The silver dollar plant (also known as honesty, money plant and various other names) has really pretty four petal pink flowers in summer and produces these delicate, satin like, pearly seed pods in autumn.
I have walked past the pink flowers all summer wondering what plant it was (I like useful plants, especially if they're pretty to boot) but never did get around to looking it up. Then a couple weeks ago my son noticed the "fairy wings" on the way to school and we just loved the simple beauty of them.
So I gathered some up making sure to leave some to seed itself, brought them home and proceeded to hunt through the cupboards for something pretty to put them in.
The arrangement looks lovely in a tall narrow space; mine sits on top of the little electric cupboard in my front porch and makes a lovely welcoming addition to home that I can't wait to show off!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
I wanted something tall to offset the height and spread of the little bouquet I'd gathered, and since I didn't have a suitable vase, opted for a simple wine bottle with the cap, neck casing and label removed.
Having spotted a bag of salt that's been in the back of a cupboard for donkey's I figured that would work to hold the stems in place and provide stability. Being a magpie by nature I also wanted a little sparkly detail and delved into my bead boxes, settling on some little pearl and silver lined clear seed beads.
What you'll need:
Bottle, vase or similar glass vessel
Ordinary fine table salt
Beads of your choice for decoration
Tiny scoop, teaspoon or similar
Funnel (and if you have one, a turkey baster with the rubber squeezer removed; this stops "dust" forming as you pour the salt in)
Small sharp scissors
This project took me an hour in total, including time spent gathering the seed pods, hunting for what I needed and arranging it in my porch (and taking pictures in case it did come out as pretty as I'd hoped!)
Step 2: Let's Get Started!
Make sure your vessel is clean and dry before you start. Attach the funnel to the turkey baster erm...thingy and position in the neck of the bottle. I have a habit of chopping the ends of my funnels off to get homemade washing powder and creams into bottles; don't do this to yours (it's not necessary for this project; especially if you bought it for the project!) unless you really want to for whatever reason.
Slowly pour in the salt till it reaches the height you need. You can check this by holding up your shortest branch against the outside of the vessel to see where the bottom of the stalk will reach. But bear in mind that the stalks will need trimming in a later step.
Add in your beads using your little scoop, spoon or whatever you have. If they get stuck in the turkey baster thingy like mine did just remove the funnel and pour them in slowly. After adding the clear and pearl beads I decided to add some peacock seed beads for a bit of contrasting detail.
Lay out your banches shortest to longest. Starting with the longest branch, snip the bottom of the stalk on a diagonal and carefully push it into the salt. Some of the beads will go down with it but that actually looks quite nice from the outside.
Add your other branches working from longest to shortest, crossing the stalks so they sit nicely facing outwards. If you have a wine bottle like mine you may find that they will stay quite upright since the neck is narrow.
You may also find that you need to trim off lower seed pods to get the banch to sit nicely in the vase; trim them close to the stalk and reseve them for filling the bottom of the arrangement later.
Step 4: Nearly Done!
Once you have all your brances in place you can fill in the base of the arrangement with the reserved trimmings. If you find that the appearance of the arrangement is a bit higgledy piggledy try trimming off one seed pod at a time around the top to achieve a nicely rounded look.
All done! Find somewhere in your home to display your beautiful "fairy wings" and be sure to take pictures of your artwork!