Title:
Transportation and display assembly for floral bouquets and other items
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present disclosure provides a transportation and display assembly for floral bouquets and plants. The assembly includes a collapsible vase and optionally a water impermeable liner. The collapsible vase may be constructed from a single sheet of flexible material and includes suitable folds or cuts so that it can be manipulated from a flattened configuration to an operational configuration. Also provided are methods of constructing such collapsible vases and methods of shipping flowers with such collapsible vases.



Inventors:
Flanagan, Wade (Portland, OR, US)
Swindells, Whitney (Portland, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/198600
Publication Date:
02/09/2006
Filing Date:
08/05/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VALENTI, ANDREA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLARQUIST SPARKMAN, LLP (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A collapsible container for a floral bouquet comprising: at least three side panels foldably coupled to each other at respective longitudinally extending fold lines, each side panel having top and bottom edges and first and second, longitudinally extending, opposed side edges that converge toward each other from the bottom edge to the top edge of the respective side panel; at least one bottom panel foldably coupled to the bottom edge of one of said side panels; wherein the container can be alternately folded and unfolded between a folded, collapsed state and a useable, expanded state so that the floral bouquet can be placed therein, wherein when the container is in the expanded state, the side panels form the sides of the container and the bottom panel forms the bottom of the container.

2. The container of claim 1, further comprising a reinforcement flap foldably coupled to the top edge of each side panel, each reinforcement flap being configured to fold against a respective side panel when the container is unfolded to the expanded state so as to increase the rigidity of the container.

3. The container of claim 1, wherein the at least one bottom panel comprises at least first and second bottom panels, each foldably coupled to the bottom edge of one of said side panels and formed with complimentary notches allowing the bottom panels to interlock with each other when the container is unfolded to the expanded state.

4. The container of claim 1, wherein the side panels and the bottom panel are formed from a single blank.

5. The container of claim 4, wherein the blank has a unitary construction.

6. The container of claim 1, wherein when the container is in the collapsed state, the container is substantially flat and has an overall size that the same as or less than the overall size of a side panel.

7. The container of claim 1, wherein: the at least three side panels comprise first, second, third, and fourth side panels, the second panel being disposed between and connected to the first and third panels, the third panel being disposed between and connected to the second and fourth panels; the at least one bottom panel comprises first, second, third, and fourth bottom panels, the first bottom panel being foldably coupled to the bottom edge of the first side panel, the second bottom panel being foldably coupled to the bottom edge of the second side panel, the third bottom panel being foldably coupled to the bottom edge of the third side panel, and the fourth bottom panel being foldably coupled to the bottom edge of the fourth side panel; wherein the second and fourth bottom panels each includes a foldable bottom flap defining a respective notch, such that when the container is unfolded to the expanded state, the second and fourth bottom panels interlock with each other at the notches.

8. A method of shipping a floral bouquet comprising: placing the floral bouquet in a standard shipping container; placing the container of claim 1 in the standard shipping container; placing a waterproof liner in the standard shipping container; and shipping the standard shipping container to a recipient; wherein the recipient may unfold the container into the expanded state, place the liner in the container, and place water and the floral bouquet in the liner.

9. The container of claim 4, wherein the blank is made of paperboard.

10. The container of claim 1, further comprising a water impermeable liner that is adapted to contain water in the container when it is in the expanded state.

11. The container of claim 4, wherein the blank comprises a side tab connected to one of the side panels that can be connected to an opposing edge portion of the blank.

12. The container of claim 1, wherein the side panels comprise an accordion construction such that each side panel can be folded against an adjacent side panel when the container is in the collapsed state.

13. A method of shipping a floral arrangement or plants comprising: placing a flower or plant in a standard shipping container; placing a collapsible vase formed from a single blank in the standard shipping container; placing a waterproof liner in the standard shipping container; and shipping the standard shipping container to a recipient; and wherein the collapsible vase has a plurality of sides and the recipient can expand the collapsible vase into an operational position by pushing on at least a portion of the plurality of sides.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the recipient can secure a tab adjacent a first side of the plurality of sides located at a first edge of the blank to a second side of the plurality of sides located at a second edge of the blank.

