Sitting Pretty: The Carnation Sculpture

This modern display of traditional flowers reveals an interesting juxtaposition of shapes and textures: the feathery clumps of carnation petals set in a floral foam ball contrasts with the smooth-sided, angular vase the ball sits on.

  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends


All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.


Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail


A link to %this page% was e-mailed

Carnation SculptureEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Although this carnation sculpture looks impressive, it is simple to make. It would look stunning in an entrance hall or on a bar at a party. If you need to decorate tables, make up some smaller versions as table centerpieces.


45–50 red carnations

Hydrangeas make an ample substitute for carnations in this design, if you prefer them.

Other Materials
tall opaque cube vase (16 inches high)
1 floral foam ball (7 inches in diameter)
florist's scissors

Red CarnationEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

How to Arrange

Check that the floral foam ball will sit securely on top of the vase. Soak it in water, place it on top of the vase and press it down slightly so that it is as secure as possible.

Cut the stems off the carnations at the point, known as the top node, where the uppermost leaves grow. This should leave a short stem of about 1 inch.

Starting at the top of the ball, press the carnation flower stalks into the floral foam. Work methodically, not randomly, pressing the flowers close enough to each other that the foam is completely covered, but far enough away from each other that you don't crush or bruise the flower petals. Work either in a spiral from the top, or downward in sections. Cover the whole ball so that no gaps are visible.

Insider Tips

- As with all floral foam arrangements, give the carnations a long drink in deep water before you cut off the stems and arrange them in the foam.

- Don't over-soak the foam ball, or it will start to crumble and fall apart. Place the ball in a bucket of water, allow it to soak up water just long enough to sink to the bottom, then lift it straight out.

- Mist the flowers regularly to get the maximum life span - three to five days - out of this arrangement.

Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011

We Recommend...

How to Hang Wallpaper on the Ceiling

How to Hang Wallpaper on the Ceiling

Add an unexpected touch to a ceiling with graphic wallpaper.

How to Extend the Life of Your Cut Flowers

How to Extend the Life of Your Cut Flowers

There are a few easy things you can do to prolong the life and look of your flowers. Follow these tips to make sure that your...

Masculine Stripe Paint Design

Masculine Stripe Paint Design

Jennifer shows a bachelor how to turn a pink room into a masculine lounge.

(video 02:03)

HGTV Inspiration Newsletter

Create your unique, personal style with advice and inspiration from HGTV.