saturday design school: seaside summer orchid


I thought it would be fun to share a few easy floral design projects with you guys now and then; designs that you can create at home with just a little bit of time and a few supplies available at your local craft store or garden center. Display them in your home or give them as a gift, and wow your friends with your green-thumb-DIY skillz. Whatcha’ think?

{Photo step-by-step after the jump!}

Let’s kick things off with an easy beachy summer project using a phalaenopsis orchid. This popular species of orchid comes in a gorgeous variety of colors and hybrids, and can be found most of the year at many garden centers (and your local florist, of course!).

We found the inspiration for this project in one of our favorite industry magazines, Florists Review. We had a few minutes to kill around the shop this morning, and all of the supplies to make our own version. Here’s how it went down…

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Start with a clean, clear glass vase. You’ll need one that’s wide and medium height. Add a layer of white aquarium gravel to the base.


Carefully remove the orchid from its container, and gently place it in a thin clear plastic liner. Watch the roots!

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Place the orchid and its new liner in the vase on top of the gravel base. Slowly pour more gravel into the vase, letting it fall around the sides of the liner until everything is covered. You may need to shake the vase a little to the gravel around all the sides.


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Orchids have a fragile stem, so they’re usually stabilized against a stake or a piece of bamboo. Carefully remove the stake that came with the orchid, and replace it with a sturdy branch (we used birch). Cut the branch to size, then gently insert the base into the soil right up against the orchid to give it extra support. Loosely tie the orchid to the branch at the middle and top of the stem with a piece of raffia or twine.

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Add assorted seashells around the base of the orchid. Starfish and sand dollars would be great, too. If you have shells you’ve collected from your own beach combing, that’s even better!



If there are specific projects you’d like to learn about, let us know! Link them up in the comments, or send a photo to aprettypennyblog[at]yahoo[dot]com.

Have a great weekend!

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  1. 6.8.12

    Cool idea, you definitely deserve a thumbs up!! : )
    ..(Yippeee my first comment ever)

  2. 6.7.12

    what a fun idea, to share these tutorials. can’t wait for more!

  3. 6.3.12

    Hey, I like it! Readers might like to know orchids are easier to care for than people tend to think. At our shop we tell orchid buyers to drop in three ice cubes a week and other than that leave the poor beauty alone! So many customers come in saying, “Oh, I can’t buy an orchid; I’d kill it!” We convince them otherwise (with the tip above) then a few months later they’re back to add to their orchid collection! This presentation is lovely.

    • 10.15.13
      Shonna said:

      You put 3 ice cubes in the moss mix instead of watering it? Plus my orchid has sprouted a bunch of new roots.. What do I do now?
      Need help :(

      • 10.16.13
        Maria said:

        Hi, Shonna, yes, you just put the ice cubes on top of the potting medium (whatever it is, bark chips, moss, a combination…) instead of pouring water into it. Using ice cubes is just an easy way to give a measured amount of water, and it releases slowly instead of pouring straight through as sometimes happens with water.

        If your orchid is constrained in its pot it may need to be moved to a larger one but wait until its bloom cycle ends to avoid shocking the plant. It’s probably best to visit your local florist with the plant so they can advise you. Ample air roots shouldn’t be an issue, but I’m not sure if that’s your situation.

  4. 6.3.12
    Anonymous said:

    LOVE this new feature!! you are one gorgeous, classy woman! xoxo

  5. 6.3.12
    Anonymous said:

    Beautiful ! Your so creative ! Please keep the tutorials coming…. :)

  6. 6.2.12

    Thanks for sharing things! I have an orchid that needs to be put in a nice container and this would be perfect. Thanks for the how-to!

  7. 6.2.12
    Sara said:

    Great DIY!

  8. 6.2.12
    Kate said:

    Gorgeous! I might have to try this. I’ve been wanting an orchid. I would love any floral related tutorials. I do not have a green thumb at all, but I love beauties!

  9. 6.2.12
    Anne said:

    This is so lovely! And I love the idea of some tutorials – I’m so bad at putting together bouquets (even trying to figure out the best vase to use), but I’d love to be better at it…

  10. 6.2.12
    Maria Rojas said: