~ Money Bouquet & Variations ~ Reviving & Developing A Lost Art
The Money Bouquet with its fancy presentation and streamers to match the bride's decor, and florist box for transport and support makes a stunning impression at the wedding table or shower and beautifully expresses the symbols and affections !
The instructions here are free ... HOWEVER, two points are VERY important, before you begin:
1. This project is NOT for beginning crafters. If it is YOUR wedding or your daughter's do not attempt it - too risky for a new crafter and pre-wedding nerves.
2. If, however, you would like to make it yourself: I am working to perfect these instructions so do call me if you hit a snag or want coaching or on-site help- Elle Fagan at 860-819-3564.
OFFER:I make the Bouquets by private order: $10/hour labor plus $20 supplies and of course the amount of money you would like fashioned into the Money Bouquet. Plus shipping, which often must be rushed so must be charged separately. Around $100 will do it. Contact me if you like via the contact links above.
For the beginning crafter. Try the Beginner Nosegay
, below, first.
graphics/demonstrations coming soon ... If you live near upstate Connecticut USA, stop in for a quick lesson.
~ Beginner Nosegay ~
Afraid to do the Money bouquet ? try this tiny version, first, to win over normal trepidations!
Supply list is similar, found at any craft and most fabric stores,
but much simpler, and less expensive, than that for the money bouquet :
tulle on roll
paper lace doilies 4 to 5.5 inches in diameter
small-scale artificial flowers and leaves, of your preference
thin white satin ribbon
placecards - purchased or created
1. Cut two circles from the roll of craft tulle, the size and shape of the paper doilies. Note: the doilies come in a variety of colors and silver and gold, but to start with the white ones seemed wise. Still, it is up to you.
Layering the tulle circles with one paper doily between the two layers of tulle. Fold the three layers, as one, pie-wedge style, across the diameters, once, forming a multi-layered half circle. Set aside with a lite card to weight them, but not crush them, or it will re-open to a full circle.
2. Separate a few of the tiny artificial flowers, and a few of the artificial leaves and wrap the stems, as one, with a few inches of the green floral tape. This is called a floret. At this point, the bound stems may long, so you will wish to Bend length of stem two-thirds the length of the radius of the doily assemblage. Set aside.
3. With about 12" of the white ribbon handy, place the taped flowers/leaves in the center of the folded tulle and paper doily. Bring the sides of the assemblage up, creating a cone around the stems. and tucked sweetly at the base of the floret. Now, wrap the ribbon around the base of the tiny nosegay a few times and tie a simple bow. Leave a generous length of bow tails, for romantic streamers, and trim.
Be careful - tugging the doily too aggressively will tear it.
4. Attach the tiny nosegay to one upper corner of standard placecards, with a square of double-stick tape, and enjoy, or make smaller placecards, and tuck them into the tiny nosegays, which will sit on the table. Glue , hot or cold, works fine, but is slower, messier and needs drying time. Pins and staples have been used, too, but can be dangerous and show unattractively.
5. Once you have made one of these, and understand it, prepare the rest identically ... or develop your own variations. For the look, and to make dozens of them, for a formal event, they are often done identically, "assembly-line" fashion, once you get the knack; fun to do if you are working on a group of them with friends. However, you may also enjoy making an easy dozen of each of several different nosegays.(There used to be a classic law in pro crafts, especially when submitting competitively, that required the artisan to do twelve of a thing, identically. Think about it, and if you enjoy such challenges, it adds an element to the fun, and "pursuit of excellence".)
If you enjoyed making the nosegays, you may find you feel able to do the
~ Money Bouquet ~
The following Introduction is a story of its lore, as I was taught, and as was done, by those who made mine for me, in the sixties, and for genertions before.
Not all money presentations derive from grand motives and "passions that go back to the mists", so you should feel comfortable skipping the story and simply enjoying the construction of the money presentations.
However, for those who enjoy such stories, this ...
The Money Bouquet and similar projects are not just a thing to make. They always represent a thing with people. Thought , appreciation, honor, affection, art and expression of any or all of these life-giving human ways. Often done as a gesture by a group of
friends or associates, such projects create a grand opportunity to reaffirm community and add to festivity, and demonstrate the desire and ability to make appreciation an active celebration ... a tangible light.
