We show you how to take a hands-on approach with DIY wedding decorations. These rosettes have an old-fashioned appeal and will last long after the sun sets on your celebration
A memorable celebration is built on unexpected touches that surprise and delight. Hand-made rosettes make a crafty, eye-catching addition to nuptials, whether they adorn the attire of those in the bridal party, are given as gifts to special guests or are used to enhance the décor when styling your wedding ceremony or reception. Rosettes also offer a way for your family and friends to become more involved in your special day, as these fanciful ornaments can be assembled with friends pre-celebration or even with guests during the event itself.
◆ Paper and pencil
◆ Scraps of fabric of various weights and textures in shades that complement your overall colour palette
◆ Needle and thread
◆ Ribbon of various widths in a selection of complementary colours
◆ Canvas strips (these are an optional extra. Use them in addition to ribbons if you intend for your friends and family to write on your rosettes in lieu of a guest book, because ink won’t bleed into canvas as it does when you use cotton)
◆ Hot glue gun
◆ Brooch clasps (from craft stores)
◆ Trimmings such as buttons, beads, broken jewellery, scraps of lace and charms
Step by step
1. For each rosette, use the paper and pencil to create three templates, each shaped like a four-leaf clover. Make your paper templates three different sizes: 10cm, 8cm and 6cm wide, taking care to make the petals the shape you want.
2. One by one, pin your fabric swatches to the templates and cut them out. ‘It’s nice to include some fabrics that are sheer, such as organza,’ says stylist Sally Fullam. ‘I’ve also used silks and textured fabrics with a bit of a pattern.’
3. For each rosette, create a layered bundle of eight to 10 fabric flowers. Place the largest at the bottom and the smallest on top, and arrange them so the petals fan out in different directions. With a needle and doubled-over thread, stitch a 2cm circle in the centre of the rosette using large tacking stitches. Before knotting the thread, pull it tight to gather in the petals, then make a few stitches in the centre to secure the layers together.
4. Cut several 30cm lengths of ribbon, fold in half and layer, placing the thickest ribbons on the bottom of the pile and the thinnest on top. If required, add a canvas strip so guests can write messages on them with a permanent marker. Secure the folded ribbons at the back of the rosette with running stitches, then trim the ends on a diagonal (this looks prettier and stops the fabric from fraying).
5. Cut small circles of felt to cover the stitching on the back and secure in place with a hot glue gun. Stitch on your brooch clasps to enable the rosettes to be fastened to fabric – try quilts, cushions, a noticeboard, cardi or coat.
6. Use a needle and thread or hot glue to affix trimmings to your rosettes. ‘I’ve used items that were once part of my grandmother’s sewing box,’ says Sally. ‘It gives meaning to the pieces and is a nice way to have people who’ve passed away be part of your wedding.’ Think: something old, something new. You’re creating new memories from old.
◆ By choosing your colours, fabrics and trimmings in advance and defining a clear colour palette, you can influence the overall look, even if your bridal party or guests are putting them together.
◆ Use a variety of fabrics and textures such as lace, cotton and organza, as well as a mix of hues that complement the rest of your styling – rosettes offer a way of incorporating extra shades into your overall colour scheme.
◆ Your rosettes can replace the traditional guest book – distribute them to friends and family or store them in a basket for loved ones to write messages on.
◆ Consider pinning the rosettes to the back of your reception chairs or use them as place settings – your guests can take them home afterwards as a keepsake.
◆ Select a beautiful quilt or comforter for your wedding registry that you can later embellish with your rosettes.
◆ After your event, these modern heirlooms can take pride of place in your home as embellishments for soft furnishings. Wear one as a brooch, or place them in frames against a fabric or paper backdrop and hang them on the wall.
◆ Send the rosettes to loved ones in place of a paper thank-you note.