Just like last year, this year I had the privilege of shopping for the flowers and supplies to make this year’s Valentine memory corsages and boutonnieres for church. I also got to help make them. This is a project I truly enjoy and in which I am always pleased to be included.
In case you missed last year’s post, our church gives a flower to each widow or widower on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is lonely when you’re alone and worse if you’re missing your “other half” because he or she has gone home to be with the Lord. We want to remind the widowed spouses that they are still loved by their Heavenly Father and their church family.
Would you like to see this year’s completed Valentine flowers?
We counted up twenty widows and three widowers for whom we’d need flowers this year. Several of our honorees have lost their spouses within the past year, making this an extra-important time for their church family to surround them with love. As always, there are a few extra flowers just in case, despite having multiple brains working on it, we accidentally left anyone off of the list. (That would be a nightmare for those of us compiling the list!) I kind of hate to be sharing this with you before Sunday because I’d love to surprise some sweet folks, but I’m taking the chance because I want other churches to have the opportunity to copy the idea. There’s a free printable card on last year’s post (available here) that your church is welcome to use if you’d like.
It takes about 6 person-hours (3 people for 2 hours, 2 people for 3 hours, or one person for 6 hours) to assemble 22 corsages and 4 boutonnieres, provided that ample supplies are available and the persons putting in the hours are reasonably crafty, although not florists. The flowers were prepared assembly-line style, so first all of the flowers and greenery were cut from the bushes, then the spooled wire was cut into pieces, then the stems were wired, etc. If the flowers were assembled one by one, start to finish, I suspect it would have taken much longer.
- 2 bushes of white roses (26 flowers), which included leaves and filler flowers, purchased at a 50% off sale at a local craft store
- 1 bush of whatever-those-other-white-flowers-are, which included different leaves than the roses, purchased at a 50% off sale at a local craft store
- about 1/2 spool (175 feet per spool) of 24 gauge green floral wire, purchased with a 40% off coupon at a local craft store
- most of a 90 foot roll of green floral tape, purchased at a local craft store
- about 30 feet of 1/2 inch wide ribbon with wired edges, or in this case, the remains of a spool on hand and the beginning of another spool of ribbon
- 26 corsage pins
- small pliers with wire cutters
- an ample supply of coffee (optional)
Shopping the craft store’s floral sale helped. If I’d been able to get to the store to watch sales on other supplies it would have been even better but a few of the supplies were on hand, so that was a blessing. Including an estimate of the value of the supplies on hand, it probably cost about $35 (US) to make this year’s flowers, or an average of $1.35 each.
For comparison, I found silk corsages online as low as $7.99 each and boutonnieres as low at $5.00. So 22 corsages at $7.99 would be $175.78 and 4 boutonnieres at $5 each would be $20, for a total of $195.78, and that’s on the low end of the pricing scale. By these calculations, making the corsages and boutonnieres rather than buying them represents a savings of $160.78.
And before you think that florists are ripping you off, please remember that professional florists are skilled at what they do and these corsages and boutonnieres are very simple designs. That’s why an elaborate finished corsage or floral arrangement costs so more than the raw materials. But if you have or can learn the skill, you can give the gift of your time instead of paying the florist to do it for you. Click here for the how-tos on making a simple corsage and here to learn how to assemble a boutonniere.
Do you, or your church, do anything special for Valentine’s Day?
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