Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bouquets to save: flowers made of recycled stuff

By
From page A12 | October 16, 2012 |

Lauren Karnitz Studio's White Petal Cascade Cake shows the elegance of recycled flowers. Brides are choosing plastic recycled flowers that are affordable and eco-friendly for cakes, bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. AP photo

In this undated publicity photo provided by Lauren Karnitz Studio, a White Petal Cascade Cake is shown in Knoxville, Tenn. Brides are choosing plastic recycled flowers that are affordable and eco-friendly for cakes, bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. (AP Photo/Lauren Karnitz Studio, Bert Henry)

By Sarah Wolfe

Glynis Abapo knew just what she wanted her dream wedding cake to be: simple. Three or four tiers. A rich, white confection with white peonies and peony petals cascading down the middle.

The problem? The handmade sugar flowers cost a fortune.

Abapo found her answer in plastic flowers — specifically, the quirky yet elegant creations crafted by Tennessee artist Lauren Karnitz from materials that most people throw away: milk jugs, detergent bottles, straws, wires, medicine bottles, even sucker wrappers.

The flowers were relatively affordable, says Abapo, 31, of Atlanta. And eco-friendly.

“And it was just beautiful and just what I wanted,” she says.

Karnitz, a 42-year-old oil painter, has been crafting roses, peonies, magnolias, sunflowers and other hybrid creations out of recycled materials for nearly two years. She stumbled into the wedding flower business as an experiment, but since working with Abapo, Karnitz has filled orders for cake flowers, bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres from about a dozen brides.

“‘Can I have that?’ is now my signature phrase,” Karnitz says, laughing. “Meaning, can I have that peculiar piece of plastic you are about to toss?”

Most of her clients are eco-conscious brides who like the idea of reusing materials for their flowers.

Other green-minded brides are making or buying alternative flowers made from fabric, paper, even old brooches. Martha Stewart magazine has a tutorial on making paper flowers, while websites like The Blue Petyl offer dozens of combinations of brooches, buttons, pearls and more, from about $100 to $500.

Bridal designer Princess Lasertron sells a felted flower kit for bridal bouquets for $140.

Like any other wedding florist, Karnitz consults with brides beforehand to get a feel for their wedding theme and size, and what they want.

Then she gets to work at her home in Knoxville using a trove of discarded junk. Slices of laundry detergent bottles become petals. Ribbon, electrical conduit and copper wire are transformed into stamens, pistils and stems.

“The blooms are all built petal by petal, working in the round, so all sides are considered,” Karnitz says. “Each petal provides a surface for the next, and so on and so on.”

Her collection of recycled refuse comes from friends, family and even complete strangers familiar with her craft.

“It’s funny. Every time I go somewhere I get handed bags of things,” Karnitz says. “Like garbage bags of milk jugs or, here’s some little wires and stuff.”

It takes up to two hours to make one corsage or boutonniere, depending on the difficulty. Providing flowers for a cake can take anywhere from 20 to 30 hours.

Costs vary. Boutonnieres and corsages average $45 each, while cake flowers run anywhere from $150 to $450 per cake depending on cake size and design complexity.

Karnitz doesn’t dye or paint her flowers but keeps the colors of the recycled materials. Many of her designs burst with color, like bright yellow peony cake flowers made from cream and yellow milk jugs, or an azure blue corsage constructed with blue twist ties and accented by a tiny yellow bumble bee.

“This is plastic as in, ‘Aha, that’s plastic!’, as opposed to looking like plastics or recycled art,” Karnitz says.

For fall weddings, she incorporates an earthier, more neutral palate for creations like “pencil bloom” boutonnieres, small round blooms made from pencil shavings and tiny cut-up black straws anchored by a swirl of red plastic from bottles in the middle.

Her Double Beige Bloom boutonniere — two small blossoms of light brown crinkled ribbon, straws and plastic bottle shreds — is tied together with a sheer, brown, taffeta ribbon.

“I know anyone can create flowers from plastic materials, but Lauren’s come from very good quality,” Abapo says. “They’re very unique and can catch anyone’s attention.”

One of the best things about recycled wedding flowers, according to Karnitz, is that they last much longer than real flowers and can be displayed for years afterward.

“You can have them forever,” she says, “this memento of your special day.”

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Council to hear about drought pricing

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Downtown altercation leads to injuries

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Free beginner yoga class offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
NAMI support group meets May 10

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Dr. G featured on the radio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Forum

Please help Baltimore

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
End of life doesn’t mean life must end

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
With sincere gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

A wonderful day of service

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

He can’t give it up

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
 
Dangers from prescription pills

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

.

Sports

 
Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD softball splits with Titans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Making memories at Aggie Stadium

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Marrone opens new greenhouse

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
New firm helps students on path to college

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8