I love having fresh flowers in my house. It makes each room seem cheery and makes my house feel like a home. However, sometimes when I start to arrange flowers in a vase, they just don’t look as good as when they are done by a professional.
My mom is truly talented in working with flowers. She knows all types of tricks and tips to make even dozen roses from Costco look FABULOUS! Her home is always filled with fresh flowers and gorgeous arrangements she has created. This post shares the professional floral arranging techniques that the Pier to Peer Girls learned last weekend in our floral arranging crash course with my mom!
When choosing flowers at the store, it is important to choose ones that look fresh, with no brown spots. There is no need to spend a fortune at a florist getting your flowers. Try buying your flowers at Costco, Trader Joe’s or your local flower mart instead. Even if you don’t have a resale number, most flower marts have times when they are open to the general public. For those of you who live in Los Angeles, two flower marts that I recommend are located in Downtown Los Angeles and in Torrance. One great tip when buying flowers is to avoid buying flowers on Sundays (if possible), as most stores do not have fresh flowers on that day. If you are using your flowers for a party or event, buy the flowers as close to the event as possible so that the flowers look their best.
Once you bring your flowers home, immediately cut the ends of the stems on an angle and put them in water. Even if you don’t have time to arrange your flowers at that moment, it is important to cut fresh ends and put the flowers in water so they can stay fresh and avoid wilting. If you are in a hurry to arrange your flowers and need them to drink up some water quickly, using warm water in the containers and/or cutting the stems shorter should do the trick!
Choosing a Container
You can always use a typical vase for arranging flowers, but it is fun to think out of the box to make your arrangement more interesting. Keep your eye out for unique vases and containers. My mom found these tiny vases at CB2 and paid just a little over two dollars for them! Try using pretty wine bottles or even beer or soda cans. My mom told us multiple times during our lesson to “keep an eye out for these types of things in your travels!” You can also find affordable containers at the flower mart.
Add Interesting Elements
Adding marbles, shells, small stones, sand or other items to the bottom of a transparent container can make your floral arrangements more exciting. Be creative and keep an eye out for items you can add to your arrangements “in your travels.”
The secret to making arrangements look amazing involves the use for floral tape! Before you hastily shove your flowers in a vase and call it a day, use floral tape to make a grid on the opening of the container. Then wrap one long piece of tape around the opening of the container to keep the grid secure. FYI…Floral tape is different than regular tape because it is waterproof. You can buy this tape and Home Depot, Armstrong Gardens, Michael’s or any floral store.
After you create your grid, fill the container with water. Then place the flowers in the vase one by one. Start with the outside of the container and work your way to the center. You will notice a HUGE improvement in your floral arrangements when using floral tape. I promise!
Working with Roses
To begin, trim off the leaves and cut the stem to close to the height you will need for your arrangement.
Then, one flower at a time, CAREFULLY take a petal from the outer part of the flower and roll it down to the base of the flower. Repeat this technique with other petals it until your flower is in full bloom! If the petals rip when you are trying to roll them down, don’t be upset. This may mean that your flowers are a bit older or may need some more water. Do the best you can.
Orchids are my favorite flowers! They are so delicate and elegant. Last month I shared tips for what you can do with your orchids when their flowers fall off. Here are a few more ideas for your orchids that we learned in our floral arranging crash course.
When I buy my orchids at Trader Joe’s I typically come home and put them out in the terra cotta pot they come in. My mom suggest taking them out of that pot and putting them into another container. Again, she suggests keeping your eye out for containers “in your travels,” but if you look around your home you may find some containers you can use.
Remove the stake that comes in the pot and replace it with realistic-looking twigs that can serve as both decor and stability for your plant. Tie the stem to the twig using raffia. Adding moss around the base of the plant will make it look even more elegant. You can find twigs, moss and raffia at Michaels, online at Amazon, or most craft supply stores.
Get in the Mood
Before you start arranging your flowers, get in the mood! For me that means waiting until my kids are asleep in their beds and I can have the house to myself. I may watch catch up on my DVR’d shows while I work or listen to some fun music. My mom turns on the HGTV channel and watches Candice Tells All to get inspired. Set the mood in any way that works for you, let your creative juices flow, and enjoy creating gorgeous arrangements!