Basic Florals
Taught by Nora Creeach of Bluebonnet Crafters

Lesson 3


The horizontal design is made to go on a low table where it is seen from all angles or as the centerpiece in a dining table display. It should be one and one half times its' height but in most presentations it should not be more and 8" to 10" high to allow for comfortable conversation across the table.

The shape is established with line material going from left and right of your base. You also will add line material from the front and the back that is only half the length of the end pieces. Use of foliage and greenery filling in along this line on both sides makes a good platform for your arrangement.

The tallest form flower is placed in the center of this arrangement and then additional form flowers are extended to fill in the line from the top of the center flower to near the end of the right and left hand line material.

The front to back line is established in the same manner. Additional form and filler material is added to fill in but not extend beyond the established line. This arrangement can be compact by using a lot of form flowers and foliage or it can be made lighter and airier by the addition of more filler material. If the foam base can be seen Spanish or sheet moss needs to be used to cover the mechanics. It doesn't matter if the actual stems are visible but if you have had to "pick" any of the flowers or use other mechanical means to establish the design this should never be visible.

Novelty Arrangement

Novelty Arrangement

Any of the designs or shapes mentioned can be classed as novelty arrangements with the addition of novelty material whether it be the container, figurines or other novelty additions.

The mound arrangement done in fall colors of oranges, golds and yellows becomes a novelty arrangement with the addition of a small scarecrow.

The crescent with a single flower and the addition of oriental type figurines is also a novelty arrangement.

A fan of bright colored flowers placed in a baby boot container is also a novelty. Let your imagination be your guide when you pick the containers and additions to accent your design.

Ribbon can always be added
see Floral Bows to enhance an arrangement

Non Traditional Arrangements

Fruit & Flower Non-Traditional

Non traditional arrangements can still follow the basic shapes but are not tied to them. You can have a fan shape of some material incorporated into a mound or round shape giving height and a back drop to the design.

This area is one that you should have fun trying different arrangements or non arrangements. You will be able to tell if the design is going to work. If it doesn't look right change it until it does.

Not all designs need to be three dimensional. A fan can be used in a tall standing basket as the alter presentation at a wedding. There your line will be established by the three longest line materials, one straight up, one straight out to the right and one to the left. Additional line material fill in the curve from the far right to the center to the far left. Form and filler flowers going approximately two thirds of the way up the length of the establishing line material are used to complete the arrangement.

In the modern florals available don't neglect the addition of berries, fruits, vegetables and some of the very interesting line materials with the twist and curves and curly Q's. A small amount of any of these make interesting accents to your designs. I suggest that you all take a trip to the local craft outlet floral department and see what is available.

It wouldn't hurt to make simple arrangements in your hand to see how different materials look together. Carry a note pad and a pen and write down the names of some of the material that you find looks good together. Also, check the pre made floral arrangements they have available and again list the components, draw simple pictures so that when you need an arrangement you can check through your sketch pad and find the beginning of a design that will work for the occasion.

Expanding Design

The next design we'll talk about will be an expanding design. You will start with a basic arrangement that can be added to and increased as your material and time allow. You may begin with the basic arrangement in silk and expecting company add to it to achieve the first variation, later on find something else that will blend well and you now have a second variation and for a special occasion the third variation on the theme can be produced with the addition of more floral material.

This arrangement is a stepped design. This can be achieved by a large fairly open container with the second sitting inside for height or the height can be achieved by shaping your foam in a step in one container.

The Basic Design


Prepared container
Line material
Form flowers, 3 large and a number of smaller
Spanish moss or sheet moss

Begin by covering your foam with either the Spanish or sheet moss. Depending on where the design will be displayed your step will go either right or left from the front of the design. Place three line foliage pieces, two on the top step and one on the step below toward the back of the arrangement. Angle them slightly so they look natural rather than just "stuck" in straight.

Your form flowers are placed at the base of the two tall leaves, on the front of the step and at the base of the leaf on the lower step. Use broad leafed foliage and a few smaller form flowers to fill in around the large form flowers. These should camouflage the mechanics of the foam step arrangement but not necessarily hide it.

Variation #1

Expanding on the basic we add a different large form flower (or more of the same) beginning half way up the height of the line flower in the basic and graduating down to the form flowers already in place. This should be an open arrangement so they should not be placed too closely together in this area. We will then add a few more extending from your lower form flower on a horizontal diagonal.

Variation #2

We increase the value of the design by the addition of more form flowers. They can be extended out to the left and used to fill in between the elements of the existing design.

Variation #3

Additional line material is added so you have three on the top step, three on the second step and one to the tall side of the step where the form flowers have been extended in variation # 2 and two extending from the top of the lower step off to the right where the form flowers were added in variation # 1. This will give you a total of 9 line flowers extending from the upper left hand side around to the lower right hand side of the arrangement with the form flowers fanning from the base out in all directions.

Click HERE for information on Dried Florals.

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Basic Florals

Bluebonnet Crafters
Bluebonnet Village Craft Network

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