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Before starting my job in Birmingham, I had no idea how to make a flower arrangement, especially on a budget. Working for a non-profit, I wear many hats, including occasional event planning and being the florist. Luckily, with the help of my friend Jessie (who is a wedding florist) and my cousin Katherine (see her blog post here), I have learned some easy tips. I always thought flowers were really expensive, but Trader Joe’s is now my go-to place to get them. If you have an event where you need a lot of arrangements, you can even pre-order them. You just need to give them about a week’s notice. I grocery shop there about 1-2 times a month and it’s hard for me to leave without some beautiful flowers.
What you need:
- Scissors: I just use regular scissors, not special floral ones.
- Green Floral Wire: I bought mine at Hobby Lobby
- Vases: For budget-friendly vases, I suggest dollar stores or the craft store.
- Hydrangeas are great filler flowers, and so is greenery.
- To make roses look fuller/open them up, you can gently open the petals up one at a time. I learned this from Emily of Eleven Gables.
- If your hydrangeas start to wilt, you can run some water over them. This is usually livens them up for a few days. I do this when I first get them as well.
- Cut the flower steps at an angle; this helps them drink and last longer.
- I make one arrangement that I’m happy with, then I use it as a way to measure the stems for future arrangements. This saves me so much time.
- Pick 2-3 types of flowers. I suggest hydrangeas for a great filler and lots of greenery
- Figure out how many of each flower type you need. For hydrangeas, I usually use 2 full hydrangeas or 3 that are sparser. I also use 2-3 statement flowers (roses, peonies, lilies, etc), and 2-4 stems of greenery.
- Once I get the flowers home, my first step is to cut all of the leaves off.
- Run water over the hydrangeas. This will make them last longer.
- Start by making 1 arrangement. I am not a pro by any means, but I take the 2-3 hydrangeas and make a little bouquet with my hands. I align the flowers by the fluffy flower part. When I’m happy with them, I tightly wrap floral wire around them to keep them together. I use the hydrangeas as a base.
- Cut the hydrangea stems diagonally and find a good length based on the vase. I would recommend doing this slowly and not taking too much off at a time. You can always cut more, but you cannot add back what you already cut off.
- Grab a few roses and arrange them surrounding the hydrangeas. I like to evenly spread them around.
- Add some greenery around the roses.
- Cut the stems diagonally (a little longer than the hydrangeas).
- Add all of the flowers into the vase and trim the stems as needed. I only use wire for the hydrangeas, but if your arrangement won’t stay put, you can certainly add wire to keep it in place. If your arrangement is lopsided, that usually means the stems could use some trimming.
Thank you so much for reading! What is your favorite flower? Mine is peonies.
These are great tips! I had no clue Katherine was your cousin but I now see the resemblance!
Thanks, Jennifer. Small world, isn’t it? Her dad and my mom are siblings.
Proud of you!! These look awesome and what a task to be in charge of that many arrangements for your job! You did great! Hydrangeas are one of my favorite too. Can’t stop with the peonies right now though since they are in season at TJs! Great post 🙂
Katherine | http://www.oneswainkycopule.com
That is so sweet of you, Katherine. It was fun to make! I enjoyed it 🙂 Thank you for your tips. Ahh I agree.
Oh man I wish I would have read this yesterday! My hubby brought home flowers for our anniversary and I failed miserably at creating a pretty arrangement haha. I think I need to get better vases for one, but two I love the idea of buying multiple types of flowers and greenery and mixing them. I will definitely be using the diagonal cut trick and running water over them.
Aww how sweet. I bet you did great. The diagonal tip helps the flowers drink, so they live longer.
These are such great tips!! I’ve never known anything about flower arrangements but now I want to try 🙂
Thank you so much! They’re fun to make too.
I guess in your job you wear many hats Courtney and flower arranging is one of them!!! Hydrangeas are such a pretty flower . I love them and the white roses you arranged along with the greenery . Very pretty dress to go with the flowers too! I have to say Roses are my favorite ( Maybe I should shout that throughout the house here see if it gets a response!) Thanks for the tips Dear, happy Friday, Terri xo.
Thank you so much,Terri! I love all flowers. OMG you should haha. My husband is very aware I love peonies. Happy Sunday.
Haha, glad Jake knows about your love for peonies Courtney !
I am terrible at flower arrangements. This post is just what I need! I’m going to save this post and try my hand at a flower arrangement this summer. Thank you, Courtney!
Thank you so much, Lindsey! I bet you’ll be great at it. They’re easier than you think.
That’s beautiful floral arrangement.
Thank you so much 🙂