A floral easel, funeral wreath or standing spray is a flower arrangement attached to a wooden or metal easel. Floral easels are commonly seen at funerals because they are easily transported from the funeral home to a grave site. Floral easels also are used in weddings, memorial services or anywhere a large arrangement needs to be easily seen. Floral easels can be made with artificial or dried flowers, but fresh floral easels are the most impressive with their vibrant colours and fresh scent.
Choose an easel of appropriate size for your floral display. They range from 24 to 60 inches high. Easels for flower arrangements are found at craft stores, florist shops and florist supply wholesalers. Floral easels may be wood or metal, but most commercially available easels are metal because they are durable, easy to transport and lightweight.
Hydrate all flowers and greenery by cutting 1 inch from the bottom of the stems and allowing the cut ends to soak in water for 24 hours. This keeps flowers and greenery looking fresh for up to 24 hours after the arrangement is made. If the flowers are wrapped in cellophane, remove the cellophane to allow the flowers to open and breathe.
Soak the caged floral foam in water by setting it on top of the water's surface in a water-filled sink or bucket, foam side down. The plastic cage backing should be visible, not the foam, when it is placed on the water's surface. Do not push the floral foam into the water or there will be air pockets in the foam. When the foam is completely hydrated, it will float just beneath the water's surface.
Remove the floral foam from the water and attach to the easel. Most easels have a hook to hang the caged floral foam. However, you must secure the floral foam to the easel with wire and/or floral tape even after it is placed on the hook. The finished product will be heavy and can easily slip off the hook while being moved or transported. Use wire cutters to cut and remove any sharp wire ends that may stick anyone trying to move the easel.
Add floral greenery to the foam by cutting the greenery stem and pushing the stem end into the foam. Continue to add greenery until you can no longer see any mechanics or the caged floral foam. Arrange the greenery into an even oval shape. The greenery will form a backdrop for the flowers, so it should extend out at least as far as the longest flowers. You will add more greenery later to fill in any empty spots, so concentrate on the overall shape of the design.
Add smaller or filler flowers to the floral foam. This includes any berries or other foliage used as texture. Concentrate on the overall oval or rounded shape of the design so it does not become uneven. The smaller flowers should not extend further than the greenery.
Arrange the large and taller flowers as needed to finish out the arrangement by pushing the stem ends into the floral foam. The large flowers should look like they are growing from a central point in the arrangement. Remember the arrangement is large and will be seen at a distance, so the flowers do not need to be close together or jumbled. You should be able to easily observe each of the large flowers and they should be evenly spaced. Large and taller flowers can extend further than the greenery and filler flowers if it adds to the overall design. Keep in mind the further the flowers extend from the arrangements, the easier it is for them to be broken.
Fill in any gaps or uneven areas with greenery or smaller filler flowers.
Mist the floral arrangement with water to keep it looking fresh until one hour before it is displayed.
Allow the easel to stand up for one hour after completion to allow excess water to drain from the floral foam before displaying it.