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I first spotted these Umbra wallflowers at my friend's house. She remembered buying them a few years ago from a little gift shop in the Lake District but beyond that, she had little help to give me in terms of where I too might find a set. So, after hunting high and low (at this stage, I wasn't aware they were manufactured by Umbra), I manage to find various sets for sale on Ebay.
There are a few colours and designs available including white, pink, chrome and a rather hideous neon green flower and there are also butterflies and dragonfly designs if you hunt hard enough. I opted for the white flowers, as my friend had, to make a feature wall above my bed in my newly decorated shabby chic boudoir.
On Ebay, I managed to purchase a set of 25 wallflowers for £26 including postage. They're no longer available direct from the Umbra website in this design and this was the cheapest I found online. So a couple of days later, my flowers arrived and I was very excited indeed.
The flowers are just as you can see in the picture above. They each have 4 petals and come in 5 different sizes ranging from a 2.5 inch diameter of flower to 4.5 inches. The box contained 5 of each size, a very sparse diagram to show you how to install the flowers and some nails to attach the flowers to your wall. The flowers themselves are made of a plastic which surprised me as I'd always assumed my friends were ceramic. Now I know, they look plastic but fortunately not in a cheap and nasty way.
Now is probably a good time to point out that, unless I received a set different to those being sold everywhere else, these are not magnetic. I also asked my friend about this after installing mine and she confirmed that hers were hung the same way as mine with no magnets coming in the box. Which brings me to the hanging process which was fiddly to say the least.
The nails that come with the flowers have a head that is just the right size to clip the flower onto the nail using a small hole in the back of each flower. The nails come with a special bit of plastic that prevents you from hammering them entirely into the wall, leaving enough of the head available to clip the flowers on to. So, just to confirm, they aren't magnetic, and you will have to nail into your wall. Which makes them more of a permanent feature than something you might just pop on the wall as a whim. Now these nails are fiddly to say the least. They're shorter than a normal nail and, despite my dainty child sized hands, there was no way I could hold the nail and hammer it without hammering my fingers. A nifty solution I found was using a pair of pliers instead of my fingers to hold place and hammering. It worked, but 5 of the nails ended up bent in the process and therefore useless. Which might not have been so frustrating had there have been more nails than needed but, you guessed it, Umbra cunningly only supply 25 nails for your 25 flowers.
One nail made such a hole in my wall as it refused to go in that I resorted to using No Nails to stick a flower over the unsightly mark it had left. So, as you can probably guess, my wallflower pattern is somewhat random which fortunately is precisely the effect I was aiming for.
So, fingers and wall still in tact (just!), my flowers are hung. Do they look good? They look fantastic, perfectly framing my 'Always kiss me goodnight' decal above my headboard. They fit my shabby chic look but could just as easily take pride of place in a contemporary bachelor pad. The style is simple yet really eye-catching and I love being able to bring some 3d design to my walls and add a focal point to the room. And at £26, they work out at just over a pound each which makes them a bargain in my eyes.
So if you're looking for a quick, simple and relatively cheap solution to brighten up a wall, then look no further than Umbra's non-magnetic, rather difficult to hang yet stunningly effective wallflowers. It really is worth enduring the hassle of bent nails and fiddly hammering when you witness the result.