RAF Funeral Tribute
Its always good to have a challenge if you have a creative mind, and funeral tributes are often a great way to really be creative and make something truly special.
In this tutorial, we will take a look at the use of the design board. This is a blank piece of floristry foam on a hard waterproof polymer base, which can be cut into any shape you want. In this tutorial Im making a tribute that needs the combination of a posy pad and a rectangle design board. This is the end result, and below I will go through how this was constructed.
You will need to prepare some Laurel leaves in advance by spraying them with brilliant gold oasis spray and allow to dry, this is best done by getting a cardboard box and placing the leaves in the bottom flat and neat and sweeping the spray over the leaves. You also need to spray some double crysanthemums red and blue. I ususally cut the stems to about an inch and a half or 3/4cm and insert them into a block of soaked oasis then placed in the base of another cardboard box to contain the spray. Leave to dry.
Design boards come in all sizes, this one is a rectangle as it wil form the base for the wings, keeping the plastic cover on the foam board, draw the shape you want to cut out using a marker pen. Then, using a sharp floristry knife, cut along the drawn lines. I used newspaper on top of the foam to trace the wing shape to make it easier to see in a picture but drawn direct on the cellophane is fine. I made sure by careful measuring, that the middle was exact and then placed the posy pad foam shape directly in the middle. I then drew around this circle and cut with the knife around it. The idea is that the posy pad sits into a carved out hole the same size. This means that the design has a nice 3D effect, the posy pad being slightly raised up due to its base sitting on the base of the design board rather than the foam. It sits in nicely and is easy to fix, which will come to in a moment.
As you will see from the next images, the base of the design board has been scraped out to leave the hard base in the areas around the wings and the hole for the posy pad to be recessed into. The base can now be fixed in place by using the long mossing pins, they are like a U shaped steel pin 40mm long so it goes through the base and into the hard base of the posy pad without leaving any nasty sharp protruding pins on the reverse side. You have to be kind to the funeral directors who have to pick items up
Looking at the last image you can see that I have pinned moss to the hard exposed base on the top left and right of the board where the wings have been cut out, just the foam is cut out, the base is left behind, scrape with any kitchen tools to get it all off the base, spoons, egg slicers anything really to scoop off the foam. Mossing pins of a shorter length 2 or 3cm have been used to pin the moss so that, once again consideration is paid to the avoidance of having anything sharp protruding through as this time the pins are used from the top to the bottom. When pinning the posy pad into the space made for it, we use them from the bottom to the top leaving the curve of the U pin on the underside. I hope im explaining this ok for you. Pour cold water from a jug to soak the oasis, stand and drain well.
The next task is to pin on the gold leaves. Now this is very important. You dont want the pins to show, so... you start from the bottom of the wings not the top, this way, as you pin each one across the vein to the foam, the next one will cover the pin because it is pinned halfway across the one below it. Each consecutive leaf pin is covered as you work up the layers. When you get to the top, curl the leaf and pin within the curl to hide the last pin.
Finally, use the dried sprayed flowers to create the RAF roundall in the posy pad. Finish with some kind of fabric edging, I used some royal blue jute ribbon pinned around the edge and finished with a bow, this helps finish it off and hide any visible pins or irregularities at the top of the wings.
Hope you enjoyed this workshop and please dont hesitate to visit my floristry store, any picture clicks to the store, have creative fun !