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Who Else Has Never Heard Of A Flower Frog?

Recently, while visiting a family friend, I discovered a new love for Flower Frogs. As an avid thrift store enthusiast, I had seen a ton of these little things before, but never put 2 and 2 together to realize they go with flowers! (doh!) Nor had I ever heard them called flower frogs.. I took as many pictures as I could to share with you guys, hope you enjoy..

Early Metal Versions

Vintage Flower Frogs

What is a Flower Frog?

A flower frog is simply something to hold flowers up, either with holes, a grid or a comb of metal. Some were intended to be placed in the bottom of a container to hold tricky stems, others were incredibly ornate vases themselves with holes to insert stems. Flower frogs were made of metal, ceramic, glass, and plastic.

How To Use Flower Frogs

Most people keep different varieties on hand. The spiky ones are good for thin, flimsy stems; ones with holes are suited to the thicker stems of tulips and lilies; and hairpin frogs with wire loops are best for stiff stems and branches.

This is a very decorative ceramic flower frog:

Decorative Flower Frog Decorative Ceramic Flower Frog With Bird
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Spice Up Your Holiday Vases With This Technique

If you’re looking for a little something extra to spice up your holiday flower arrangements, try this cinnamon vase technique!

Cinnamon Flower Arrangement

Not only will this arrangement spark Christmas spirit, it will smell wonderfully for weeks to come! Cinnamon is a favorite in holiday smells, and will definitely set the mood for any holiday party. This little design would make a perfect hostess gift for the elf in charge of your favorite Christmas get-together.

For this technique, you will need:

  • a small, plastic cylinder container under 8″
  • a bunch of 8″ cinnamon sticks
  • hot glue
  • scissors
  • ribbon

Cinnamon + Vase = Creativity!

First, hot glue the individual cinnamon sticks vertically to the outside surface of your vase. (tip: cut the tops of the cinnamon sticks different heights to give it a staggered, rustic look)

Tie ribbon around the center of your cinnamon vase to finish the look. Depending on your design, you could use ribbon, rafia, wire — it’s really up to you. If you want to go a step further, add a bunch of holly, mini candy cane, mini pine cones, or anything festive, to the front of your design.

Don’t stop at just cinnamon! Think of other ways to use this technique. You could use branches from your yard. (Birch wood is very popular this time of year.) How about the large candy cane sticks? Instead of a vase, use this as a great candle treatment. It’s all about using your imagination!

This is a great technique for florists to use in their shops. However, if you’re a craftster like me, try this at home! Just don’t forget to visit your local florist for a great winter flowers to use in you’re new and aromatic vase!

This post is brought to you by local Auburn, NH florists.
Not in Auburn? No worries, use Flower Shop Network’s handy directory of local florists to find a florist near you!

Treasures From The Back Room: The Florists New Source of Creativity

Floral Designers in the Back Room

The dreaded back room…. every florist knows exactly what I mean… The old vases, the stale and crumbly floral products, the mounds and mounds of ribbon, buckets, boxes… ya, the back room

I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be scary! The backroom is a great place for florists to GET CREATIVE! Think of it as your artist’s studio. It’s time we see all of our old junk for what it is = $$!

Sell-able – if its sell-able, get it OUT of the backroom!

  • Vases – Those decorative “It’s a Boy!” new baby flower vases won’t sell themselves! Put them on the self for impulse buyers! “Oh this is sooo cute, my friend just had a boy, she’d love this!” Put a variety of vases on your shelves; add a few quick-and-easy hand-tied bouquets for examples.
  • Ribbon – create a Ribbon Station in your shop! This is a great way to show the types of ribbon you carry. Also consider selling your ribbon by the yard. Crafters and scrapbookers LOVE ribbon and you will quickly become a favorite stop!
  • Wedding/Party Supplies – Create unique floral environments with your party and wedding supplies.

Usable/Recyclable – Step out of the box for a second and take a look at your backroom… See anything you might use or ‘reuse’ in some way?

