Friday, July 12, 2013

Monsters University: DIY Succulent Boutonnière

We recently celebrated the completion of Monsters University, which was the last film I worked on at Pixar and my first film credit as a shading artist! The event is called a "Wrap Party" and it's basically Pixar's prom. We get all cleaned up and fancy and go watch the film (many of us for the first time), eat, drink and dance. It's a pretty good time :)

This year I decided to make a boutonnière for Boyfriend and a matching hair flower for me. Instead of flowers though, I used succulents! Succulents really are the perfect plant; they're beautiful, hardy, don't wilt, and you just stick them back in the ground when you're done with them.

For this project I went with purple-colored plants. I've got a variety here in case I wanted some complimentary colors, but as you can see I ended up going all purple. I used an Aeonium succulent, a Wandering Jew (AKA Purple Heart), and the flower from a Mexican Sage bush (not recommended; it wilted by the end of the night).

Supplies actually used (though more are pictured):
Hot glue gun
Floral tape
Needle nose pliers
Floral wire
Plants of choice
Large pin

Try to pick flowers or plants with longer stems. If your plant doesn't have enough stem, you may need to give it one by carefully inserting short piece of floral wire into the base and wrapping it with floral tape.

Arrange your pieces one at a time, wrapping with floral tape as you go. Trim off excess stem. Make sure to leave an extra length of wire if you want to make a curl at the end.

Once you've got all your plants taped together, put some hot glue on the back of the stems and wrap them with some ribbon. Fun-ish fact: the ribbon is actually from the hanging straps on my dress. I decided to repurpose them since I usually just cut them off anyway.

You may have to cut and restart the ribbon if it starts to look wrinkled or wonky. That's okay, just put some glue where you left off and keep going.

If you have some wire leftover, make a little curl with your hands or pliers. Don't forget to clean off any messy glue threads from the hot glue.

Use a nice long pin to secure it to the lapel of the suit (they sell special ones exactly this purpose at the craft store). Or if you're like me and don't have any, use 2 or 3 regular pins.

This is the only picture I have of my hair flower. Why yes, I did do my own 'do.

And there you have it! This project cost me ZERO dollars since I already had everything on hand. They turned out beautifully and we got lots of compliments throughout the night. Best of all, everything except the sage flower went back in the ground to recover and continue growing.

In case you haven't seen MU yet, I'll give you a hint: wait until after the credits for a bonus scene.
And if you HAVE already seen MU, I hope you loved it and thank you for supporting Pixar!


  1. We had succulents as our wedding flowers...such a cool alternative! Congrats on your first screen credit too

    1. Thank you!
      Succulents seem to be all the rage nowadays, and I'm okay with that :)

  2. I can't wait to share this post with my daughter. She is 10 y/o and aspires to be an animator for Pixar. She even checks the job board from time to time! She reads and watches everything she can find about Pixar.

    We loved MU! Great job! My 3 daughters and the neighbor kids planned for weeks for the opening of MU. They even made little monster accessories to wear - quite cute.

    Please excuse my long comment. It's just that I know how excited my daughter will be to read even a little snippet about a real Pixar Artist. You will be like a superstar to her!

    She also loves to create things with plants so I am sure she will love your succulent creations (I do. They are beautiful).

    I stumbled onto your blog after seeing your greenhouse project reposted (very nice by the way). I read your bio. I know you will be an inspiration to my daughter. Maybe you will find a little inspiration in the two photos I am sharing here - the first is a little fairy purse my daughter made out of a leaf! Clever, I think. She loves to make such things from Nature's droppings. And the second is a picture of the kids ready to see MU! I like your posts. Good luck with the house and your design career.

    ~ Hope

    1. Hi Hope!
      Thank you so much for your sweet comments, you made my day! I love that your daughter is a fan of Pixar; aren't we all? :) She sounds like quite the creative crafter!
      I'm sorry the photo sharing didn't work in the comments section here. Feel free to email them to me at I would love to see the MU outfits!
      Thanks again for all your kind words!

  3. Sorry, the pictures didn't post. I don't know how to make them show up. :(. Oh well. Cheers!