These Fall Flower Arrangements will impress your family and friends. I started learning how to arrange flowers a few months ago, and it has become my new obsession. The process of flower arranging is similar to cooking. There is often a list of ingredients (e.g., the type and number of flowers), prepping involved, and instructions (the order to follow when arranging flowers).
I have always appreciated beautiful flower arrangements, and am fortunate to have friends and family gift them to me on special occasions during the year. However, until recently, I never took the time to arrange flowers at home. Arranging flowers really isn’t difficult – it just requires some patience and practice.
My house is filled with flower arrangements right now, as I practice and try different techniques. I’ve taken a few flower arranging classes online through the American School of Flower Design, and a Woodland Wildscaping class through the New York Botanical Garden. After posting some of my flower arrangements on my personal Facebook page, several people contacted me to make flower arrangements for them. I was even asked to lead a team of volunteers to make 150 corsages/boutonnieres for our church’s Night To Shine event in 2020. Although flattered, I had to confess that I’m just learning the art of flower arranging. You really have to be careful what you post on social media!
Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, so I wanted to inspire you to try your hand at flower arranging for the holidays.
Here are some tricks that can have helped me as I learn how to make beautiful flower arrangements:
Amateur Tricks and Tips – Fall Flower Arrangements
- Look around your yard to see what you can use, e.g., greens, branches, flowers
- Buy fresh flowers from a reputable source. Whole Foods has high quality flowers, and some supermarket floral departments do too. Trader Joe’s also has fresh flowers, but be sure to find out when your local store gets fresh flower deliveries. The fresher the flowers, the longer they will last.
- Prep your flowers as soon as you get home: if you don’t have time, put them in a vase or container of water until you are ready to arrange your flowers.
- To prep flowers for arranging, remove all leaves from stems (leaves rot in water and use up water that the stems need).
Use sharp flower clippers to trim the stems of all the flowers and greens at a diagonal.
- Fill your kitchen sink with water (if you don’t want to do this, you can use a vase/container of water). Let the flowers hydrate for an hour before arranging them. If you’re using roses and want them open fully, hydrate them in very warm water for one hour. If you’re using hydrangea, dip the cut ends in alum (from the spice aisle) to fully hydrate them.
- Choose a vase/container that is smaller than you think you need. It takes a lot of flowers to make a flower arrangement look full (if that’s the look you’re going after).
- Create a grid on top of the vase to help keep flower stems in place using one of these techniques: (1) Use leafy greens (e.g., lemon leaves, eucalyptus branches, floral mixes sold as “seasonal filler mix” at the supermarket) around perimeter of vase; (2) Use clear floral tape like a tic-tac-toe board (~ 1/4″ space between strips). Wrap the floral tape around the very top perimeter of the vase to secure the tape grid; (3) Use kits that have plastic grids which sit on top of a vase (Holly Chapple has a kit that is creates flower designs that are more freeform, and American School of Flower Design has a kit that creates more traditional floral designs.
- Start creating your flower arrangement by inserting leafy green branches on each side of the vase (if you used leafy greens to create the grid, you won’t need to do this).
- For a more traditional flower arrangement, create a dome shaped arrangement, with taller stems in the center, tapering down as you reach the perimeter of the vase. For a freeform arrangement, use your creative juices to come up with an arrangement that pleases your eye.
- For a more traditional flower arrangement, disperse flowers of the same kind throughout the arrangement. For a more organic flower arrangement, do mass arrangement (use the same flowers in one area of the arrangement).
- If you are using your flower arrangement as a table centerpiece, make sure each side has a beautiful focal point. If you’re placing the arrangement against a wall, just focus on the side that will be showing.
- Once you’re satisfied, sit down and take a look at your flower arrangement from all sides. Rearrange stems as needed, and fill in any empty spots with extra flowers or greens. Although there are certain tried and true ways to arrange flowers, I believe you should arrange them as your creative mind leads you.
- Don’t throw away any unused flowers or greens. Almost everything can be repurposed into smaller arrangements or pretty bud vases. Bud vases are also an inexpensive, economical way to decorate your holiday table. Just set out a bunch of bud vases along your table for a simple, but elegant look (plus, you can see the person sitting across from you!)
Mason jars are great for bud vases
Stemless champagne glass craete a modern look (I paid $7 for a set of four at Home Goods)
An espresso cup is perfect for leftover short stems or florals that break off
Use every last stem to create a beautiful small arrangement. Arrange several of these on your holiday table instead of a centerpiece (it’s a lot more economical and you can see the person sitting across from you!).
For fun, here is a super simple but fun tablescape using gourds:
Tips For Making Fall Flower Arrangements Last Longer
When I started arranging my own flowers, I wanted to make sure they lasted as long as possible. After all, it’s an investment of time and money, so get the most out of what you put in.
Here are a few tips for making your fall flower arrangements last several weeks:
- Trim off the ends of the stems and refresh vases with fresh water every couple of days. Bacteria is what kills flowers arrangements, so although this may sound like a lot of work, it’s worth it. If you used fresh greens for your grid, simply use one hand to lift the entire arrangement off the vase and replace with fresh water. Add a teaspoon of bleach to the water to help kill off any bacteria. If you use one of the kits with the pre-drilled vase tops for flower placement, simply lift up the vase top, and replace the water with fresh water, adding a teaspoon of bleach. If you used invisible floral tape, place the vase in the kitchen sink; find an opening in the flower arrangement near the top of the vase and use the kitchen faucet spray hose to flush out the old water; fill with fresh water; add a teaspoon of bleach.
- As flowers/stems die off, remove and replace with fresh new flowers. If you cannot easily remove the dead flower from the arrangement, simply cut it off with floral shears.
- As flowers/stems continue to die off, re-arrange the rest of the flowers in a smaller vase, making sure to trim the ends and use fresh water with a little bleach.
Have fun with your Fall Flower Arrangements!
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