Thursday, July 12, 2012

Special Orders Don’t Upset Us

It’s true here at MilandDil Designs we love custom orders. The process for our special custom designs does not upset us at all. In fact, we love the idea of creating an arrangement or floral accent specifically for our clients.  Let me take you through the process to show you how it works.

Free in-home consultation

The first step is to meet with the client to see where the arrangement will be used.  It’s helpful to get a feel for the home décor to better select the materials.  Measurements are taken and photographs made for reference in the shop later. Then we discuss with the client any specific colors, elements, or types of materials they may want us to use.  In this case, the client had containers for us to fill, but we can also purchase or provide the container. This pre-design meeting is a complimentary service.
I just completed a custom order for two metal urns for a dining room side table. So let me show you how this particular design evolved.  The client had the two empty urns for me to use. Great! After seeing where they were going to be used, I knew they needed something tall. The color scheme in the home had muted browns, tans, and neutral colors. So now the design begins to take shape in my mind as to how it will need to look.
Blog resized0103 Blog resized0101

Back to the shop where the magic happens

Back in the shop you'll see all the tools of the trade: glue gun, pan, wire cutters, foam, and tools. Because we are a stickler for quality construction, extra time is taken to properly prepare the container before anything else is done. Remember, it must pass the “FLIP” test.
 Blog resized0104 DSCN5555
Gorilla Glue is one of my best friends. I generously cover the inside of the container with the glue. After letting it set for a couple of minutes, I begin adding floral foam to completely fill the container from the bottom up.
 Blog resized0105
It’s like putting together a puzzle for me. I use wooden skewer sticks to keep blocks of foam together.  I also use the glue gun and pan to keep the interior foam together. IMPORTANT: Gorilla Glue is only used on the outside of the foam where it touches the container because you cannot penetrate set Gorilla Glue with anything. This I learned the hard way! Flower stems will not go through it. So go easy on the glue on the foam, but make sure it’s going to stay in the container and is secure.
DSCN5560 DSCN5564
Once the container is filled with foam, here’s the first FLIP test. Upside down the container goes to make sure it’s going to all stay put. Then I use the glue gun to put a swirl to keep the moss in place.  Another MilandDil rule: there shall be no foam showing!
DSCN5567 DSCN5568
DSCN5571 DSCN5575

Design, create and build

Here’s where the magic really happens. I look through the mass of flowers and stems in the shop to pull what I think will look good. I usually lay them out on the table to see if they will work well together. I like to choose materials with a variety of textures, as well as looking for height, color and color tones to work for the design.
DSCN5576 DSCN5578
There is no real set process from here as far as building the arrangement. But each stem or element is securely glued into the container. Remember, I cannot fail the final “FLIP” test when the arrangements are finished. Because I was creating two arrangements to anchor the ends of a side table, I built them together as I went along just for continuity.

Final “FLIP” test

This is not a trick where I flipped the photo. That’s one of the arrangements completely upside down. And yes, I’m happy to say both passed. Not one single thing fell out.

Delivery, setup and installation

The arrangement(s) are delivered and setup at no charge. This is the final check to make sure the arrangement was properly done and the client is happy with the result.
2012-07-11 17.20.462012-07-11 17.21.00DSCN5591DSCN5596DSCN5590DSCN5586
Now you know a little bit more about how we take care of our special orders.  We know if you are an out-of-town customer, our in-home consultation is not an option. However, we can still design something uniquely special for you from a photograph, email or phone call.
While we may not be holding the pickle or the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us!


  1. Great post! Love the behind the scenes look at how things are done!

  2. Fabulous fabulous! How lovely and thank you for sharing your secrets with us too! Well, I could know all your secrets on flower arranging and could not make florals like you! Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. Great post. I have alot of catching up to do. I hope to talk to you soon. I updated my blog. Blessings,