Flower Arrangements: Pretty, Cheap and Easy . . . just like us!

Today I am posting a tutorial written by my sister Heatheroo, Goddess of All Things Floral. She has a knack for flower arrangements and she can show you the quickest, easiest and most of all, cheapest way to fill every room with gorgeous flowers. And so I pass the mic . . .

The key to a beautiful flower arrangement is the bigger the better. Secondly, but just as important, you should never have to spend a small fortune to create a work of art. There are no rules and once you learn the basics, just let your imagination and creativity run with it. There is no wrong way, and we all know pretty when we see it. On the flip side, we all know ugly when we see it too! I am here to help you avoid the ugly . . .

This tutorial will walk you through a tall vase arrangement. Let’s start with the flowers. I buy my flowers at the grocery store. You heard me. And I mean a real grocery store, not Wal-Mart. My local Tom Thumb has a huge assortment of roses, tulips, stargazers, hydrangeas, you name it. I quickly became BFF with the floral manager, and that gets me VIP treatment . . . She always has the fresher flowers in the cooler and there is nothing better than walking right past the Employees Only sign and hand picking my beauties! She also lets me know their delivery schedule. I’ve had such great luck with my grocery store flowers. So be nice, make friends!

As for vases, I buy them at the dollar stores. It’s not the vessel that makes it pretty. Choose simple, no fuss containers. And for God’s sake people, no etching.

To begin today’s arrangement, you need a dozen roses and a few other stems of color, your choice. I chose pink Gerbera daisies and purple hydrangea. And when I say choose your own flowers, I mean flowers and not “filler” . . . you know the ones they deliver that have four roses surrounded by fifty stems of greenery? Ugh . . . and baby’s breath. Don’t even get me started.

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Begin by cleaning the stems, remove everything except just a leaves at the top of the stem. I’m starting with 3 stems of hydrangea. Hold it next to your vase and cut the stem. Cut it short enough to where the buds of the flower are just above the rim. If you leave them too long, they appear gangly. This provides the base of my arrangement.

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(And as for cutting the stems at some fancy angle under running water? Don’t worry about it. Just cut the stems at some kind of angle with some scissors and stick ‘em in the vase.)

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Next you want to add a pop of color – my daises will do just the trick. I left the plastic stem holders on and cut them at a length that will leave them sticking out just above my hydrangeas. I typically bunch these on the side, but I am showing two different ways to position them below.

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Now for my roses. Buy them when the buds are just a little full but not completely open yet. They will last much longer. I remove the leaves and any thorns by gripping the top of the stem and running my scissors all the way down. Don’t feel you have to handle these flowers with kid gloves. They’re tougher than you think.

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Use your roses to round out the center. Once again, hold them up next to the vase and trim them so they stick out just a little higher than everything else. Better to cut too long than too short.

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As I stick them in the center, I make sure they all stand about the same height in the middle and a little shorter as you move towards the rim. It’s the gradual shortening of the stem that gives the rounded out look to the arrangement. There’s always a little back and forth with the stem length on the center of the arrangement . . . take your time on this part. You’ll know when it looks right! I tend to gather my roses close together. Stuffing the vase with flowers is key to making it look good.

Make sure all your stems are submersed in water, and keep the water fresh. As your roses open up, things may get crowded. Pull them out and cut them stems a few inches, pop them in another vase and you’ve got yourself another arrangement. As things die out, just keep cutting and shaping . . . they will last a week or more. Now that’s what I call bang for your buck!

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Aaaaaand . . . Voila! You’ve made a gorgeous arrangement that will make your friends swoon.

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