Last fall, I was hired to decorate and set up a small private wedding in Los Angeles. The bride was a fan of the big paper flowers that I had at my wedding and wanted something similar, except she wanted an arch with them. The arch was to be the main focus for the wedding as the ceremony was to happen there.
I’d never made an arch before but with a trial day the week before to play around with materials and construction, we were able to pull it off wonderfully and the bride was super happy!
Here are the directions and materials to make your own for a wedding, party or any celebration.
What to get:
– Three 7 foot wooden dowels, 1”-1 ¼” in diameter
– Two 10 quart galvanized pails
– Two 2″ pieces of plastic piping in a diameter slightly larger than the wooden dowel size (the wooden dowel must fit into the plastic pipe)
– Bag of zip ties
– Floral wire
– One bag of quick-set concrete
– Jig or hand saw
– Decorative items: ribbons, paper flowers, moss, items that you would like to hang on the arch.
What to do:
1. Cut the dowels with your saw to your desired height and width. I made the height 6.5” with a 4.5” width. It really just depends on what you are using the arch for and how tall the people are who are using it.
2. Cut the plastic pipe with the saw so that it sticks out a few inches above the galvanized bucket. Make sure that the dowel fits in the plastic pipe before you leave the hardware store, you want it pretty snug so the dowel doesn’t move all over the place. If there is some wiggle room, use a small piece of wood or cardboard to wedge the dowel into the pipe.
3. Place the pipe in the center of the bucket and tape it down so it doesn’t fall. Divide the quickset concrete evenly between both buckets. Add water per the instructions and mix in the bucket while holding the pipe in place so it doesn’t move. Let it dry overnight.
4. When you are ready to decorate the arch, place the dowels in the pipes (secure dowels with wood/cardboard pieces) and attach the cross dowel (top) and secure with multiple zip ties. I like to decorate the bottom with moss but you can use colored tissue paper, paper flowers… Anything that connects to the theme of the rest of the arch.
5. Use zip ties and wire to attach ribbons, flowers or other decorative items until you have your desired design. If you need some inspiration to make the paper flowers, check out Paper to Petal by Rebecca Thuss, this post or this one.