Hot Air Balloon
When my firstborn married she wanted something other than the traditional, mailbox/birdcage type of container to hold gift envelopes so I created a hot air balloon complete with a bridal couple. I think it stood about 4 ft tall.
I began with a large lampshade that I stripped & had Hubby cut off the smaller ring. He then extended the vertical wires for me so they'd fit all the way to the bottom of the basket. (Next time I'd just use a large tomato cage.) The basket was a recycled one that held a potted plant & was about 12" in diameter.
I spray painted the basket & the wire white & threaded fine floral wire in a triangle several inches below the top edge to hold the false bottom. You can barely see it in the photo. I cut a piece of matboard that would fit the top & rest on the wire. This had a slot at the front to allow for envelopes.
I edged the wire ring with dangling pearl beads.
With lace fabric, I made a circle as large as I could, folded it into 6 sections & marked the center & the edges. I used craft thread to run a gathering stitch from the edge toward the center point & gathered up about 12" of the fabric. The amount gathered was dependent on the size of the balloon. I had to gather it twice because it wasn't enough the first time. I then sewed bows & long ribbons at each mark...only 3 show in the photo because I went back & added more. The ribbons were verrrry long so I had plenty to reach the wire ring & tie into bows before trimming.
Two pieces of satin cord (Two differrent lengths) were tied/wired together, draped around the basket & fastened into place.
Finally, I twined vines & flowers in the appropriate colors around the basket.
It went to the reception in pieces, where I inflated the balloon, set it atop the wire ring, Laid the lace over the top (centering it) & tied the ribbons to the ring.
The bridal couple was 2 bears dressed for the occasion. The Groom's hat & bowtie were purchased. His bib was a short piece of gathered lace that I folded in half & glued to his front. I added buttons & a bouteniere. The bride wore matching lace around her neck trimmed with a small flower. Her veil was a scrap of the lace fabric that I folded in half, gathered Just below the fold & glued across her head. Trimmed it with more flowers. I set the bears at the back of the basket so the slot wasn't covered.
Finding the giant balloon was the most difficult part. They're available at Party Stores for about $5 or can be found online.
When time came for her baby shower, I removed the false bottom & substituted a baby doll for the bears. It's been loaned out several times for different weddings. The brides simply substituted flowers in their colors & bought a different balloon.