  • Packing Materials – See the picture to the right? Those circles are made of white polycord strapping material. You know, the white cords on your shipped boxes. I’ve also seen top floral designers use cardboard, cellophane, mailing tubes and so much more!
  • Candles – Many people burn candles in their shops and homes… Don’t throw away those lovely jars after the wick is spent! Put the used candle into your freezer! After a few hours, the used wax should shrink just enough to pop it out. You might also start a candle-jar recycling program.
  • Stencils – One way to give new life to an old vase is by stenciling a new design! Your local craft store will have a large variety of stencils for you to use. You can use regular craft acrylic paint on your terracotta vases and enamel paint for your glass vases.

Labeling – after things sit in our backrooms for a while, we forget the true value of what we have.

A great tip for keeping up with our $ and backroom is by labeling everything with the amount we paid for it. You can easily see how much money you have sitting on your shelves. Next time you get a shipment of decorative vases, label them! ([total shipment cost] ÷ [number of vases]=total $ per vase) Now, you can quickly price a small, for-pick-up arrangement at a lower price without worrying about losing $. (Great for sales, promotions and clearance events!)

This post is brought to you by local Cambridge MA florists.
Not in Cambridge? No problem, use Flower Shop Network‘s real local florist directory to find YOUR real local florist!

4 NEW Creative & Unique Vase Ideas

Are you one of the many florists who gets stuck in the hum-drum of day-to-day floral design? Do you need a little push to look outside the box for new, inspirational ideas to get their creative juices flowing! In this article, we look at quick and easy ways to give your vases a little more ‘oomph’ while rediscovering your muse and encouraging new business. (Who wouldn’t want that!?)

Creative, Recycled Vase

Decorative Box Vase

This really cool idea, submitted on our Facebook by Paula from Buds ‘n Bows Flower Shop, uses a decorative box to ‘dress up’ your boring, everyday vases. She used a decorative package one of her coffee mug gifts came in to really dress up this flower arrangement. She just slipped a regular, plain vase inside and glued a blue ribbon to the bottom.

Great job thinking out of the box inside the box, Paula! Using your imagination, how can you make this work in your shop? Keep an eye out for vase inspiration everywhere! Kleenex boxes are usually very decorative. Slip a tissue box over your vase and use the box’s color palette to inspire your floral design.

Buds ‘n Bows does a great job of matching flowers to this box!

Natural Vases

Natural VasesFloral designers everywhere are using nature-inspired elements to bring out the best in their arrangements. One great new trend is stuffing little cubes of floral foam into seashells to create unique arrangements inspired by the sea — great for centerpieces at a nautical themed party.

Wood is also an incredibly hot trend right now! Floral designers are gluing bark and cork sheets to vases (and even plain cups) to create a look that is rustic and inspiring. One cool vase design technique I saw at the AIFDSC involved using highly textured cork bark wired to the outside of beautiful glass.

Other natural vase ideas: slipping a smaller vase into a hollowed log, covering your vase in moss or lichen, gluing or weaving twigs along the outside of your container… the possibilities are endless!

Upcycled Thrift Store Vases

Take a quick field trip to your local thrift store with new vases/containers in mind — you’d be surprised what sorts of inspirational things you will find for next to nothing!

Thrift stores generally have a large selection of unique glass in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Buy a box full of cute, summer teacups for your spring wedding centerpieces. Find an old Victorian lamp with no shade and pull the wires out for a huge, uniquely shaped vase.

Buy a bag or jar of vintage buttons or marbles to use as vase filler. You can find small ceramics or other interesting treasures to use inside your design itself.

A little creative thinking and thrift store items will become your new best friend!

Recycled Vase Project

One cool way to promote recycling in your city is by starting a recycled vase project. (This is another great idea we heard about at the AIFDSC.) Offer a $15 coupon of store credit to anyone who brings you an old glass vase from home and it is usable. Give them a $10 coupon if it needs cleaning/fixing in any way, and a $5 coupon for something brought in that is unusable. For the unusable glass, carry it to your local recycling center.

This is a great way to promote recycling in your city and make it easier for those who may not have the opportunity to go to a recycling center. The coupons are also a great incentive to your patrons return business with your flower shop. Send a little note with your orders about the recycling program and start seeing your vases come back for fresh flowers!

What new vase techniques are you trying in your shop?

We would love to hear what new things you are trying in your shop to give your designs a little more character. Leave us a comment below!

