DIY Funeral Flower Arrangements
Funerals are one of the places where flowers are used to convey sympathy. There are different DIY funeral flower arrangements that you can try out with the flowers you have access to.
The common funeral flower arrangements that this article looks at include the standing spray, the casket spray, the open heart, closed heart, standing cross as well as the hand-tied sympathy bouquets that one can send or carry to present to the loved ones.
Although there are no military rules on the colors to use in a funeral arrangement, most people tend to keep things simple and use two or three colors of different types of flowers. White and creams are the more common colors in funeral arrangements, but since flowers bring life to any places they are added, some people don’t see the need to hold back on the colors. The choice is all yours!
In all these arrangements begin working with flowers that have been conditioned so that they are easy to work with and last longer and serve the purpose. Check out this article I wrote about flower conditioning. It is also advisable to use long-lasting flowers such as mums, carnations, roses etc.
DIY Hand-Tied Sympathy Bouquets
A sympathy bouquet is one of the simplest forms of DIY funeral flower arrangements. It can be as simple as having two types of flowers of the same color put together in a nice arrangement. It can also be elaborate with several types of flowers. It all depends on the look you are going for as well as the size you want.
- Mix of flowers
- A mix of foliage if keeping it simple one or two. (leather leaf, sloe leaves, eucalyptus)
- Ribbon or burlap
- Because you are going to use one of your hands to permanently hold the flowers as you arrange, make sure to prep all your flowers before beginning. Stripe all the stems down to a few leaves at the top and remove all thorns especially from roses.
- Make a circle with your thumb and index finger and fit in three stems of the foliage let them fall naturally but have the stems criss-cross.
- Add your main focal flower (calla lilies, roses) one by one making sure there is a balance. If you are using fewer flowers add more of the focal flower. If not, add the second type of flowers by adding one stem at a time, turning the arrangement and adding another one.
- Add some more greenery as you go to achieve balance, texture as well as depth.
- Add the third type of flower if you have one as well as any remaining foliage as you deem fit.
- Once you are satisfied with the look, tie it up at the point you are holding it using the tape.
- When secure, cut off the stems at a reasonable length using secateurs, ensure the stems are all equal.
- Wrap the bottom of the stems with burlap or ribbon to cover them up as well as cover the tape used to hold them together.
- You can also add cellophane paper be it clear or colored and wrap it around the flowers for that beautiful look. Tie the cellophane down with clear tape to hold it in place.
DIY Standing Spray
The standing spray arrangement is one of the most common arrangements in funerals. Although the arrangement might look delicate, it can be secured by fastening it properly to its stand as well as ensuring that the soaked foam is also secure.
- Floral foam cage with foam in it.
- Bind wire and clippers
- Two to three types of foliage
- Different types of flowers
- Attach the soaked cage to the easel securely. Attach the wire to the three edges of the cage and wrap them around the easel. For extra security, some people prefer to wrap the tape around the cage and fasten them on the two front stands of the easel. However, I prefer to leave it at that, so that the two can be easily separated when transporting.
- Begin by attaching the broad foliage palm leaves (you can also use ruscus leaves or any ever-green foliage) to the foam beginning at the top and form a fan-like base going around the cage. Basically, spraying in all directions but keep the top and bottom longer.
- Begin adding the first type of flowers preferably those with long stems (orchids, gladiolus) that will rest naturally and cascading on the long foliage. Arrange them all round by sticking them in the foam at an angle with an imaginary radiating point at the center of the foam.
- Move on to the next type of flowers. If using few types of flowers, just cut the stems of the second layer shorter and repeat the process of attaching them having them fill any spaces between the first layer.
- Get the third type of flowers preferably full flowers (roses, spider mums, etc.) that will occupy space. Also, use the fancy and of course expensive flowers at the center as it the main focus of the arrangement.
- Check the arrangement for any spaces and fill them all up with the different types of flowers that you are using. Make sure to observe balance and not have too much on one side.
- Add a bit of texture to the arrangement by cutting to size and sticking some greenery to the arrangement. The one I like to add is seeded eucalyptus also smells so good. You could also add baby’s breath or any other material to add depth and texture.
- To finish the display, you can also add a ribbon designed according to the size of the arrangement. Attach the ribbon at the bottom and leave the streamers dangling below the arrangements. You can also include or not include a message on the ribbon, most people write messages of condolences.