15. A method of making a preformed collapsible container for flowers or plants from a single sheet of material comprising: forming a plurality of side folds in the sheet of material, the plurality of side folds extending from a top portion of the sheet to a bottom portion of the sheet, the plurality of side folds defining a plurality of side panels, each side panel having a top portion and a bottom portion; and forming a first bottom fold adjacent the bottom of a first side panel of the plurality of side panels, the first bottom fold extending substantially from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge of the first side panel, the first bottom fold defining a first bottom section; and forming a side tab fold adjacent to, and extending substantially from the bottom to the top of, a side panel of the plurality of side panels, the side tab fold defining a side tab that can be secured to another of said side panels.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising: forming a reinforcement fold adjacent a top portion of, and extending substantially from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge of, a second side panel of the plurality of side panels, which may be the same as the first side panel, thereby defining an upper reinforcement section; bending the upper reinforcement section to contact the top portion of the second side panel; and attaching the upper reinforcement section to the top portion of the second side panel.

17. The method of 15, further comprising: forming a second bottom fold adjacent the bottom of a second side panel of the plurality of side panels and extending substantially from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge of the second side panel, the second bottom fold defining a second bottom section; forming mating notches in an edge of each of the first and second side panels; forming third and forth bottom folds adjacent the bottom of third and fourth side panels of the plurality of side panels and extending substantially from a first longitudinal edge to a second longitudinal edge of the respective third or fourth side panel, the third and fourth bottom folds defining third and fourth bottom sections; attaching the first bottom section to the third bottom section; and attaching the second bottom section to the fourth bottom section.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of, and incorporates by reference, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/599,322, filed Aug. 6, 2004.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to transport and display devices for ornamental objects, such as floral bouquets and plants. Certain embodiments provide such devices that may contain sufficient water for flowers or plants, that provide support for objects placed therein during transit and when used to display the objects, and which can be easily folded and unfolded.

BACKGROUND

There are a number of shortcomings and limitations in the floral industry with regard to the assembly, presentation, transportation, and display of floral bouquets. “Floral bouquet” as used herein means fresh cut flowers, artificial flowers, a single stem, a plurality of stems, other fresh and/or artificial plants, or other floral materials and may include other secondary plants and/or ornamentation which add to the aesthetics of the overall floral bouquet.

Floral bouquets are commonly purchased in a number of forms, such as a bouquet only, a bouquet wrapped in paper or plastic, and a bouquet placed in a vase. Any of these bouquets may be decorated with ribbon, tissue, raffia, and the like.

When a floral bouquet is sold in a vase, it is usually done so to complete the purchase and remove the burden from the recipient of having to transplant the flowers from a delivery device to a suitable vase. In many instances, the vases in which the bouquets are sold are undesirable to the customer because of their look, bulk, or expense. However, when flowers are delivered to a person without a vase, such as when they are delivered to a place other than the person's home, there is often difficulty in finding a suitable vase or other container for the flowers.

Particularly with the advent of ecommerce, the floral industry is experiencing changes in how flowers are purchased by consumers. For example, rather than buying flowers at a local florist, many consumers are buying bouquets fresh from the farms, directly. These bouquets are typically sent in a standardized flower box, such as a box that is 7.5″×7.5″×29″. A vase may often be ordered along with the flowers and is typically included in the same box. Such vases are typically heavy and breakable, which may increase the cost of the transaction to the customer and result in an unfavorable transaction if the vase or flowers are damaged when they are received by the recipient.

In addition to potentially causing problems and expense to the customer, vases can also create problems for the florist. For example, the florist must store the vases and bear the expense of any broken vases. In addition, it is often necessary for the florist to make plain vases more attractive, such as through the use of colored films wrapped around the vase or hand painting the vase. However, such decorative efforts can be time consuming and cause additional expense.

Although florists have access to a number of preformed containers, such as ceramic vases, sheet metal objects, plastic vases, and pottery items for use in the floral industry, that offer additional color, storage of such containers is typically an issue, particularly when the florist wishes to offer a range of alternative container.

Domstein, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,061,955, discloses a collapsible vase assembly having a first open end and a second open end. Accordingly, a cork attachment must be placed over one of the ends before the vase can be used. Mauffette, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,403,634, discloses a collapsible flower vase that uses collars at either end to maintain its shape and rigidity. Other collapsible vases, such as that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,687,503 to D'Costa, use an aperture stiffening member to provide rigidity to the vase and to help support the bouquet.

