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Foam-free urns – if in doubt, leave it out (and how not to make perfect mirror images)

Hello, and welcome back if you’re a returning reader or welcome to my flower tutorial series if you’re here for the first time.

This is a quick tutorial for a pair of foam-free flower urns. I made these back in March 2020 just as the Covid-19 lockdown started. It feels like a very long time ago now and I feel somewhat guilty that I’ve promised to share photos of the tutorial on at least 3 occasions now! So here we go. The tutorial is about designing as a pair without making perfect mirror images and also about learning to leave things out of a design and using photographs to help you critique your own work.


What you’ll need

Pair of urns. These are approximately 30 cm tall by 23 cm diameter.

Waterproof liners/bowls. I used plastic oasis posy bowls as they fit perfectly into the rim of the urns. I reuse these bowls over and over again as they fit well into all sorts of containers.

Damp sphagnum moss.

Chicken wire.

Gloves and wire cutters.

Florists tools – snips/scissors or a knife. Secateurs if you are using woody foliage stems.

A selection of flower stems and foliage.

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Tissue paper wrapping tutorial

I’ve been so busy with orders that I have yet again neglected my blog posts!  I realise that I still haven’t posted the photos of the foam-free pair of matching urns and promise I will post those sometime this week.

In the meantime, I had a request on my Instagram account to show how I wrap my bouquet’s in tissue paper.  I often design a ‘flat-backed’, presentation style bouquet and the style suits a wrapping that is lower at the front to show off the blooms but still gives good support and protection to the flowers at the back.

This is where my ‘V-necked’ wrapping comes in! It’s very easy to do and can be replicated with your own bouquet’s.

Here’s what you need –

  • 4 sheets of waxed tissue paper in your choice of colour.  I use 2 sheets each of a nicely coordinated or contrasting colour, but you could use all the same colour if you like.
  • rafia, ribbon or string

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Foam-free tutorial – large scale urn

Hello again and welcome to my series of free floral design tutorials.

Today’s design demonstrates that it is possible to create a large scale design with traditional foam-free techniques.

If you’d like to have a go yourself, this is what you’ll need:

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  • Large urn.  This one is a fibreglass urn with an aged-look, but you could create in anything that is of a similar shape in a decent size.  This urn is 40 cm tall.
  • Waterproof bowl or liner that fits snugly into the urn without dropping down into the depths.  My 24 cm diameter plastic bulb bowl nests in the top like a glove.  Be creative – ice-cream tub, plastic milk bottle with the top cut off, tupperware box – whatever is the best fit.
  • Damp sphagnum moss
  • A biodegradeable compost caddy bag
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters and gloves
  • Floristy tools – a sharp knife and/or scissors, string/wire, pot tape (or florists tack depending on the best method for securing your waterproof liner)
  • A couple of skewers of different diameters
  • A selection of ready conditioned flowers and foliage of your choice.

Another item that is useful but not necessarily essential is a footstool or step (the finished design will be tall!)

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Foam-free funeral flowers

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A workshop full of flowers

Two weeks ago I had a workshop full of beautiful flowers all prepared and conditioned ready for running two floral design events in my local pub for the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  After months of organising and promoting, my events were almost fully booked and I was looking forward to meeting all my guests and sharing my passion for flowers.

It wasn’t to be.  On Friday 20th March, there was an announcement on the news to say that all pubs and restaurants were to shut from midnight on Friday.  I had a workshop full of fresh flowers and had spent a small fortune on materials and tools.

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A workshop full of flowers with no where to go…

Mother’s Day

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