Flowers at a public social symbolized the enhancement of sweet life energies. Also the desire of the community to inspire the event , which might be serious and challenging, with the best spirits. And in olden days, when sepsis and hygeine were not great, it made the meeting place fragrant; nicer for the event. In the case of the Bride's Bouquet, the symbol is one of those that evolved from days when wives were bought, and my Mothers for this project took a moment's silence, when I was a girl, to be sure to appreciate the evolution of wedding motives,modes, and mores and to quietly rejoice over the improvement in our lot as women. They were quite "pointed " in their expresson...wordlessly, they spoke the grandest truths. Besides the "bride-price" reminiscence, It is also, a simple and practical statement of the need for lots of lovely cash to help with the cost of starting up a new life as marrieds. And it is meant to actualize heartfelt wishes to the Bride and Groom for prosperity and validity in their new marriage.
The money bouquet is, above all, an act of frienship and honor and even love for the recipient, since the cash in the bouquet is often from a collection from among her friends, and often created at an afternoon gathering of her friends. The time and beautiful work given freely for the creation of bouquet makes an irrefutable statement of good feeling among friends.
When I was a girl, among the women,it was considered a prize for a bride whose path in things and ways won love and respect of the elders. So to win one was a "win", indeed.
Not everyone did. Not everyone cared for one, and sometimes the schedule or some other factor prevented a worthy from hers. But there it was, and a thing, just the same.
For a bride, it is still a very special gift, and also most appropriate for baby showers, "sweet sixteen",
personal and professional anniversaries, and going away parties, and similar.
Most of us would never give up Today's Marvels, but we miss some of the things about old days. This pastime is one of these beautiful things.
The procedure of making the nosegay of real money leaves and flowers has been a lost art, but among those enjoying revival. The making of the Money Bouquet is as important as the gift: the motive and wish is that the bouquet may never need to be cashed in, though it often is, in these modern times.
A special act of love...and fun!
Overview of the Plan and Creation of the Money Bouquet
Friends of the bride, or other recipient of the Bouquet, collect the money to be used for it,
and then gather to make it, enjoying fashioning the coins, paper money, ribbons flowers and lace, to perfection (a guy version might be done in the shape of a football, horseshoe, using "guystuff": nuts and bolts, poptops, craft-type foil papers and wires and poptops, golf tees, etc......I think you get the idea ) ...and part of the time crafting it is spent taking note of
happy signs and omens surrounding the event...good thoughts for good fortune; the kind of things that create that "Special Event" feeling!
As women gathered in rituals of spinning, weaving, sewing circles; as men gathered do sail-making, barn-raising; as men and women teamed to make a picnic..... it adds richness and sensitivity, love and joy to the event. All the talk is fashioned to harmonize with the gift being created...if a story-teller, singer, poet wish to add their magic to the worktable, "so much the better!"...making a really special memory for all !
The Supply list and instructions here are for the Bride's or lady's bouquet or money presentation. Specific instructionals will follow soon for variations.
wedding aisle of your craft shop offers most items:
- From Bank Dollar bills and coins....ask for new bills at the bank; denominations are up to you.
The bouquet wants 12 bills, 12 quarters, 12 nickels and dimes, but get a few more, or vary as you wish.
- From Craft Store - wedding aisle:
- 1. Round plastic mesh circle...For a classic 8" nosegay, the 9" round, about the thickness and flexibility of a plastic coffeecan lid is right. Provides a cone-shaped support, when shaped.
- 2. 8"paper lace doilies...get extra...at first try, it is easy to tear it. Optional: 9" Tulle Circles.
- 3. Roll of white tulle netting ( called "tulle by the yard" 6"x25yards, on a ribbon-type roll)
- 4. Artificial white flowers...approx.2 dozen clusters...lightweight, smallscale.....forget-me-nots, lily -of-the-valley, are classics: the birthmonth flower or favorite color may be used, as well.
- 5. Artificial rose leaves...approximately a dozen...lightweight,2-3inch.
- 6. String pearls...look like a ribbon of tiny pearls...lightweight
- 7. Thin white satin ribbon, two spools - 1/8"inch wide
- From Craft Store - Floral Arranging aisle:
- 1. Heavy green floral wire...1 pkg of 16"straight pieces 30guage/green...for stems
- 2. Lightweight floral wire on spool, like thread
- 3. Floral tape/green...1 roll...binds clusters, sharp ends,and creates the "handle".
