Explore the Different Basic Floral Design Techniques

Basic Floral Design Techniques

Tips & Tricks of the Trade
A floral designers need to see - to really see & relate to the floral materials being placed in an arrangement. I call it putting on your floral design glasses & looking at the floral material for all the shades of color, shapes, textures, tallest, shortest, softest/lightest, heaviest/darkest & observing the way the stems bend - basically getting to know your material so you can follow their lead in creating a floral design of beauty and grace. Most important enjoy yourself, flowers want to make you happy…relax it all good… for nature needs no improvement only protection.

  • Different designs are all loosely based on a geometric form
  • In each design every stem radiates or appears to radiate form a central point
  • The designs are usually dependent on flower and branch material using buds, half-open & full-blown material with curving foliage and branches
  • The flower material is usually scattered through the design with colors, form and textures inter woven leading the eye gently through. This adds a rhythmic quality in the design, which we call depth.
  • There are three quadrants to every design top, middle and bottom. We achieve a sense of balance by placing botanical material in each quadrant
  • Light materials in the top quadrant and heavy material in the bottom quadrant. Middle quadrant contain materials
  • There needs to be space between each element of material - created by the use of texture and color. This space is called “inviting the viewer to look in”…space draws the views attention to the intrinsic beauty of each flower, petal, leaf or branch

Floral Supplies

Tips & Tricks of the Trade
Purchase a Tool Kit- it’s the best bang for your buck! A cotton canvas top zipper pouch containing ARS floral clipper, floral blade, ½” floral tap & wire cutter.
In my kit you will find latex gloves, floral clipper, floral blade, scissors, a clean rag, ½” floral tape, rubber bands, several floral tubs, some binding wire, Band-Aids, pain reliever (for my tired legs after many hours of standing), lip balm and a comb.
Most Important a large bottle of water is always with me…like flowers we need hydration
I have used scissors, kitchen paring knife & cellophane tape
Keep your floral tools clean & sharp
Dry all tools before storage

Basic Floral Tools

  • Floral Clipper - ARS preferred brand of professionals & floral enthusiasts
  • Floral blade
  • Floral Tape
  • Floral pin holder or frog
  • Binding wire
  • Rubber bands in several sizes
  • Water tubes
  • Floral wire
  • U-pins
  • Eco color-safe bleach
  • Buckets or containers
  • Latex gloves sized to fit snug – flowers are sprayed with harsh chemicals to prevent bug damage…please wear gloves durning handeling to protect yourself

Selecting Repurposed Containers Found at Home

Tricks & Tips of the Trade
There is no limit in choice of container. Use everything & any object…make it easy just grab something at hand and get designing. The flowers are the show the container the stage. Mix & match, have fun and create.

  • Glassware: water, wine, beer, martini, champagne, bowls, cups
  • Jars: mason, jelly, food
  • Glass cookware: pie, casserole
  • Glass vases: square, round, tall, rectangle…just about any shape
  • Ceramic: bowels, cups, vases, tea/coffee pots, creamers, sugar
  • Tin: vegetable, tea, coffee, candy, baking, canisters
  • Plastic: any plastic container with removable lid or space to insert flowers
  • Non-water proof: line with sheet of plastic (repurposed cellophane or garbage bags) next drop-in waterproof container (plastic cup or food containers - anything that will fit below the rim of object that will hold water)

Purchasing Store Bought Flower

Tips & Tricks of the Trade
If possible ask what day & time flowers are delivered & best time to purchase
Jot down the stores best days & time
Avoid any flowers that have brown on tip or wilted
Turn flowers upside down & shake gently – if pedals and leaves fall out avoid
Place flowers in store provided flower holder or place on child seat without groceries
Pack separately and return home directly & follow receiving flower instructions
If you have a car, place a container in the well behind front seat & secure gently with front seat…I bring a small bottle of water and place in container- flowers do not enjoy being out of water

Floral Prep Techniques

Tips & Tricks of the Trade
No chemicals- we must protect our planet and all living beauty - Flowers do not like to drink poison – ask yourself “do I like to drink chemicals.” Its bad enough that flowers are sprayed with harsh chemicals and robed of their fragrance. Lets embrace them with love and tenderness as they hydrate by offering them clean water and a cool place to rest in the process.

How to keep flowers long lasting with fresh appearance without chemicals

  • When finished with your amazingly beautiful design top up the water to just below the rim. Flowers are very thirsty when first cut and will drink-up a good amount of water in the first several hours
  • Check once a day and refill if necessary with water can that has a narrow spout by inserting between grid squares. If you can do this in place safely great, otherwise take to sink - do not refill container directly from the tap, the water pressure will damage flowers. If u do not have watering can repurpose any bottle.
  • Flush with fresh water every 2 to 3 days as follows:
    • Take design to sink area and turn on cool water in a gentle stream
    • Gently push back flowers at rim exposing the grid (best at back if there is one or any place with easy excess) and place arrangement in sink
    • Position the head of spray nozzle on the exposed tape and flush the water out. This technique flushes out water with bacteria and replaces with fresh. Keep flushing until the water runs clean. Gently spray the flowers with water and let rest until flowers are dry or replace immediately if safe to do so.

Securing Flowers in Container