If you love fresh flowers in your home, flower frogs are your best friend – and no, we’re not talkin’ about Kermit! Flower frogs are a vintage item that is seeing a well-deserved renaissance, and we’ll help you hop on this throwback trend.
For anyone unfamiliar, flower frogs are items you use to stabilize flowers inside an arrangement in lieu of icky foam or fussy wire. You’ve probably seen them in antique shops or flea markets and wondered what the heck you were looking at! They’re generally round, flat discs with multiple holes, often made of glass or pottery. Some are a “pincushion” style with wires poking upward. All of them allow you to create a lush, beautiful floral arrangement – even in a container with a wider mouth that might not otherwise hold the stems upright, such as an urn.
The oldest flower frogs date back to the fourteenth century in Japan, used in the art of ikebana, or flower arranging. They were extremely popular here from the 1880s until the 1940s. Your grandmother or great-grandmother certainly used these wonderful items to make her home more beautiful and welcoming.
Like many vintage items, antique flower frogs are very collectible. Many flower frogs are decorative, especially those produced during the Art Deco era; artisans fashioned flower frogs into dancing ladies, turtles, fountains, dolphins and more, using porcelain, silver, colorful glass or even lead. If you’re curious about collecting, check out Flower Frogs for Collectors by Bonnie Bull, or search online for guides.
Even if you don’t have grandma’s flower frog, you can get frogging today! You could peruse antique stores to find a vintage frog, or check out local makers’ markets. Craft stores will certainly have them in stock. There are dozens of frogs available online, as well; Etsy is a great place to find handcrafted frogs, but of course you’ll find them on Amazon.
Sometimes called a kenzan, these frogs have shorter, sharp spikes. These are ideal for tight, precise arrangements. Optionally, you can add floral putty to the bottom of this frog. Carefully press the frog into the bottom of your vase. Add just enough water to cover the frog. Press large stems onto the spikes. Thin stems can be supported in between. Tip: cut stems at an angle!
These frogs have longer wire loops and are ideal for larger, lush arrangements. You can optionally add floral putty to the bottom of this frog. Press into the bottom of your vase, and add water. Cut stems at an angle, then arrange between the pins or slip into the loops.
These frogs are flat or domed with holes. Clear glass ones are ideal for clear vases where another frog might be unsightly. In general, these are great for large blooms, as there are fewer spots for placing stems. Place the frog in the bottom of your vessel and fill with water. Place stems in each hole; we suggest working from the outside in. Tuck smaller stems in between the large blooms.
You can also find some that are designed to sit atop mason jars, which is a fun option that makes the frog a decorative part of the arrangement.
Making your own frog is fairly simple! Use floral or washi tape to make a grid on the top of your vase and use those holes to arrange your flowers. Or take a hint from The Boys at House: chicken wire makes the perfect faux frog for containers of any size!