How to learn floral design

Floral Design FAQ



What is floral foam?

Floral foam is an absorbent, plastic foam. It’s used to keep flowers hydrated while in a specific position, whether upright in a vase, draping from a bouquet, or hanging from a chuppah.

How do I use floral foam?

Cut a piece of foam into the shape you need. Fill a bucket with water, and place the floral foam on top of the water. Don’t push the foam underwater—instead, allow the foam to absorb the water.

Once the foam is soaked, it’s ready for use. Cut stems on an angle and insert into the foam.

Is floral foam dangerous to use? Is it bad for the environment?

Many florists have stopped using floral foam, with good reason.

Floral foam isn't biodegradable, isn't reusable, and isn't an environmentally-friendly choice.

It’s known to irritate skin and lungs and contains (very small) amounts of known carcinogens.

And here's the key thing: there’s rarely (if ever) a need to use it. There are so many other options!

What can I use instead of floral foam?

— stem grids
— spiral technique
— tape grids, using clear or waterproof floral tape
— twine (for tying hand-tied bouquets)
water picks or tubes
chicken wire (coated in PVC)
glass or ceramic flower frogs
kenzans or pin holders
hairpin holders
pin cups
floral cages
Eco Fresh Bouquet wraps

How do I attach chicken wire to a vase?

Cut a piece of chicken wire, then fold it to fit into your vase. The "ball" of chicken wire should fill the vase and have at least two layers for stems to pass through.

Secure it with floral putty or with a tape grid made with waterproof floral tape.

How do I attach a pin holder (flower frog) to a vase?

Line the bottom edge of the frog with floral clay or putty. Place the frog in a clean, dry vase. To secure it, twist and push—twist the frog while pushing it down into the vessel.

How do I use a water pick?

Fill the pick or tube with water and put the rubber cap on. Cut your flower on an angle, then insert into the small hole in the cap.

How can I put fruit into an arrangement?

Treat fruit (or veggies!) that are on stems or branches like flowers. Cut the stems on an angle and place in your vase.

For large pieces of fruit, insert a bamboo skewer into the fruit. Secure the skewer with floral glue. Once the glue is dry, put the skewer into your arrangement.

How do I put a succulent into a bouquet or arrangement?

Create a "stem" for the succulent using a bamboo skewer.

Insert the bamboo skewer into the base of the succulent. Secure using wire, floral glue, or waterproof tape. (Or a combination of the three!)

What should I use to wrap a bouquet?

To keep your stems hydrated, use a hydration wrap like Eco Fresh Bouquet or Arrive Alive. (Or use water picks on flowers that are particularly prone to wilting.)

Use A-ROO sleeves, cellophane, tissue paper, kraft paper, burlap, or another fabric to create a decorative wrap.

For wedding bouquets, head to Wedding Flowers FAQ.

Any other tools or tricks I should know about?

Yes! Here are a few favorites:

o Use Goo Gone to get floral glue off your hands. (It's also great for removing stickers from vases and candle holders.)

o Zip ties are your friends. Use mini ones for making corsages, mid-sized ones for binding bouquets, and large ones for installation work.

o These videos will also help! For more information on tools, books, videos, schools, workshops, and programs we love, check out our list of resources.

o Never stop learning! Florists are always coming up with creative new techniques. There’s always something new to learn.