Quick and easy techniques for creating dramatic botanical earrings, bracelets and hair combs.
Floral design, photos and text by Toni Sicola
Succulents for Hire
I love creating wearables with succulents because they can withstand so much. Succulents are virtually unscathed by hot glue, which I prefer to liquid floral adhesive—although both work well for these projects. Hot glue sets more quickly, allowing me to bring my designs to life in less time and at scale for weddings and larger events.
Early on in my wedding flower business, I knew that I wanted to create something different than the standard wrist corsages. So, I experimented with metal cuff bracelets as bases, with the goal of the wearers being able to use the cuffs again after the events. That brought me to the idea of wrapping felt around the cuff to hold the design rather than gluing botanical materials directly onto the metal. I did the same thing with the leaf earring designs, creating a “hanger” with paper-covered wire so that the felt base could hang from the earring hook. Once the succulents pass their prime and are ready to be planted in soil, that piece can be removed so the earrings can be worn independently.
STEP BY STEP
STEP 1: Attaching felt bases to the jewelry and hair comb
Cut pieces of felt to size and attach them to the pieces of jewelry and the hair comb.
Earrings: Cut two octagons about 1 inch in diameter. Hot-glue a 1-inch length of paper-covered wire, formed into a loop or a “U” shape, to one side of each piece of felt, at the “top.” Apply pressure to the wire to ensure that the ends are securely glued to the felt. Once the glue has dried, slip the loops over the hooks of the earrings, and fold the wire over the tops of the earrings so that the felt pieces lay flat against the front of the earrings.
Cuff: Cut a piece of felt 4½ inches by 2½ inches. Apply a small drop of hot glue to the underside of the cuff, in the center, and press one end of the felt onto the glue. This will create only one small contact point of hot glue on the underside of the cuff, enabling the felt to be easily removed after the event without damaging the cuff. Next, apply a thin line of hot glue to the surface of the felt on the underside of the cuff, and tightly wrap the piece of felt around the cuff, holding it in place from the underside.
Hair comb: Cut the felt to extend about a ¼ inch beyond each edge of the comb, and the width at about 2½ inches. Apply a thin line of hot glue on the backside of the comb, at the top, and press one edge of the felt onto the hot glue, using tweezers, if necessary, to avoid burning your fingers. Once the glue has cooled, apply a thin line of hot glue on the front of the comb, at the top, and fold the felt over the comb, pressing the edge onto the strip of hot glue. You might want to apply a drop of hot glue at each end of the felt, to close each end. Be sure to leave the teeth of the comb exposed.
• Echeveria hybrid ‘Lola’ (hen-and-chickens, hen-and-chicks)
• Sedum morganianum (burro’s tail, donkey’s tail)
• Sedum x rubrotinctum (jelly beans/jelly-bean plant, pork-and-beans, baby’s toes, Christmas cheer)
• x Graptosedum varieties
• Crassula muscosa (watch-chain, rattail Crassula, lizard’s tail, zipper plant, toy cypress, clubmoss Crassula)
• Limonium spp. (sea lavender, statice)
• Eryngium planum (sea holly, flat sea holly, blue sea holly, sea star thistle, plains eryngo)
• Gomphrena globosa (globe amaranth)
• Berzelia albiflora (formerly Brunia albiflora) (silver Brunia, knob bush, coffee bush)
• Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora pods (montbretia pod)
• Xerochrysum bracteatum (strawflower)
• Lagurus ovatus (bunny-tail grass, hare’s-tail grass, rabbit-tale grass)
• Panicum miliaceum (common millet, broomcorn millet, hog millet, proso millet)
• Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet)
• Bromus spp. (bromegrass, brome)
• Hair comb
• Leaf earrings
• Metal cuff, 2 inches wide
• OASIS® Hot-melt Glue or OASIS® Floral Adhesive
• OASIS™ Bind Wire