Diy: Country French
Our Country French style harvest design is one of my all time favorites. A harvest of grasses and lavender are accented by a pave of fruits and vegetables. Natural dried materials add texture and beauty to any design, but especially one with a harvest feel that cannot be obtained with artificial. The warm hues of the arrangement compliment any decor.
Foam the Container
Use a mache’ pot, terracotta pot, plastic or metal container as a liner for the basket. Completely fill with dry flower foam. If the liner is shorter than the height of the basket place foam in the bottom of the basket to bring the liner level with the rim of the basket. Use a filler of honeycomb cut paper, Spanish or sphagnum moss to fill around the liner. When using a basket or lightweight container, place rocks in the bottom for ballast, otherwise the design will be top heavy and unstable.
Cover the Mechanics
Place Spanish moss loosely over the top to hide all the mechanics. Sphagnum moss may be used for this as well. The moss needs to be opened up /pulled apart, leaving spaces in it to insert the stems of the materials through it, without getting stuck in the moss.
Wire the Liner in Place
Wire the Liner in Place
Secure the foam in the liner, and the liner in the basket with a wire attached to either side of the basket. Pull the wire over the top of both and twist together in the middle.
Bundle Dried Materials
Dried materials are much easier to use when bundled, so they can be inserted as a unit rather than one stem at a time. Make various size bundles and then clutch wire them together. Bundle some with the wire at the bottom of the stem, adding a wood pick to make insertion in the foam easier. Make some with the wire in the middle of the bunch to be used in a horizontal position.
Bundle Dried Grasses 2
To make different length bundles and use both ends, wire the bundle in the middle in two separate places, leaving approximately two inches between. Tighten the wire with pliers if necessary to prevent the stems from slipping.
Bundle Dried Grasses 3
Cut the bundle in half between the wires. Hot glue the bottom of the bundle to prevent the stems from slipping out of the wire
Placing Dried Materials
Begin the design by placing the bundled materials. This design has a ‘valley’ in the middle, so insert the bundles on either side of the valley in a radiating pattern. The Country French design has a rather ‘thrown’ together feel, as if one had been in the garden and tossed the materials in the basket.
Placing Dried Materials 2
Continue filling in the shape of the design with grasses, keeping a loose, wild aspect to the materials.
Place Amaranth towards the outside perimeter of the design, where it can drape without being impeded by other materials.
This is the reverse side of the design. Placing the materials in a different pattern creates interest. Add bundled lavender, placing it in groups, which will place more emphasis on the materials and eliminate a polka-dot effect.
Add Flowers and Fruit
Add artificial flowers and fruit through the valley. To attach the fruit, insert a wood pick or piece of 16 gauge wire. Attach with hot glue. For materials, such as the dried quince, hot glue a piece of wire to one side.
Creating a Focal Area
Place the largest materials near the rim of the container to create a focal point on either side.
Group the Materials
Group materials by placing like items together. It will add emphasis to them, as well as a cohesive look to the design.
Side Two Completed
This design is so large both sides cannot be seen together. This allows the use of a little different mix of materials on either side, without losing the unity of the design.
Overview of Center Mass
The valley through the design adds to its thrown together look, and creates wonderful depth in the design. Layer the materials over each other, weaving negative space into the design.