Fresh flowers are a nice addition to any given day. But I’ve got a little trick that will take a simple arrangement up a notch — even that ordinary bundle of grocery store flowers! Instead of using an basic, nondescript vase, use a small dish with a pin-type flower frog and take the ordinary to extraordinary.
If you haven’t used, or even heard of, flower frogs before, no need to be intimidated. There are a variety of flower frogs (people actually collect them!) that all serve the same basic purpose — to help you arrange your flowers. For this project, I’ve incorporated the pin version or pin flower frog (called such because it looks like lots of pins sticking up).
With this type of frog, the flower stems are stuck into the pins to keep the flowers in place. Stems can be stuck and restuck, arranged and rearranged in the pins until it is just right.
I purposely chose simple, inexpensive flowers for this project because, really, it’s not about the flowers. Flower arranging prowess is not needed, and you don’t need to seek out a specialty floral shop. It’s the pin flower frog in the small bowl, decorative or otherwise, that is the big deal. It is the inside secret to a good looking arrangement in a small container.
It’s so easy you will flip!
– various small bowls or glasses
– flower frog pins
– strong adhesive
– optional decorative options — curable acrylic paints, porcelain or paints, gold leaf (plus adhesive and sealer), permanent markers, etc
The very simplest version of this DIY is to find an interesting little bowl in your cupboard or at the thrift store, add glue to the bottom side of the flower pin and stick it to the bottom of the bowl.
Follow the directions of the glue for dry times and then when it’s dried, it’s ready for flowers.
TOTALLY OPTIONAL PART: If you’re in the mood, plain bowls allow the opportunity to add patterns and designs. This can be accomplished with permanent markers (like this Design Mom tutorial), gold leaf or porcelain or glass paints. In addition to being used as any other acrylic, Martha Stewart’s line of paint can be cured in the oven. I had so much fun adding patterns and designs to the bowls pictured here. The options are endless!
After your design is finished and has completely dried (at least an hour), place your item in a cool oven. (I like to put mine on a parchment-lined baking sheet.) Turn on the oven to 350F and bake for 30 minutes. It is done this way because glass must heat gradually. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and allow the piece(s) to cool in the oven. Once cooled, remove from the oven and do not use for 72 hours. If you are not in the rush, the paint will cure after 21 days without the oven.
With both the 21-day method and the oven-method, pieces will be top-shelf dishwasher safe once they’re cured.
But if your pretty little bowl needs no decoration, just glue in the pin flower frog and get started adding flowers.
How to Use the Pin Flower Frog
After cutting the flowers to the appropriate height (flowers should be 1 1/2 times the height of the dish/cup/bowl), stick the stems in the flower pin.
Keep adding flowers until the bowl is full. Add a bit of water to the bottom to feed the flowers. Then ready yourself for the big smiles coming your way when you display this little beauty.
It doesn’t get simpler than that! Give it a try, and I predict: this process is so reliably successful, you’ll be adding fresh flowers to your shopping list every week.
I’d love to know: have you ever used a flower frog before? Do you have a favorite type? Any other tips you’d add?
P.S. — 10 Secrets to Extending the Life of Cut Flowers.
Created by Amy Christie for Design Mom.
18 thoughts on “DIY: Flower Frog Bowls”
I’ve always wanted to have a flower frog, but never knew where to buy them (apart from antique stores and I’ve never seen one there) so I’m glad for the tip that you can buy them in Michael’s floral aisle. I love how you decorated your bowls. There is nothing better than fresh flowers around the house.
This is wonderful..I am on my way to Michaels with my coupon..thanks..Liz
I just finished the Floral Arranging 101 class from Nicole’s Classes and used a flower frog for the first time. So nice!! I love the decorations you added to the bowls; they’re adorable!
I’ve never heard of a flower frog before, but I’m in love! Thanks for the adorable idea.
So charming! I love making arrangements with the flowers from Trader Joe’s (~$3.99/bunch!). This is a great idea for them, and I never thought to thrift and decorate a little bowl for this. Totally using this idea. Thanks!
Such a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing! We are definitely trying this!
Liz and Lo
I adore how these turned out, Amy! You are so talented. What a fun post!
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I’ve never heard of a flower frog. they make for a beautiful arrangement! thanks for sharing!
If you want to use a container without permanency, you can use floral clay (floral putty) to adhere the frogs so they are removable. It’s very sticky but should come off later without any damage. Also found in the floral aisle of most craft stores.
You answered my question! Thanks
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I love the frog idea and the cute bowls. However I must have done something wrong as twice now I have tried the Sharpie tutorial for decorating and both times the ink has come off with the first dishwashing. I definitely used Sharpies and in different colours as well as the black. I even tried a different brand! So this is one epic failure to me.
Can you suggest a specific kind of permanent adhesive?
How badly am I aging myself if I share that I learned about flower frogs from an episode of The Brady Bunch when Alice got a new one and the boys were disappointed it was a vase, not an amphibian?
My mother requested flower arrangements from the flowers in our CA yard, and I happily obliged using her pin-style flower frogs. I can still feel the weight in my hand of the larger one.
A favorite design began using her flat, art-deco glass dish with waving edges. I put the heavy frog in the middle and stuck in tall, grass-like leaves such as Dutch iris. Then I floated pink camellias all around the frog in the flat bowl. For the crowning touch, I placed her pink, ceramic flamingo next to the tall grasses. Such a hit! : D True story.
Thanks for reminding me of this project! I found another top notch use for this project that can woek for every family!
My New Year’s Resolution was to reduce our plastic usage. One thing I’m keeping an eye on is things the plastic in packaging like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. We switched to a fancy triple-milled soap in the shower, and the soap lasts as long as a bottle of body wash — especially if you let it dry between uses. And this project makes the perfect little soap dish! Thanks so much, for the decades of quality content, Gabby.