How to Make a Large Floral Arrangement for a Casket

Updated February 21, 2017

Given to represent the sentiments felt by the giver for the deceased, floral arrangements are thoughtful decorations for a funeral. A casket floral spray is a traditional floral arrangement used for funerals. It fits on top of the casket and the flowers drape across it. Casket sprays are available in different sizes, with the largest ones covering almost the entire casket. Casket sprays are one of the trickiest flower arrangements to build because of the size and shaping needed to make them look perfect.

Buy a large casket saddle. This is the container that will hold the display. It is shaped to sit on a casket and contains a tray into which the floral foam fits.

Use a sharp knife to cut the floral foam to fit inside of the casket saddle and position it securely in the saddle. Casket saddles have a basin for the foam. Cut the foam so the top stands 1 inch above the saddle. Ensure that you use floral foam designed to hold water for fresh flowers. Dry floral foam is also available for use with silk or dry flowers.

Add water to the floral foam with a watering can. Keep adding water until the foam can't soak up any more.

Select the flowers to be used in your casket spray. White is a common colour used in funeral floral arrangements; consider using white roses and lilies. You can also choose to use the favourite flower of the deceased or seasonal blooms. Make sure that the flowers you select have long stems so that they can extend around the casket. Also select small flowers to act as fillers and greenery. Baby's breath is a commonly used filler while ferns and grasses work well as greenery.

Arrange the flowers in the foam. Cut off the tips of the flowers' stems at an angle with a sharp knife and insert a layer of flowers into the bottom edge of the foam, fanning them around the casket saddle. Allow the bottom flowers to angle downward slightly.

Add the next layer of flowers once the first row of flowers has been inserted into the foam. For each layer, cut the stems slightly shorter so that the floral arrangement assumes a rounded look. Hold each flower up to the arrangement before cutting it so that you can judge how long to cut it. The flowers will cover all of the flower foam so it has a rounded shape, like half a dome. The casket saddle will be completely covered and the long flowers on the bottom will hang out over the casket while the shorter ones on the side and top will finish the dome shape. Use large, main flowers to create the body of the arrangement, filling in any gaps with filler flowers.

Accent the display with the filler flowers and greenery. Arrange long grasses around the display's bottom so that they drape gracefully around the casket. Fill in any empty or bare spots with small flowers or add a touch of colour with the greenery and coloured flowers.

Water the casket saddle to ensure that the flowers remain fresh, and place the arrangement in a cool space until it is needed.


Frequently step back from your work to obtain a fresh look at it and can better judge how the arrangement is looking. Leave the leaves on the flowers to add to the greenery. Only remove those leaves closest to the floral foam. To make your work easier, place the casket saddle on a pedestal or small table so that the flowers drape off of the table as you are working.

Things You'll Need

  • Casket saddle
  • Floral foam
  • Fresh flowers and greenery
  • Sharp knife
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About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.