DIY Floating Flower Backdrop: Making Memories for Mother's Day Minis
Why a DIY Floating Flower Backdrop?
As a photographer who also works at a florist, I had to jump on the floating florals trend! I had a lot of fun putting this photoshoot together, and it was surprisingly easy, too! There were definitely some things I wish I had known ahead of time, but that's why we practice! Here, you can learn from my mistakes so you don't have to make them yourself when you make your DIY floating flower backdrop! *wink*
To begin my backdrop, I decided on a color palette. Since I was setting this up for my Mother's Day mini sessions, I wanted to go with springy and warm colors, landing on corals, pinks, and whites.
I focused on getting small flowers that have multiple blooms on each stem such as alstroemeria lilies and spray roses. I also got a couple stems of salal leaves for to have a solid pop of green in my set up, too!
To get these flowers, I just went to my local florist and told them I needed loose stems of flowers. Prices will vary depending on your location, but this is about $40-$50 worth of flowers here. (I think you could create a similar effect with a cheaper, large bouquet from a store like Trader Joe's, too!)
Along with the star of the show, the flowers, I used the following products:
Hot glue gun
Adjustable Command hooks
The adjustable Command hooks worked nicely to ensure that the hooks would hang the right direction once I put them on the ceiling.
I placed the hooks on the floor to decide how I wanted them to be arranged (I tried to make sure there were "windows" to help create the illusion of additional depth once the flowers were up), and then I enlisted the help of my local tall man to actually stick the hooks to ceiling.
(In lieu of a tall person, a step stool should suffice.)
Even though my ceiling is pretty textured, the hooks stuck and held just fine!
After getting about half of the strands of flowers and fishing wire, the effect really started to come along!
I stopped and took some test photos to make sure everything was looking the way I wanted.
It's SO dreamy and made my little studio smell like a flower shop.
For making the strands of flowers themselves, here was my process, and here's what I learned:
FIRST - Longevity of the backdrop. I’m making these strands was not a fast process, so I wanted to know how far in advance I could make them. It really depends on your flowers, but mine looked (and smelled!) fresh for at least 24 hours.
The roses held up better than the lilies for sure. Talking to your local florist will help you pick out flowers that will hold their shape and texture out of water :)
SECOND - Prepping the flowers. I went through and cut off each individual flower or cluster of flowers I wanted to use, making a small pile in front of me to pull from to switch up colors and flowers as needed.
Like I’ve learned at our flower shop, I also gently pulled off any exterior rose petals that were torn, wilted, or were otherwise photogenic. Easy peasy!
BONUS: I piled up all the rose petals that fell off or were removed in case any of the kids wanted to examine or play with them. I am SO happy I did this! Each client really got to enjoy the petals in their own way.
THIRD - I prepped the fishing wire. I cut mine in strands the same length as my ceiling height. I tied a knot at one end to create about a 2” loop to use for hanging.
TIP: BE CAREFUL as you make multiples of these at once as fishing wire likes to tangle with itself!
FOURTH - Sewing. I threaded a large, embroidery needle with the opposite end of the fishing wire and begun sewing my flowers. I got the best results trying to go through the thickest part of the flowers, but this part was tricky. I tried to make sure the flowers weren’t all oriented the same way to create a more whimsical and eye-catching effect once they were all hung up.
TIP: I really benefitted from using a rubber needle gripper as my needle sometimes wouldn’t budge in the bigger roses.
FIFTH - Hot glue. Once I had a flower sewn onto the fishing line and in the position I wanted, I dabbed the top and bottom of the flower with a pearl of hot glue to make sure it stayed in place on the line. At first I was unsure if this was overkill, but I’m so glad I did it as the flowers naturally get bumped and examined throughout the photoshoot process.
SIXTH - Rinse and repeat. For my 12 strands, it probably took me about 2 hours to complete, start to finish. I threw on Encanto to accompany me as I finished up the last strands before the photoshoot.
POST-SHOOT - I love the way almost all of the fishing wire disappears on camera. However, if anyone is wearing a dark piece of clothing, they may pop up here and there. However, this was an easy fix with Lightroom’s healing and removing tools, even on skin and hair.
In conclusion, this shoot was so much fun, and I think you should try it too! This would look super cute being done outdoors with tree branches or even above a bed in a bedroom.
Leave a comment if you have any questions about this process. I'd love to help! :)
Sam of Stingray Photo Co. is Kansas City-based photographer for the wild, the free, and everything in between.