Paper bouquets

By Outreach and Operations Associate, Lisa Seyfried

I’m planning a DIY wedding in a few months, and one of the crafts we decided on was to make all the flowers.  Instead of having real flowers that will surely wilt in the August heat, or pretending that our flowers were real when they were really fake, we decided to just scrap it all and announce it!

I found a whole slew of instructions and patterns on Pinterest, but I found this pattern to be the easiest, and the prettiest looking. And the great thing is that this pattern allows you to print out the flowers on any paper you’d like, in any size, cutting out the need to trace anything!

Printed patterns on colored cardstock

Printed patterns on colored cardstock

Cutting out all those petals takes a really long time.  I found it’s best to cut out a bunch of flowers at one time, so you can put them all together without having to stop and cut out more petals.

The instructions are really easy to follow – cut out the flowers, curl the edges, then glue onto a piece of wire about 12 inches long.  I’ve been using hot glue to glue them on.  I was afraid that the strings from the glue would get all over the bouquets, but it has been pretty easy to just get a drop on there and not have big clumps of glue all over.

The beginning of gluing the flower together.  You can see the scraps in the background!

The beginning of gluing the flower together. You can see the scraps in the background!

I really love the way these came out.  I think they are bright and sturdy and catch the light really well.  Against the bright colors of the women’s dresses, these flowers will really stand out.

I’ll be covering the “stems” with ribbon and a few beads to hide the edges.  I’m thinking about making the men some kind of pin on flower that is similar, but we’ll see if I can find a great pattern for that!

What I think I love most about these flowers is that they will last.  I’ve made a few out of recycled paper (mostly old grad school papers!) and they came out really lovely looking.  And they will stand out among the several bouquets that I’m sure people have from other weddings – at least I save them all!

The final bouquets!

The final bouquets!

 

 

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Have an Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day!

Herban Lifestyle Bath Bonbons made with Fair Trade Cocoa Butter

This post was written by Katie Peige, Herban Lifestyle’s Sustainability Associate

This Valentine’s Day, you can show your love for the people in your life and your planet with eco-friendly gifts and experiences. Herban Lifestyle offers a range of bath and body products that are made with natural, organic, and fair trade ingredients, which you already know from reading this blog. But what about some other Valentine’s Day treats and traditions? Here are some ideas for gifts that are kind to you, your loved ones, and the planet:

• For cards, go paperless with e-cards or get crafty and re-make some cards out of old cards or magazines. Another fun option is to send a grow-a-note card that has seeds embedded in the paper so you can send a card and flowers all in one! Greenfield Paper Company offers a huge selection, as do several Etsy sellers, including girl*in*gear studio, who has some gorgeous plantable Valentine cards. Petco also carries them as does Capitol Hemp, and My Organic Market.

image copyright girl*in*gear studio

• Flowers travel long distances to get to us, often from South America requiring a lot of fuel. Together with the pesticides needed to grow them, cut flowers can have a very large carbon footprint. This Valentine’s Day opt for a potted plant or an organic, local bouquet of flowers. Check out the very sustainable Green Space for bouquets and plants.

image copyright Divine Chocolate

• Show your love for the world and your gift recipients by going with organic and fair trade chocolate this Valentine’s Day. There are many brands with exquisite products, like Divine Chocolate. Mmmm, it’s orgasmic! Remember to look for organic and local wines while you are at it!

Herban Lifestyle Fuzzy Valentine Soap

• Save water, bathe together! And bring some of our earth-friendly bath products to add some sassy fun to the experience.

• For date ideas, check out the Eat Well Guide to find local and sustainable restaurants in your area or head to the local museums and parks via the Metro system.

• Plan a staycation in the DC area, its all the fun of a vacation only locally and definitely screams green both for the environment and your wallet! Plus, there are many wonderful Smithsonian museums with free admission, all of which are Metro accessible.

image copyright Smithsonian Museum of American Art

• If you do decide to travel, check into a green hotel that seeks to reduce their water use and have a low impact on the environment. You can search for green hotels using the “Green” Hotels Association webpage.

• Give cco lingerie: feel sassy and sexy in organic cotton, organic hemp, organic silk, recycled fibers, or Lenpur, a material made from white pine tree clippings. It’s the gift that satisfies you and your partner and is available for men and women. Check out Treehugger’s guide to sustainable lingerie here.

image copyright EarthSake

• Sleep on organic cotton or bamboo sheets. You’ll sleep soundly knowing that your soft as silk sheets have a lower impact on the Planet.

• If this turns out to be one of the most important Valentine’s Day ever, spare yourself from conflict by purchasing responsibly sourced diamonds and fair trade metals. Or go vintage: A family heirloom or beautiful antique ring makes a very romantic statement.

And, of course, check out the Herban Lifestyle website for our fun Valentine gift sets that will really get you in the mood!

Goodwill Treasure Hunting


My husband recently purchased some new suits, so purged his closet of his old ones. I offered to take them to Goodwill, as I had heard of a new store opening in Falls Church and wanted to check it out. I had received a promotional postcard a couple of months ago announcing the store’s grand opening, touting it as a “green” way to shop. This was definitely a new marketing angle, and had peaked my curiosity as to how this new store would look.

So, earlier this week, I took the suits and a couple of bags of miscellaneous household items to the new store. The facade was rather attractive, evoking a cross between the free-standing Anthropologie in Westport, CT and a casual-chic American-style restaurant. A sign on the door indicated that this Goodwill store is a Live Green Spot (Live Green is a DC-based membership organization that partners with companies, like Herban Lifestyle, that score high on true eco-friendly practices, quality and price). So I dropped off my donation at the side door, then headed inside for a peak.

The interior was well lit, and there were fun, bold splashes of accent color throughout. The merchandise was well-organized, making it easy to browse. It felt like a well-organized discount department store, complete with dressing rooms. There was a huge selection of glassware and dishware.

Goodwill is a great, green concept. All of the merchandise could have ended up in landfills, but instead it is getting a second life. Besides offering many items that are in perfectly good condition for reuse, I know many crafters use Goodwill finds to fashion entirely new creations. I enjoy browsing Goodwill from time to time for unusual containers and sweaters, which I felt and refashion into ornaments or other decorative objects. Last year, while visiting Connecticut, I amassed a dozen wool sweaters in a rainbow of colors from the Goodwill stores in Wilton and New Milford.

I had a short amount of time, so wasn’t able to peruse the sweaters. But I did come across a big collection of Christmas baskets adorned with jingly bells. I snagged several of them, which I will use to put together gift packets for friends and neighbors.

Do you shop at Goodwill? If so, what are some of your favorite finds?

Here are a few of the sweater cupcakes I made.

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