November 15, 2017

Fresh Flower Cornucopia

Usually you see a cornucopia basket filled with fruits and
vegetables but they are also pretty with flowers in them.
Here's how to make a fresh flower arrangement in a
cornucopia basket. 

A cornucopia basket is shaped like a horn lying on its
side. The word cornucopia is Latin for "horn of plenty".
The cornucopia is a universal symbol of bounty.
In America, it is closely tied to Thanksgiving. 

You can get a cornucopia basket at craft stores.
Another thing you need is fresh flower foam. It may also
say 'wet' foam on the package. Soak the foam according
to the package directions.

If you want to use artificial flowers and greenery for your cornucopia, you can follow these
same directions but you won't need the wet-type of foam.

To protect any surface that your arrangement will be
placed on, you need a container that will hold water
to put the wet fresh flower foam in. 

If it is a clear container, it will be easier to hide.
The container and the foam are known as the
"mechanics" of the arrangement and we want to
conceal those as much as possible. 

The foam needs to fit inside the container. It is very 
easy to cut, either before or after you have soaked it. 

If the arrangement is not going to be transported any
where else, you may not need to do this next step.
If you are going to give the arrangement as a gift or
take it to a Thanksgiving meal at another house, you
need to secure the container in the basket . 

If you have floral putty or clay already you can put
some on the places where the container touched the
 basket. The putty itself may not hold the container 
in place but it will help. 

Pinch off pieces of the floral clay, roll them into balls, stick on the container where it touches 
the basket then press the container very firmly onto the basket.

For sure use floral wire, chenille stems (pipe cleaners)
or some other wire to secure the foam and container
combo in the basket. 

Some floral designers are getting away from using 
the foam because it can be hard to hide but for this
application, it is probably the best bet. To help hide
the foam I like to go on and use greenery first. You can
put the flowers in first and then see where you need to
hide the foam and container but you run the risk of 
breaking flower heads to get the greenery down low.
Also add enough greenery to make like a "privacy fence" so the upper inside of the basket is not visible. 

If the front of the container is still visible after adding
greenery, you could stuff a little moss on it.

Try to find greenery that is not too big but has leaves
tight together...I call it "bunchy stuff". If you don't have
a place you can forage for greenery, most places that
sell flowers also carry greenery called leather leaf fern.
Especially if your arrangement is going to be on a dining table be sure to clean any dirt off of the leaves. 

On the day I happened to go on a "cornucopia flower 
arrangement marathon", I didn't want to drive to town
to look for very cheap clear plastic containers. The best
I could find nearby was these foil pans.

I had some black and some green spray paint that I
used to give a camouflage treatment to the foil pans.
It did help but greenery was still needed to hide them.

The foil pans can be shaped somewhat
 to fit in the narrow end of the basket.

On ones that I was keeping to use in my own house,
I tried cutting down the front of the pans so the stems
of the flowers and greenery could go almost straight 
sideways into the wet foam. The cut down pan did
leak a little while I was carrying the arrangement to
its place but not after it was set up. 

After hiding your mechanics, you can start adding airier 
lighter greenery to the edges of the arrangement. 

Depending on how your cornucopia arrangement
is going to be used, you can keep more greenery-type
 elements close to the mouth of the basket or go wild.

If the arrangement is going to be on a table where
folks are eating, you will keep it where it won't get
in the way of conversation and beverage glasses.

If it is going to be on a mantel, entry hall table, etc.,
you can add larger pieces of greenery and branches.

Time to add flowers! Cornucopia baskets are usually 
not huge so it won't take a lot of flowers. You will 
need, ideally, three focal flowers. These are larger
flowers (like a lily or rose) or flowers with a big
 "face" (like a sunflower or large mum). 

Place your focal flowers in the foam near the visual
center of the basket opening but not at the center. 
Push them in the foam at slightly different angles
but as if they are radiating from the center. 

After placing the focal flowers you can start adding
smaller flowers to the foam. Since you don't need long
stems on your flowers for this type arrangement, you can
cut ones with several flowers on one stem to act
almost like two stems of flowers. 

If some of the flowers on a long stem are not going to
show after it is put in the foam, cut them off and use
them as individual stems.

When you are pushing stems into the foam be sure
that you don't push the end of the stem all the way
 through the foam. The end of the stem needs to be
in the foam to get water and stay fresh. Cut down the
stem length on long stemmed flowers.

The stems will be easier to push in the foam if the leaves are removed. 

The most current trend in placing flowers in an 
arrangement is to mostly keep flowers of a certain
 color together. You can do whatever looks pretty to you. 
Place focal flowers

Add other large flowers next. Smaller flowers can be near the edge of the arrangement.

The arrangement keeps the orange flowers together, the white roses flowing into each
 other and the purple-tone flowers along the edge.

Another trend in flowers now is to use interesting 
greenery, vines or even branches in arrangements.

If the vines are still alive and pliable they can be twisted into a shape like the letter "P" . Stick the bottom 
of the "P" into the wet foam and the leaves will stay alive (for a while at least).  You can do several vines
together to give it more strength. 

Have fun being your own floral designer!

 Want know how I ended up with so many cornucopia arrangements? One day I decided to I was going to give
  away the many cornucopia baskets that I had bought at
 90% off  but had only sat in my attic unused for years. 

Before I went to the Goodwill donation center, I 
stopped by the grocery store. They had most of their
 flowers marked down to half off! Since I already had floral
foam on hand I decided to get the markdown flowers, bring
the baskets back home and make arrangements for myself
and for my neighbors.

If you want to see more examples of cornucopia flower
arrangements scroll on down...

I am sharing this post over at these blog parties...
Home and Garden Thursday @ A Delightsome Life
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
BFF Open House Link Party @ The Answer is Chocolate
Flaunt It Friday @ Chic On A Shoestring


  1. These are gorgeous! I some some cornucopias at the store and didn't have the faith in myself to try something like this but it sounds easy enough!

  2. Your flower creations are stunning! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  3. It's amazing, thank you for sharing with me how to decorate to have a beautiful vase

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