Flowers of the Past: How to create a Victorian inspired vase using transfers

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See my floral arrangement for these vases here:

In this look at flowers of the past we are talking about the Victorian Era - Queen Victoria’s reign - England from 1837 until 1901.

The best words to describe this era of floral design is, elaborate full and abundant. Although society was strict, formal and somewhat prudish, this could not be said for the opulent and excessively large tightly packed floral arrangements: lavish full-blown roses, hydrangeas, lilies, lilac, snowballs, camellia (or whatever was in season), along with lots of different foliage’s all picked from their gardens and forced into ornate decorative vases. The rule of thumb was for balance and symmetry.

Designs were typically round or oval in form and they worked on the golden rule of 1 & ½ times the height of the container which gave them this perfect balance. I should also add, often matching vases would be used.

To sum it all up, the aesthetic beauty and elegance of their designing persists to this day. Every now and then you will see renditions of the Victorian floral art on most special occasion and is still the foundation of many floral arrangements.

As indicated the vases were ornate, but not so much that they out classed or over shadowed the flowers and although they worked in tall highly decorated China vases, baskets, urns, round or oval containers were used. Towards the end of this era, silver found its place, thanks to India being another jewel in Queen Victoria’s Crown (Empire). Tall, slender arrangements were used for entrance or foyers, small rounded bowls for sitting room side tables or bed sides and for dining there may have been something tall and oversized or delicate tiered epergnes filled with seasonal pickings, evenly placed to run down the centre dining table.

To set the stage, I have gone from one side of the world to the other seeking matching Victorian vases and everything I found was either too small or excessively expensive. Solution- create your own and it’s super easy.

Things to gather:
- I wanted 2 tall ceramic vases but as per normal I couldn’t find any in a size I felt resplendent, so settled on white glass. Old fashioned milk glass would have been nice but that too proved equally as difficult to find.

- To further embellish – ‘re-design’ Diy decor transfers. These are fantastic and the design styles are endless. All you have to do is cut out the shape to a desired size, (if necessary) and simply peel away the backing paper, place and then rub to transfer the image to the surface of your vessel.

Included in the pack is a stick you use to rub to transfer, but a tip from me, use a 2” rubber roller. This makes application so much easier.

TIP – if you are using a high gloss vase like the one I used then you will also need 180grit sand paper and a bit of water. I’ll share why during the video tutorial.

- A nice thick towel to lay vase/vessel flat to stop breakage and rolling. I found that working flat or horizontal worked best.

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