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Create This Look

Jennifer Polanz
Article ImageWe asked floral designer Carolyn Kulb of Folk Art Flowers in Seattle how to re-create her gorgeous hellebore dress made from fresh cuts donated by Pamela Youngsman of PoppyStarts for American Flowers Week. It’s a time-intensive process, but results in a stunning piece that would be a showstopper at any event.

Step 1: Have a plan in place. Carolyn started with a mood board and knew the dress shape before starting. “Definitely think about your color blocking and where you want your color to be,” Carolyn adds. “I don’t think this look would be as successful if I had glued the colors indiscriminately.”

Step 2: Prep the base fabric. Carolyn used a basic cotton dress she already had with a zipper back and glued moss over it. “When I make wearable flowers in a dress or headpiece for a wedding, I find if I have moss it will adhere better because of the texture.” She also used polyfill (pillow stuffing) for the shoulders and sewed panels to keep it in place.

Step 3: Condition the cuts. She received the cut hellebores in all colors from Pamela, and used Quick Dip and plain water to hydrate them.

Step 4: Begin gluing. Again, have a plan in place first, and make sure you have plenty of time (and lots of fresh air and ventilation). The gluing on this project took Carolyn 20 hours total, so 2.5 days. She used Oasis Floral Adhesive.

Step 5: Carolyn stored the dress in between gluing by spritzing the flowers with water, covering with paper towels, spritzing that with water and wrapping in plastic wrap (she used dry cleaner bags she had on hand). Store in cold room or cooler.

Step 6: The headpiece is a headband made of bindwire (paper-coated wire), antennae made from bindwire wrapped in very fine silver bullion wire to give it an otherworldly feel, and hellebore stems with flowers in different stages of opening glued to the antennae. “Those buds are too cute, I wanted to honor those baby buds,” she says.

Side note, if this seems too intensive or daunting, Carolyn suggests teaming up with a local florist designer and donating the flowers for them to create it. Happy designing! GP


Article ImageClick the QR code and read how this dress and 11 others came together for the annual American Flowers Week event.


Model: Tasia Baldwin

Hair/Makeup: DeLeana Guerrero, Luxe Artistry Seattle

Photography: Missy Palacol

Location: Hyak Sno-Park, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington


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