We’ve all been there when we’ve purchased or been gifted a gorgeous bunch of flowers, which seem to lose their charm and elegance as soon as you plonk them in a vase at home. Blooms pointing in all directions with gaps in the middle. While anyone can place a handful of flowers in a vase, there is a little more thought required and technique that goes into the art of flower arranging.
Learn how to arrange flowers and create a professional looking centre pieces and colourful bouquets like a pro. Once you’ve mastered the basics flower arranging can be both fun and simple, as well as being great handmade gifts.
What you will need
- A clean vase, half full of room temperature water
- Scissors and a knife
- Flower food, to help your flowers last longer. Add a few drops to the water
Prepare your stems
Once you have your chosen flowers, carefully strip any leave and foliage from each stem. This step is important as it will help prevent bacteria build up in your vase and help your flowers last longer and look fresher.
Top Tip: If preparing roses, remove sharp thorns with a knife and gently pull away any outer discoloured rose petals.
Adopt the rule of thirds
Top Tip: Professionals tend to let the shape of the vase guide and inspire the overall arrangement, but they always apply the “rule of thirds”.
Cut your stems on an angle with a pair of scissors according to the height of the vase, so your arrangement sits 1/3 or 2/3 higher than then height of the vase. For instance, if the vase is 10 inches in height, the overall arrangement should be about 30 inches.
Top Tip: Cutting flowers on an angle will help them drink more water and last longer.
Arranging your flowers
For best results arrange your beautiful blooms by building it up in layers and criss-cross your stems. Place stems in the vase at a slight angle using a cross-cross method to create structure and support. This will create a more professional finish, as well as help hold the arrangement in place.
- Add greenery first to build the base. Eucalyptus, ivy and fern fronds are good greenery go-tos.
- Next add smaller flowers or more subtle colour stems know as your “filler stems” they will add shape before you add colour.
- Add your larger and more colourful flowers last, know as the “focus stems” or “focus flowers”. These will form the show stopping element to your arrangement. Ensure to place a flower in the centre too.
Top Tip: Odd numbers look better, so opt for 3 or 5 focus stem flowers rather than 4 or 6.
Top Tip: Be sure to spread your flowers evenly through the arrangement so not all flowers of one type are all on one side, but instead evenly distributed for a more professional finish.
For more upcycling and "how to" inspiration have a look at our other guides online:
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How To: Grow Your Own Vegetables
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How To: Make Homemade Ice Cream, without any fancy equipment.