SUMMARY

In certain embodiments, the present disclosure provides collapsible flower and plant containers formed from a sheet of flexible material. The disclosed containers may include a water impermeable liner.

The sheet of flexible material has a number of side panels defined by a number of folds in the sheet of flexible material. Each side panel has a top portion and bottom portion. The sheet of flexible material also has a first bottom section that is defined by a first bottom fold adjacent the bottom of a first side panel. The first bottom fold extends generally from a first lateral edge of the first side panel to a second lateral edge of the first side panel. A side tab is defined in the sheet of flexible material by a tab fold adjacent a side panel. The side tab extends generally from the bottom to the top of the adjacent side panel. The sheet of flexible material is configured to be manipulated into the collapsible container by joining the side tab to a side panel at the opposing end of the sheet of flexible material, expanding the side folds, and folding under the first bottom section along the first bottom fold. In particular examples, at least one of the side folds is configured to allow adjacent side panels to be bent both inwards and outwards when the sheet of material is manipulated into a collapsible container. In further examples, the first lateral edge and the second lateral edge of the first side panel converge toward each other from the bottom to the top of the first side panel.

In further embodiments, the collapsible container includes at least one upper reinforcement section defined by a reinforcement fold adjacent a top portion of a side panel and extending generally from a first lateral edge of the side panel to a second lateral edge of the side panel.

In additional implementations, the collapsible container includes a locking base. For example, the sheet of flexible material can include a second bottom section defined by a second bottom fold adjacent the bottom of a second side panel. The second bottom fold extends generally from a first lateral edge of the second side panel to a second lateral edge of the second side panel. The first and second bottom sections include mating notches that are adapted to be secured together when the sheet of flexible material is formed into a container. In a particular example, the collapsible container has four side panels and includes second, third, and fourth bottom sections. The first and second bottom sections each have a flap defined by a fold extending across the respective bottom section and have a side defining a notch. When the sheet of flexible material is manipulated into a container, the first and second bottom sections overlap the third and fourth bottom sections, and the notches matingly engage, thereby securing the container.

The present disclosure provides methods for assembling such collapsible containers. For example, when the plurality of sides are folded on top of one another about a middle, inward pointing fold flanking outward pointing folds, the outward pointing folds may be rotated to at least a collinear position. The formerly outward pointing folds are then pushed inward, thus moving the formerly inward pointing fold forward to an outward pointing position.

The disclosure also provides methods for shipping floral arrangements or plants. For example, the method may include placing a flower or plant in a standard shipping container along with a waterproof liner and a disclosed collapsible vase. In particular implementations, the recipient may manipulate the collapsible vase into an operational position by adhering a tab adjacent a first side panel of the collapsible vase located at a first edge of the collapsible vase to a second side panel of the collapsible vase located at a second edge of the collapsible vase.

The present disclosure also provides methods for making a preformed collapsible container. The methods include creating a number of side folds in a sheet of flexible material. The side folds extend from a top portion of the sheet to a bottom portion of the sheet. The side folds define a plurality of side panels, each side panel having a top portion and bottom portion. A first bottom fold is created adjacent the bottom of a first side panel. The first bottom fold extends generally from a first lateral edge of the first side panel to a second lateral edge of the first side panel, the first bottom fold defines a first bottom section. A tab fold is created adjacent a side panel and extends generally from the bottom to the top of the side panel, thus defining a side tab.

In further embodiments, the method includes creating a reinforcement fold adjacent a top portion of a side panel. The reinforcement fold extends generally from a first lateral edge of the side panel to a second lateral edge of the side panel, thereby defining an upper reinforcement section. The upper reinforcement section is bent to contact the upper portion of the side panel and attached thereto.

In particular embodiments, the methods include making a preformed collapsible container with a locking base. A second bottom fold adjacent the bottom of a second side panel is created which extends generally from a first lateral edge of the second side panel to a second lateral edge of the second side panel, thus defining a second bottom section. Mating notches are created in an edge of each of the first and second bottom sections. Third and fourth bottom folds are respectively created adjacent the bottom of third and fourth side panels. The third and fourth bottom folds extend generally from a first lateral edge to a second lateral edge of the respective side panel, this defining third and fourth bottom sections. The first bottom section is attached to the third bottom section. The second bottom section is attached to the fourth bottom section.

