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alternate vessels for plants...

alternate vessels for plants

As a lover and collector of vintage objects and vessels, I always find myself with these items I love but never really make use of. I'll get that vintage bowl set from the flea market, a tiny brass trophy, or a beautiful Japanese tea kettle only to see them collect dust because they're not functional on a daily basis. So we decided to finally use them for something...holding flowers and plants! This is an easy and beautiful way to keep those vessels around but also actually use them every day. Here are a few ways we used a few from my own collection....

alternate vessels for plants

My friend, Jihan, gave me this tiny vintage brass trophy a couple years ago, and I love it. It's perfectly suited for just a couple blooms and great when when you come across a flower that fell off a nearby bush and deserves to be celebrated.

alternate vessels for plants

I bought these beautiful Japanese tea kettles a few years ago in Kyoto, but now I find myself using an electric kettle when I need hot water fast. They're too beautiful to get rid of, so I used the shorter one for holding a pre-potted plant and the larger one for holding fresh florals. The taller vessels are better suited for fresh flowers while shorter ones are best for plants that might need to hold soil.

alternate vessels for plants

I fell in love with this set of vintage dessert bowls and look at them every day but have yet to use them for actual dessert. So we turned one into a little succulent garden.

alternate vessels for plants

Finally, we removed the top of this ice cream cone piggy bank and it turns into a quirky vase for a fresh set of blooms. 

Quick tip...In terms of drainage for plants, if you're using a plant that needs good drainage, consider drilling a hole at the bottom of the vessel if you're okay with making that permanent change to the piece (ie. in plastic or metal). But if you're using a glass vessel or something you can't drill a hole into, then stick to flowers or use succulents where you can place rocks on the bottom for drainage.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester and Joy Cho... Table Runner from Pom Pom at Home}

how to use a flower frog...

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

Have you ever wondered how florists and stylists make their flower arrangements look so good? Sometimes you can buy the prettiest flowers, but once you place them in a vase (especially vases that have a large opening), they just flop to the side and don't look like that glorious arrangement you imagined it would be. The simple answer to making an arrangement look totally legit is to use a flower frog!

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

There are many different kinds of flower frogs, but here are three of the most common and our favorites:

1. Cage - metal or plastic holders formed like a dome or cage to keep stems in place.

2. Glass - a heavy glass piece with holes to hold each stem. They come in a variety of different colors and most commonly found as vintage.

3. Pin - a heavy metal base with spiky pins to hold stems in place. This is the most common type of flower frog and the easiest to find at a very reasonable price. We always have a couple of these on hand at home and at the studio for arrangements.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

Dropping fresh cut flowers in a vase can be beautiful, but flower frogs are necessary when you need something a little more elaborate or when you have a container with a wide opening. These types of vases (shown above) are the types where a flower frog makes a world of difference. We're showing you a few of these examples with a short, square vase and a tapered wide-mouth vase. So that instead of looking limp and lacking structure...

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

...it looks like this! Here are a few tricks for using a flower frog like a pro:

1. Decide if this will be a centerpiece or if it will sit against a wall so you can decide how to build it. We like to start at the back for an arrangement that will be placed against a wall and start on the inside and work your way out for a centerpiece arrangement. (The example above shows a piece where we started from back to front).

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

2. Fill the vase with the secondary (less expensive florals and filler) first to create the shape and height before you add the “wow” flowers (in our case, the peonies). Then use the more wispy elements to fill holes and add interest. For this square vase we used the cage frog and filled in the back with large secondary blooms including hydrangea and chrysanthemum. We cut the stems slightly larger for the blooms in the back of the arrangement to create an illusion of height and then tapered it down to the front.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

3. If you're using a clear glass vase, you can use extra greenery and leaves to wrap inside the vase to hide the stems and flower frog. Once the shape of the arrangement is there, we put in the fuchsia cockscomb and the pink peonies. We then camouflaged the flower frog with a fern leaf and several leaves from the hydrangea.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

For the tapered vase, we used a pin frog that fit right in the bottom of the vessel. We styled it as a centerpiece and created a first ring of chrysanthemums before adding greenery and then finishing with the peonies. Whichever way you go, the idea is simply to start with a base of flowers and add height, texture and points of focus as you build. The flower frog helps keep everything in place and if you change your mind, just remove it and place it somewhere else!

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

More than anything, just have fun with it. We're not a professional florists over here, so there are surely other rules that others could tell you about arranging flowers. But these are some general rules that work for us for something quick, easy, and beautiful!

And ps. a quick tip since some flowers come totally closed up when you buy them—if you have a floral bud that has yet to fully open, use warm water in your arrangement and it will open faster.

