What makes a great impression on your party table? A beautifully designed centerpiece! When starting your first party centerpiece, you will want to consider the color combinations and theme that you are trying to accomplish. Start by selecting an appropriate container for your design. We would suggest letting the shape of your table dictate what type of container you select. i.e: Round table, round or cube style of container, rectangle banquet table, chose a long lean style of container. You can make your centerpiece the day before your event, and be sure to get extra flowers for practice. Here's a step-by-step guide on do-it-yourself party centerpieces.
Step 1: Step 1: Items Needed
Selection of greens, mass flowers, filler flowers, container of choice, wet oasis floral foam, bowl tape, clippers or knife, buckets for water, bleach and Crowning Glory finishing spray.
Step 2: Step 2: Selecting & Preparing the Bundles of Blooms
Select your bundles of flowers and greens, we suggest a combination of mass flowers (a mass flower is a flower that looks like a baseball on a stick, such as roses, carnations, lilies, etc.), a filler flower (a filler flower is a flower with several small blooms on one branch, such as babies breath, wax flower, etc.) and buy them 2 days before your event.
Remove excess foliage and thorns from the mass flowers.
Fill a bucket with water, add 1 tbs of household bleach (to cut down on bacteria growth), use clippers or knife to cut the stems at an angle about two inches from the bottom and place the stems in the bucket to hydrate. Fill another bucket in like manner and place the greens to hydrate as well.
Allow the flowers to drink and bloom open for a day.
Step 3: Step 3: Designing the Centerpiece
Start by placing several blocks of floral foam in a bucket of water with 1 tbs of household bleach. Let the blocks fully saturate. This process takes approximately 5-10 minutes.
Once the foam is fully saturated, cut the foam block to fit the size of your container. (The oasis foam cuts easily with a kitchen knife) Once the foam is cut to size, place the foam in the container and secure with bowl tape. The bowl tape should hold the foam into place so that the design won’t fall out during transportation, etc.
Start the designing process with the greens first. Clip each piece of green into small bunches and start inserting the greens material into the foam surface. Be careful not to ‘drill for oil’ as each stem should only be inserted about an inch into the foam. The greens are the ‘framework’ of your design, the size of the greens will dictate the overall size of your design. When inserting your greens, start at the lip of your container and work your way around and up until all of the foam is camouflaged by the greenery. The idea is to create a small bush, or ‘leafy turtle shell’ that looks like it is ‘growing’ out of your container.
Now it is time to work in your flowers. Place your focal point first. Your focal point should be the ‘showy’ flower in your selection (roses and lilies are a nice focal point flower) and should be placed around the upper edge of your container, we call this your ‘upper deck’. When placing your flowers, work in geometrical shapes (i.e: 4 roses should create a square of flowers around your container, 3 flowers a triangle and so on and so forth.) Once the focal point is set, now you need to set your height by placing one of your mass flowers on the top or ‘penthouse’ of your design. Each flower that is placed should be resting right at the edge of your greens. We do not want any of the flowers buried where it cannot be seen. After the height is set now we need to bring some of that color down to the ‘lower deck’ or very bottom of your design along the lip of the container. When placing your flowers and greenery, you are utilizing all surfaces of the block of foam, not just the top side as some might think.
All of the mass flowers should now be placed securely in the penthouse, upper deck and lower deck of your container. Now it is time to place the filler flowers in your design. Filler flowers are always the last material to be placed into the design as it is the ‘mortar in between the bricks’ or final touch of color that will break up the remaining clusters of greenery in the container. When placing the filler, use small clusters starting at the lower deck right off the lip of the container and work your way up through the upper deck and penthouse area. Your finished look should show a nice colorful design sprouting from your container with no areas of the foam or bowl tape showing through the design.
Step 4: Step 4: the Finishing Touch and Care
All of your fresh materials have been successfully placed into your container, now it is time for the finishing touch.
Spray your design with Crowning Glory (Crowning Glory is a waxy spray that seals in the moisture of the flowers and greenery. Crowning Glory is available on Amazon.com)
Once your design has been sprayed, store it in a cool dark room until the day of your event.
The day after your design has been completed, it will be thirsty and need additional water. To rehydrate the floral foam in the container, use a turkey baster to slowly squirt water down into the design at the foam level. Using a turkey baster will limit the amount of water that runs off the sides of the container and gives the foam a chance to effectively absorb the liquid.
Step 5: AMERICAN SCHOOL OF FLOWER DESIGN
Still stumped, need more assistance or excited to learn more? The American School of Flower Design has several online videos available on our website and offers in person classes at 8 locations across the country!
call us at 877-322-5666