10 Pro tips for Flower Arranging

July 21, 2014

Flower arranging is easy, right? There is an art to it that many people don’t realize. It seems like it would be simple: get some beautiful flowers, put them in a vase and Ta-Da! However, if you have ever tried to assemble your own bouquet or flower arrangement, you probably learned that it is not nearly as easy as it looks.There is a reason we hire florists, and it’s because they understand which flowers best complement each other and balance the arrangement. They have experience with the different flowers, scents, textures, sizes and more. If you want to arrange flowers for a party, an event or “just because”, there are things to consider.

It’s not rocket science, but you should follow these tips from the pros, and be prepared to learn something new. You may not become a florist overnight, but over time and with practice, you will develop an eye for a good arrangement. With that said, here are 10 simple tips that will make you feel like a pro in no time.

diy flower arranging

1. Celebrate the beauty of BIG flowers

There is something really special and exciting about large flowers. They are pleasing to the eye and people love them. Big, beautiful blooms often look best bundled together in small, low vases. This arrangement celebrates their grandeur, but doesn’t overpower the piece. For example, creating an arrangement of hydrangeas in a small, round vase will give an effect that is polished, sophisticated and elegant. Something perfect for a garden party.

2. Long stems will follow the shape of their vessel.

Long stems are so modern, chic and “uptown.” A lot of really cool effects can be created with long-stemmed flowers. For example, accentuate the beauty of long-stemmed flowers by allowing them to arch out of a thin, trumpet vase. This will create a cascading waterfall effect that is simple, understated and just a bit sexy. This type of arrangement would make great décor for a buffet, or would be a stunning way to call attention to the altar at a wedding.

3. Create an “arrangement of arrangements”

Try complimenting your larger arrangements with smaller arrangements around them. For example, if you have a large, bountiful arrangement of hydrangeas in the center of a table, create balance by adding a few smaller vases with only one or two hydrangea blooms, or even a different type of flower. This will create a natural and aesthetically pleasing look that will make your guests feel quite cozy.

4. Mix it up

Play with texture. Create balance and harmony by putting dense flowers and more airy plants together. Dahlias and baby’s breath might look really interesting together. There’s something so fun about putting contrasting things together in this manner. You can also play with texture on your vases, bowls or other vessels. A thick, ceramic bowl holding delicate lilies, for example. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to this. It’s all about playing around and having fun.

5. Monochrome can be cool

Try creating an arrangement with different flowers all in the same, or very similar, color. For example, a bouquet of all red. This makes for a visually interesting, yet subdued arrangement, that will capture people’s attention. It’s a great conversation piece. As people study the bouquet, they will become curious about the different textures, shapes and heights they are seeing… all in the same color.

6. You don’t need a vase!

Use unexpected containers. All flowers do not need to be in vases or planters. Try mugs, drinkware, mason jars or even tin cans. This is a great way to save money, give your arrangements character and a distinct style. You can find many suitable vessels just sitting around your house.

7. One flower can be visually stunning all on its own.

Try making a set of tiny arrangements. This is a simple and easy way to save time and money. For example, simply cut the blooms off of a bouquet of grocery store roses and set each rose in a small, low, vessel-like votive candle holder. You can even use tiny serving bowls.

8. Don’t overheat your blooms

Keep your flowers in a cool spot and they will last longer. This is difficult for some of us because flowers look so pretty in the sunlight, or in the center of a room under the lights. If you want them to last, they should be kept cool and not exposed to too much heat.

9. Flowers can be aromatic… but not always in a good way

This may seem obvious, but it is important to consider that flowers often smell. The stronger that they smell, the less appropriate they are for a dinner table or a very small space. They also don’t always smell nice together, so you need to be careful about which smells you pair together. You don’t want the guests at an event gagging and unable to eat because their table centerpiece is so fragrant. Even if the smell is pleasant, it can be easy to run into the “too much of a good thing” issue.

10. Have fun!

This may be the most important tip in the whole list. There are rules and guidelines for arranging flowers that can make it easier and more enjoyable for you, but these rules are not iron-clad. Flower arranging is a creative expression and the more you do it, the better you will become. Just enjoy the process and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Try and consider flower arranging as an art form and an outlet for self-expression… and don’t panic if you aren’t pleased with the results. You’ll get better every time.