Mosaic shopping list

With the flower bulb fields in bloom, flowers everywhere and a mosaic in many a garden, the Flower Days is one of the most colourful events in the Netherlands. But how does one go about making one of a mosaic? Chairman Wouter op ‘t Veld reports.

Wouter: After having conducted thorough research among seasoned pinners, I have written a list for new pinners with everything they’ll need to make their own mosaic. Hopefully they will find it as insightful and inspiring as I did.”

When you have decided you want to enter a mosaic in the Flower Days (or decided to participate in one of the other categories, like decorating your local street, bridge, create an ‘object’, or ‘house and garden’), you first have to decide on the category you want to enter. Among these categories are ‘youth’, ‘future’ and adult, but you can find a complete list of all categories in the rules and conditions.

Next up is to enlist the help of friends, family and neighbours in making your mosaic. After that, complete the items on the following list:

  • Create a schedule with whom is coming to help when assign the different tasks.
  • Settle on a design and the size of the mosaic.
  • Enter the competition. Add the amount and colour of hyacinth buds you need for your project on the entry form. The buds will be readied for collection when the flowers get distributed. You receive the flowers for free.
  • Gather and buy your materials. You will require a sheet of wood, poles, a sheet of polystyrene, expanding foam, pins, a printed stencil, plastic storage tubs.
  • Read the rules and conditions thoroughly.

Wouter: “If this is your first time making a mosaic, we recommend you keep the design simple. This ensures the process stays fun for all participants while still getting valuable pinning experience. If you get stuck, many seasoned pinners are more than happy to help out, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

TIps and tricks:

  • A beamer comes is a valuable tool to determine the size of your mosaic.
  • If you’re planning on use paint, make sure you get a water based one. Oil based paints will damage the polystyrene.
  • The hyacinth buds are available in pink, white, blue, purple, yellow, orange and red.
  • Bring boxes to transport the flowers home, as the boxes at the distribution centre cannot leave the premises. Look for boxes with a lot of holes, like mesh boxes or shopping crates. Make sure you cover the flowers well to prevent them rotting.
  • To get a good look at how far along you are, put the mosaic upright while you are pinning.
  • There are different ways to pin the buds into the polystyrene, all designed to create different effects. Depending on the angle you’re pinning at, you can create volume, tighter contours, or make colours appear darker.You can also use a partial overlap when you are pinning to ensure the field is filled well.
  • Both silver and black pins are for sale to pin the flower buds on. Pin light coloured flowers with silver pins so they don’t show as much on the final product.
  • Tell your hardware shop that you are using the polystyrene to make a mosaic. They can advise you on the type of polystyrene to use. Make sure you always put a stencil over the tempex, as this is what you’ll be pinning in.
  • Last but not least: start early! Years of experience tell us that making a mosaic is very time consuming. You can start prepping weeks in advance and you can collect your flowers during set times on Tuesday or Wednesday a week before the start of the Flower Days.
  • As a participant you will receive either a letter or an email with important locations, like where you can collect the flowers, where you can drop off trash and who to contact if you have any questions.

Wouter: “After a week of pinning all mosaics must be ready on the Saturday and 9am on the dot for judging. An award ceremony will be held that night and the champion announced. During the ceremony, points will be rewarded for every mosaic. You must put your result sheet next to your mosaic, so visitors can see what place it ended in.