February 03, 2021

Pantone 2021 Challenge - Rain Boots!

Anyone else longing for spring?! The snow here in Wisconsin is everywhere but I am ready for warmth and bright colors. Luckily, when Pantone released their 2021 Colors of the Year, we jumped into a #pantone2021challenge and the bright yellow and warm gray are giving me all the April showers bring May flowers spring feels!

I've done wall hangings with mittens and ice skates so this time...I wanted to use rain boots for a decor piece 

What You'll Need:

Here is what I used for this project:

  • Toddler sized rain boots (you can use any size and can recycle any boots your kiddos have grown out of!)
  • Sample size Behr paint - Neon Lights (to match PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating)
  • Sample size Behr paint - Flint Gray (to match PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray)
  • Sola wood flowers from Oh You're Lovely
  • Spring greenery mix - frosted eucalyptus bush, small eucalyptus bush, sage greenery, cream astilbe
  • (Optional) - Ribbon

Dye Your Flowers!

For this project, I wanted to imitate fresh spring florals (and that yellow was calling out to me for daisies, daffodils and tulips!) but thought I might be out of luck with the gray coloring. I am happy to say - I was wrong!

There is a specific hellebore that is gray with a yellow center and there are gray roses that exist. Sidenote - I love doing floral research so that was a fun little rabbit hole.

Back to dyeing the flowers!

For the daisies, I used Princess Daisy and 1.5" Daisy and hand painted the centers yellow. I also hand painted the Tulip to ensure it wouldn't lose any of that gorgeous curl at the edges.

I did two versions of daffodils but used the Celeste wood flowers for both. For the all yellow version, I dip dyed the flower into my paint/water mixture (50/50 paint to water). For the version with the outer white petals, I simply pulled back those petals and dipped the center into the paint!

The 2" Tea Roses and the 2.5" Mona Lisa's were painted by dipping them into a mixture of our gray paint and water. To add the yellow detailing to the center of our Mona Lisa's (the hellebore recreation), I used a paintbrush dipped directly into the yellow paint (no water needed) and dabbed it onto the center of the flower. If you do this step while the flower is still wet from dipping in the gray paint, you will need to do two coats. If the flower is dry, just one coat necessary!

I also stemmed up some of our undyed munchkin flowers to bring in more of that natural, cream color throughout the mix.

Once everything was dry, I stemmed each flower using 18 gauge floral wire and a dab of hot glue to the bottom of the flower.

Add Your Greenery!

I really wanted to get a good base of greenery going to pop my flowers into. If you have played with faux greenery bunches before, you know that each bunch/bundle has several individual stems within it. Using my wire clippers, I cut 2-3 stems of each different greenery/filler type I wanted to include for each boot (so 4-6 stems of each type total).

Once I had each individual stem off the main bundle, I pulled off any of the bits that would be hidden inside the boot (so those at the middle to bottom of the stem). I put those to the side as they can be used for future projects.

Next, I loosely arranged them inside the boot! You'll want to make sure you have the different types evenly dispersed in each boot (so no blocking of just spiral euc, then sage greenery, then astilbe - more evenly spread out). Also, since these will be hanging on a door, you want the back side of the boot to be able to lay flat. Any greenery that has a slight hang or extra fullness should be tilted towards the front and sides of the boot.

Now we are ready to add the flowers!

Sneak Peek Into My Brain!

To add the flowers, I started with the largest flowers first as they take up the most room. Then added flowers by color, focusing on the brightest first so those pops of yellow were found throughout the arrangement.

One major perk of not using foam or glue when designing this piece is that you can rearrange the flowers just by pulling them out and relocating (and reuse everything in future projects once you're ready to switch decor!). After I had added all of my flowers, I noticed that the circled gray tea rose looked pretty washed out up against the gray rain boots. I took it out, moved it to a more central height and popped in some extra smaller daisies in its place.

As you can see below, it helped showcase that rose and brighten up the overall piece!

Happy Flowers!

Those little tweaks really helped the design feel complete!

As a Centerpiece!

You could be finished now if you wanted to use this as a centerpiece or for tabletop decor! Since the backs are flat for hanging, just put the boots up against each other along those flat sides and it looks full and complete from above.

Add Ribbon and Hang On Your Door!

To use it as a door hanging (my original intention until I saw how adorable it is as a centerpiece!), I tied gingham ribbon to the loops on the back/flat side of the arrangement and hung it on a door hook.

I love it both ways - centerpiece and door hanging. Which one speaks to you more?!