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Vase gems are decorative pieces used to fill a clear or translucent vessel. Florists use vase gems to weigh down a vase, to add colorful interest to an otherwise plain glass piece, or to accent the design of an interesting container. Most vase gems are about a half-inch in size, and many different shapes and colors are available. These versatile accents can be round marbles, flattened disks, rough-cut rocks, crystals, or holiday-themed glass.
The small size of most vase jewels allows them to fill in vessels of any shape with ease. Even long, tall cylinders can quickly be filled with vase gems as required. Depending on the overall size of the container and the amount of coverage desired, multiple packs of vase gems may be needed. Gems of all shapes and materials are reusable, but should be cleaned between uses to avoid spreading bacteria from one plant to another. Multiple colors and styles can be mixed together if desired, as long as all pieces are waterproof.
The most commonly used material for vase gems is glass. Since glass is non-porous, available in a multitude of colors, and unlikely to break once enclosed in a vase or vessel, it is an ideal material for vase gems. Other materials include plastic, rocks, polymers, and ceramics. Some materials are more sheer than others, and each type provides a different look for a finished arrangement. Items made from fabric, unfired pottery, and materials that are not waterproof should not be used as gems in a water-filled arrangement.
When vase jewels are used to fill the bottom of a floral arrangement, they act as a decorative accent and an anchor for flower stems and greenery. Crystal or clear vases will allow the color and texture of vase gems to show, while opaque containers will not. Using an opaque vase or vessel is a good way to use up scrap or leftover filler, since the color can't be seen through the walls of the vessel.
The amount of gems used to fill the bottom of a decorative vase will affect the water level, so they should be added before water. Once gems are in place, water is added to fill the vase about halfway. Next, flowers and greenery are added to the vase; the glass gems act to hold the stems in place and maintain the decorative arrangement. More water can be added as needed to complete the arrangement.