This article is brought to you by Crawford, GA Florists

You Know What Peaks My Interest? UNIQUENESS

I literally see hundreds of flower arrangements every month. After having spent a significant amount of time in the floral industry, my passion for flowers remains but it takes a little bit more than it used to take to make me take a second glimpse…or a third…or tell someone else about it.

I’m not alone in this. All consumers-shoppers-buyers-gift givers want to hit the nail on the head and give the perfect gift. It’s just finding that diamond in the rough that occasionally presents a problem. That’s why we at Flower Shop Network try so hard to regularly replenish your idea bank. I got to thinkin’ about it this afternoon (boy I sound southern today) and realized what really jumps out at people like me when we shop for flowers and gifts. We want something unique. Gift givers want something tried-and-true for the most part but with an edge. In other words, we want the gift that we know they’ll like but with that little extra something that will make them remember the gift, the occasion and the sender.

Need some visual examples of unique flower arrangements and gifts?

Here are a few that jumped out to me:

Tropical Flowers

Tropical Flowers

I have to say that I love the “Exotic Floral Vase” arrangement of tropical fresh flowers. To be honest, it made me want to run out and grab a seafood dinner. (The red anthuriums remind me of lobster pinchers.) It’s uniquely shaped inside a clear vase. The flowers are colorful enough that they need no dressing up. They speak for themselves.

Plus, how often do you really see tropical flower bouquets like this? It’s easy to find a carnation, rose or tulip bouquet. Tropical fresh flowers are unique enough by themselves. This bouquet just has an architectural feeling of clean lines and solid colors that is easy to enjoy whether you are into art and style or form and function.

Flower Animals

Flower Animals

I’ve written before on how much fun flower animals are. Rabbits, puppies. Doesn’t matter. Animal shapes made of flowers are too cute to pass up.

The two little girls in my life are both big animal lovers. Most kids are. That’s why flower animals make great Easter gifts for kids, Valentines Day gifts for kids, even birthday gifts for children. If you can think of an occasion that merits a gift, try sending flowers like these.

Even if you plan to give something else later, this is a fun way to treat your child to something nice at school. It’s always fun to receive gifts in front of classmates. In this way, your child is able to have all of the birthday attention he/she craves and more.

Unique Shapes

Unique Shapes

I know. Essentially it’s just a few pieces of greenery wrapped, tied and trimmed to form a special shape. However, that’s the difference between a regular gift and a unique gift. I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at a simple pink rose bouquet in a tall pink vase. I looked multiple times at the “You Have My Heart” Valentines Day arrangement simply because it uses heather in a unique way. That’s all it takes to make someone pause for a moment. Give them what they want and then a little extra.

Not to be cheesy, but forming unique shapes and lines with flowers is enough to make an ordinary gift into an Extraordinary gift. All it takes is that little extra. Ok, I guess I failed on the cheesy scale but the point is the same. Unique shapes just work.

Unique Containers

Unique Containers

It’s not just the container that makes me like arrangements like the “Candy Bouquet” gift basket. However, it had a huge role. Unique vases and containers make it fun to send flowers. You just want to be there when your buddy receives the gift and smiles.

My friends know about my sweet tooth so candy gift baskets are right up there on the list of “give to Brynn” gift ideas. Candy bouquets can come in many containers though. They can come in a bag and I’d be happy but I wouldn’t be thrilled until I saw a smiling container staring back at me.

Unique containers and vases work wonders when sending flowers also. The containers become keepsakes that the recipient can store for years and think of you every time it’s taken out. I want my friends to think of me and know that it was that little something extra that brought me to their minds.

Elements of Design: Floral Bouquet Centerpieces

Whether a budget-oriented bride or not, being able to use wedding decorations in many areas is always a big perk. Many florists are starting to use bouquets (bridesmaids or bridal) as centerpieces on the main table at the wedding. This is a way to keep the bridesmaids bouquets and wedding bouquets fresh before and after the ceremony. Plus, the bridesmaids are able to just snatch the bouquets out of the water and take them home as a wedding favor!

Using unique vases and containers takes this technique to the next level. Showcase the floral bouquets just a little better with a beautiful vase. Creative containers simultaneously keep the flowers fresh and bring to life all of the effort put into creating the beautiful bouquets.

