Hi guys! I'm doing a blog swap today with Kendra from My Insanity! I hope that after you read Kendra's awesome project you will come check mine out at her blog, My Insanity. Take it away, Kendra!!
Hi, everyone! My name is Kendra and I am often told that I am crazy, so I decided to embrace My Insanity and blog about all of those things that make me a little wacky--namely my creative endeavors. I love blogging because I meet lots of other insane kindred spirits.
I'm excited to be trading posts today with fabulous fellow Arizona blogger, Heidi! We've only met briefly IRL, but we have a lot of creative insanity in common! We found out that we both have experience working with flowers. I used to do them often for weddings. I did these arrangements for my sister-in-law's wedding a year ago.
We thought that this would be a great time to share a few flower arranging techniques you might want to use for Valentine's Day.
I made this fresh flower arrangement using wet floral foam, which is also called floral oasis. It's actually pretty simple to use, and available in the floral section of most craft stores. You just really have to check the labels on the packaging because the dry foam only works with fake flowers, and they are both sold in packages of green blocks.
I decided I wanted to make a real flower arrangement similar the the fake one I made several years ago that is featured in my Valentine mantle design this year.
We all know that the price of roses becomes ridiculous right around Valentine's Day, so I thought it would be fun to see what else we could use that would still look festive. I found these bunches of Alstromeria for around $4/bunch at my local grocery store. The roses were nearly $18 for a small bunch. That made my decision pretty easy. I wanted some variation, so I chose a darker reddish bunch and a lighter pink bunch.
I used this pretty ceramic heart dish as my base. It was the right shape and size. Then I just needed to cut the foam to fit inside the dish. I cut it into a rough square before soaking it and made the rest of the cuts afterward. When you get the foam wet, you fill a clean sink with cool water. The trick is to let the foam slowly absorb the water on it's own. When it becomes entirely submerged, it is finished. Don't push it under the water.
After it is wet, it is still pretty easy to cut, just stay near the sink, since it will drip. I trimmed and shaped the edges of the foam so that it would fit nicely into my dish. You can use lots of different containers. You just want the foam to fit snugly.
If you were going to use greenery in the arrangement, this would be the time to do it. Greens can disguise the foam and serve as a field for the rest of your flowers, but that wasn't what I was going for here, so I knew I'd just need to position the flowers closely together. I used the darker flowers as kind of a border around the edges. Cut each stem pretty near the head. If the stems are too long you won't be able to get the flowers in close enough.
Simply insert each stem all the way into the foam. Try not to do a ton of repositioning, as it becomes harder to get the stems to stay in if their are too many holes or they are too wide. I will say that alstromerias might not be the very best choice for a foam arrangement like this. I had to be careful with the delicate stems and flower heads. If you took the time to wire them, they might go in more easily. Roses and carnations work well, but we've already discussed the price point on those right now. You can use lots of different kinds of flowers, but the stronger the stem, the easier they will be to work with.
After going around the edges, I just filled in the rest of the shape with the lighter pink flowers. Again, cluster the flower heads tightly, so none of the foam shows through.
And this is what you get when you are finished.
I placed the heart dish on a red cake stand so it would make more of a statement.
Be aware that this type of arrangement (without greenery) will use more flowers than you think it will. This is a small arrangement and it took everyone of the heads of the two bunches I purchased. Several years ago, I made citrus colored kissing balls for my sister's wedding. I had several bunches of carnations, but by the end of the evening, I was sending my dad to every grocery store in the area for any kind of flowers in the right colors to be able to finish the balls, since it took so many flowers for each ball.
The foam helps preserve the flowers, and they should last for several days. You can add water to the foam (carefully) if it is getting dry.
If you've been intimidated to try your hand at flower arranging using oasis (wet foam), I hope I've shown you how simple it is. I'd love to see any Valentine's arrangements you attempt!
I hope you'll come visit me at My Insanity, where I share an insane amount of ideas for all kinds of holidays, birthdays, parties, home decor and DIY projects, activities for the kids and more! And come see the cute flower arrangement Heidi made for my blog today!