- 4. Florist's green tissue...one sheet...to nest between nosegay and giftbox
any solid color is best; it seemed that the lovely floral print tissue gave a "busy" "overdone" look to finished work....a clear, solid color enhances the "fanciness" of the work.
- 5. Florist nosegay box...one/ 8"-square...can also be purchased from a florist, for it and the tissue.
- 1. Sheet of light cardboard to make a 5" round pattern for tulle coinflower "petals"
- 2. Small Needle-nosed pliers with cutter- jewelry, not hardware sized...cuts and binds wire easily
- 3. Metal polish, to clean the coins...and dry to a shine.
- 4. Adhesive that will not damage paper doilies, like clear tape,rubber cement,or glue-gun. Bastin thread, dressmaker pins, etc., might be handy to have within reach, if you feel you may need them.
- 5. Scissors...dressmaker or small craft type(s)
Directions for fashioning the bouquet:
- Collect friends, at least one, for the fun... or do one with scraps, at home , alone, to "get the knack", first.
Sometimes, as when the nosegay is a class or office gift, "the gang" collects the money to be used; other times it is a gift from an individual. Meeting for the assembly goes better with a group leader with a good idea of how to do it.
- Set out all the supplies at a sunny roomy table. It is an afternoon's work with a group. 3 -12 hours, done alone. The elements of the Bouquet are done first; then attractively assembled.
Part one: creating the the elements of the bouquet~
- Accordion-fold, or pleat, 1/4" wide, the dollarbills...lenghwise, or widthwise, or some of both. Clean, snappy pleats are the thing.
- Cut as many of the tulle circles- 4"diameter, as coins planned ...around twenty-four. To save time and make uniform circles, I cipped 6" squares frome the roll; then with several of the squares layered, folded them in half, and then in quarters, then clipped a scalloped arc, which , when done, opened into a scallop-edged circle, 4"wide.
- Cut each heavy floral wire length in half, to make 8" lengths, and twist a small spiral with the pliers at one end, to create a corkscrew.
- "Screw" in the dollar bills...this method prevents tearing...and crimp securely with the pliers, and cover the base/wire ends with 4"of the floral tape ... folded left to right, this creates a pleated fan the height of the bill; if you folded them top to bottom, screw in the bills at mid-point, to make two slightly smaller fan-shaped "leaves"
- Wrap a circle of the tulle around each coin, heads up,and gather at back center, or "tails"
- "Screw" in the base of the gathered tulle to one of the floral wire spirals...crimp with pliers to secure. I then tug the tulle back and around the coin, like flowerpetals, and wrap with 3-4" of the floral wire, to keep it in place, and cover wire ends.
- Make a dozen pearlstring "bows" Fasten with an 8" length of floral wire.
- Make "florets" with one of each: 1. bill, 2. coinflower, 3. add to your preference:pearlbow, artifical flower, artificial leaf...bind with floral tape, being careful to note and cover all sharp wire ends. You will have about a dozen "sub-bouquets".
- Arrange the florets in a vase or heavy glass, to estimate the fished size of the bouquet. Set aside.
- Make streamers of the satin ribbon and remaining pearl string. Fasten them halfway with a length of the lightweight floral wire. Set aside.
Part Two: assembling the bouquet~
- Cut a radius in Round plastic mesh circle: that is, make a cut from the outer edge to center, with the scissors...
- Cut a 3-inch circle from the center, or one large enough to fit all the stems through snugly
- Form the mesh circle into a cone, and test for size: place one of the paper doilies, folded into a cone, alongside the plastic cone...you will see that the outer edge of the plastic cone should be trimmed down a bit....I made the upper edge cut , scallop-shaped for the beauty.
- Set the doily aside, loosely form the trimmed cone with one hand,while placing all the
"sub-bouquets" through it, and adjust to fit, with a bit of "room to spare"......
- Fasten the cone ends stably, by threading some of the lightweight floral wire through
the holes in the mesh, catching both layers of the overlap.
- Cut the center of one of the paper doilies to fit in side the plastic mesh cone, and trim, if need be , following the natural concentric scallops of the doily, so that the lace doily extends a little beyond the plastic cone. Do not make the doily extend too far, or it will tear too easily. Optional: one of the 9" tulle circles may be layered above and/or below the paper lace doily.
Tape , glue, sew or fasten with wire to keep in place.
- Retaining a few for the center , Fasten most of the "florets" around the inner side of the cone with the lightweight floral wire, piercing carefully through the paper doily and the holes in the plastic mesh. Several inches of the wire "stems" should protude through the opening at the narrow base of the cone.
- Arrange the remaining "florets" to fill in the central area of the cone. These should protrude like the others through the narrow-end opening in the cone
- Insert the streamers, at center, threading the floral wire that fastens them through
the narrow-end opening in the cone, or fasten the wire around the bunch of stems that protrude, just beneath the cone.
- Carefully grasping all the stem-wires at the bottom of the cone straighten then twist them to form the handle of the bouquet. Then thoroughly bind it with the floral
tape, with a very careful eye to covering sharp wire-ends, and making an attractive
shape to the handle
- Cut another round of the paper doily, and form into a cone that will fit nicely,top and bottom, over the plastic mesh on the outside.
Optional: layer a 9" tulle circle over and / or under thepaper doily. Make a matching fit to the scallops on the doily that lines the inside of the cone. Bond the inner doily to the outer one, at the scallops around the top... to completely hide the plastic mesh, using rubber cement, small pieces of clear tape, glue gun...or any non-watery, fast-drying product. ( NOT a wet glue - the paper doily is damaged fi wet,so avoid it and absolutely no staples...any sharp edge that might touch the bride is a very badluck thing).
- Weave a length of the thin satin ribbon through spaces along the bottom edge of the outer cone doily, and make a simple bow. Set the bouquet in to the vase and set aside.
Part three: "finishing touches"~
Box: Michelle's Florist ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ image credit: L.Lipcius
- Obtain a Nosegay Box , 8 to 10 inches square, from a florist and a compatible floral tissue....plain, not patterned. A patterened tissue detracts from the complex money bouquet
- Make a Support to stabilize the bouquet in the floral box: 1. Cut a plain cardboard square that measures the same as the inside of the box.
2. Cut a hole in its center, using the circle pattern once again.
3. Cut a 4" strip of the carboard, long enough to fit inside the circle,creating a collar or "stovepipe".
4. Place the carboard square and collar assembly into the florist's box, and the floral tissue covering it, carefully...this arrangement will support the bouquet stably and attractively in the box and prevent crushing. Alternatively: fashion one of the plastic mesh circles into a support and, like the nosegay, cover with doily and tulle, as you desire. Set over the floral tissue, in the box. This support can be removed and used to "stage" the Bouquet on the table, at a reception.
- Make a final check of the bouquet. Bills,coin flowers,and all trimmings should be
tidied, and checked for stability....embarassing, if its parts fall out when presented. And one more check for "finishing touches" beauty....the tulle, wrapping the coinflowers should blossom out from back to front like petals with coins as flowercenters. the bills should be neatly pleated, and "fanned" like leaves.
The artificial leaves and flowers are sometimes bent or crushed a little during assembly, and should be carefully smoothed. "Primping" the bouquet is a nice time
to dream a little and make it a rewarding moment...special!
- Make a loose cone of the the floral tissue, around the bouquet and set the bouquet handle into the carboard collar.Arrange the streamers carefully so they neither overwhelm the bouquet or become crushed by it.
- Close the box. Make a classic wrap and bow of ribbon. Or paint little flowers or other decorative on the box....Let dry... and tie a bow with a broad lenghth of the tulle, which will stretch and pleat attractively as you wrap it around the box.
The design painted on the box shows through
the tulle, creating a very romantic effect.
Voila! The Bouquet, if a wedding gift, is placed at the bride's table and enjoyed at the time of other ritual money gifts at the reception.
If you have an understanding of the project, there are many variations you can enjoy....substituting one element or another, to create your unique and special memory. For example, a goodbye office party gift bouquet might be made with
relevant office paper cones, paperclips, curled papers from the shredder, with the bonus "goodbye" paycheck in the center of the bouquet,etc...The project is a show-stopper and keepsake, and speaks well of both recipient and donor.