A Pillowing Basing Technique for Flowers

Written by suzie faloon
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A Pillowing Basing Technique for Flowers
Caskets are sometimes outfitted with a floral pillow. (PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

A pillow made from fresh or silk flowers is often placed at the head of the casket of a deceased spouse or loved one as a symbol that the person is at rest. The pillow is created on a sturdy rectangle- or heart-shaped foam base. The background of the pillow is filled in with flowers using the basing technique. The main flower that is used for the basing of a shaped form is the chrysanthemum pom. The poms are secured with a picking method. The pillowing basing technique is a time-consuming process that produces a beautiful floral tribute.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Florist pillow form
  • 3 to 4 bunches of chrysanthemum poms
  • Sharp knife or shears
  • 1 box round toothpicks
  • Carnations
  • 2 bundles of 3 inch wire wooden picks

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Cut the stems of the chrysanthemum poms to a 2- to 3- inch height with a sharp knife or floral shears. Regular or daisy chrysanthemum poms work best for a pillow form.

    A Pillowing Basing Technique for Flowers
    The white chrysanthemum pom is most commonly used for pillow basing. (Chrysanthemum image by Artyom Rudenko from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Insert a round toothpick straight up into the centre of the stem of the pom until it is wedged in. Be careful to keep the stick from showing at the centre of the top of the blossom. This is called a picked stem.

  3. 3

    Insert the end of the toothpick into the foam of the pillow form by holding the centre of it with your fingers firmly. Plunge it down into the foam to be sure it is securely in place.

  4. 4

    Fill the entire top of pillow foam base in with the picked flowers. Stagger the heights of the flowers slightly to create a textured appearance to the base of the funeral pillow.

  1. 1

    Cut the carnations stems to a 2-inch height with a sharp knife.

    A Pillowing Basing Technique for Flowers
    Full carnation blossoms are rarely used for pillow basing due to expense. (white carnation image by Martin Heaney from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Hold a wired pick against the stem of the carnation.

  3. 3

    Wrap the wire around the stem of the carnation to secure it tightly.

  4. 4

    Start at the outer edge of the pillow foam form and insert the picked carnation into the foam. Insert carnation picks around the entire outer area of the pillow.

  5. 5

    Fill in the interior area of the pillow form with carnation picks.

Tips and warnings

  • The base flowers of the pillow form can be sprayed lightly with Design Master colour after it is filled in.
  • Do not push the toothpicks forcefully into the pom stems or they will split open or shatter the flower head.

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