floral DESIGN studio

How to Use Chicken Wire Instead of Floral Foam in a Vase


At Pollen, we haven’t used floral foam in years.  You can see why here, and how (generally) here.  Briefly, floral foam is a petroleum-derived product that can’t be reused and contains formaldehyde.  Yuck.  In this post, I’ll break it down a bit more, and show how we prep our containers with chicken wire (instead of floral foam).

Do you need chicken wire?  If the vase is deep enough, you may not need the chicken wire.  Maybe the shapoe of the vase will keep the flowers in place, or maybe using some tape in an X across the top of the vase will provide enough structure.  But if it’s a shallow vase, you may need more support to keep your stems in place.

First, you’ll need to get your hands on some chicken wire, also called poultry netting. You can find it at the hardware store, usually by landscape fencing.  I get the uncoated silver stuff with 1″ honeycomb-looking holes.  I find the two foot widths are more manageable than the wider options.

Once you unroll the chicken wire, cut it with wire cutters so it’s about the width of the opening of the container and about twice as long.  Then, fold the wire into a roll with the short ends meeting, then fold over the cut ends secure the roll.  Once you’ve made the roll of wire, then move to the two ends to tuck those in to make a ball.  I then like to push up the underside of the ball, so it’s indented o the bottom. This allows the stems to do through both the top layer of the chicken wire and the bottom layer of the chicken wire, so it stays put.

The chicken wire ball should fit snugly into the container.  Using waterproof floral tape (I use the 1/4″ wide tape), make an X over the top of the container.  If you’ll have a heavy arrangement or are otherwise worried about the tape popping off, you can also put the tape all the way around the rim of the container.  Voila!  You’re ready to design!

More of a visual learner?  Me, too! Watch the video here:


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