Tired of the usual seasonal wreath on the front door and want to do something else? Yeah, we hear you! That's why years ago we researched the available options, and ultimately created our own PERFECT hanging basket! It's just the perfect alternative to adding some color and interest to your front door in a different way vs. a wreath! After all, when it comes to creating a welcoming home for guests.... you CAN NOT forget the front door! That's the first impression guests get to see, not to mention people who drive by! And even if you DON'T REALLY want to have guests, you should at least create the illusion you would welcome them. (Am I the only person who hides when the doorbell is rang?) So, in our never-ending effort to share Designer Secrets we've discovered in over our combined 50 years of experience in the Flower business, here's our 2 go-to ways we prep our Hanging Baskets to fill them with floral stems!
Way 1: We Could All Use a Little Underwire Support
The first option is the PERFECT SOLUTION if you constantly second guess where to put stems and end up wanting to move things around as you go. If you can identify with that, our wire netting is the way to go! And it's not just the answer for making an arrangement in our basket, this option can work with making any arrangement in a vessel you can't see through (especially wide mouth containers). For our first option, you'll just need a piece of our wire netting, and the basket. Our 12"X24" wire netting is the perfect way to add a support structure or grid to tuck stems in, while not making it even semi-permanent! Simply scrunch up the wire netting to fit inside the vessel, and you will instantly be ready to start creating! Don't be worried about keeping the wire straight or neat! The more directions the net folds and moves, the more grid structures it creates to help stems stay in the place you put them! Tuck and insert stems until your heart explodes with happiness, with your arrangement! THEN, when another season rolls around (or when you just want to switch it up), you can carefully pull the stems out and tuck in the next collection of pretty things! That's right, leave the wire, and start over! It's that simple! So, start fluffing, shoving, and creating!
-Very fast to get ready and start creating
-Very forgiving in placement
-You can use same container over and over
-Few materials needed.
-It's not permanent and things can come out if a stem is not in a good spot.
Way 2: FOAM IT IN BABY
Ok, full disclosure...this is how we make 99.99% of the baskets we make in-store. And that's simply because it's a more permanent option and our clients don't want to change it out. It takes longer from start to finish but gives you a more solid base to use. For this option, you'll need a can of Spray Foam, a brick of floral foam, some paper to protect the surface you're working on, the basket, some sheet moss, some thick wire or pins. This option is not something you can do in 5 minutes and be ready to tuck flower stems. Just know this is a multiple-step process that you'll have to come back later.
Before you start: Think about where you are going to do this. It can be messy, and the spray foam has to sit to cure. So, you don't want it to be in a high traffic area where people unknowingly will get into it or bump into, OR where a curious pet will get an unfortunate surprise.
Step 1: Lay the basket down and tuck in the floral foam to fit into the top of the basket. You can actually leave the top of the foam just above the mouth of the basket if you want, like by .5" or less. But don't tuck the top foam way below the mouth of the basket and down inside. The top rim of the basket and the flowers will help hide any foam that comes through the woven wicker. If you need to trim the floral foam brick down, you can do that with a knife. If you have a lot of space between the edges of the brick of foam and the basket, no worries the foam will take care of that.
Step 2: Lay the paper you have on whatever surface you are going to leave the basket w/foam to cure. Take the can of spray foam and add the long spray tip and shake according to the directions. Point the tip into the void around the foam and slowly spray in the foam, making sure to make contact with both the insides of the basket AND the floral foam. The spray foam will expand and harden and will hold the foam brick into place. THESE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL THINGS TO REMEMBER: 1) Do NOT touch the wet spray foam with your hands (or with anything, really)! It's nearly impossible to get off whatever it touches. (if some falls on the ground, let it harden before you try to pick it up. It's easier to scrape, cut, or sand off hard) 2) Less is more! It will grow and expand with a mind of its own, and we don't want it to expand too much and come through the woven parts and be messy. 3) Don't forget the area behind the brick foam and the back inside of the basket. I usually just add a small tuck of spray foam on the front and focus more on the sides and the back. If it expands to where you can see it on the back, it goes against a door and no one is going to see it.
