Have you ever walked by the flower section of your local grocery store and thought, "Those are pretty, but I don't have a clue how to make them look good when I get them home" ? Yeah, we've been there, too. That's why we decided to enlist the expertise of Opal Floral owner and designer, Amanda Madlambayan to give us a few tips on creating unique and beautiful flower arrangements using store-bought flowers and fillers.
Don't forget, Mother's Day is just around the corner and we bet mom would love a personally-designed floral arrangement! Read on to learn a few of Amanda's at-home floral design tips, and you'll be making your own gorgeous creations in no time.
- Buy one or more mixed bouquets , plus a bouquet of one type of flower that complements the colors in your mixed bouquet/s.
- When buying your mixed bouquets, make sure to pick ones with a few pieces of greenery. You'll need them as the base for your arrangement.
- Inspect the bouquets thoroughly for bruised or distressed/floppy-looking flowers. If the tips of the petals are dark, that flower won't have much longevity left by the time you get it home. Adding flower food in the water may help perk up the petals a bit.
- When shopping for roses, gently squeeze the base (close to the stem) of a few of the flowers to ensure firmness. The firmer the better.
For this DIY, Amanda purchased two mixed bouquets and two small single-type bunches from Trader Joe's.
Cleaning & Prepping:
- When you first get your flowers home, unwrap everything gently and clean off all excess greenery on the flower stems.Those will be the first to die off. When dead leaves fall into the water, they create bacteria that will affect the arrangement's overall shelf life.
- Don't be afraid to toss any bruised or wilted flowers that don't make the cut. They've had their moment...just not in your floral arrangement!
- Carefully pluck out the outer petals (or "guard petals") of roses to reveal the fresher petals underneath.
- Clean off the pollen from lilies to avoid a mess later. If you get some pollen on your clothes, don't wet it. Stand in the sun while brushing them off.
- Give the stems a clean cut at a 45-degree angle using a sharp knife or sharp kitchen shears.
Picking out your vase:
- A vase with a smaller opening will typically be easier to work with. If you have a vase with a wide opening, get some waterproof tape (available at the floral department of your local crafts store).
- Your vase should be tall enough to hold the right amount of water.
- A vase that is wider at the base and smaller at the opening allows you to place flowers at an angle while the narrow top holds everything together.
And now for the fun stuff...arranging your flowers:
- Start with the greenery as the base. Keep them tucked in and low. You can cut longer pieces in half to make two pieces to fill in.
- Measure the length of your greenery and flower stem by holding it up to the vase to see how much you need to trim.
- Start building your arrangement from the base out. Typically, you'll want the larger flowers closer to the bottom rim of your vase and build from there. Trim off any excess greenery that are in the way of your flowers.
- After arranging your base of fuller flowers, you can start filling in your taller elements. If you're using a heavier flower as your tall focal point, add it in at the end so it stays in place.
- Keeping flower clusters in odd numbers is a good floral design rule of thumb.
- Have a flower stem with a lot of lateral pieces sticking out? You can cut them off and use them as individual filler pieces.
- When creating a centerpiece, be sure to turn the base as you work so you can see what it looks like from all sides and not just the front.
- Branches from your yard can make for a unique finishing detail to make your floral arrangement your own!