how to

wired for fun

Coiled copper wire combines with pretty parrot tulips for a pair of inventive novelty designs.

Design by BJ Dyer, AIFD, AAF

With these two arrangements, several springtime design dilemmas can be solved. And by changing the color of aluminum wire to coordinate with tulips in different hues, you can appeal to a broad customer base with multiple color palettes for a variety of occasions or tastes.

     One common dilemma is the breakability of tulips, which often snap easily from their stems. At their premium prices, wasting broken tulips would be costly, so having a design in your repertoire that utilizes them is smart business. Here, a trio of parrot tulips, sans stems, is put to clever and attractive use in this rectangular vessel. The coiled wire holds the blooms upright, and a few leaf accents tuck in for contrast. This arrangement also makes a great “bud vase,” especially for office delivery. It is small and low, so it requires little desk space and is not easily toppled by busy office workers.

     Springtime party work, especially baby showers and children’s birthdays, often present dilemmas as well. Long narrow tables leave little room for centerpieces, but the horizontal “worm,” with its jaunty chapeau and googly eyes, requires little space but delivers maximum impact.

MATERIALS: parrot tulips courtesy of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center; Camellia leaves, hat and google eyes from favorite suppliers; Rectangular Votive from Syndicate Sales; Oasis™ Aluminum Wire and Oasis® Floral Adhesive from Smithers-Oasis.
Coiled Buds    

Wrap aluminum wire around a small cylinder vase. Slide the wire off the cylinder,forming a tight coil. Stretchthe coil to fit into a rectangular vessel that is partially filled with water.

Spread apart loops of aluminum wire in three places to create voids. Nestle a tulip bloom into each void, ensuring that each flower’s short stem extends into the water.

Snip several Camellia leaves in half. Tuck the upper portions of the leaves, with their tips pointing upward, among the looped wires—on both sides of each tulip bloom.
Floral Worm    

Wrap aluminum wire around a small cylinder vase. Slide the wire off the cylinder, forming a tight coil. Stretch the coil slightly, and thread a short-stemmed tulip into the coil's center.

Insert additional tulips into the Slinky©-like coil, and stretch the coil over the tulips to elongate the composition.

Shape the flower-filled "Slinky" to resemble an inchworm. Place it into a rectangular vessel, ensuring that the tulips' stem ends remain in water. Adhere a small hat and googly eyes to finish the charming worm.

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