This idea also works for parties such as bachelorette parties. These bouquets liven up the party decorations and also make great party favors! It’s a win-win for hostesses and guests.

This design technique has become a very popular trend in wedding flowers and is seeing an increase at parties. Florists are happy to showcase their prized creations for a little longer. Brides and hostesses are glad to save a few bucks but still have an elegant, beautiful wedding or party. If you’re looking for a quick centerpiece idea, try this trendy new design technique!

Bouquet Centerpieces from The Flower Patch

Bouquet Centerpieces from The Flower Patch in Gypsum, CO

Short Vase Bouquet Centerpieces from The Flower Patch

Short Vase Bouquet Centerpieces from The Flower Patch in Gypsum, CO

Creative Containers: The Secret To Amazing Fresh Flower Gifts

Fresh Flowers In Terracotta Pot

Fresh Flowers In Terracotta Pot

For many years, fresh flowers have been used in celebrating milestones, showing thanks, expressing sympathy and confirming love. Throughout those many years, new and creative ideas have come and gone in fresh flower design. Though the design techniques are ever-changing in the floral industry, containers often seem too stagnant; limited to simple glass vases or plain wicker baskets. However, over the past couple of years, florists have started to explore the use of unique and creative containers as ways to incorporate hobbies, humor, and originality into fresh flower arrangements.

When you send fresh flower arrangements the style depends on the personality of the recipient or the intended purpose. It’s just not manly to send your father a pastel bouquet in a white basket for Father’s Day. However, the same arrangement would excite your grandmother on her birthday.  When choosing a unique container in which to send fresh flowers, think about the recipient. Begin by considering their hobbies or interests and of course the occasion.

Unique Fresh Flower Containers for Women

Fact: Women love flowers. So even if you send a fresh flower arrangement in a glass vase, she will be more than ecstatic. But to really impress, try being a little creative. Many women like to garden and plant flowers in pots, especially in the spring. Most people assume that garden pots can only be used for planting garden flowers. Wrong!

Decorative Vase With Fresh Flwoers

Decorative Vase With Fresh Flowers

Florists frequently use beautiful indoor and outdoor pots to hold fresh flower arrangements. This is a two-for-one gift. The recipient gets to enjoy the vibrant blooms of the fresh flowers and later the pot can be used for a permanent plant or as a piece of home decor.

Another two-for-one idea is to incorporate a hobby or interest in the flower arrangement. Does she like to cook? Discuss with your florist the options of arranging the fresh flowers in a mixing bowl or possibly a decorative tea pitcher. This unique container idea can help make traditional Mother’s Day gifts extra special. These practical, but lovely items, will keep the memory of your gift alive long after the blooms fade.

Even ornamental vases or decorative boxes can be used as fresh flower arrangement containers. Have you found the perfect decorative vase to give as a gift but simply wrapping it seems mundane? Drop it off at your local flower shop and let them embellish it with flowers and deliver it as well. Adding flowers to a gift always adds a unique and luxurious touch. As your personal gift-giving assistant, your florist can help you add that special touch not to mention save you time and stress.

Unique Fresh Flower Containers for Men

Although many men love to receive fresh flowers, sending a man flowers is a perplexing task. After all, the flower arrangement must convey the message you intend while demonstrating a strong manly presence. Not only must the flowers present this manly intensity but so must the container. However, this does open the door for creativity and manly personalization. Begin by considering whether or not this man has any hobbies. Does he like to fish or hunt? Tackle boxes make a great container for a fresh flower arrangement. It doesn’t have to be a large arrangement either. Maybe you want to get him a tackle box but want to add a little something special to it to make it unique. A florist can add a small arrangement in the top of the box, even incorporating lures and bobbers to make it extra manly. Tool boxes can be used in this same manner. For the “tool man” a florist can include small tools in this arrangement as well.

Fresh Flower Containers for the Home

Creative Container

Creative Container

Although sending flowers as gifts is a wonderful idea for birthdays, anniversaries or any other reason, treating yourself to fresh stems is also a marvelous idea. Your local florist can supply you with fresh stems to use in your home. Bunches of lilies or even tropical blooms look great in any room in the house.