Step 3: Step away and forget it for at least an hour or 2 (truthfully overnight is best). The thicker the spray foam is, the longer it will take to cure. Use this time to use the remaining spray foam to fill in some areas that needed some extra filling around the house in the basement! The point here is that it's nearly impossible to try to use a can again once the nozzle is filled with dried spray foam, so use it while you have it available. You can get SEVERAL baskets out of the can of foam! We'll often fill up 12-15 baskets at a time to spread out the foam. So either do a bunch of baskets or containers at once or have your additional home projects lined up (Where's that honey-do list?).
Step 4: You want to make sure the foam has fully dried through. We suggest sticking a long nail or something thin and hard down into the foam through at the center of the thickest space of spray foam. Pull it out and if there is any sticky residue, it doesn't want to pull out easily without any resistance, or there's wet strings of foam coming as you pull out, the foam isn't fully cured yet. So you need to wait a while longer. HERE'S A VERY IMPORTANT PART TO NOTE: If you continue on without the foam being fully cured it could prove to be a disaster. That's because the foam continues to expand until it dries and the pressure from expansion will shoot the liquid foam out any place where it can go, including the hole you just punctured. Believe us, we're speaking from experience! I once had an arrangement that I had to get done by a deadline, and I used too much foam, and didn't let it cure....and the next morning when I came in, it had sprouted growths of foam all over in the arrangement and it had to be trashed and started over. So, this is something you CAN'T RUSH. After you've confirmed the Spray Foam has cured, you can continue using a serrated knife to easily cut through the expanded foam that comes above the mouth of the basket. I wouldn't use a knife that you're going to eat with again, an old knife will be just fine. This just neatens it up and makes adding the moss in the next step. You can toss the pieces you cut off into the trash.
Step 5: Cover the floral foam and spray foam with some kind of moss, either sheet moss or Spanish. You can attach it with our floral pins, or you can use any bobby pin (spread apart as you shove in), or any thicker wire you can make into a U shape and stick into the foam. Covering with moss does 2 things! It covers the ugly stuff, but maybe more importantly also helps you use fewer flowers in the long run! YOU SEE....when you're adding the flower stems, if you see the naked foam, you'll just add and add until you can't see it. Whereas if it's covered in moss, you don't have that same inclination! And anytime you can save some money, why not. 🙂 If you want your stems to stay in place "forever", hot glue the stems in when you insert them into the foam. If you just want them secure, but might change it out later, you can simply stick the stems into the foam without any glue. This will allow you to pull the stems out later and use the container again maybe once or twice. HOWEVER, by creating multiple open holes in the structure, over time you will weaken the foam and it will just crumble eventually.
Step 6: Start fluffing, shoving, and creating!
-Creates a sturdy base to insert stems.
-Can be semi permanent or "permanent"
-Takes a long time to get ready to use
-Need more materials to make
-Not as forgiving in moving stems around
-Can only be used (if florals aren't glued in) 2 times
-Messy to do
And look, you may be tempted to not do either of these options, and think that you can just tuck the stems into the basket. And while that's true, that is an option. It's a bad option. You can tell when this is the case, all of the stems fall down to the mouth of the basket and there is no way to control them. EVEN WORSE.... none of us need your flower stems blowing down the neighborhood! We've seen it too many times! So please choose one of these 2 ways to create your masterpiece!
Regardless of which option you go with, it will help you create a beautiful arrangement that helps create a welcoming entrance to your home. Now.... if you actually answer the door bell and let people through the door...that's up to you! But the chances of you becoming "that" neighbor become much less by hanging something beautiful on your door! That is unless you're yelling "Get off my lawn" all of the time or are the HOA police! 🙂 And for goodness sake....don't forget to give the out good candy at Halloween!