Sometimes you come across a nifty little item that does one simple thing so well that you wonder where it's been all your life - that's how I felt when I first heard about the Budable: a jellylike stretchable plastic cover that handily sticks to glass, plastic and metal container tops of various shapes and sizes. There are holes of two different sizes in the top that stretch open, allowing flower stems and whatever else you might wan to store upright to be contained without flopping over.
My husband had brought me a bouquet of flowers for our anniversary - getting flowers doesn't happen all that often, but I really love it when it does. Unfortunately, all I can really do is plop them in a vase, where they usually fall a bit to the sides. I was hopeful that this time, the Budable would help me make them look a bit more arranged.
But life got a little bit busy, so they sat in water for a couple days before I could get to them - and sadly, they lost a few petals while I was working with them. (Not from the Budable, but because of the less than fresh quality of the flowers themselves)
Budable directions ask that you pull and stretch it a bit before using it so it will be easier to stretch it over the top of a vase. I spent a few minutes doing this, pulling at it in all directions.
I know they actually make toys and 'stress objects' out of this material, but I will admit that I don't much care for the 'feel' of this sort of stretchy plastic.
After a couple of minutes, I was more than ready to move onto the next step.
After giving it a good stretch, I tried mine out on a few different vases and tins, to determine how far I could actually stretch it.
I decided to try stretching it over a few vases and other containers to get a feel for the size range I could use it for. I tried a bulb-shaped vase with a lip that's about 5" in diameter, a metal tin I use to store drawing pens, also about 5" square, and a flared top vase with an 8" opening that is 'petaled', which is what I hoped to use for the flowers.
Putting on the first two was easy - the Budable gripped without any trouble to both the glass and the metal.
The last vase, with its wider and uneven lip was more challenging - I could stretch it over 3 of the 'petals' but then couldn't stretch it further without letting go and losing the progress I'd made. After a few minutes of this (and with water in the vase, since I planned to use this for the flowers), I called in for backup support.
My husband was able to pull it over the remaining portion of the vase while I held what was already where it should be in place. Between us, it only took a minute, and once it was actually pulled over the rim, it held with no further tendency to spring off.
Even so, I think in the future, I'll use it for smaller lipped vases, because if your flowers are fresh enough to last awhile, you'll want to water them now and then, and there is no way I'd be able to take this off to water and then get it back on again. But that's ok, as there are many vases in my closet that will work just fine and let me deal with it on my own.
This is the part where I learned that flower arranging is no skill of mine. The Budable did its part perfectly - me, not so much.
First, like I said, these flowers were just about done. Petals were dropping off, flowers were drooping...
Second, to actually do a flower arrangement, you want greenery, maybe some baby's breath or some sort of other interest, in different heights so that the end result is an attractive composition.
Even so, the Budable let me put each stem where I wanted to, and it holds it there, so flower arranging is a skill I can practice to do better.
A whole lot better.
In the end, there was no tearing of the holes (and these were some pretty thick stems), and the Budable does exactly what it says it does.
Washing it is as simple as some gentle care with soap and warm water and it will revert to its original shape once it's released from a vase. If you plan to arrange roses or other items with thorns, the Budable website also carries a rose de-thorner which is another very simple and very brilliant answer to a common problem.
Once you get to know what Budable can do, you're probably going to want more than one, because in addition to flowers, it can also be put into service for organization.
I tried mine out with my drawing pens, but it could also be used to store paintbrushes, make up brushes, small kitchen utensils, and whatever else you can think of.
It occurs to me that it'd also make a great corral for yarn, which could be reeled out through one of the holes.
A single Budable costs only $3.95, and right now you can buy 3, get 3 free for just $14.95 +S&H, and get a flower arranging guide thrown in to boot. I think it would be a real boon to those who have some flower arranging skills, and might just provide enough of a boost to give the hopeless cases like me some motivation to learn.
Budable on Facebook
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