Don’t have any vases? No need to worry; anything that can hold water can hold flowers. Even a slender drinking glasses or a Mason jars make great vessels for fresh flowers. Not only is it nice to have fresh flowers around the home, but studies show that they are also mood elevators.

Needing a pick me up? Grab some fresh flowers on your way home. The smile on your face as your place the flowers in your creative container is a good indication that your mood has been elevated. Now you, too, will know what others already know about surrounding oneself with flowers – happiness follows flowers!

So get creative, not only with the containers used to embrace fresh flowers you give as gifts, but also with the fresh flowers you use in the home. Drop by your local florist today and start experimenting with all of the different ways flowers in creative containers can put a smile on someone’s face including yours.

Do you have a creative container idea? Share it with us! Send your creative container ideas and pictures to social@flowershopnetwork.com or add it to the newsletter in the reply box.

The Secret To Creating Unique Containers

The secret to creating unique containers is…

*drumroll*

Imagination. Indeed, imagination mixed with a little bit of creativity is the secret to creating some of the most fabulously unique containers for all of your arrangements. The most valued vases aren’t the ones that are the biggest and the brightest (necessarily) but rather the ones that express the most unmatched and distinctive qualities.

Creating your own containers and vases is an excellent cost saving measure because it spares the fancy price tag of buying a set amount of someone else’s creations. Better still, each vase or  container becomes instantly one-of-a-kind. There may be similar ones crafted by your own hand, but no two are exactly alike. What a great selling point for a unique gift idea!

Creating Unique Vases Step By Step

There are many ways to design and create your own unique vases. To get you started, here is a technique that many florists have found to be an eye-catching design to customers.

Ribbon is a staple item in local flower shops. It brightens an arrangement and adds color where more is needed. It softens the appeal of the bouquet while adding a very distinctive look. There is, however, another way that ribbon is being used that draws on these well-known qualities. Wrapping ribbon around the vase or container is becoming very popular. Not necessarily covering the entire outside of the vase, a small amount of ribbon can be wrapped around the vase to make a very pretty and distinctive pattern. This enhances the beauty of the flower arrangement while adding an extra pop of color and style. Take a look!

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Begin by wrapping the ribbon around the base of the vase.

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The fun part is in creating these little twists which make the ribbon look like pretty bows!

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Form a bow by twisting the two ends of the ribbon around each other over the center of the vase, making sure to line up the knot with the others.

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After twisting to form the knot, pull both ends tightly. Maintain pressure while wrapping around again or the knot will loosen and come undone.

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Continue to wrap and tie until the top is reached.

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Trim the edges of the ribbon and then you have...

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The Perfect Creative Vase

Like what you see? Find another great tip for creating your own unique vases in this month’s Aspects of Design post.

Aspects of Design: Reviving Neglected Vases & Containers

Ever have a vase that shows up one day with a mysterious defect such as a slight crack or scuffing? I have found a creative way to be able to keep the vase, use it, and make it prettier than before!

Regina Berryman and I were discussing new design techniques when we discovered a slight crack in a vase. It did not penetrate through to the inside (did not allow water leakage) but seemed to be the result of transportation. It also had a bit of scuffing around the defect. We used a tip that we’d learned to make this vase better than before—and all it took was some pot melting glue and spray paint.

First, Regina covered the vase in glue. Spreading the glue on with a thin piece of cardboard, this gave the vase a very unique texture. Note:  Trying to create this at home? Hot glue will work also. Simply use a Popsicle stick or something similar to maneuver the glue.

After the glue dried, Regina lightly spray painted the vase until it was covered in a silvery finish. You can use many colors here to accentuate the colors in your flower arrangements. We chose silver simply because it’s a very clean color that does not detract attention from the flowers.

After the glue dried, Regina applied paint to the vase.

After the glue dried, Regina applied paint to the vase.

The paint was allowed to dry until tacky. Then, powder was lightly applied by hand. This has the same affect as face powder over foundation. It simply creates a consistency that allows the paint to stay on better and maintain its appearance.

Here Regina applies powder to the paint. Believe it or not, it's Cascade® !

Here Regina applies powder to the paint. Believe it or not, it’s Cascade® !

Voila! A one-of-a-kind vase that looks better than ever!

The best hand model ever (me!) displaying a very creative vase.

The best hand model ever (me!) displaying a very creative vase.