Focus on Flower Frogs

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While recently visiting my friend Lisa’s house, I was reminded of her beautiful collection of flower frogs. You see, Lisa has the most beautiful home, filled with all kinds of antiques and 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.

Antique Glass Flower Frog ~ flower frogs ~

Antique Glass Flower Frog

Being the ever gracious person that she is, the answer was quickly “yes,” followed by a show-and-tell of some of her favorites and a box for me to take home and play with.

Antique cast flower frog ~ flower frogs ~ gardenmatter.comNever 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 florists with flower arranging. They come in a variety of forms, including: glass, ceramic and metal. Most are used inside of vases 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 figurines with holes to hold flowers as an art form.

Here’s a gallery of more of Lisa’s collection:

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 US during the 1920s and 30’s. In the mid 1950s, however, a water-absorbent 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
Card holder (business cards, place cards, Christmas cards, mail, notes, small photos)

Glass frogs with holes
Hold pens and pencils for your desk
Hold makeup brushes
Store embroidery scissor collections

All in one glass flower~ flower frogs ~

All in one glass flower from

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.

using flower frog in teacup ~ flower frogs ~ gardenmatter.comAnother idea is using small bowls or here, where I used an antique teacup equipped with a small flower frog to hold the flowers in place. It would be great again, as a runner or even a centerpiece for a small table at shower or other ladies gathering. Do you own any flower frogs? Do you have any unusual uses for them, or do you like to display them in your home?


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About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. I had no idea that flower frogs came in so many different types. I love the ceramic frogs but the figure frogs are so unique. The only ones I have ever seen are the metal pin cushion type. Of course now I need to have one. Just one more thing to be on the lookout for.

  2. I just love that small flower frog and flowers in the teacup! I have a friend who has an extensive collection of frogs, many of which were collected by her mother. I have asked her if I could show her frogs on my blog but we just haven’t gotten around to that. So I’ve started collecting a few of my own. My favorite ones are the glass ones.

    • Thanks Jane. I’d love to see your friend’s collection. They are so cool. I’m keeping an eye out to start my own collection. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thank you for sharing this…I never knew where Frogs got their name…I am always on the hint for some but so far haven’t come across any. Love the frog frog….he’s too cute!

    • Christine,

      Glad you liked it. The frog is too cute! I almost used it as the featured image but then I thought it was a little to unusual and might confuse the issue. Keep looking you’ll find them. Lisa has me looking for them too! We’ll have to start sharing our finds next. So glad you stopped by. Hope you have a great day!

  4. hi I came across this page via Pinterest and found it interesting. I often see these frogs at charity shops but never pick them up generally ignoring them. Having seen the lovely daisy display I think next time I will pick them up and start using. Excellent.

  5. i have a rather extensive collection of flower frogs. would be happy to share a photo or 2! My husband does not understand my love of these things, and to be truthful, neither do I! I cannot resist when I see them (even the most common clear glass ones) at a flea or tag sale. They have to come home with me. Gald to see I’m not the only one out there!

  6. I use mine to display my marbles.

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