Perpetual Blooms

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Perpetual Blooms

This flower arrangement is made of easy-to-grow garden flowers that can be found at a florist shop as well. It is assembled as a fresh centerpiece; when left unwatered, it becomes a long-lasting dried wallhanging. It could have a variety of uses; as centerpieces at your reception or to decorate the cake table or gift table.

This craft is courtesy of Country Sampler Decorating Ideas and is used by permission. They retain all rights; copyrights to all contents, directions, and images are the property of Country Sampler Decorating Ideas.

 

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • Gypsophila (baby’s breath)
  • Amaranthus
  • Heather
  • Hydrangea
  • Larkspur
  • Lemon leaves
  • Delphinium
  • Bear grass
  • Glass hurricane candle shade
  • 3 candles with holders (small enough to fit in hurricane shade)
  • 4 large trays with Oasis floral foam
  • Floral adhesive
  • 24-gauge floral wire
  • Floral picks
  • Cling wrap
  • Design Master Color Tool in Basil
  • Pencil
  • 1/2″ foam board
  • Craft snips
  • Awl
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks
  • Utility knife
  • Cutting board

Note: All floral materials should be freshly cut and kept in water until ready for assembly. While the floral arrangement is drying, it will shrink. Purchase extra baby’s breath and hydrangea (these shrink the most), and allow them to dry in a vase. Fill in your arrangement with these later to make up for shrinkage. If you prefer other flowers, check with your florist to make sure they are appropriate for this technique.


PREPARING THE BASE:

To form base, place four trays of Oasis foam so they form an open square, with an end butted against a side, and so on. Secure the trays together in an open square with strips of floral adhesive at each joint (see photo below).

To prepare backing for hanging arrangement when it is dry, lay base on foam board and trace inside and outside with pencil. Remove base and cut out frame shape with utility knife, removing inside (see photo below). To give dried arrangement a more finished appearance, spray front, back, and sides of foam board with Basil Design Master. Let paint dry. Set aside until arrangement has dried.

Moisten foam under running water or submerge in water. Let excess water drip from the foam and then replace foam in the trays.

To add stability to floral base and to give stems a better surface through which to be attached, tightly wrap several layers of cling wrap around square foam base, coming up through the center and around to the outside (see photo below). Continue wrapping several layers, covering the foam surface and binding the corners of the square together. This will also help the arrangement stay fresh longer.

FRESH ARRANGEMENT:

Note: The variety of florals chosen for this arrangement balance each other nicely. When dried, they have different levels of fragility. By placing the sturdiest florals on the outside and the most frail on the inside, the piece has a better chance of surviving as a dried arrangement for many seasons without losing excessive blossoms.

Begin by placing cut branches of lemon leaves in a layer around the base of the foam. The stems of the lemon leaves are rather stiff, so they should go through the cling wrap easily. If not, use the awl to poke a hole through the cling wrap and then place stem (see photo below).

The next layer is heather. Again, use awl to make hole in cling wrap prior to placing stem.

 

Layer in clusters of delphinium, amaranthus, and larkspur, concentrating placement in the corners.

Line center of arrangement with the hydrangea. Hydrangea is delicate, so carefully cut it into smaller clusters and wrap stems with floral wire to strengthen them so they can be tucked securely around the inner edge of the arrangement.

Fill in around wreath with baby’s breath, staying close to the inner edge. As with hydrangea, wrap with floral wire, if necessary, for added strength.

For each corner of the arrangement, make clusters of six or seven blades of bear grass. Lay a floral pick along the base of each cluster, with sharp end pointing downward. Wrap pick and base of cluster with pick’s floral wire and insert one cluster into each corner. Place cluster deep enough to hide pick.

When using as a centerpiece, lay arrangement on table and center candles in holders inside the square. Place hurricane shade carefully over candles.

 

DRIED ARRANGEMENT:

The fresh arrangement will last for a week to 10 days if Oasis is kept moistened. As it dries, bear grass will curl and flowers will shrink. Use hot glue to secure loose foliage and add extra dried flowers to fill in where holes from shrinkage is obvious (see photo below).

Before attaching the dried arrangement to the backing, attach a wire hanger to the backing so the arrangement can hang on the wall. In one corner, use an awl to poke two holes about 4″ apart, 3″ down from point and 1″ in from each side edge. Spacing should keep wire from tearing foam board. Thread wire through foam board, pull taut against foam board, and hot glue wires in holes to secure (see photo below). Twist ends of wires together to make hanger.

For backing, use hot glue to attach foam board frame to back of tray base. Secure frame to arrangement with a few wrappings of floral wire. As you wrap, feed wire through base of flowers and come out the other side. Protect wall from wires by trimming twisted ends short and keeping them at the sides of the arrangement.

The information on this instruction sheet is presented in good faith, but no warranty is given, nor results guaranteed, nor is freedom from any patent is to inferred. Since we have no control over physical conditions surrounding the application of information herein contained, Country Sampler Decorating Ideas disclaims any liability for untoward results.