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LEARNING THE BASICS - MECHANICS FOR FLOWER ARRANGING

Needlepoints are also known as pinholders or frogs

Mechanics are the devices that assist you in arranging your plant material.  These might include floral foam, pin holders (frogs), glass marbles, crushed chicken wire or willow branches wound around inside a container.   Waterproof tape can be used to criss-cross the opening of a container to provide support.

Learn about wires

NEEDLEPOINTS

Needlepoints are also referred to as pin holders or frogs. A small, round needlepoint is pictured above. 

A pincup is a small cup with needles within that not only helps position stems but also holds a small amount of water. It would be useful when designing on a flat surface or inserting flowers in a design at a higher level.

 

GLASS MARBLES

Glass marbles, some round and some flat, can enhance an arrangement in a glass vase or other container.  Artist glass can be used to provide a color cue for the design.

DESIGN AIDS
Magnetized water tubes, hooks and platforms assist in holding flowers and accessories on a backboard for floral design competition or to position plant material on metal sculptures.

CHICKEN WIRE

Before floral foam, there was chicken wire.  The wire can be carefully crushed, wearing gloves, and inserted into an opaque container. If it will be above the container, but covered with foliage and flowers,  you may want to wrap it with paddle wire to secure the shape.

BRANCHES

Willow comes to mind since it is malleable, but other easily handled branches may be used.  Soak the willow in water overnight, after removing any foliage, and then wrap tightly into the base of a container.  It is generally used in clear containers since its appearance may contribute to the design.

FLORAL FOAM

The most commonly used aid is floral foam.  This product has evolved into myriad shapes in lots of form fit containers to make your design work easier.  It is even available in colored foam powder to fit odd shapes or enhance clear containers. To learn more about floral foam,

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If you want to arrange a simple bouquet, without any extra mechanics, criss-cross your primary stems in the container before arranging the remainder.  The grid formed by the main stems will provide some support for your secondary flowers.

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