First Friday DIY: Put a GRID on it!

This month's First Friday DIY (really late, sorry!) is going to be part one in a series of posts on how to build arrangements in different types of containers.  I remember years ago, when I worked at Import Flowers, I delivered a flower arrangement for my boss from a local flower shop.  It was a beautiful, lush, textured arrangement in a shallow vase.  Because I was beginning to take interest in floral design, I took a close look at the arrangement.  What I noticed that I hadn't thought of or seen before, was that the florist had made a grid on the top of the container with clear tape.  Brilliant!! It was invisible to anyone not looking and allowed the florist to create a well supported arrangement.  Since then, I've kept this technique in my back pocket for certain types of containers and flowers that need extra support.

I primarily like to use a grid on a shallow and/or wide-mouth container.  You may have an antique bowl, a wide square vase, a tall wide vase, or a stemmed compote container that would be lovely as a centerpiece.  The grid will enable you to place flowers exactly where you want them and also offer support for heavy or tall blooms such as sunflowers, hydrangea, gladiolus, or lilies. 

For this DIY lesson, I had roses on hand, so that's what I used as our example.  This arrangement is a classic cluster of garden roses.  

Here are my supplies:  

Scissors, a shallow, footed container, clear tape

The first step in arranging flowers is to clean the stems and flowers, if needed.  For roses, you'll want to remove the thorns and leaves that will be under the water level.  Roses also have a protective layer of petals that you can remove as well.  They tend to look pretty beaten up from packaging.  

Next, you'll make your grid-it should look something like this.  You can make the squares as small or large as you'd like depending on the width of the stems.  It's usually best to fill the container with water before doing the grid, but I forgot and the tape got a little wet.  It still worked!  

We're ready for flowers!  With roses, I like to start at the bottom edges of the container and work my way up, filling in the holes as I go.  You can use this technique without a grid too.  Make sure you trim the ends of the flowers at an angle right before placing in water.  

I used about 15 roses, but a dozen would do with fillers and/or greenery.

With all of the large holes filled in, you can now take any smaller flowers, fillers, or greenery, and work them into the bouquet. I had a little seeded eucalyptus to work with.  You'll want to strip off any leaves that will be under the water level. 

The finished product!

Make sure your container is filled up with water and refresh every other day or so.  

Please post comments if you have questions or send me a note on Facebook!  My facebook page is  

Happy arranging!