Foam Free Friday

Mantelpiece arrangement

Welcome back to Foam Free Friday, I really appreciate people returning to read more of my journey to become more environmentally friendly. It’s all about small steps which will hopefully all add up to be one massive change in the right direction.

Today’s ‘how to’ is a foam free mantelpiece arrangement I made earlier this summer for an amazing wedding at Glynde Place in East Sussex. These kind of arrangements often end up being made out of foam simply because it’s easier, and let’s be honest when you’re busy running a business sometimes is just nice to chose an easy option! But that’s not why we are here. We want to be creating beautiful arrangements without nasty single use plastic foam. I’d like to say that I created this without the use of any plastic but sadly I haven’t quite found the right container, it’s tricky to find something that is water tight and the right kind of size without it being plastic. I’ve invested (I say invested but they were pretty cheap!) in these wallpaper troughs, they sell them all over the UK in places like B&Q and Homebase for something like £3.99. They are water tight and a good long and low shape which is perfect for making a lovely loose and natural arrangement in.

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Step 1: Scrunch up your chicken wire so you have a couple of layers to poke the stems through, if you only have one single layer then the stems will flop over to the side. I used pot tape to secure but this could be, and will be done with a biodegradable twine next time I do it.

Step 2: Add water. You’ll want plenty in here if you are designing ahead of time and if the weather is very warm. I’d advise tipping mist of the water out before you travel and then topping back up when you have set up – these kind of containers are prone to sloshing in the back of your van!

Step 3: Start adding your foliage. I used a base of pistache as this covers the chicken wire nicely and adds bulk to support your flowers. I then use longer stems of more decorative foliage to create movement and texture.

Step 4: Start adding your flowers in. I do this intuitively rather than a planned way, I have a certain number of stems I allow for each arrangement to fit within budget but I arrange them however my creativity allows me to – this is why no two weddings are the same! You want to make sure there’s some drapey type flowers and foliage to help you disguise the container. Things like eucalyptus nicoli and parvifolia have a good drape to them.

Below is the finished item. These were designed to be long arrangements on, so there would be two on each mantelpiece. We quickly changed this on the day as it was such a hot day the bride and groom felt that the flowers would be wasted inside as everyone would be outside. So instead of 2 long arrangements we made 4 smaller ones and had two on the steps outside – great as a backdrop for the all important confetti shot!

Below are the professional pictures from the day taken by the super talented Sarah London Photography

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a foam free mantelpiece arrangement. I’ll be back again next Friday for another instalment of foam free ideas.

To see the full gallery of this beautiful colourful summer wedding at Glynde Place click here