Making a Centerpiece using Floral Foam

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 56,253
    Florist Rebecca Henry demonstrates how to make a centerpiece using floral foam.

    Rebecca Henry: Hi, I am Rebecca, co-owner of Petal's Edge Floral Design in Alexandria, Virginia and today we are learning how to make wedding centerpieces. In this clip, we will show you how to make a centerpiece in floral foam. So right now we have got our floral foam. So first, we are going to cut a piece to fit approximately what we are going to need and that would be about a third of the block. So you can make an estimate and take your knife and just slice through it. It cuts a little bit like, I don't know, butter or something like that and put this aside. We will take this piece. Then you will need a bucket or some kind of container to soak the floral foam in. So we fill this with water. This also will work in your sink or your bathtub or whatever works to soak to get these down in the water and then you will place it with these holes down into the water and then you want to very gently just let it soak up the water by itself. You don't want to press it down. You don't want to force it or anything like that. Just let it soak up the water and you will see how it will change color as it soaks up the water. Just wait and we are almost done. There we go.

    So we have got this wet floral foam. We lift that out of the water, we can set the water aside and we want to take our vase. We are using again, a square glass vase and for this arrangement what we want to do is hide the floral foam because obviously if we put this right into here like you are going to see that ugly green foam in there and you don't want to do that. So there is a lot of different ways we can hide it, but in this arrangement we are going to hide it by using coffee beans. Brown is a really popular wedding color these days. So coffee beans is a great way given that there are not a lot of brown flowers to bring brown into your color scheme, but other ways you can fill a vase, you could do the same technique and use fruit slices like lime or lemon or orange. You could also use dried beans like kidneys or garbanzo beans for different colors and anything else should come up.

    There are same leaves that we did in that other clip. You can line the vase with leaves on the inside and use that to hide the floral foam. So to do this, what we will need to do is keep the wet floral foam away from the dry coffee beans. What we like to is use a zip lock bag with the top cut off, but any kind of plastic liner basically works. We will open up the bag and you want to put your block of floral foam in and close it and then just carefully fold the plastic around and tuck it underneath like that, just so that it's, when you put it in it's not all messy. Then we just drop it in there and when measuring your floral foam if your vase isn't exactly the same size, just make sure you leave enough space all the way around the floral foam and the bag to get a layer of coffee beans in there so you can hide everything. Now what we start to do is just pour the coffee beans into the vase and what I like to do is do a little bit on each side so that we make sure that we don't accidentally overfill one side and then wind up with the thing pressed all the way over to one side. So just put a little bit in all the way around and make sure if there is any plastic where sticking out just tuck it down in there and keep going and then you get more coffee beans and you just keep filling it up until it's completely filled. So then this is the coffee bean vase completely filled with coffee beans, all finished and so this would be the finished product here.

    So after we have finished that and we are ready to begin our arrangement. We have got this big piece of bag sticking up and we don't need that. So what we are going to do is trim that off, just loosely cut it off. It doesn't have to be neat or anything like that and if you lose any coffee beans along the way, just pop them back in there. One thing to know with coffee beans, they do smell. They are very aromatic so if you are going to use this technique, make sure you set your coffee beans out in like a big bucket, like take them out of the bag and pour them in a big bucket or something open and let them air out maybe on a back porch or something like that for a week or two. So they shouldn't stale and they don't smell very strongly. You don't want your entire reception to smell like coffee beans. So we have got them trimmed and now we are just going to put a little water because even though it is soaked with water it doesn't -- you need the water around it to keep it hydrated otherwise it will dry out as the flowers take up the water. So there we go.

    We are ready to begin our arrangement. For the arrangement, we have some white hydrangea, we are using some white tulips, some of this pink stock, pink tulips, these are Dutch tulips and some of this hot pink ranunculus we saw before and also as a nice accent to complement these coffee beans we are using some of these cool Fiddlehead ferns. So we take the hydrangea and of course, we will take some of these extra leaves off and we will trim the hydrangea and then we are going to stick it into the floral foam.

    Now this is the tricky part with working with floral foam. Once you put it in, you can't pull it out again because the floral foam will not recover. The hole will be there forever. This stuff can be used multiple times. It is used only for one arrangement and so you want to be really careful in placing in. So this is kind of a technique you want to practice a few times. Also, to know, don't put it in and then pull up the stem a little bit more. That will create an air pocket between the bottom of the floral foam and the bottom of your stem and if it doesn't fill back up with water you will wind up with no way for your flower to take up water and then it will die.

    So it just takes a little practice. So well, you know I think this is going to be a little long. So I am just going to put it in there. I think you are going to want to angle it and create it the way you would with the last arrangement we did where you have the three pieces of hydrangea making up the base of the arrangement. So we are going to do that. Put the hydrangea in, in this corner over here and you just want to pick a really, pick carefully where you put your hydrangea so you do not have to pull it back out again and we will put the last piece right here, okay.

    So then the next part is to start filling out the arrangement with the other flowers. I like to use the stock next. We are going to use five pieces stock in this and we will just trim it to fit. I am going to put it in this hole here in the center to bounce it out and again and now I am just tucking it into this floral foam here so you can see, we are just going to tuck it in to the floral foam and the floral foam gives you a lot of control where you put it because where you put the flower it will stay in that place.

    So next we are going to put in some tulips. Tulips in floral foam are little tricky because they have a soft stem so you just have to be very careful and reach down in there and guide them in carefully so the stem doesn't bend, okay. Again, same concerns, you want to keep thinking about keeping that dome shape, keeping that rounded feeling of your arrangement and we are almost done. Here we go. We have got all the flowers in and we are just going to accent with the little of this Fiddlehead fern here just to bring in that chocolate brown color from the coffee beans. Just jive that back in there. The Fiddlehead fern, I like to leave it out just a little bit so it is sticking out from the arrangements just a tiny bit because that way you can see it. People really love the shape of it because it's unusual.

    If you are looking for something that's a little different for your wedding, doing something like this is a good way to go. The coffee beans I think will have your guest going, how did they do that? Only you will know and the Fiddlehead ferns are such an unusual shape that you will definitely get, I think, people talking. Alright and there we go. There is the completed centerpiece. Well, I hope you have learned something from these techniques we have demonstrated here today and that you know you will give them a shot for your event possibly, give them some practice and see if you can get them down, but if you are having any troubles don't hesitate to call in a professional. Thanks a lot and we will see you here again soon.