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Artwork As DIY Floral Design Inspiration

Updated on April 22, 2014

Use What You Have To Inspire You To Create Something New

Are you ready for a challenge? Looking to expand your horizons? This article will show you how to use a piece of artwork or other decorative piece you already own as the inspiration needed to create a permanent floral design for your home.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2012 Art in Bloom exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where floral artists (take heart, not all were professionals!) used either artwork, sculpture, or other selected objects as the inspiration for their floral interpretations.

In this article, I will use several photos I took while browsing through the galleries to help illustrate some of the many different approaches taken to create the unusual, interesting, and often downright amazing floral designs.


Are You Up For The DIY Floral Design Challenge? - I think you are!

Have you ever done a floral design before?

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If You Can Have Only One Book On Floral Design... - This is the book to have

Flowers: The Book of Floral Design
Flowers: The Book of Floral Design

Written by the best-selling floral designer, Malcolm Hillier, this stunning book covers floral arranging from A to Z, with gorgeous photography helping to illustrate each aspect of creating perfect designs for every occasion. I especially love the fact that there are many examples of simple, everyday floral ideas to bring color and beauty into the home, as well as more elaborate displays for special occasions and festive holiday events.

It is, however, more than just a pretty coffee table book. I love learning new things and I crave details, so I really appreciate the in-depth information covering technique and how-to-hints for getting and prepping the correct fresh or permanent materials, drying flowers and making your own wreath bases, to name just a few of the areas covered in this volume.

If you have any interest in DIY floral design, this book will help build a solid foundation from which to grow and develop your skills.


What Sort Of Floral Design Interpretation Should You Use? - Literal? Figurative? It is entirely up to you

Take a close look at this floral design: It contains only four elements, in addition to the vase, but it captures the feeling and movement of the statue from which it draws its inspiration.

Papyrus is braided around a wire armature, which allows it to be formed to emulate the head and arms of the piece. Snapdragons are clustered to mimic the elaborate headpiece, while the berries and tropical leaves represent the figure's flowing robes. The vase's curvilinear shape provides an echo of the rocky base upon which the figure sits.

All in all, it is not difficult to recognize where the floral artist drew his inspiration.

As you can see, there really is no right or wrong way to make your own floral piece. It is more a matter of observing your inspiration piece until you see a design direction and follow where it leads you. Try sketching your ideas, if that helps to visualize them.


The Right Tools Make Every Job Easier - Keep it simple

Take The Mystery Out Of Floral Design - Watch and learn

A More Literal Floral Design Works, Too

I love how the floral artist made the most of very few elements to tell the story of the kimonos seen above. Either the branch was found already having the perfect bend, or it was shaped by soaking it until pliable, maneuvering it into position, wiring or taping in place and allowing it to dry.

The rustic vase repeats the rectilinear design in the kimono and the Japanese irises and delicate greens are an homage to the entire vignette.


Simple Floral Design Works...


Especially When Inspired By Something That Is Simply Stunning

The black and red lacquered Art Deco skyscraper-esque cabinet features clean lines and classic styling. The trio of stepped black acrylic and glass-fronted vases are filled with colorful texture, by means of red gladiola blooms and red carnations, which serve to reinforce the simple, two-tone color scheme of the cabinet. Outstanding!

Simple is often best - why gild the lily?


Need A Specific Vase For Your Floral Design? - Use glass paint!

To replicate the look of the vases, above, use a foam brush to apply paint specifically designed for use on glass. Follow directions for proper surface preparation, paint application and recommended drying time. Multiple coats will probably be required for complete coverage.

Contemporary Art Can Help You Create Contemporary Floral Design

This floral design was one of my very favorites among the dozens of selections in the exhibition. It is happy and fun, a perfect reflection of the happy artwork upon which it is based.

It is easy to see the artwork in the flowers, through the floral artist's use of positive and negative space, the brightly-colored blooms, the asymmetrical design, all contained within the chunky black rectangular vase.


Bright Silk Flower Choices

Feel free to cut flowers and leaves from flower picks and bushes; the pros do it all the time, so why shouldn't you? It is a great way to get the most mileage from your purchase.

Which Came First, the Painting or the Floral Design?

When I first came upon this painting and floral design, it was hard to know which served to inspire which. It really could go either way, but of course, I knew that the painting was the inspiration piece.

This floral design is a very literal interpretation of the artwork, and I happen to like it very much. How about you?

I feel one of the best parts of the floral design are the shadows cast by the flowers on the wall behind, reinforcing the painting's brushstrokes.

Deliberate? Or not?

Either way, the result is beautiful.


Add To Your Floral Design Education

Basic Floral Design
Basic Floral Design

Start with the basics...


A Word to the Wise

You only live once.

As much as your schedule allows, keep learning, keep growing, keep challenging yourself.

You won't know what you can accomplish if you never try anything new.

Do not reach the end of your life, whenever that may be, regretting the things you wanted to do, but never did.

Have You Created A DIY Floral Design? - What did you use? Fresh flowers, permanent botanicals, dried grasses? Please share the details!

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    • Magda2012 profile image


      5 years ago

      nice artworks. very inspiring!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      So beautiful all the different types of floral designs, really have come a long way from what I remember, sure makes for more interesting conversation pieces.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Wow! The contemporary arrangement and art piece above are favorite on this page.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting form of art and expression. I love this.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These floral designs are beautiful I have a neighbor who makes these types of arrangements out of dried flowers from her garden.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      What a fabulous idea! They are all very interesting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Something to think about. Great info. Thank you

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! Some very interesting designs here - never thought of doing all that with a floral design! Thanks for sharing!


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