The first floral raft I ever saw was this R. Jack creation on the Love and Splendor Blog.
(Photo by The Image Is Found).
There are also some amazing Japanese flower rafts on the net, like this one:
(photo from here)
Piggybacking off my last post, I thought I’d share how I created the floral rafts in this picture. I’m often asked to create things that I’ve never done or even seen before. This was one of them! I’m sure there are many ways to do this, so let me know if you have another method that works.
1. Purchase styrofoam sheets, at least 2 inches thick. Mine came from a floral supply store.
2. I wrapped satin ribbon around the foam and secured it with pearl pins for a nice, tailored look in the water.
3. I gathered different height candle holders and positioned them on the styrofoam. I took wooden picks (aka hyacinth sticks) and stuck them around the candles like a little fence. They keep the candles in place. I was worried that the weight of these candles would be too much for the foam. Surprisingly, the foam is very bouyant and I could have probably loaded the rafts with even more.
4. Next, I took 3″ round caged foams (see picture below, from the fss website) and spaced them evenly on the styrofoam. It took about 10-12 cages per raft. Note: If you’re using sturdy flowers like mums and carnations which do ok without a water source, you can insert these flowers directly into the styrofoam sheets using toothpicks or pins.
5. I wanted the rafts to look like fluffy beds of flowers, so I chose flowers that would give me a lot of coverage (hydrangea, stock, open roses, and ivy). I inserted the flowers into the foam cages and tried to keep the arrangement low, so as to not block the view of the candles.
6. We used LED pillars for one reason- if the wind blew these suckers out, who was going to jump in and relight them? Real wax LED’s look realistic from a distance.
7. Oh yes, remember to LIGHT THEM/TURN THEM ON FIRST before you dive in to set them up!
8. We created hooks on the bottom of our rafts with ribbon, and attached fishing weights to the hooks with fishing line. You can spray paint the weights light blue to blend in with the bottom of the pool.
9. Hindsight is 20/20, and I realize now that we could have attached the fishing line to opposite sides of the rafts, and then tied them to waterproof suction cups on the walls of the pool. You would need to test it out ahead of time to make sure they would be secure enough.
These are incredibly labor intensive, which can make them very pricey. I think a simple raft with votive candles on a bed of petals or greenery would be just as gorgeous (and a little more budget friendly).