Curious Lola

Make a Floral Centerpiece with a Vine Foliage Cage

Spring is just around the corner and seriously, who doesn’t love having some flowers to brighten up the house? Learn this quick and eco-friendly way to create a beautiful floral arrangement with a vine foliage cage. You know we don’t use flower foam so it’s our go-to, tried and true way of keeping stems in place. Reference our video version of this tutorial if you’re wanting some more tips on creating this!

If this is your first time making a centerpiece, fear not! We have another video that covers our common-sense method on flower placement. It’s right here: centerpiece demonstration It goes a bit more in depth.

Supplies needed:

  • vase
  • floral tape
  • chicken wire
  • bind wire, cut into 1″ pieces
  • floral clippers
  • wire cutters
  • water
  • flowers, of course! We go to our local wholesale floral market, but you can find some goodies at your local store or garden.

First, use your wire cutters to snip a piece of chicken wire from the roll. For this size of pot, I cut a piece about 6 inches wide. Bend the chicken wire into a ball shape and tie the ends around one another to secure it. Then, place it in your vase.

Tear off strips of floral tape and place them like a grid over your ball. This will ensure the chicken wire won’t fall out. Once it feels sturdy, add the water.

Strip the bottom of your vines of leaves and little sprouts. Begin weaving them through the wire structure.

Once you have a few stems in the base, choose two vines and attach them with a piece of bind wire in a place they might naturally grow together. Continue to add in vines and sprigs of Jasmine until your foliage cage feels full and strong.

Just let it get wild…

Now it’s just about full enough to support some flowers. Add in them flowers!

Taa-daa! You have made a glorious, foam-free floral arrangement! Snap a picture and show off, be sure to tag us so we can enjoy your work too!

We’ll be featuring this arrangement and others in a moody photoshoot we did about a Subterranean Moth-Fairy who is waiting in her underground den for spring to come. Oh and she’s a hoarder… Ha! To hear more about our hoarder fairy and the next DIYs from that shoot. You’ll want to SUBSCRIBE!

 

Here’s a sneak peak:)

Ugh. I just love those moody blooms.

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Seamless Take-Offs and Landings

Starting out, this business can seem like it’s exploding one moment, and fizzling the next. When exploding, it’s easy to feel like we are barreling toward a bright, uncertain, fiery end, with our parts being thrashed around and coming loose. These times are exciting and all-consuming. Once we climax at a shining glorious event, we fizzle back to reality, thin, used up, and with a smile on our faces. As we come to, we are surrounded with the neglected routine to resume. Oops.

larch

I had a little moment of clarity this past month regarding how this company will function as we grow bigger. Luckily, it aligns with goal number 4 of our little manifesto in our first post. And I think it’s going to go far in terms of providing the kind of consistency that we need. While it’s normal to focus heavily on an urgent event, we need to keep our long-term goals in check with systems and routines. Here’s what we did this month to handle a surprising number of large events during a typically slow period:

  • Hire flexible people early, get them trained. Pull back in employees from busy times. Test out new techniques and materials early.
  • Hire professionals on a project basis to handle management of a few key areas. This month, we had someone in charge of procuring items (fancy speak for driving around gettin’ stuff) and floral design. We added people to our buying accounts and ordered AMEX cards for our employees for hassle free purchasing.
  • Delegate the pieces: A few key pieces were doled out to employees. They became responsible for following through on the complications that arose with each piece. Rather than me as lead on every piece, I became the orchestrator who tried to support the people making everything. This became essential when the inevitable hang up occurred. I was available to either jump in and help, or switch our team to a new direction. Without my head into the specifics of each piece, I was able to move resources around to the most urgent needs. We also had one employee who managed incoming inquiries and normal day-to-day requests. She followed up with everyone and scheduled consultations.
  • Remove yourself as a barrier. Each person was used where they were most effective and removed where they were not. For example, I know that I don’t have the best tact nor do I speak clearly when exhausted, so it was best to put one of our managers in charge during the client walk throughs. Same goes for staffing the event.
  • Reign in your perfectionism. Quality is essential but when one little detail is slowing progress, it’s important to identify if that detail is essential. If not, work around it or eliminate it and move on.
  • Tap into your resources. It’s difficult to anticipate everything that can go wrong, but being resourceful helps to smooth out the inevitable hang ups. In one extreme case, during a particularly overwhelming task, we called everyone we knew in to assist. We even posted a Craigslist ad at 9pm for ‘people with hammers’ to come in to work late that night. We were overwhelmed with interest. While we didn’t end up using the Craigslist people, that opened up a new avenue of help if things ever got so hairy. We now have a screened list of on call handy people who are willing to work all hours. Awesome.

What we did let slide a bit was our marketing and social media efforts. We’ll be looking into ways to create content that’s ready to go for busy times such as this. Marketing we’ve learned we need to do year round- even in busy times as it’s about a 3-6 month lag before we see results from many marketing efforts.

Any suggestions on tools for maintaining consistency?

A Sustaina-Ball Flower Arrangement

Everything we learned, we learned in kindergarten. Right? I don’t know if you remember this little craft. You may have been too busy eating the dried paste off your desk…. waaaaait, that may have been me. In any case, this is a great craft to be resurrected and given new life.  And so fitting that this arrangement is all about new life. Springtime and sustainability. Everything about this arrangement is either recycled (glass vase), organic, or local AND organic. This can be traced back to our other kindergarten lesson, be good to the earth.

 

These string balls are so versatile. I love their airy forms. If you’d like a how-to, I used the instructions from Wednesday Designs here. Although, I must say, I will mess with the recipe next time. Maybe leave out the cornstarch. I didn’t like having to break out all the little glue windows. However, I may have been too gloppy…. sometimes I can be too gloppy.

Local sustainably grown flowers included Viburnum, Hellebore, Agrostis, budding pussy willow, Green Ball Flower (I actually don’t know the real name), and parrot tulips.

And here is one of our clam-mouthed parrot tulips.

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