There are additional features and advantages of the subject matter described herein. They will become apparent as this specification proceeds.

In this regard, it is to be understood that this is a brief summary of varying aspects of the subject matter described herein. The various features described in this section and below for various embodiments may be used in combination or separately. Any particular embodiment need not provide all features noted above, nor solve all problems or address all issues in the prior art noted above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a disclosed collapsible vase having a waterproof liner extending therefrom.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational cross sectional view of the collapsible vase of FIG. 1, sectioned through the center of the vase in a vertical plane.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the collapsible vase of FIG. 1 when unfolded.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a partially folded collapsible vase of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the collapsible vase of FIG. 1 in a first folded position.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the collapsible vase of FIG. 1 in a second folded position.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the collapsible vase of FIG. 1 in a third folded position.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the collapsible vase of FIG. 1 in a fourth folded position.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the bottom of the collapsible vase of FIG. 1 in a partially opened state.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the collapsible vase of FIG. 1 shown without the waterproof liner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As used herein, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” refer to one or more than one, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. As used herein, the term “includes” means “comprises.”

FIG. 1 shows a vase assembly 100 comprising a collapsible vase structure 102 and an impermeable liner 200. The collapsible vase 102 is configured to provide stability and support for objects placed therein, such as flowers, plants, ornamental objects, and the like. Although shown with four vertical sides, the rigid vase structure can be made in any desired shape and configuration. The collapsible vase 102 typically has a polygonal cross section.

The collapsible vase 102 can be formed from a preformed, single sheet of material, or blank, and includes appropriate cuts and folds so that it can be folded into its final form; that is, the vase 102 can be expanded to a useable shape for holding a floral bouquet from a collapsed state (where the vase is folded flat) without the need to connect or join together two separate pieces of material. As used herein, the term “fold” is meant to include any means for making a structure bendable and includes such things as creases, perforations, seams, and the like. Although a particular embodiment of the collapsible vase 102 is disclosed, it will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in art that any of several different techniques and/or mechanisms can be used to form the base and/or other portions of the vase structure, including, but not limited to glued formations, tabs and slots, and/or self and manual locking mechanisms. Alternatively, the collapsible vase 102 may be preformed and permanently joined along some or all of its seams.

The collapsible vase 102 can be constructed from any suitable material, which may or may not be water resistant. For example, the collapsible vase 102 can be made from a fibrous material such as paper, cardboard, or corrugated cardboard. The collapsible vase 102 can also be made from materials such as sheets of plastic, sheets of thin, bendable metal, or any of various other suitable materials. The material desirably allows the collapsible vase 102 to be formed from a blank, folded into a flattened structure, and opened into its final shape where it will lock into place to form a collapsible vase 102. For example, the collapsible vase 102 may be formed from a single sheet of paperboard material, such as coated 24 point card.

In particular embodiments, the vase 102 is formed (e.g., cut) from a blank having a unitary or one-piece construction. As used herein, the terms “unitary construction” or “one-piece construction” refers to a construction that does not include any tape or other means for securing separately formed portions of the vase 102 to each other. In other embodiments, however, different portions of the blank can be separately formed and subsequently directly or indirectly joined to each other. For example, each panel and/or flap of the vase 102 can be separately formed and subsequently joined to each other using adhesive tape. As used herein, a portion of the vase 102 that is “connected to” or “coupled to” another portion of the vase can mean that such portions are formed from a unitary blank and defined by a fold line in the blank, or that such portions are separately formed and subsequently directly or indirectly joined to each other, using adhesive tape and/or other suitable techniques or mechanisms.

The water impermeable liner 200 is designed to hold water around the base of the stems of a floral grouping, or to retain water for a plant, and to contain the water relatively low in the rigid vase structure, to help improve the stability of the vase assembly 100.

FIG. 2 illustrates the water impermeable liner 200 inside the collapsible vase 102. The collapsible vase 102 has a top flap 120 folded over the top of the collapsible vase 102. In addition, sections 122, 129 form part of an auto-locking base 150 of the collapsible vase 102.