DIY Double Ended Spray
The double-ended spray arrangement is ideal for placing on top of the coffin. The size that you select will depend on the casket you want to be covered. If it’s a child you want to make it small and vice versa.
- A tray
- Different types of foliage
- Different types of flowers
- Arrange the soaked foam flat on the tray and tape it both along and across making sure that it is firmly in place and with no movement.
- Re-cut two long stems of the first foliage and attach them to the two opposite sides of the block to define the length of the display. Cut two other stems shorter in length and attach them across to determine the width. It should have a cross like-feel.
- In this arrangement, the center of the block is the center of the arrangement and all the foliage will be placed as if it is radiating from this point. Cut foliage making consideration of how it falls naturally as well as splitting it down to appropriate pieces. Add the foliage at diagonal angles methodically all around the block.
- It is advisable to have foliage with a mixture of big, medium, small and fine leaves to create texture in the arrangement. The different types also provide contrast in color.
- Cut largest flowers at an angle and begin adding them in the arrangement. Begin with two long stems and add them on opposite sides along the length of the block. Cut and position the other flowers diagonally remembering to make them seem like they are emanating from the central point. Also, vary the height of the flowers as you cut and stick them in the foam.
- Cut and add the second type of flower you are using in the arrangement. Place them in a staggered line along the length of the display. Remember to add all the way to the ends.
- Proceed with each type of flower making sure to have balance and not have the flowers too crowded on one side. (If you follow the diagonal line arrangement method, this will not happen).
- It is common to have a ribbon attached to funeral arrangements. Fold one out of a ribbon and hold it together using a wire. You can use different types of ribbons including satin, wire ribbon or waterproof In case you want to include a condolence message, use the waterproof ribbon. It’s easy to write on and also does not get damaged easily.
It is good to note that in case the display is for an open casket funeral, you should make a single ended spray. The only difference is that the side towards the head will be short by only putting just enough foliage and flowers to cover the foam and tray.
DIY Open Heart Arrangement
The open-heart arrangement is a great sympathy flower arrangement. It is also one of the easy ones to make and is ideal, to begin with when testing your hand in DIY funeral flower arrangements as it does not require a lot of expertise. The sizes can also vary from small ones to significantly large ones.
- Open heart floral frame fitted with foam.
- Frame stand.
- Garbage paper if your frame doesn’t have a back covering.
- Florist scissors
- Color coordinated mix of flowers (chrysanthemums, roses, carnations, baby’s breath) etc.
- One type of foliage (sloe leaves or any other ever-green you have access to).
- Soak the foam in water. Wrap it all around with the garbage paper (if it doesn’t have a back cover) and secure the end of the paper with tape. The wrapping ensures that all the water does not drain out helping the flowers last longer.
- To begin adding the first set of flowers, start with the fullest of them all. In this case, the roses cut the stems long enough to fit in the foam securely but short enough not to go all the way through and hit the back.
- Arrange the roses all around the ring spacing them methodically. In this arrangement, you can just arrange them vertically and with no diagonal placements.
- Cut the second color of rose flowers and place them strategically between the main ones. Cut and pop the smaller roses in the spaces between the big roses. The third set of flowers should be placed on the sides, to create a full look as well as provide a pleasant look for those looking at the arrangement from the periphery.
- Add the baby’s breath in any remaining gaps between the flowers. Split it up to get some small pieces for all spaces, don’t forget the center.
- Add the greenery, cut the sloe leaves to have a leaf or two and stick them underneath the flowers both on the outside and inside. It not only covers the foam but also lifts up the flowers.
- You can also add a ribbon that matches with the flowers used in the arrangement on the inside part of the top section. Remember to consider the size of the arrangement when selecting the size of the ribbon.
- Attach the arrangement to the stand using a binding wire.
Other DIY funeral flower arrangements that are made in the same way as the open heart arrangement include the standing cross, the closed heart, the square-shaped funeral wreath, and the traditional round wreath. The only thing that is significantly different is the shape of the frame holding the floral foam.
DIY funeral flower arrangements can be pretty intimidating especially the large ones like the double ended spray arrangement and the standing spray arrangement. However, we all learn by doing and practice makes perfect.
Honestly, you have to make some less than appealing arrangements (debatable) before you get better at it.