Learn about flower frogs, their history, and how you can use them in your home. They are so fun to collect and really work well when creating floral arrangements.
While recently visiting my friend Lisa’s house, I was reminded of her beautiful collection of flower frogs.
You see, Lisa is an antique collector and has the most beautiful home, filled with all kinds of antiques, many of which are gardening related antique collectibles.
One of her collections, floral frogs, has often interested me, so I asked her if I could borrow some and write about them on my blog. Being the ever gracious person that she is, the answer was a quick “yes,” followed by a show-and-tell of some of her favorites she's collected from flea markets, antique shops, garage sales, and a few from Etsy.
What is a Flower Frog?
Ever heard of flower frogs? Well, maybe you’ve seen them but did not know what they were. Flower frogs date back to 14th century Japan as a means of assisting floral designers with flower arranging.
There are many different types of flower frogs, including glass, pottery, and metal. Most are used inside vases as a vessel to hold the flowers in place. Some are not used in vases but come with their own containers to hold the water and, even more interestingly, some are beautiful ceramic flower frog figurines with holes to hold stems of flowers as an art form.
Vintage Flower Frogs Gallery
Why are they called "Flower Frogs"
It seems that no one knows the origin of the term “frog,” though most agree it must have become a slang term for the fact that they sit in water, like a frog. Flower frogs became widely popular in the United States during the 1920s and ’30s. In the mid-1950s, however, a water-absorbent floral foam, called “Oasis,” was invented, driving the flower frogs to near extinction. Still, many people, like Lisa, enjoy collecting them and displaying them for their own beauty or re-purposing them for other uses.
Other Uses for Flower Frogs
Metal pincushion frogs
- Soap dish
- Cardholder (business cards, place cards, Christmas cards, mail, notes, small photos)
- In a pretty vignette
Glass frogs with holes
- Hold pens and pencils for your desk
- Hold makeup brushes
- Store embroidery scissor collections
Here's an all-in-one glass frog holding a tight set of daisies. Somewhat like the Pave arrangements that are very popular now. Imagine how cute they would look if you had several of them running down the middle of a long dining table. I think they would also look nice in antique teacups.
Here's a great example of their basic function. I used the same clear glass flower frog pictured above in the vase as a flower holder for this little bunch of alstroemeria. There weren't many stems in the bunch but the resulting look is pretty and full.
Here, a few flower frogs along with some chicken wire in the bottom of your container to help hold many branches of greenery for a Christmas centerpiece. Two have spiky pins with a heavy metal base and the third is the same glass one mentioned above.
They make floral design work so simple. Something all flower lovers would enjoy.
P.S. My friend Lisa was gracious enough to share some of her other garden-related collections and you can find them on this blog. One is all about ceramic antique posy holders. The other is a set of vintage cigarette wildflower prints. Tiny little cards that used to come in cigarette packages back in the '30s. They are so fun. Have you ever heard of them?