The water impermeable liner 200 may be loosely placed in the collapsible vase 102 or may be more affixed or adhered to the collapsible vase 102, such as through the use of various adhesives, tapes, staples, and the like. Attaching the water impermeable liner 200 to the collapsible vase 102 may allow for easier assembly of the vase assembly 100 and reduce the risk of the collapsible vase 102 and impermeable liner 200 being separated and perhaps misplaced prior to final assembly of the vase assembly 100. In addition, particularly if attached near the top of the collapsible vase 102, attaching the water impermeable liner 200 to the collapsible vase 102 also assists in keeping the water impermeable liner 200 from slipping down inside the collapsible vase 102.

FIG. 3 illustrates how a single piece of material 105 may be configured to form the collapsible vase 102 when properly manipulated. Four panels 110 form the sides of the collapsible vase 102. Four flaps 120 can be folded over and attached to the side panels 110 to provide rigidity to a top edge 123 of the collapsible vase 102. In addition to providing rigidity, the flaps 120 may provide a more attractive finish to the collapsible vase 102, and potentially make it safer to handle, such as by removing edges that might cause cuts, such as paper or cardboard cuts. The flaps 120 can be attached to the side panels 110 by any suitable means, such as by being adhered by various glues or other adhesives or affixed with staples, tape, locking tabs, or the like. The flaps 120 may be attached to the side panels 110 either before or after the collapsible vase 102 is delivered for final assembly.

A chamfer 121 is cut on one end of a flap 125 to allow room for a vertical tab 130, adjacent side panel 134, to be attached to side panel 136 when the collapsible vase 102 is assembled. The vertical tab 130 has chamfers 131, 132 cut on each end, which can help provide a mating fit between the tab 130 and the side panel 136.

The four side panels 110 are separated by folds 140 and 141. The fold 141 can be folded both ways, that is, forming both an inward pointing fold and outward pointing fold, allowing the collapsible vase 102 to form a compact folded position, shown in FIG. 5. When the folds 140, 141 are folded the same way, the single sheet of material 105 forms a four sided object, the collapsible vase 102 shown in FIG. 1. The tab 130 is attached to the side panel 136 to form the finished polygon, such as by adhering with an adhesive or affixing with fasteners such as tape, staples, locking tabs, or the like.

The base of the collapsible vase 102 is formed by panels 152 and 155. The panels 152, 155 are folded in such a way as to form an auto-locking base. The panels 152, 155 may be attached to each other to provide additional strength or rigidity to the base, such as such as by adhering with glue or other adhesive or affixing with a fastener such as tape, staples, locking tabs, or the like. Each of the panels 152, 155, has a diagonal fold 157 which provides flexibility to the panels 152 and allows the panels 152, 155 to be folded relative to panels 110 in such a way as to form the rigid base of the collapsible vase 102 once the auto-locking feature is locked in place utilizing locks 150. When the collapsible vase 102 is fully assembled, the folds 157 become the bottom edges of the collapsible vase 102. The panels 152 are shown as having a generally trapezoidal portion 153, the corners of which may be rounded, if desired, and a four sided flap 154. A fold 156 allows the panels 152, 155 to fold inside the side panels 110, such as when the collapsible vase 102 is in a folded configuration, such as shown in FIGS. 5 and 8, minimizing the size of the folded device. The outer edges of the panels 153 have a v-shaped notch 158 that forms the lock 150. When the base is assembled, the locks 150 formed by each v-shaped notch 158 are matingly aligned.

FIG. 4 shows the sheet of material 105 in a partially folded state. The top flaps 120 have been folded over and attached to the side panels 110. The base panels 152 have been placed over the base panels 155, and may be attached together, such as by adhering them with a glue or other adhesive or affixing them with fasteners such as tape, staples, locking tabs, or the like. The auto-locking base panels 152, 155 form a two-piece base that will lock together using the locking mechanisms 150.

FIG. 5 shows the sheet of material 105 in a first folded position. The fold 141 has been back folded to allow the sheet of material 105 to form the folded shape. The panels 152 will form the base of the collapsible vase 102 and the folds 123 will become the top edge. The tab 130 will fold inside the outer panel 110, securing the collapsible vase 102. By flattening out the panels 110 joined by the fold 141, the partially unfolded configuration shown in FIG. 6 can be achieved.

