Being a creative person and a designer, I expected floral arranging to come naturally to me. I took a few sculpture classes for my Fine Arts curriculum in college and have a good idea of how I want a composition to look, but achieving results is another issue. Long story short- I’m not as awesome at playing florist as I had hoped. Plus, I don’t have a ton of time to spend learning the tricks of the trade. I have found some helpful hacks throughout the years that have saved me a lot of time (and money on pricey custom arrangements)! It really all revolves around the vase…. here’s a quick and easy tutorial, along with floral tips for people who hate floral arranging.
Step 1 // Find a mixed bundle at your local grocery or floral shop. You really don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a sophisticated looking arrangement. All of the flowers and arrangements in this post were under $20, excluding the vases.
Step 2 // Cut off the end of each stem…on an angle, in a downward direction.
Step 3 // Proceed to strip the leaves off each stem, until you’re almost to the bloom.
Step 4 // Mix up some flower food. You really shouldn’t skip this step because this stuff truly does make your arrangements last much longer!
Step 5 // Select a vase that is easy to work with. This is the KEY concept, folks. If you take nothing else away from this post- remember this. In my opinion, the easiest vases to arrange are the following shapes: round, tall and slender, small, and single bud vases. I’m going to show you a version of each…
Anyone can put together a floral arrangement with a bud vase. It’s so small, you just have to squeeze 1-5 blooms, depending on the flower size, into a tiny vase. There’s really no right or wrong way to do this… they automatically fill out the vase perfectly on their own. Just make sure to refill their water every few days and keep them out of direct sunlight.
Bud vases are probably the most versatile type of floral arrangement because their small size allows them to add a pop of color and texture to so many different spaces. I use them on my nightstand, on the bar, a side table, or even styled into a built-in. I have a lot of bud vases for this very reason…
It’s pretty instinctual to fill a round vase. Keep criss crossing the stems until they form a full circle on top and the blooms cover any gaps. Remember this peachy detail on my coffee table?
Roses work great or any type of bloom that has a nice, full rounded shape. These are some of my favorite round vases:
Tall and Skinny Vases:
Unlike many of the large, clear vases a florist sends you… an arrangement in a tall and slender vase doesn’t look as full, but appears to be more compact. The shape of the vase helps to hold the flowers upright in a condensed formation. Just add a little greenery to fill the gaps near the bottom- that’s all there is to it. This type of arrangement looks best when it isn’t fussed over. I literally just let the flowers do their thing and go their own way; the vase does the rest. FYI- my favorite greenery is silver dollar eucalyptus.
Check out these tall and slender vases for inspiration:
Small vases, around 6″ – 7″, work best with large blooms. Try sourcing peonies, hydrangeas, or dahlias. Use an odd number of stems (3 works well with really large flowers) and cut them to 3 different sizes. Just like the tall vase, add a few sprigs of greenery to fill the negative space. Working with shorter stems is always much easier. The flowers hold their position and you can easily manipulate their placement. A smaller diameter or opening at the top of the vase makes this super simplistic. I like the bottle neck vases- shop my favorites below.
What are you favorite flowers or vase shape? Feel free to add tips in the comments below. Everyone have an awesome long weekend!!
*As seen on the Interior Collective.
ArdithMay 28, 2016 at 4:36 am
What a beautifully illustrated and straightforward tutorial! Cheers, Ardith
SarahMay 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm
Thanks so much Ardith! I’m glad you enjoyed it. xo
HollyMay 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm
Love the look of the tall skinny vase the best. I’m not a fresh flower kind of gal, it always seems like too much work. You made it look so easy Sarah, I’m ready for the next time I receive a gift from my daughters!
SarahMay 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm
Thanks, Holly! I love having them in the house, but I haven’t always been the best at arranging them. I sort of cheat my way through it- but it works. Ha! Hope your girls surprise you soon ;) xo
Ann HeltzelJune 3, 2016 at 10:42 am
I didn’t know to make a circle! Thanks!
Tobias ArmstrongJune 22, 2016 at 4:10 pm
This was a super helpful article for people like me who are trying to learn more about floral arrangements but really don’t know where to start. My wife has been trying to get me to help her with flowers for a long time, but I haven’t really known what I’m doing and get embarrassed when I feel unhelpful. I’m definitely going to study up on this and try and surprise her next time she asks for my help! Thanks for sharing!
Baxter AbelNovember 23, 2016 at 7:01 pm
I appreciate your tip to cut off the end of each stem on an angle when making your own flower arrangements. I also didn’t realize that flower stems should be relatively free of leaves in a flower arrangement. Thanks for the tips, I’ll be sure to refer to the article the next time my wife and I need to make a flower arrangement.