Independence is something I cherish in our world, the ability to create with our own resources gathered from local stores like Home Depot, allowing to act on our design impulses without waiting for shipments. Their availability of goods enhances our skills beyond what we think we can do proving how resourceful we can be with our thoughts and our awesome hands. Happy creators make for happy clients!
Coming up with the idea for this arch, then executing it was one of those experiences you can’t put a price on. I gained such insight for more construction of these types of props for use whenever I need it. Here’s a list of items to put this unit together:
- Heavy duty urns; they don’t need to be cement, but a product like that
- Plaster of Paris to secure the pipe in the urns
- chicken wire
- three sizes of PVC pipe, like 4″, 3″ and 2″; two couplings the 2″ pipe can fit into
- 1″ x 6″ board for the top, length that you think will work
- a fresh product (in this case Italian Cypress) that you can cover the columns with
- foam cages or casket saddles for the top design.
The construction of this baby really isn’t rocket science (especially if I can do it!)…it just takes time and understanding of what you want the finished product to look like. This bride gave me free reign within her color parameters which gave me the freedom to create the right structure for the ceremony.
So you can take have this unit in pieces to deliver, you need to construct it so it’s easy to assemble taking up as little space as possible in your delivery vehicle.
- Place shorter (about 3′) 4″ PVC pipe into the Plaster of Paris you’ve mixed in the urns. Make sure they’re level; let the plaster dry, which is relatively quick.
- Decide how tall you need the arch to be, then cut longer pieces of 3″ pipe that will fit into the 4″ pipe. Now you’ve got your base for the sides and chicken wire to be placed around the pipe.
- Make “tubes” of chicken wire, two for each side so the columns can be in pieces for ease of delivering and creating. These you can add you greens to from your work table, attaching with small pieces of wire.
- The top piece (1″ x 6″ board) needs to have 2″ PVC attached to it (about 2′ long) on either side of the board so you can slip them into the 3″ pipe to be secure. Attach the pipe to the board by drilling a bit into the board and gluing the proper size PVC coupling, then slip the 2″ pipe into this when you’re on site. Might sound complicated, but it’s really simple.
Pre design the top section in pieces that will look like one unit when you’re done; easy to put together on site. I inserted the flax and eucalyptus on site so the separate units appeared like one piece. These little tricks help the visual journey!
The dangling floral lanterns were a last-minute thought, and so glad I decided to add them! They give the arch some pizzazz without too much effort.
- Trim your foam to the size you want, keeping proportion in mind.
- Thread your wire, rope, or? through the lantern so you can easily add them on site.
- Create away with adding your floral and greenery touches. The hanging Amaranthus gives these just the right look for what I was after.
What’s fabulous about this arch is that it can be reconstructed anywhere for the style your client needs. Very inexpensive, versatile, with a grand look that you can charge quality $ for. With the columns outside being made of Italian Cypress, these can be created days before, sprayed with leaf shine while lasting for days….maybe even weeks! Now go create your magic with zest and determination. The floral world is truly yours!