FIG. 7 illustrates the sheet of material 102 flattened out from the first folded position shown in FIG. 5. The two side panels 110 at the ends of the sheet 105 are joined to form the flattened version of the collapsible vase 102 shown in FIG. 8. The panels 110 can be joined by any number of means such as, but not limited to, adhering them with a glue or other adhesive, such as a removable adhesive, or affixing them with a fastener such as tape, staples, locking tabs, or the like. When a removable adhesive, such as a strip of tape covered with a peel-off coating, is applied to the surface 135 of the tab 130, simply pushing the two panels 110 together will form the joint, forming the configuration shown in FIG. 8.

From the configuration shown in FIG. 8, the collapsible vase 102 is expanded outwards, utilizing the natural relief inherent in the joints and folds, to form the configuration shown in FIG. 10, where the collapsible vase 102 can be used to hold flowers, plants, or other ornamental object. The locking mechanism 150, as part of the auto-lock base, is locked in place and provides stability for the collapsible vase 102. FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the bottom of the collapsible vase 102 in a partially opened position achieved by moving through the steps described above to take the collapsible vase 102 from the form shown in FIG. 8 to that shown in FIG. 10.

In certain embodiments, the collapsible vase 102 is sent to the user in the configuration shown in FIG. 5. This compact configuration minimizes packaging requirements and allows the collapsible vase 102 to fit into standard flower delivery boxes. In further embodiments, the collapsible vase 102 is sent to the user in the configuration shown in FIG. 8. Of course, the collapsible vase 102 could to be shipped in any desired configuration and in any stage of assembly. For example, the collapsible vase 102 could be sent with one or more attachment or folding steps to be performed by the recipient.

Although the collapsible vase 102 has been shown as a four-sided figure with sloped sides, the disclosed features can be adapted to form structures with different shapes or orientations, such as collapsible vases having three, five, or more sides, sides of differing angles, and the like.

An advantage of using the collapsible vase 102 is that the components can be made from recyclable material(s), such as from recyclable paper or plastics. In addition, the disclosed vases are typically easily broken down to a flat structure and discarded.

The disclosed vases may provide a number of other advantages. For example, the vases are readily converted from a folded to an operational configuration. Typically, only one or two steps are needed to pop the device into shape by opening out specific folds and utilizing the auto-locking bottom feature.

The vases can be designed in a number of shapes. The cross sectional shape of the rigid structure in its final position can be described as a polygon having any number of sides from three, representing a triangular cross section, four equal sides representing a square cross section, to an infinite number of sides representing a circular cross section. The vase can have vertical or angled sides, giving the vase a straight sided or tapered structure.

When in the first folded position, the vase has a series of panels, folds, and perforated sections allowing the structure to be outwardly expanded to its final shape. In the first folded position the vase can be conveniently packaged, transported and/or stored prior to use. In the first folded position, the vase may as small as the profile of the largest panel. A flattened form of the final shape may be produced by connecting the outer two side panels of the blank. The outer side panels can be connected along a vertical seam using an adhesive or locking tab connection. From this flattened form the device can be outwardly expanded in a single step to its final shape. The device may be supplied in any position, including any of the three positions described above. Top flaps can be included which can be folded inwards and locked together to increase the rigidity of the top section of the vase and reduce the size of the top opening.

The impermeable liner may or may not be adhered to the inside of the rigid structure. Adhering the liner to a section near the top of the rigid structure creates a single piece device and ensures that the liner does not slip down into the rigid structure. Adhering the impermeable liner to the inside of the rigid structure creates a one piece vase and liner. The vase can be folded and unfolded without obstruction from the impermeable liner.

The use of bold color or decoration on the vase, a customized sleeve, such one which includes a design or logo, or a gift tag, such as colored a colored tag or one with personalized text, allows for an unlimited degree of personalization and style.

The disclosed vases may provide a number of advantages to sellers of vases, plants, flowers, and the like. For example, the vase may provide additional add on sales, reduced storage space, a lightweight container, an unbreakable container (potentially reducing the risk of personal harm, such as through broken glass or sharp edges), a customizable container, and reduced consumption of traditional wrapping and transportation materials.

It is to be understood that the above discussion provides a detailed description of various embodiments. The above descriptions will enable those skilled in the art to make many departures from the particular examples described above to provide apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention. The embodiments are illustrative, and not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. Changes may be made in the construction and operation of the various components, elements and assemblies described herein and changes may be made in the steps or sequence of steps of the methods described herein. The scope of the present invention is rather to be determined by the scope of the claims as issued and equivalents thereto.





 
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