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.
Carnation Sculpture

Carnation Sculpture

Photo by: DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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 Carnation

Red Carnation

Photo by: DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

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