Flower Frogs 101

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It’s back to school season – time for a basic course in flower frogs.  Why flower frogs?  In part because the holidays are just around the corner and a good centerpiece starts with the right frog.  But mostly because I enjoy collecting vintage flower frogs.  And now I want to talk about them.

How a Frog Collection Starts

A while back, I inherited a few vintage flower frogs from my mother-in-law, Betty.  One was an ancient-looking, tiny spike frog measuring only 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  It intrigued me, especially in contrast to the largest of Betty’s frogs, an obviously much-used glass frog measuring 5 inches in diameter.

Vintage flower frogs

It started me thinking about how much variety there is in the world of vintage frogs  – all the different sizes, shapes, and designs.  I began seeking them out.

Types of Frogs

There are countless flower frog designs out there, but most frogs fall loosely into one of these categories:

Cage Frogs

Usually made of wire, mesh, or metal, cage frogs are very popular.

The green frog on the left is a Dazey Flower Holder with a patent date of 1918.  The copper colored frog on the right is unmarked and has a suction cup on the bottom.

vintage flower frogs - cage frogs

But cage frogs need not be placed only on the bottom of a vase.  If the circumference of the vase works for it and the vase is sufficiently weighted at the bottom, these frogs can be wedged at or near the top for better control of the flowers.

Popular mason jar frog lids are also a form of cage frog.  As the name suggests, they fit on top of a mason jar, taking the place of the lid and turning the mason jar into a vase with a built-in frog.

But I will show you later in this post how to make your own temporary frog that works similarly for any vase.

Glass or Crystal Frogs

Glass or crystal frogs are great because they are usually weighty and stay in place.  Some, like those made of depression glass, are also very decorative.

I acquired the frog in the photo below because it is unusual:  The center hole is larger than the perimeter holes, so one large and showy flower stem can be placed in the center, surrounded by smaller stems – or so I thought.

Vintage flower frog - glass frog

But I wondered why the large center hole is not cut all the way through.  An observant reader solved the mystery:  It is so that it could be used to hold a candle.

I have yet to use this frog, but am looking forward to the possibilities.

I did use a glass frog in this centerpiece.

Daffodils in milk glass vase

Spike Frogs

For practical use, these are by far my favorites because they allow more versatility when arranging flowers, and they are excellent at holding stems exactly where I want them.

Vintage flower frogs - spike frogs

I recently acquired the frog to the far left at an estate sale.  Its rectangular shape is unusual, and the base is early plastic instead of metal.  The stamp on the bottom is intriguing.

spike frog made in california

It’s hard to read, but the bottom line says it’s made in California.  How often do we see that these days?

My favorite spike frog is the tiny one I mentioned earlier.  It works great in shallow bowls and was the glue holding these three arrangements together.

For more on these arrangements, see my posts about my camellia centerpiece,  arranging calla lilies, and the flowering quince.

Wire frogs are nice for arranging flowers in a uniform height and spread.   My mom, Erika, used a wire frog for this arrangement.

Carnation centerpiece

Ceramic Frogs

Vintage ceramic frogs are very decorative in their own right, and some are made by well-known pottery studios such as Weller Pottery.

While on a road trip recently, we stopped at an antique store.  When I saw this frog, I suddenly heard the words “I need this for my frog collection” tumble out of my mouth.

Vintage flower frog
Ceramic pottery frog, circa 1940

The proprietor looked amused that anyone would have a frog collection.

DIY Temporary Frogs

These are not vintage frogs.  In fact they aren’t really frogs at all.  But I just thought I would share a couple of work-arounds that I use when I don’t have the right frog for the job.

For instance, getting back to those mason jar frog lids, what if you don’t have one, or what if you want use something other than a mason jar?  Say you have a pretty glass vase and you don’t want the frog to show through.  No problem – just create a tape grid on top of the vase as I did for these two arrangements.

roses    Hydrangeas in large urn

The how-to can be found in my post on arranging hydrangeas.  You could do the job right and use waterproof clear floral tape, but I find it works for me to just use regular clear tape.

Erika likes to use florist Oasis in her arrangements, and last fall she used it when creating the centerpiece for her fall dinner party.

fall party table setting

Other Uses for Flower Frogs

When not holding a floral arrangement together, these little superheros can serve many purposes.  Glass frogs make great paperweights.  Ceramic, glass, and cage frogs can hold pencils, pens, makeup brushes, small tools, small paintbrushes and other art supplies. Spike frogs can double as stands for business cards, post cards, and place cards at formal dinners.

uses for frogs

Your Grade

If you’ve read this far, then you’ve earned an A in Flower Frogs 101.  Want an A+?  Leave a comment with your own creative use for flower frogs.


