These instructions go along with a video created on Facebook live on bouquet’s facebook page. However these step by step instructions can be used without the video as well . If you have any questions, feel free to call the studio at 402-905-0589 and a designer will be glad to help you or answer your questions.
You will want to gather a few supplies before you get started:
- Pair of kitchen scissors or garden pruner to cut the flowers
- Bucket or Tupperware bowl full of water – diameter of container should be larger than the diameter of the green plastic centerpiece dish with foam taped inside. (or you can just use your sink to soak the foam)
- Hand towel – you might just want to have a towel or paper towels on hand for any water mess while you design
- Soak your block of floral foam in a bucket or sink full of water. Leave the foam taped into the plastic dish or clay saucer. The tape is waterproof and so it is safe to get it wet. You should let the foam soak for at least 5 minutes to allow the water to penetrate all the way into the block of foam.
- Start by adding foliage to your arrangement. You will start with the Leather Leaf – the darker green stiff fern. Each piece that you have can be separated into several pieces. Cut the stems each up into 5 or 6 smaller pieces. Then you will strip the small leaves at the base of each stem so that you have a clean stem to insert into the foam. Start at the base of the foam and insert about 5 pieces of foliage making a star-like shape when you look down over your arrangement from the top. About 1″ of length should end up going into the brick of foam. These stems should be inserted so that the part you insert is angling up toward the ceiling and the green leafy part sticking out of the arrangement should be angling down towards the table. You want the leaves to start covering or hiding the edge of the green bowl. Since this is a utility style container, you don’t want it to show very much or at all when you are finished with your arrangement.
- Now add another layer of Leather Leaf on top of the first layer you created in Step 2. Stems in this next layer should be placed so they overlap the gaps between the stems in the first layer. Your inserts should be more straight in sideways or slightly angling down into the foam towards the table. A couple stems can be inserted in the top of the foam and a couple of stems can be inserted into the sides of the brick of foam.This is how your arrangement should start to look – less and less of the green foam should be showing.
- Add one last layer of Leather Leaf to the top of your arrangement. These stems should be angling down into the foam towards the table – all inserts should be into the middle of the block of foam instead of towards the outside edges of the foam. When you are done inserting your Leather leaf, you want your arrangement to look similar to this from the top:
- Next we will add our ‘feature’ flowers. Feature flowers are usually the largest flowers or the most prominent flowers in an arrangement. For this arrangement, your ‘feature’ flowers will be the carnations. You should have 4 stems of carnations in your kit. In the sample photos, the carnations are the orange flowers. Start by placing one carnation in the middle of your arrangement. Measure the length by holding the flower stem next to your centerpiece dish and deciding how long you want it to be keeping in mind that you will need to insert the stem into your foam about one inch. You should cut this carnation around 5″-6″ long. Peel off any of the petals from the stem if they will be on the part of the stem being inserted into the foam. Then go ahead and insert the carnation into the foam – once you have placed the flower in the foam, do not pull the stem back up even a little bit or twist the stem. Any amount of moving around will cause the hole you made in the foam to loosen up and your flower will not stay in place and you may get an air bubble in the foam which will disable the flower from drawing water into the stem. If you don’t like your placement, pull the flower completely out of the foam, give the tip of the stem a fresh cut only cutting off 1/8″-1/4″ of stem, and then insert the stem into a new location in your floral foam – DO NOT INSERT THE STEM BACK INTO THE FIRST HOLE YOU CREATED. After placing the first carnation, place your other three carnations in a triangular shape around the outside of the arrangement. You can see the triangle shape when you look down from the top over your arrangement. When you look at the arrangement from the side, you can vary the plane that the heads of your carnations are in just to create some dimension in the arrangement. Inserts of these stems should be more into the sides of the block of foam.
- Next you will add a secondary ‘feature’ flower called Alstroemeria. In our sample, that is the fuchsia/purple flower. You should have two stems. These will be inserted in between your carnations. For a completely, symmetrical look, 3 stems would be ideal, but having two stems is fun to break up the symmetry and break all those rules you probably always hear that things should be in odd numbers haha. Make sure you strip all the foliage/leaves on the stems where the stem will be inserted into the floral foam. Leaving the stems on and inserting into foam will just make too large of an opening in the foam and your stem won’t stay solid in the foam where you want it.
- The next flower to add to your arrangement will be the daisies. In our sample, the daisies are the white flowers. Daisies have a main stem and then side shoots or multiple flowers coming off of the main stem. In floral design, these are called ‘laterals’. You will want to cut your laterals off of your main stem. You can leave two or three blooms in tact on the main stem and insert that cluster as one larger focal point (sometimes you have to leave the multiple blooms all on the main stem because the laterals are too short to break apart and use separately in an arrangement). Once you have the laterals cut off the main stem, treat them like all the other flowers we have used – give each one a crisp sharp cut 1/4″-1/2″ off (or cut down to the length that you need for your arrangement) and insert into the foam about 1/2″-1″ deep. You want to place your daisies in locations where you have visible gaps or blank places in the arrangement in between your other flowers. Our sample is an all around, symmetrical style arrangement so place your daisies all around.
- The last flowers to add will be your ‘filler’ flowers. These are usually small bloomed type flowers that are used to fill the spaces or gaps and to finish off or complete your arrangement. You should have one stem of purple statice and one stem of hot pink/fuchsia/purple wax flower (our sample arrangement doesn’t show the waxflower). Just like the daisies, you can split these stems apart, cutting the laterals off of the main stem. Then insert these flowers in your arrangement to fill up any empty spaces you have and just add fun pops of color symmetrically throughout the arrangement. You can start with the statice and space it out evenly and then go back through and do the same thing with the waxflower.
- The last thing you should have in your kit is another type of foliage called Tree Fern – this is the softer finer foliage of the two in your kit. This is just another finishing touch used to fill empty space, add softness to the arrangement and help cover any green floral foam that might be showing. You can cut the laterals apart just like you did with your daisies or just split the stem into two or three sections and insert the separate sections into the arrangement where needed.
You DID IT!!! Congratulations on sucessfully making a beautiful floral arrangement. We hope you had fun and learned a thing or two about floral design.
You will want to make sure your green design bowl is full of water so that your flowers will stay hydrated. Then, each day you will want to make sure that foam is very wet and the bowl is full of water. We suggested taking your whole arrangement to the sink and letting water run over the foam and really saturating it with water. Then dump out any excess while making sure the reservoir of the bowl still contains water. Dry it off and place it in a place of honor! (Note: be careful placing floral arrangements on wood furniture if there is any moisture on the container or dripping out of the arrangement. It’s a good idea to place it on a plate or beautiful tray to protect your furniture.)