{Photos by Casey Brodley. Styling and florals by Ariel Fulmer.}

girls holding flowers...

flower girl by Luisa Brimble

flower girl by Luisa Brimble

flower girl by Luisa Brimble

flower girl by Luisa Brimble

flower girl by Luisa Brimble

...a gorgeous series by Luisa Brimble.

baby's breath can be cool...

Baby's Breath Wreath

I don't know about you, but there's only one kind of baby's breath that I can't get enough of (and that's attached to my little Coco). The flower kind on the other hand has always seemed like an unnecessary floral to me used as a filler in cheesy, gifted bouquets. And because I love challenges, we challenged ourselves to do something with baby's breath that doesn't look cheesy...

Baby's Breath Wreath

I love wreaths and think they they should be a year-round thing. So why not use the above-mentioned questionable flower to make a decorative wreath? With the addition of other fresh flowers, it's really pretty for a party or event for the day. And, if you want it to last longer, use flowers that will dry nicely the way that baby's breath does.

Baby's Breath Wreath

Here's what you'll need:

- gold embroidery (we used a 10 inch hoop) 

- floral wire

- flowers (we used baby's breath mixed with freesia and hydrangea) 

- leather or faux leather strip with leather hole punch tool

Here's how:

1. Gather a small bundle of flowers and place them on the embroidery hoop.

2. Use a piece of floral wire about 12 inches long and wrap it securely around the bundle and hoop. Keep going around the hoop added baby's breath and wrapping with the wire as far as you like. We covered it only partway because the exposed gold hoop feels sort of modern and fresh.

3. You can hang your wreath directly from the hoop or make a strap using a piece leather and punch a hole at the end using a leather hole punch tool. The baby's breath will dry out but like dried flowers do, it should last at least a couple weeks.

Baby's Breath Wreath

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling and crafts by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

A Garden Floral Place Card DIY...

Floral Placecard DIY

Floral Placecard DIY

Floral Placecard DIY

When having friends over for dinner (or even a weekend brunch), it’s nice to make something to display at their seat, and I love using seasonal flowers to make these floral place cards.

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a floral fall planter...

Pumpkin Floral Planter DIY

Fall (and all the fun holidays that come with it) is just around the corner! Today, I'm heading to the garden to make a Floral Fall Planter to greet friends and family arriving at your doorstep soon. You can see the full video below!

You can see all the materials used in the video below...

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marbled hanging planter DIY...

Marbled Hanging Planter DIY

I remember when I was growing up, my parents had a window full of hanging plants that I used to help them take care of. There was something so fun about watching them grow and how they would bring so much visual interest to a room. I wanted to recreate this for my home, so here's a fun way to make an easy and beautiful hanging planter that I wanted to share with you. To create a beautiful way to display these plants, today we’re creating these dipped, marbled planters...

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an everyday floral brooch DIY...

Floral Brooch DIY

Floral Brooch DIY

I loved it when back in the day, dapper gentlemen would wear a flower on their lapel on any given day. Brooches are always a fun fashion accessory for me, so why not combine two of my favorite things together into a floral brooch? With a small vessel for water, it can be worn for both a special occasion or really for any day you just feel like bringing a little sprig of sunshine wherever you go. It’s extra fun when you can pull the flowers from your own garden too!

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a vintage planter DIY...

Vintage Roller Skate Planter DIY

Vintage Car Planter DIY

I love giving cut flowers as a gift, but cut flowers often last only a few days. So lately I've been giving potted plants and flowers instead. That way, the gift keeps growing long after. 

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my path to a green thumb!

Oh Joy / DIY Floral Herb Centerpiece

I've talked about my black thumb in the past and my inability to keep plants blooming. Well, I'm on a mission to change that and have teamed up with Miracle-Gro to create a series of projects that make gardening a little easier and a lot more fun. I figured if I use the plants for things I can make to give to others or to decorate my home, it will seem more fun to see them flourish.

Today, I'm making a Floral Herb Centerpiece which makes use of herbs you can grow anywhere (even on a window sill) to make into a centerpiece whenever you're having friends or family over for a meal. You can see the full video below!

If you make any garden-inspired pieces, please share with me using the hashtag #GROJOY as I'd love to see! And, click here for more inspirational garden ideas from me and Miracle-Gro.

You can see all the materials used in the video below...

Oh Joy / DIY Floral Herb Centerpiece

Materials Used:
Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mixtea tinscontact paper, gold embroidery hoops, and foam core.

// CREDITS //
Brought to you by Oh Joy + Miracle-Gro
Creative Direction by Joy Cho
Video by Jenner Brown
Production Asst: Julia Wester
Hair and Makeup by Laura Peyer
Music is “Bravo” by The Little Indians
Photo stills by Casey Brodley

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Miracle-Gro. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.