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Call me crazy (well, please don't, it might hurt my feelings) but I did NOT care about having real flowers for my wedding.

I'll pause for the gasps…

It's just that when I listed out my priorities for this wedding, spending a TON of money on something that would literally only last a few hours was NOT what I wanted. I have also been in and to enough weddings to know that said bouquets usually turn brownish or wilt before the ceremony is even over. That's when I went on the hunt for something more practical.

I've said I was going for a vintage feel so I wanted bouquets to match that. And so began THE biggest DIY project thus far, (Yes, even more time consuming than my Save the Dates) DIY coffee filter pomanders.

If you interested, stick around for the tutorial. If not… enjoy your real flowers! haha

I started with approximately 1 million coffee filters. I may be exaggerating, but not by much.

Then I boiled lots and lots of tea. Being a southerner, it took a lot of restraint to not pour a few cups of sugar in there and drink it all up.

Depending on how dark and how light you want your coffee filters to be, you'll adjust the amount of tea bags. I did several different batches to get a variety of shades. Then dump in your coffee filters.

Let it be noted that you will NOT get the job done with a teeny-tiny pot like this. Once you figure out the proportions, it's time to upgrade!

Then you take each coffee filter out of the pot, squeeze off the extra liquid, and lay (or is it lie?) them flat to dry. I used a combination of towels and drying racks.

While they dry you can start to cringe over the HUGE mess you are making in your kitchen.

(nice little assembly line I have going, right?)

Once they are completely dry, it's time to put your “flowers” together. Like I mentioned, I did several different shades so I mixed them together for each flower. Here are my steps, and I'll try not to lose you.

Lay them out flat…

Cut them in half.

Accordion fold each half (and admire your BLING! haha).

Then staple at the flat end.

Then you have to “fluff” them. Basically just open up the bloom.

Put all those aside and start working on the actual ball. I put mine in a ramekin to hold it upright while I worked on each one.

I tied a loop of ribbon (you'll want to do this first so it can be secure).

Then I glued and pinned it onto the Styrofoam ball.

Now it is (finally) time to start putting it all together! I stuck a floral pin in the stapled end AND used a line of glue just to make sure they all stuck.

Then pretty soon you'll have ONE completed pompador!

And if you have 8 bridesmaids like I do, try not to let your fingers bleed (after turning brown from the tea) before you finish!

But seriously, it was a lot of fun to experiment with colors and styles and I have a great feeling of accomplishment from making these. I have seen some made with colored tissue paper, so there are a lot of options.

I would love to see any other tea dye projects you brides-to-be are using. Or if you tackle this same project with tissue paper, I'd love to see that too.

And as for you real flower brides… congrats on your decision. haha

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  • Shena

    I don't want to use flowers either, so I'm happy to see such a creative idea! What are you planning to use for your bouquet?

    • I am actually using fake/silk flowers from the craft store for my own bouquet. They are cream and white flowers (so they have the same colors as the coffee filters). I REALLY wanted to keep my bouquet after the wedding, so fake flowers seem to work best for that.

  • I used tea-dyed coffee filters for my pomanders too! Hope you love yours as much as I loved ours!

  • I love the idea Very fun! I didn't use flowers either – great money saver!

  • Taylor! I so agree! I am not using real flowers for my wedding either, and am doing something very similar to what you did here, except with tissue paper instead of coffee filters as a chair/aisle decoration. Love it!

    The only problem I am having is how to get the ribbon & flowers to stay attached to the ball. What are these "floral pins" you speak of? I tried Googling it, but I got brooches with flowers on them instead of whatever it is that you're talking about! Help!

    And also how to store without smashing… thoughts?

    • I use the term floral pins, but what do I know? haha. At first I tried the boutonniere pins that have the pearl at the end, but they were too bulky. I bought a pack of straight pins from the sewing section. They are about an inch and a half long with a small flat head. I also used glue with the pins, just to make sure it all stuck! Sorry for the confusion.
      As far as storage, I put two each in a box and I plan on "fluffing" them when I need to use them. I also had a large one that I hung from a hook because it would totally be smashed in a box.

  • lenniejane555

    That is such a great idea! I've seen something similar with thin paper, but never with coffee filters!

    • Thank you! I already had an overwhelming amount of color, so I didn't use colored tissue paper (although I would LOVE to see ones made like that!). Send me a picture of yours, because I think it is so cool to see how everyone executes the idea differently.

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