Vintage flower frogs are collectible but a savvy shopper can still find them at bargain prices.   You can find so many fun and unusual flower frogs on Etsy.

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

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26 Replies to “Flower Frogs 101”

  1. Great article! I’m including it on my “Antique & Vintage Online Info” list that I keep on my sidebar. I’ve done a couple of posts on flower frogs; I just love ’em. I use a spiky one at my antique booth to hold business cards and glass ones to hold scissors and pens on my desk.

  2. Another great post, Heidi! I remember now that my mom had a spike frog and also some kind of green styrofoam thing maybe? I’ll be on the lookout for frogs!

  3. I love and collect frogs as well. Mine started unintentionally, just found a couple and I love using them in vignettes. Great for holding a postcard or flashcard. I also use my large one to hold pens. Love your collection! I have a tiny one as well, but have never seen a rectangular one. It is fabulous! I also don’t have any glass ones, but my cousin called me the other day and said that she found an old glass one that had been her mothers and did I want it . You bet!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Jann, sounds like you have floral frog fever too. You do such lovely vignettes, I’m sure your frogs go to great use. (Readers: Check out “Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson” if you want your sprits instantly lifted.) I hope you enjoy your new (old) glass frog.

  4. Heidi, I enjoyed your blog, having a modest collection of flower frogs myself. An antique dealer told me that the larger hole in the centre sometimes didn’t go all the way through and was thought to be used for a candle. Wouldn’t that be pretty?

    1. Elaine, I was wondering about that, and you’ve solved the mystery for me. Now I really can’t wait to use that glass frog, and I’m updating my post with this new info. It’s definitely an A+ for you!

  5. I am envious of your flower frog collection. My collection is much smaller than yours without as much variation. You provided great information for the collector or collector to be. Thank you so much for sharing at Vintage Charm and hope to see you back this week!

  6. What a treat to find your article. I have a been slowly collecting frogs for a few years. I didn’t know before today what they were called, just that they were for flowers. I liked them and wanted to own them, and was able to find a few. Over the last few days I have gathered them together and realize I just might have a collection. Its fun to find others who love Frogs. I would be happy to share pictures.

    1. Andrea, how fun! I would love to see photos of your collection and share with my readers! Let me know if you have any trouble attaching photos to this comment stream.

  7. Very informative. I found a bag of five old floral frogs at a local thrift store for $1.00. I generally use oasis, but thought I’d give the frogs a try. One looks like it has notches to connect with other frogs, I presume. One is a 2″ by 4″ rectangle, and says Dazey and was manufactured in L.A. California. The others are round. One says Genuine Golden Gate Plas-Stik . The others are unmarked, but I imagine the flowers don’t care. I had to assure the woman running the shop that I was planning to use them. She wanted to make sure that they were going to a good home. I’ll have to stop by again soon, as she thought there were “a few more in back somewhere”.

    1. Bunny, what a wonderful find! I know many collectors of frogs who would love to have such luck. Yes you should definitely go back again soon.

  8. I just bought a spike one off of Amazon that I will be using to remove pith from citrus peels. I like to make candied citrus peels and make syrup out of the thick sweet citrus liquid leftover after I double boil the peels in sugar. I will be scraping the spikes against the pith to remove it from peels before boiling instead of stressing my poor pointer finger knuckle from quickly rubbing a razor blade or a knife against the peel.

  9. I enjoyed your article regarding the types and uses for fkora frogs. I have a seen Friday in your images that I would never had guessed were for that use, esp the cages. I have a very small collection and would like to know if you have any ideas as to where to find them. I keep looking at yard sales, all kinds of antique shops and haven’t found one in years. Any tips?

  10. My auto correct messed up. I meant to say that I liked your article about floral frogs. Also, that I have seen floral frog images in your article which I’ve never seen before. I apologise if my comments were confusing Thanks

    1. Hi, Rima, apologies for the late response. I would suggest continuing to check antique shops and garage sales, as well as thrift shops. Etsy is another great source. You might also want to get the word out among your friends that you are looking for floral frogs. A few of mine I got simply as gifts from friends. I hope this helps.

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