Pliers (combo. Tools are available)
Roll of Holiday Ribbon (wire if they have it) You can also use left overs from past years, and clean out scrap pieces you have around.
Hot Glue Gun and a few sticks of glue
Plaster of Paris (used to hold flowers in buckets and weight it down, mine kept tipping over at first)
Various Metallic Confetti, Paint, extra leaves etc. (Used to decorate the outside of buckets) Paint pens, glitter glue, business cards are all optional to personalize each bucket.
Cut Flowers, pine cones etc. off of the main stem. Set aside. (Keeping flowers in like color groups makes arranging easier when you get started with the bouquets)
Cut floral wire into 4-5 inch lengths, fold in half and twist. Set aside for later.
Select several flowers &/or pine cones stems from Step 1. I normally use about 6 individual stems. The number will depend on the size, shape of flowers, and fullness you like when putting the arrangements together.
Now group them together like a regular floral bouquet, keep the colors balanced and the heights about the same. (It should look like a small flower girls bouquet at this point.)
Measure flowers in the bucket. You want very little stem above the rim of the bucket.
Cut the flower stems to fit using the wire cutters.
Next, using the precut wire, wrap the stems together tightly. Try to slide the end under the wire or into the stems if you can. You can use the wire cutters to trim off extra wire if you need to.
Use floral tape to cover wire and stems. This will help with the sharp wire tips, as well as giving your arrangements a more finished look when completed. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have as many as you want.
Mix up some Plaster of Paris. (Follow direction on container) You will need between 3 and 4 cups of the liquid plaster.
Pour liquid plaster about 3/4 of the way up in each bucket.
Place 1 bouquet into each bucket. Keep close enough together that they help support each other until the plaster hardens. Allow several hours to dry, it may take a day or longer if the weather is really cold, or it is very humid.
You can use full size muffin tins to hold them up until they are stable.
***Please see below for warnings with the disposal and clean up of Plaster of Paris ***
Use your glue gun to apply ribbon, confetti, leaves, or other decorations on to buckets. Get creative. The glue should peel off easily if you don't like how it looks. If you have bells, you can wire them to the bucket handle, you can paint it. Pretty much any thing you want at this point. You are just trying to make the out side of the bucket look as festive as the floral arrangement. I have used this to make personal place cards for a holiday table, and each guest can take home a bucket. I've done this a few ways: I've used the holly or ivy leaves that were glued on the buckets and written names or holiday messages. I have also used blank business cards, that I put into the flowers like the note cards from the flower store. You can find all kinds of ways to decorate the cards yourself, or print them out on your computer.
Allow glue and or paints to dry. Then clean up the outside of buckets.
Do a final arrangement of the flowers, filling open spaces with the flowers and leaves, by gently pulling on and moving the flower stems. Make sure not to pull the stems too hard as you can pull it out of the plaster. Then you can't get it back in. (I did this, and then spent a whole lot of time trying to get the plaster out of the bucket, unsuccessfully I might add.)
Your flower arrangements are now complete. Time to give them out as gifts, sell at craft fairs, or use to decorate your own home. I have made these arrangements for all of the major holidays, birthdays, as well as for weddings, showers, and other events. People seem to think these are hard to do, or that it takes a lot of time to do. I spent a total of 5 hours to get all 19 items completed, not counting the drying time for the plaster.
I hope you enjoy these quick, easy, pocketbook friendly arrangements as much as I do.
Tips & Warnings
1.When using the floral wire, and using the floral tape to cover wire and stems, watch your fingers the wire is sharp and I have nicked myself.
2. Keep the tip of your glue gun and the melted glue away from skin. I have blistered the skin when I haven't had my complete attention on the task at hand. (No, I don't want my three year old to help!)
3. Never ever pour your extra Plaster of Paris down the drain or toilets. That is unless you want to call the plumber and have him fix the COMPLETLY BLOCKED DRAINS. I use disposable cups and wooden stirring sticks for this step. When completely done with project you can throw the whole mess away. I also line my work space with newspaper when working with the Plaster of Paris. You can also take everything outside and clean it up in the grass, you may end up with little chunks of plaster about your yard for a while. But that is a whole lot better than an unusable toilet and a house full of people for the holidays.
If you don't have the Plaster of Paris, you could try a few of the glass craft stones or other small heavy object in the bottom of the bucket, then use floral foam to stick the flowers in. Using the foam, I don't see why you would have to use the wire and floral tape. You just work with it like you would doing baskets of flowers. If you have a liquid acrylic kit, it would work too. It's just that these arrangements are so light that they tip over easily, and you need something that will weight the whole thing down.