How to arrange flowers in a simple easy style to accent any room. No floral arranging skills required.
When reading decorating magazines or scrolling through my Pinterest feed, I usually see two kinds of flower arrangements. There’s the big front and center kind of arrangements that become the focal point of a room. That is what you tend to get from the florist. They are “grand hotel” lobby worthy, but are way over the top for my needs.
Then there’s the images of the just gathered abundance of flowers hanging over the edge of a sink or on a country style table waiting to be arranged in a skilled way into an artful display. These look so pretty, but the cost of the mass of flowers in these lifestyle images is way over my flower budget.
My flower arranging style is a bit more simple and budget friendly. It may not be for everyone, but works for me.
I like having a vase of fresh flowers on my kitchen table, counter, mantel and my desk – places where I will see them and enjoy the pop of fresh color all day long.
I can’t say I love to garden, but do make an effort to grow flowering plants in my yard that I can go out and cut to bring inside.
Being able to step out the door and cut a bunch or even a few stems to pull together into a small bouquet to give to a friend or to place by my kitchen sink makes me happy.
Arranging Flowers Using the Simple Method
I may have an eye for decorating, but wasn’t born with the “flower-arranging-gene”… yes there is one. :-)
Over time I learned a few tips and tricks that have helped me, but what I found was that “simple arrangements” were actually part of my casual, easy breezy decorating style. Arranging flowers any other way doesn’t feel right.
Here are the simple flower arranging tips and tricks that work for me:
My Simple Method… 1… 2… 3…
Simple doesn’t always mean small. It means not having a million things stuck in the arrangement. Simplicity can come from using only one kind of flower in one color. This is my go-to floral arranging style.
Even if you lack the “flower-arranging-gene” like I do, anybody can arrange one type of flower in one color in a vase.
When arranging only one type and color of flower in a vase, cut or buy twice as many as you think you will need. Too much of a good thing always works with fresh flowers.
- Build your arrangement in your hand, holding the stems and looking at the top of the flowers.
- Strip the greenery that will fall below the water line. This will keep your water from getting mucky too fast.
- When you are happy with the arrangement, cut the stems long or short depending on the height of the vase/vessel you want to place them in.
- I place the vase along the edge of my kitchen counter and hold the bunch of flowers up against it so the ends of the stems fall below the counter. This way I can see where I have to cut them them to fit into the vase.
5. That is all there is to it. If you don’t like what you see, remove the stems and cut them shorter if needed or remove one that is too small and use it in another smaller arrangement. I try to go for a nice even rounded shape where the tallest stems are in the center and the shorter ones around the outer edge of the vase.
NOTE: When using clear glass vases, it is better to use single stem blooms. Flowers like these daisy mums have many different lengths of smaller stems and blooms shooting off the main stems that can make the stems looked stuffed in the vase. I remove these smaller stems and leaves to make…
…smaller arrangements to place by my sink. It helps to spread a little happy throughout the house using only one bunch of flowers.
More “Simple Method” Flower Arranging Tips
- Flowers do not need to be elaborate or expensive. Shop your local grocery store, Wholesale Clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club and your backyard to create beautiful and inexpensive arrangements any season of the year.
- Don’t match flowers to a room, just pick what you like.
- Don’t pack a vase too tightly. Choose a vase that allows the flowers to breathe. Arranged flowers look best when arranged as they might grow in a garden. For example, tulips look more natural if they are given room to gracefully bend a little.
- What to do when you have a tall vase and short stemmed flowers? Place a glass or paper cup upside down in the vase. Then place another glass or paper cup on top of it, right side up. Fill the cup with water and place the short stemmed flowers in.
A Few Ways to Extend the Life of Cut Flowers
- Use a knife and cut the stem on an angle. This will open the veins and allow more water to be taken up. Scissors can seal off the stem by pushing the outside of the stem toward the middle.
- Cut the stems while under water or under running water to avoid letting air into the plant cells.
- If cutting flowers from your yard, cut and gather them in the cool morning hours. I take a bucket of warm water out with me so I can place the cut blooms right into water.
- If you are bringing home cut flowers from the grocery store, immediately place the cut flowers in a clean vase filled with warm water, except for Hydrangeas which do better with hot tap water.
- For woody stemmed flowers like hydrangeas or lilacs, split the stems several inches up from the bottom. You want to expose the white inner part of the stem to water.
- For flower bulbs and tubers, such as tulips and iris, score the bottoms of the stems with the tines of a fork. The ends will curl up and they’ll drink more water.
- Add the pack of floral preservative that usually comes with store-bought flowers. Mix into the water before adding the blooms. No floral preservative? Put a small amount of lemon-lime soda like 7-Up or Sprite into flower vase. It will help keep them looking fresh and perky longer.
- Add a splash of bleach in the vase. It will reduce bacteria that can prevent the stems from drinking water.
- Keep the vase in a cool spot for the first hour or two while the flowers recover from the shock of being cut. Then display the arrangement away from cool or warm drafts and fruit (apples, for instance, emit ethylene gas — a hormone that promotes aging in flowers).
- Don’t leave flowers in a warm sunny window. It will cause them stress and they will fade and wither faster.
- Change the water – After a few days for all flowers except tulips. Recut the stems, clean the vase, and change the water every 2 – 3 days. Tulips can be fussy; once they have opened, don’t change the water
No Pretty Flower Vase? Try Arranging Flowers in One of These Containers
I use all types of vessels to hold flowers from bought vases to pitchers to tin cans.
- Large glass jars from pickles and tomato sauce make great vases.
- Try a large drinking glass or place a glass jar or can in a brown paper lunch bag or gift bag and roll the top down to meet the top of the glass.
- Have a clear vase, but don’t want to see the flower stems? Cover the vase with burlap, fabric or paper to coordinate with your decor.
- Pitchers – I prefer white, but any style and color pitcher makes a perfect vase.
Flower Arranging Tools I Use
- Clean, Sharp Scissors or Snips – I have both these Fiskar’s Micro Snips and these Curved Blade Snips to cut flower stems on an angle.
- Florist Wire – This can come in handy to hold up large or floppy blooms. Simply wrap the wire around the stem and insert the end of the wire into the bud.
- String or Raffia – Tying the stems with string or raffia before putting the arrangement in a vase will keep them in place
- Floral tape – This tape can come in handy for wide mouth vases to help keep stems in place. Use strips of the tape to create a grid across the mouth of the vase, and poke stems through the holes.
- This Easy Arranger’s Grid comes in a pack of 3 and will do the same thing as making a florist tape grid.