So my attempt to back up off the craft stores only kind of worked, for one small project. I really, truly did only use items that I own for the V-Day topiary.
I used the same McGill flower punch (LOVE IT!) and the same color scheme, but applied it to a completely different project. While I was pinning the flowers onto the styrofoam ball for the topiary, I started thinking about how the flowers would look if applied to something that I could easily hang up. Then I started thinking about letters and frames and colors to help it pop. One quick trip to Michael's later and I was on my way to this little sweetie.
I hand-colored each flower with markers and used wrapping paper from the dollar section at Target (previsouly purchased) to create a subtle background. The wooden frame came unpainted so I used aqua paint that I've had on-hand for several months. I put the flowers onto the R with the intention of going back with a knife and cutting off the overhanging petals. If I make another one, I will cut the flowers to size as I put them on, because my Exacto knife skills leave much to be desired and resulted in some wonky-looking edges.
So... I did end up purchasing the frame ($3.99) and the letter ($1.99), but I consider that $6 well worth it because I actually completed the project! Plus, my husband went to the store with me, and didn't protest the purchase (too much), which, to me, means that the expense was approved by Finance.