“This chic and modern composition highlights the drama that dynamic lines and considerate color selection can create.” 

Metallic-painted and texture-embellished wood dowels crisscross with playful intent while creating the support structure for a contemporary elevated design. This artistic composition is suitable home or office décor or as an event centerpiece – anywhere many people will be able to appreciate it! A floral-foam base provides both the water source and a secure foundation under a blanket of crushed mirror glass. Cable ties in a coordinating hue are a functional mechanic that also serve as a design element, and porcupine quills provide a surprise element and enhance the established rhythm and color palette of this floral attention-grabber. Learn the techniques, and adapt this design to make it your own by exploring color, botanical and texture combinations. Stacey Carlton, AIFD, EMC, owner of The Flora Culturist in Chicago, shows you how.


Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis amabilis), Canterbury bells (Campanula medium), carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus), stocks/gillyflowers (Matthiola incana), pincushion flowers (Scabiosa atropurpurea), sea holly (Eryngium ‘Vega Questar’) and ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea) from suppliers of choice; Premium Metals Spray (Super Silver) from Design Master Color Tool; Oasis Metallic Wire (Silver), Oasis UGlu Adhesive Dashes and Oasis Floral Foam Maxlife from Smithers-Oasis North America; yarn, wood dowels, colored cable ties, crushed mirror glass and porcupine quills from craft store or online vendor.


Cut adhesive dashes in half, and set aside. Spray wood dowels with silver paint, and allow to dry. Add soaked floral foam to fill a rectangular container of your choice, ensuring a snug fit. The surface of the floral foam should be below the rim of the container.


Once the wood dowels are dry, insert one into the chuck of a power drill. Apply two half adhesive dashes to the dowel, about 3 to 4 inches apart and 2 to 4 inches from one end. Remove protective paper to expose the adhesive.


Attached one end of a length of decorative wire or yarn to one of the adhesive dashes. Wrap the decorative accent onto the dowel by using the drill on a slow speed. Trim, and secure the other end of the length of wire or yarn onto the second adhesive dash. Repeat this procedure with all the dowels, trimming some with decorative wire and others with yarn in a variety of coordinating hues.


Arrange dowels into the floral foam diagonally, in a slightly disordered manner – varying angles and directions – creating crisscrossing lines.


Attach porcupine quills to the dowels, in varying locations, with colored cable ties.


Trim the ends of the cable ties on a sharp angle, leaving some length


Arrange botanicals so their stems mimic the lines of the dowels. Maintain transparency by removing any visually obstructive foliage from the flower stems.


Pour decorative glass, pebbles, etc., onto the surface of the floral foam. completely covering it.