In our latest series, Do It Yourself With Flowers, we’re going to show you how to make all kinds of items and decorations for the home and garden using flowers and other cheap materials. First up, a sponge-in-a-box decoration you can put inside or outside!
We will recommend flowers to include to you, but of course you can make your own changes and additions to our suggestions! Whatever you think looks best is most important, so don’t be afraid to add some more splashes of colour or nice smelling flowers! Our suggestion is to include:
In terms of equipment and materials of a non-floral nature, the best way to do it is by using the following:
- A decorative wooden box or container
- Floral foam (very cheap and available in multi-packs online or from most gardening stores)
- Shears (scissors can also do the trick if you don’t have any!)
Once all this is prepared, we’re ready to go!
Step 1 – Prepare the sponge
To start off, immerse two blocks of floral foam into water. It’s best to do this in a bucket full of water to ensure that the foam absorbs as much water as possible to keep the flowers looking fresh for longer.
Then cover the inside of the decorative container with cellophane and put the floral foam inside, as shown above. Try not to force the foam to fit, it may be best to measure and cut to size before placing it into water to avoid any problems at this stage.
In some cases, depending on the container, it may be a good idea to add some extra cellophane underneath the foam to increase the height of it.
Then, you can cut off any excess cellophane which stretches over the side, to leave it looking neat and tidy.
Step 2 – Add fern
Now you can get going with the flowers! Fern is a great filler plant to add volume and depth to any flower arrangement. It’s a great way to really bring your sponge in a box decoration to life!
Fun fact: In Slavic folklore, if you found fern you were believed to be happy and rich for the rest of your life.
Step 3 – Add goldenrods
Next up, you can add some colour to the decoration. Goldenrods are a really good way of doing this, in that they add a bright yellow glint to the arrangement and brighten up the fern, without taking away from the dominance of the main flowers.
Fun fact: Young goldenrod leaves are used in some herbal teas.
Step 4 – Add sunflowers
This is the step where your decoration will really start to take shape. Sunflowers will bring a lot of colour to your sponge in a box and really add light to any room or garden. Usually a symbol of spring and summer, these flowers will definitely brighten up your day when you see them as we get closer to the summer.
Fun fact: Although there are over 73 different types of sunflower, it is protected in the USA by the Endangered Species Act.
Step 5 – Add chrysanthemums
This is where things get really colourful! The chrysanthemums add an explosion of colour at the lower levels of the arrangement, between the fern and goldenrods and the sunflowers. Of course, chrysanthemums come in a host of colours, but we’ve chosen yellow here to go with the surrounding plants that we’ve used.
Fun fact: The chrysanthemum is the official flower of the city of Chicago, and has been since 1966.
Step 6 – Add the finishing touches!
Nearly there! We recommend that you add some small extra touches, just to give it the wow factor! Purple limonium is another popular plant filler that adds a different colour to your arrangement. By adding a third colour, it really helps to emphasize the brightness of your sponge in a box, and adds something a bit different.
Fun fact: While limoniums grow almost anywhere in the world, North America has only three native species, compared to the tiny Canary Islands, which is home to over 100 different types.
Step 7 – Take care of your sponge in a box!
To get the best results, make sure you take care of your sponge in a box. That means watering it every now and again, and when some flowers eventually wilt or die, pick them out and replace them with fresh ones. That way, you can keep it looking good for a long time!
(Not so) Fun fact: It’s a notoriously difficult task to water plants the right amount, and overwatering is the biggest cause of flowers dying. Here are some warning signs to keep an eye out for:
- If your plant has plenty of water, but seems to be wilting
- Leaves turning brown or yellow, this is because the excess water is stopping them getting enough oxygen
- Edema – This is when leaf cells appear to blister, it’s because of the pressure of holding too much water
- Leaves falling off, which can be caused by any of the above reasons
We hope you enjoy making your sponge-in-a-box and that it looks wonderful wherever you keep it! Why not send us your pictures and photos in the comments below? Come back to our blog for the next installment in our Do It Yourself With Flowers series, where we will be showing you how to make a floral wedding basket.