This Under-$10 Tool Is the Secret to Pro-Looking Floral Arrangements

published Apr 22, 2023
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Thanks to low-cost options like Trader Joe’s and Costco, it’s super easy to assemble an affordable flower arrangement at home with high-end-looking flowers. Want to make them look even better? You need a flower frog, the affordable tool that will help you turn basically anything you own into a vessel for floral arrangements.

Credit: AT video

In most instances, if you just pop flowers into a shallow container — like the bowl shown here — they’re going to flop over and fall out. But with a flower frog, you can hold them in place without needing the security that the tall sides of a traditional vase affords. Basically, letting a flower frog do the heavy lifting frees you up to use any water-tight container for your flowers, from teapots to trinket trays. As long as it can hold enough water for your flowers to drink, you can turn it into a vase.

Flower frogs come in a few different styles, but one of the cheapest and most recognizable options is what’s called a pin frog. This features a base (usually round, and usually metal) that is covered in small vertical spikes (the “pins”). This is not a new invention by any means — pin frogs were and are used in ikebana, the delicate and sculptural Japanese art of flower arranging that dates back over a thousand years.

Today, you can find pin frogs online for under $10 a pop in various sizes and materials, from the classic metal to clear plastic. All of them will work with any water-tight container you choose for a vase, as long as the opening is big enough to allow you to drop them inside.

Using a pin frog is simple. It’s best to start by adding floral putty to the bottom of your flower frog before placing it in your chosen container. This isn’t always possible — I found that for some of my containers, I was unable to fit my hand far enough in to be able to secure a frog with putty (let alone pull it out later).

Credit: AT video

In those instances, I just dropped the relatively heavy metal pin frog in and made do. But for larger vessels and larger arrangements, you’ll find that securing your pin frog in place will make for a much easier experience and a much more durable arrangement.

Credit: AT video
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Next, it’s as simple as slipping your flower’s stem in between the pins so it stays in place. For flowers with thicker stems, like tulips, you’ll need to actually spear the stems on the pins to get them to stay in place. If you’re using multiple flower types, start with your biggest flowers first to create a sturdy frame; then, fill in with smaller flowers.

Credit: AT video

One trick I learned: If you want your flowers to display at an angle, you’ll need to cut the stem to correspond to that angle. If you cut the stem straight across, your flowers will stand more or less straight up.

Credit: AT video

Of course, you’ll also have to make sure to fill the container of your choice with enough water to reach just past the bottoms of your flowers’ stems. That frees you up to use surprisingly small containers to hold your artistic floral displays.

Credit: AT video

Here, I used a tiny pin frog placed in a jewelry dish to show off just a few stems of butterfly ranunculus. The small size is great for a couple of reasons: First, it means that you can fit a chic flower arrangement basically anywhere, as the amount of table space you need is so limited. And second, it means that you can splurge (as I did) for just a couple stems of a fancy flower.

Once your arrangement has reached the end of its life span, you can toss the flowers and then pull up and re-use the flower frog again and again. Then, let your guests be wowed by your professional-looking pieces that you pulled together with $10 at the grocery store. I’ll never tell!