Make your own confetti

Paper confetti is litter – plain and simple, rice is bad for birds so dried petals seemed like a no brainer.

This was such an easy and rewarding thing to do and has the added bonus that you can outsource the task to overenthusiastic relatives, and give them something constructive to do that won’t stress you out too much!

I started in May, when spring was in full swing. My Mum was busy drying petals too, and she has a much larger airing cupboard then I do so she was far more efficient. We got to the magical 6 litres needed by about July so all 60 guests could pelt us with pleasure.

On a soppier note, one of the beautiful things about making confetti was that I was able to incorporate flowers that meant something into the mix.

My friend Sarah got married earlier in the year, her flowers were beautiful – Lisianthus, Veronica, Lavender and Eucalyptus leaves. When they started to wilt I added them to my confetti factory. She was very excited that her wedding flowers lived on in the confetti mix rather than the compost heap. Thus taking their place in the circle of bridesmaids.

This was also an opportunity to add in other memories to the mix. My Grandad died when I was about ten; after he passed away and they were trying to sell his house, my mum dug up his favourite ‘bowl of beauty’ peony, and planted it in her garden. We decided to add the peony petals and stamens to the mix, it was a lovely way to include a part of him in the day, and it meant a lot to my Mum and her sisters too.

Bowl of beauty peony

The rest of the flowers came from my garden, I became slightly obsessed with a particular rose bush – watching it like a hawk and deadheading the second the flowers started to droop. There was also a peony in my front garden that had a pretty spectacular spring – although I did end up with a few dried out spiders (that would have ruined the magic of the confetti throwing somewhat). Welsh poppies go a bit crazy when you start deadheading them, but they turn a beautiful orange colour when dried, so it was worth it even if they did takeover the garden a bit!

Method

Step one

Pick flowers from your garden that are just starting to wilt. You’ll need flowers with big petals, I tried to add white Veronica to the mix but it wouldn’t dry out and just looked a bit sad.

If your garden is a bit limited you can also buy cut flowers from supermarkets, consider it a rescue mission and buy them when they are sat, looking sorry for themselves in the reduced section. You can either choose a colour theme – or just go mental and collect a bit of everything!

Step two

Petals drying in the airing cupboardPull apart the petals and spread on a tray covered with kitchen towel making sure they don’t touch each other. If you have really big petals (rose petals can be pretty huge) tear them into halves or quarters. You want the petals to be about the size of a 20p. Lay another layer of kitchen towel on top of the petals, to help them dry out.

Lay your trays in an airing cupboard for about 48 hours or until they’re completely dry (excuse the disgusting state of my airing cupboard).

Step 3

Collect your dried petals and store in a watertight container until you’re ready. I used empty ice cream tubs at it was easier to keep track of how much I’d made. You will need approximately 1 litre per 10 guests for the big throwing confetti shot.

The day of the wedding

I bought a selection of colourful pots from Ikea, I think they were about £1 each. The bridesmaids and groomsman then walked around and gave out handfuls to the guests. We didn’t want to go down the paper cone route – as that’s just more litter and waste.

The pots have now re-purposed on my dressing table to organise my make-up and hair accessories (reuse recycle!).

Homemade confetti in the air

In my confetti mix

  • Common columbine
  • Bowl of beauty peony
  • Big Ben tree peony (I think)
  • Welsh poppy
  • Lavender
  • Pink garden rose
  • Lisianthus
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