This alternative floral design idea—like rock ’n roll—may not appeal to all, but it will find fans among those who appreciate new and nontraditional expressions of art.

In a time of “new normals”—where nothing “expected” is happening, we, as floral designers, have a perfect opportunity to show consumers that we can create not only beautiful traditional arrangements but also dramatic and daring designs, sometimes out of unexpected elements.

This work of floral art, from Erik Witcraft, AIFD, CFD, showcases glorious Rio Roses, Rio Carnations and Rio Specialty Flowers in a contemporary, one-of-a-kind, custom-crafted “container” fashioned from heavy-duty drawer/shelf liner and pussy-willow reeds/stems. With such a creation, remember to charge appropriately for your artistic talents, just as any designer or artisan of custom handcrafted goods— from fashion designer to sculptor, glass blower and others—does.

Step 1

Cut the drawer/shelf liner into several strips, each 5 to 6 inches wide.

Step 2

Staple the drawer-liner strips to create a “ribbon-candy” pattern. Then staple several of the ribbon-candy-shaped sections together to create a structure of the desired length. Alternative method: Create the entire ribbon- candy-shaped structure in one piece, stapling the drawer/shelf liner in the center of each alternating series of loops as you go.

Step 3

Glue a small round piece of polystyrene foam into a cast-iron pillar candle base (or similar heavy base container) with hot-melt (pan) glue.
Dip one end of two straight pussy- willow reeds/stems into hot-melt (pan) glue, and insert the stem ends vertically into the polystyrene foam, creating two “uprights.”
Wire a long straight pussy-willow reed/stem horizontally atop the two vertical willow stems with metallic wire.

Step 4

Cover the surface of the polystyrene foam with moss. Secure the moss to the foam with greening pins or hairpin wires.

Step 5

Suspend the drawer-liner structure from the horizontal pussy-willow reed/stem by wiring it in several places with metallic wire.

Step 6

Dip the bottoms of several 4” water tubes into hot-melt (pan) glue, and place them into ribbon-candy/drawer-liner loops so that the tops of the water tubes are just below the top edges of the loops. Alternate the water-tube placement in every other loop on each side of the structure.

Step 7

Arrange the flowers into the water tubes, starting with Rio’s ‘3D’ roses, followed by the carnations, Ranunculus, zonal geranium foliage and Clematis vine, in that order.