Balsa wood flowers: pretty green for a white flower.


When it came to choosing a wedding date, 10 months ago we confidently declared, “In September!” But now that September is a fleeting four months away, it is with mumbled speech that I admit while we know the when, we haven’t locked down the where.




Table in fieldThis is, however, the “where” that I picture in my head. Image via Ruffled.



I know, I know. I’m on the verge of failing planning-your-own-wedding. But not having secured the location isn’t for lack of trying. We’ve had brilliant ideas like renting the group camp site at El Capitan: A somewhat private locale, an ocean view, and decor a la nature. What’s not to love? The answer: the $1,200 price tag–not to mention all the Saturdays in our planned marital month were already booked. (Sunday is an option, but then you must deal with the port a potty of Saturday’s wedding–which means Sunday is not an option.)



Rustic weddingWhat a fun serpentine-shaped table arrangement! Image via Ruffled.




So we’ve upped the ante. We’re spreading the word (“Nice couple desperately seeks wedding site!”), scouring the internet for local spots, and moving wedding plans from the back burner, to the front. While the hunt continues, I’m taking inspiration everywhere I can find it.




A few weekends ago, I found some at JB’s cousin’s wedding. It was a baseball-themed wedding with some very cute touches such as this cake…





Baseball theme wedding cake





Upon closer inspection, this cake topper has me wondering. While the couple tanned in preparation for the blessed event, their skin tone has never matched the ethnicity these figurines suggest. I can only assume there was a run on the paler version of dog-inclusive cake toppers.




There were clever, handmade, (by the talented bride), centerpieces like this…




Baseball wedding centerpiece





But what really grabbed my attention were the flowers. At first I couldn’t figure out what they were made of. Then the bride revealed they were made of wood. What?!






Tapioca flowers in jar





Yes, wood! They were the only flowers on site and the industrious bride made each boutonniere, bouquet, and centerpiece using them. So what exactly are wood flowers? I did some online sleuthing and discovered they go by the name of balsa wood, tapioca wood, or sola wood flowers and can be purchased here.






Balsa wood bouquet with greenery






Each petal is cut from the wood peel of the tapioca plant and is pressed into shape, then formed into a flower. They blossoms come in a natural ivory tone, but can be painted, as the bride did, to match any wedding color palette.






Bride and Groom TableThe bride and groom’s table.






The beauty–besides that of their appearance–is, unlike regular flowers, you don’t have to worry about them wilting during a hot summer wedding.






Balsa wood boutonniereBalsa wood flower and feather boutonniere example courtesy JL Design.




Other pluses: They are ecologically friendly in the sense that using them avoids sacrificing real flowers; they’re great for allergy-sufferers; they’re purported to last as long as “forever”, and, at as low as 28 cents per flower (see the Shell flower here), your floral budget will come up smelling like roses. On that note, you can also scent their centers with essential oils, give them a spritz of your signature perfume, or Angel Aromatics will sell them to you pre-scented.





Tapioca wood shell flowers





While white on white is attractive, I think their beauty really blossoms with the addition of a soft green.  Succulents such as the type that looks like strands of green pearls (aptly named String of Pearls; botanical name: senecio rowleyanus) would look very pretty.






Balsa wood bouquetImage via JL Design.






If you need some more visual inspiration, the floral company JL Design seems to have cornered the market on decorating with these flowers. Every amazing picture I found came from them. You can visit their site here.




Tapioca flower and driftwood centerpieceImage via JL Design. I counted 23 flowers. If each is say 28 cents, plus a piece of found (read: free!) driftwood, that comes out to a whole lot of “Stunning centerpiece!” for only $6.40.







Balsa wood pomanderImage via JL Design.





You can make your own pomanders to use at a bridal shower, wedding, or baby shower by hot gluing each flower to a foam sphere. Before you cover the entire sphere, attach a loop of ribbon (i.e., in a cream-colored satin or other coordinating wedding color) to the sphere with hot glue. Use a pearl-topped pin to additionally secure the ribbon to the sphere. Finish by gluing the remaining flowers around (but not on top of) the spot where the ribbon is attached to camouflage the area. Note: when selecting the size of your sphere, bear in mind that it will “grow” with the addition of flowers.






Balsa wood flowers in bowl




The bride generously let some of the ladies take a pomander home. I was one of the lucky ladies and, upon returning home, popped mine into a silver bowl for a spring table top decoration that happened as fast as you can say, “No water changes necessary!”



PS, Yes, that is a painting of bacon. That is what happens when you mention to your sweet artist mother that you think a pop-art influenced bacon painting would be a fun conversation piece over your table: she is kind enough to surprise you with one for Christmas! And that is just one among the many reasons that make her the best mom I could ever ask for. Happy Every-Day-Should-Be-Mother’s-Day, mom!





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3 Comments on Balsa wood flowers: pretty green for a white flower.

  1. Maureen
    May 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM (6 years ago)

    Found these “wood” flowers absolutely fascinating. Am not a fan of artificial flowers/greenery although I do have some in our house (they do look real!) but the idea of a forever flower from your wedding with so many plus factors make this idea a real keeper and one to share with friends. Just love and so appreciate your search for new and fresh ways to brighten homes, weddings and especially places people have lived for many years. Thank you.

  2. RSB
    May 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM (6 years ago)

    Great idea about the balsa flowers. They edible?? 🙂

    • Kisha Gianni
      May 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM (6 years ago)

      No, but wouldn’t that be neat? I’m imagining marshmallow flavor! 🙂


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