Image and text by Amy Christie for Design Mom
Fresh flowers are a nice addition to any given day. But I’ve got a little trick that will take a simple arrangement up a notch — even that ordinary bundle of grocery store flowers! Instead of using an basic, nondescript vase, use a small dish with a pin-type flower frog and take the ordinary to extraordinary.
If you haven’t used, or even heard of, flower frogs before, no need to be intimidated. There are a variety of flower frogs (people actually collect them!) that all serve the same basic purpose — to help you arrange your flowers. For this project, I’ve incorporated the pin version or pin flower frog (called such because it looks like lots of pins sticking up).
With this type of frog, the flower stems are stuck into the pins to keep the flowers in place. Stems can be stuck and restuck, arranged and rearranged in the pins until it is just right.
I purposely chose simple, inexpensive flowers for this project because, really, it’s not about the flowers. Flower arranging prowess is not needed, and you don’t need to seek out a specialty floral shop. It’s the pin flower frog in the small bowl, decorative or otherwise, that is the big deal. It is the inside secret to a good looking arrangement in a small container.
It’s so easy you will flip!
– various small bowls or glasses
– flower pins — I found mine in the floral aisle at Michael’s
– strong adhesive
– decorative options — curable acrylic paints, porcelain or paints, gold leaf (plus adhesive and sealer), permanent markers, etc
The very simplest version of this DIY is to find an interesting little bowl in your cupboard or at the thrift store, add glue to the bottom side of the flower pin and stick it to the bottom of the bowl.
Follow the directions of the glue for dry times and then when it’s dried, it’s ready for flowers.
However, plain bowls allow the opportunity to add patterns and designs. This can be accomplished with permanent markers (like this Design Mom tutorial), gold leaf or porcelain or glass paints. In addition to being used as any other acrylic, Martha Stewart’s line of paint can be cured in the oven. I had so much fun adding patterns and designs to the bowls pictured here. The options are endless!
After your design is finished and has completely dried (at least an hour), place your item in a cool oven. (I like to put mine on a parchment-lined baking sheet.) Turn on the oven to 350F and bake for 30 minutes. It is done this way because glass must heat gradually. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and allow the piece(s) to cool in the oven. Once cooled, remove from the oven and do not use for 72 hours. If you are not in the rush, the paint will cure after 21 days without the oven.
With both the 21-day method and the oven-method, pieces will be top-shelf dishwasher safe once they’re cured.
And now: How to use the pin flower frog.
After cutting the flowers to the appropriate height (flowers should be 1 1/2 times the height of the dish/cup/bowl), stick the stems in the flower pin.
Keep adding flowers until the bowl is full. Add a bit of water to the bottom to feed the flowers. Then ready yourself for the big smiles coming your way when you display this little beauty.
It doesn’t get simpler than that! Give it a try, and I predict: this process is so reliably successful, you’ll be adding fresh flowers to your shopping list every week.
I’d love to know: have you ever used a flower frog before? Do you have a favorite type? Any other tips you’d add?