All About Flower Frogs

flower frog mechanics
Whether you are an experienced floral designer or just experimenting with floral arrangements at home, flower frogs are a fantastic tool to have on-hand. 

So, what is a floral frog?  

There is more than one way to keep flowers from listing to the side of an arrangement. The most common method is the use of a floral frog. Floral frogs are mechanical apparatuses used to create floral arrangements, keeping your flowers secure as you strategically arrange your stems in a vessel to create botanical art. Frogs are usually heavy and flat on the underside and spikey or gridded on the top. When placed at the bottom of a water-tight bowl, vessel or vase, they can hold even the most unwieldy flowers firmly upright. To use, press the ends of the stems directly into the frog’s spikes or slide into the gridded holes to position them exactly where you want them. Use a bit of floral putty on the bottom of the flower frog if it moves around easily in your vessel. Be sure to add the floral frog before you add the water or the putty will not adhere to the bottom of the vase. After arranging the stems using the frog as an anchor and holder, use short-stemmed flowers and foliage to conceal the mechanics.

Where can I find them? I am a sucker for vintage floral frogs and am always on the hunt for them at my favorite thrift and antique stores to add to my collection. I've also found them on Etsy, Ebay, and even my local buy, sell, trade pages! And if you're lucky, you might stumble upon one at a flea market, yard sale, or estate sale.

Why do I love them so much? Flower frogs are reusable, making them environmentally friendly and a great long-term investment. I also love that floral frogs allow you to turn any type of vessel into a floral vase! They’re also extremely durable, evident by how many I have collected that are over 100 years old! And, perhaps most importantly, unlike floral foam, flower frogs are eco-friendly and sustainable with significantly less waste than alternative options. I’ve found them to be easy to hide with foliage and filler as I'm building my arrangement and have saved me a lot of time and frustration.

flower frogs and floral arrangement tools


metal pin frog (aka: kenzan) -- I would consider this style to be the most commonly used. They come in a large range of sizes and shapes (most commonly round) and have several metal pins positioned close together, sharp points upward, for you to secure your stems between or directly into. They sometimes come with a heavy weighted bottom, and other times require a bit of floral putty on the bottom to keep it from sliding around in your vessel.

Pro tip! Are the pins in your frog bent? No worries! Simply use a butter knife to carefully bend the prongs back into their intended upright position.

metal hairpin frog -- similar to the pin frog, the hairpin frog comes in a variety of sizes but is a more rare find. Rather than stiff pins, the frog is made with more flexible metal hairpin pieces that the stems are positioned between. If you prefer to purchase your pin frogs new, I have a few recommended options on my Amazon Floral Arranging page.

brass frog vase -- these are hard to come by but when you find one, it's so exciting! They are a gorgeous brass water-tight vessel that has a brass grid-like lid that fits perfectly on top that the flowers sit in. Oftentimes, the lid is removable, but sometimes it is permanently attached to the vessel. They come in several styles, designs, sizes and heights and add a beautiful touch of elegance to any floral arrangement.

glass frog -- this is probably my personal favorite type of frog because they work so well, don't rust, and are fairly heavy, requiring little or no additional support. These frogs are typically a clear glass with molded holes in them for the stems to sit in. They come in several different sizes and are a fantastic option when working with transparent or glass vases.

metal cage frog -- this is another very common vintage frog shaped like a small cage with a metal grid on the top and sides that sits at the bottom of your vessel, usually adhered to the bottom with floral putty. They, too, come in several different sizes, though the 3"-4" diameter size seems to be the most commonly found ones at thrift and antique stores. If you prefer to purchase your cage frogs new, here is a link to my floral arrangement Amazon page where you'll find a set of 6" diameter pillow frogs hat I recommend.

The five vintage frogs listed above are my go-to mechanics for at-home floral arrangements, but when I have a larger piece or one I plan to gift, I often use other more disposable mechanics, which I'll share below:

wire mesh (aka: chicken wire) and floral tape

This solution to keeping your stems anchored and upright is a low-cost, low-waste, recyclable option and is a great alternative to frogs for arrangements that are being gifted or are oversized.  Shape the wire into a ball and gently press it into your vessel so it is positioned just below the top lip. Anchor the wire down with two pieces of tape in a crisscross formation secured to the rim of the vessel. Again, use flowers to conceal the mechanics. Wire mesh can be found at your local feed store or in my Amazon Affiliate page

Note: Wire mesh can be a bit tricky to work with so I recommend using gloves when snipping the roll to section off pieces and when molding them. If you would rather not work with the sharp edges of wire mesh, I recommend the three-pack of easy arrangers that can be found on my Amazon Affiliate page.

flower mechanics apparatus floral arrangements wire mesh chicken wire tips
metal grid jar lids and inserts
If you appreciate the classic simplicity and accessibility of various sizes of mason jars as vases as much as I do, mason jar grid lids are another low-cost, low-waste and recyclable option to add stability when arranging your flowers and foliage, making them a lovely option for flower arrangements that you plan to gift. These metal grid lids and lid inserts come in both regular and wide mouth mason jar sizes and even some gorgeous finishes! They set on top of your mason jar before screwing on the metal ring OR are welded directly onto the ring. I’ve found that they fit even the most vintage mason jars, making them very useful!

flower mechanics floral arrangements
mesh produce bags
One final tip for adding a quick support system to your vessel is to use the red mesh bags that oranges often come in at the grocery store. This works best with mason jars because the metal ring can be used to secure it tightly into place. If I’m using a traditional glass vase or metal vessel, I simply cut a piece large enough to cover the opening and a little beyond and then secure it in place with a piece of tape, looping all the way around the vessel. Then, I make sure to cover the mesh with foliage and low-situated blooms when building the arrangement.

I hope this article inspires you to bring those beautiful blooms and greenery indoors to enjoy during these warm months! Be sure to tag me if you try any of the mechanics so I can cheer you on and see your beautiful arrangements!

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