A casket spray is not a tradition that is short on history. Dr. Ralph Solecki led an archaeological dig that shows that the tradition of placing flowers on or near the place of burial dates back over 62,000 years. That alone tells you that the use of flowers in a funeral service or viewing has survived for generations. So, making a casket spray that is special to the deceased and the survivors is an important task and honor so if you have been asked to complete this task you have been given a unique honor. The casket spray is typically the most important of all the flowers in the funeral. For most know, that in death, flowers are used to symbolize how the beauty of creation is temporary; as surely as the flower must be cut from the stem, so it is with human life.
Choose the Casket Spray Design: The flowers that are placed on the casket are typically the most important flowers at the service. They are often chosen and purchased by the immediate family of the deceased and there is a way to assure yourself that no mis-communication in design occurs. When you are asked to make the casket spray know that knowing exactly what the family wants could be different than what you may think a casket spray is.
Though most people will order a casket spray and expect a floral arrangement that will be placed on the casket lid, even when the lid is open for viewing a typical casket spray is designed to cover a major portion of the casket and is usually placed in the center of a closed casket.
A casket blanket is a floral arrangement with a draping base, like burlap, on which the flowers and greenery are fastened and the blanket can either cover the entire casket or a portion of the casket and may be as long as to touch the floor.
A scarf design used for a casket is also placed on fabric but it would only be designed to cover a portion of the casket and the drape would be considerably smaller. You will find this design is utilized most often for an open casket viewing.
There is also the couch designs to consider when making a casket spray. If the person requesting the casket spray wants the floral arrangement to sit on a rack immediately behind the open lid of the casket and be relatively the same size as the casket they are referring to a full couch floral arrangement. And a half couch design is also sometimes referred to as the casket spray but it is a specific design intended to be placed on the lower portion of the lid of a half closed casket.
List and Purchase the Needed Items For your Casket Spray: Though most of us have only ever seen the finished product and would have no idea of the complexity involved in creating one a casket spray does require a considerable amount of structural, floral, greenery and other miscellaneous floral arranging supplies. A good way to make sure that your making a casket spray is a successful endeavor is to list all of the supplies needed and check them off when they are assembled or purchased.
You may or not have all of the florist tools already but you will want to have them handy so be sure to list; stem cutters, stem wrap, picks, hot glue, a hot glue gun, a good knife, scissors, a card pick or ribbon and the casket saddle and floral foam. You may not utilize all of these tools but starting without them on your list could lead to a less successful project.
Depending on the floral casket spray design you have chosen you will then need to check the availability of the quantity of flowers that you need. A typical casket spray will have as many as 125 flowers. They can be a concentration of lower cost flowers, like carnations, and roses or lilies but a casket spray will appear best with a full design in flowers with greenery and other fillers like babies breath. On your list you will want to include color choices, size and quantity. What is requested may not be readily available so alternate choices should be listed and purchased if needed. Your local floral wholesaler or supply house may be able to help you with this if you need an alternative flower to complete your casket spray.
Assemble Your Casket Spray: The casket spray saddle will need to be filled with floral foam and I recommend using your knife to cut the foam into the basic shape you desire. Shaving off a thin layer little by little will help you to avoid foam shaping errors. After you have the saddle and foam ready exactly how you want it the floral arrangement steps and design are unique to you. There are as many opinions on this process as there are floral designers and luckily for you it's the finished product that will be viewed so feel free to assemble the casket spray floral arrangement the way that works best for you. Some may want to start with the base greenery and work up the foam to the center or work the complete opposite from the top down. I like to leave my important flowers, like the lilies, for last but others will start by placing them and then continue to fill around them. Either way is fine, just take your time and you will have a beautiful casket spray assembled before you know it.
Items you will need
Floral Tools and Forms
Flowers and Fillers