DIY Wedding Flowers

DIY Manzanita Tree

Who’s ready to roll up their sleeves and get some serious diy on? Well … thanks to Louise Georges Yves we have a spectacular DIY Manzanita tree tutorial for you. Louise Georges Yves used a deep red palette but, you can make it your own by using using the same basic principals and swapping out the florals.

This stunner would make a breathtaking centerpiece or create a whimsical wishing tree for guests to place well wishes on. You simply need a little time and a few materials. Read on to see how you can wow your guests.

Floral Recipe

24 Red Paris Roses
20 Small Chocolate Ti Leaves
10-15 stems red elephant or red james storie
5 Stems Fan-tail Willow
1 Manzanita Branch
1 stem cymbidium orchid

Tools | Supplies
9×9 wooden container
Fabric/ribbon to cover container
Ribbon to hang from finished tree
Floral foam
5 Water tubes
Screw
Screwdriver
Scissors
Floral shears
Floral wire
Spray paint
Rubberized undercoat spray or other water proofing element

Step 1
Before you even begin putting the Manzanita tree together you need to prep your flowers.

• Cut roses to approximately 3” in length. Cut with floral shears at a 45 degree angle being careful not to crush the head as it will cause bruising. Set aside.
• Cut 6 – 8” segments from willow looking for pieces with
• Take your ti leaves and cut a half inch slide 1 – 2 inches from the tip.
• Fold the tip of the leaf under and tuck the stem through the slit. If the leaf tears, you can use a stapler to secure the tip slightly above the stem base. Set aside.
•  Use your floral shears to snip each cymbidium bloom off the stem.
• Take 3 inches of floral wire and fold into a u shape. Take the two ends and insert above the tongue of the orchid taking care not to tear the bloom. Alternatively, you can also thread the floral wire through the stem at the base of the bloom. Repeat for five blooms and set aside. These will be used to decorate the branches.
•  Take the remaining blooms and insert them into water tubes. Set aside. These will be used to adorn the trunk of the Manzanita.
• Snip 7 – 10, 6” segments from the Red Elephant orchid stems. Set aside. These will be used to adorn the trunk of the Manzanita.
• Take each remaining stem and cut into 2 – 3, 3” segments. These will be used to decorate the branches and to tuck into the base of the tree.

Step 2
• Measure approximately 1.5 – 2 inches from box corner and use screw driver to twist screw into bottom of box.
• Ask friend, family or hubby-to-be to help hold manzanita branch in place while securing it with the screw.
Once secured, you can use the glue gun to ensure a tight seal against the box and no movement from the branch.
• Use rubberized undercoat to fully coat bottom and side seams of box. Let dry and test the seal by filling with water and placing in a water proof area. Alternatively, you can line the box with a plastic tray or other water tight material or container.
• Use spray paint (we chose an Oil Rubbed Bronze) to coat trunk and branches of Manzanita. Don’t worry about the box unless you do not plan to cover it with fabric.
• Use glue gun to affix ribbon or fabric of your choice to the outside of the box. Start at one corner, wrapping the fabric around the box until you reach the starting point. Fold the ribbon under at the corner to ensure a smooth, finished edge.
• Soak floral foam in water, but do not push it into the water, instead let it absorb the water on it’s own. This will prevent air bubbles.
• Cut the floral foam into segments that will fill the box and surround the base of the Manzanita.

Step 3
From your prepared florals (small chocolate ti leaves and stems red elephant orchid) it is time to begin building your Manzanita tree
• Take the folded ti leaves and begin to insert them into the floral foam. Ensure the leaves radiate out from the base of the tree. You can trim the stems if they are too long.
• Take the willow tips and insert them into the floral foam. Spread them out randomly among the ti leaves.
• Now, insert the roses among the leaves. Attempt to cluster the roses in groups of three and four connecting the various clusters throughout the base. You can also place roses between the ti leaves and the edge of the box for added fullness. Angling the roses and placing them at varying heights will provide added dimension.
• Next, take your cymbidiums in the water tubes and cluster them around the Manzanita trunk.
• Take the wired cymbidium blooms and attach them to the branches. Place them randomly at different heights and where there is a v shape base upon which they can naturally rest.

Step 4
• Now, take the longer red elephant pieces and tuck then in again surrounding the manzanita trunk. Place them so that they fan out from the trunk.
• Take the smaller segments of red elephant orchid stems and wire them to the manzanita branches. You can connect multiple smaller segments using individual blooms to hide wire bits. Take care to place the first segments near the cymbidium bloom so that it appears that the orchids are clustered together and growing from a single branch.
• Take the remaining red elephant segments and tuck them in among the roses. You don’t need to worry about piercing the foam. They will be fine for 2 – 3 days out of water.
• Embellish your beautiful manzanita tree with your 1/4” ribbon segments, votive candle holders, photos or other decorative items and enjoy!

If you would like to use other flowers.
If you want to use different flowers, here are tips on how to use them.
1. Pick a combination of full/mass flowers and greens that can help fill the base and long/uniquely shaped items that give height, dimension and interest. Kale, roses, dahlias, safari sunset, succulents, ti leaves, geranium leaves for mass. Craespedia, monkey tail, thistle, scabiosa pods, willow, orchids for shape and texture.
2. In choosing blooms for wiring to branches keep in mind that they are out of water, so use hardier varieties. Orchids come in many varieties and tons of lovely shapes. Roses, succulents, moss and berries can also be used.
3.As for the base, there are tons of possibilities. Hydrangea is probably the one flower I wouldn’t recommend for DIY unless you have extra stems for touchups. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always do well in foam.

If you are wondering about cost
The cost was approximately $125 to make this and would likely be 2 to 3 times that if designed professionally. It’s certainly a lush, statement piece that your guests will be wowed by.Doing a smaller scale centerpiece version (smaller manzanita, less flowers) DIY would run $75 and the same would apply – 2 to 3 times the cost to have it professionally designed.