Flower Arranging for Beginners: How To Design a Beautiful Arrangement at Home

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Helping you celebrate the magic of every season!

I haven’t touched flowers in what seems like ages. Here in West Michigan the weather is starting to turn, and we’re enjoying a rather pleasant (albeit early) spring. And honestly, all this sunshine has me itching to get my hands on some fresh blooms.

I mean, nothing screams spring more than being able to bring a fresh arrangement of cut flowers into your home- am I right?

So today, I thought I’d break out my camera so that I could film this short tutorial (check out video above) where I break down the very basics of flower arranging with you.

Because I get it…

…flower arranging, as a skill, it can feel INTIMIDATING.

Truth be told, I think a lot of us really enjoy flowers. We enjoy how they make us feel in the moment, and we enjoy the memories that they hold for us.

But if I had to guess, I’d say that most of us are terrified of actually getting our hands on some flowers and really creating something special. There’s a part of us that deep down is afraid of ‘doing it wrong’.

I don’t want that for you. I want flowers to feel APPROACHABLE because in my opinion, flowers are such a simple and easy way to add just a bit more joy into your everyday. 

Seriously, designing or arranging with in-season blooms is such a great way to really capture the magic that exists in this very moment of time.

And especially when we’re designing something for ourselves, we get such a unique opportunity to really personalize our project into something we LOVE. 

So remember, at the end of the day, as long as you’re pleased with what you’ve created and you enjoy the process it took to get there- then that’s a win. Trust me, you literally can not mess this thing up 😉

How To Design With Florals for Beginners

This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, see my disclosures here.

Floral Design Tools + Supplies:

Now before we jump right in to the actual flower arranging process, I need to share the tools and supplies you’re going to need for this project. 

I recommend having a pair of garden or floral snips to cut your stems. I really recommend using something more than just regular ole scissors. You’ll get a much cleaner cut with floral snips.

The great news is that floral snips are really affordable; most grocery stores carry them in their garden section. Or you can buy them off of Amazon like me, the exact pair that I’m using in the tutorial is linked here.

You’re also going to need some sort of vase to hold your arrangement. I’m going to give you a little pro tip here because I know how tempting it can be to reach for the biggest vase you can find.

I mean, we tend to think bigger vase, more room for flowers, more impact…

But the truth is, the trick is to go smaller, much smaller than you’d think!

When you start with a smaller vase, then you can make a BIGGER impact with fewer stems. For this project, I recommend about a 4 inch wide opening, and I probably wouldn’t go much bigger than 6 inches. 

And lastly, you’re going to need some fresh flowers. 

All of the flowers I used, I bought from a local flower shop. Here’s a look at exactly which ingredients I picked-up:

  • (2) Italian Ruskus
  • (2) Snapdragon Stems
  • (2) Veronica Stems
  • (3) Pom Pon Stems
  • (2) Mini Daisy Spray Stems
  • (5) Baker Fern Stems
  • Optional (1) Spray Rose Bunch

Like I said earlier in this blog post, I want flowers to feel approachable, so I intentionally went flower shopping with the goal of spending just $20.

Flower Arranging for Beginners Tutorial

Now in full transparency I did hit my goal- but then I walked by the spray roses, and well, I just couldn’t resist picking up a small bunch.

The spray roses were $3.99 which put my grand total at $23 for this project- still a great price in my mind, but if you wanted to stay below that $20 mark then know that you could absolutely do this arrangement without the roses. 

Flower Arranging Basics:

For this project I have selected quite a few different ingredients to work with. And I know, it can feel overwhelming trying to piece all of these ingredients together in a way that feels cohesive.

But I’m going to let you in on a secret: the trick to simplifying floral design is to focus on the purpose each ingredient has within the larger arrangement.

Let me explain…

You see, there’s an endless number of floral ingredients out there + available, but there’s really only 4 main categories that you have to consider when flower arranging. And I promise, with practice as you start recognizing which of the categories each of these ingredients fall into- flower arranging will become so much easier for you. 

So let’s start with the first category which is foliage.

Foliage is what gives structure to your piece. I know how easy it is to gloss over foliage because in comparison to flowers it can seem rather boring. But foliage is such an important design element. It adds dimension and texture and truly helps give shape to your arrangement. 

Next is filler which is what I like to refer to as the bridge between your foliage and your more prominent focal flowers.

Filler can be any number of flowers that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Its job, as its name implies is to help fill-in the extra space within your arrangement so that it feels lush and full.

Then you have focal flowers which is what everyone is most familiar with.

These flowers are the true stars of the show. They are the blooms that are most featured within the arrangement. They are typically larger and a bit showier than everything else you’re working with- think tulips, peonies, dahlias, roses, lilies, even sunflowers can be focal flowers.

And last but not least, is my favorite category, which is flair or airy accents as I often call it.

These whimsical stems are typically delicate pieces that add a bit of movement and magic to your creation. I always like to position these pieces just a little bit higher than everything else in the arrangement so they can sort of ‘dance’ over the other ingredients.

In my opinion, airy accents are just a little something-something you can add to into your work that really helps bring your arrangement to life; it just elevates the piece in a way that is magical. 

Designing Your Flower Arrangement:

Now building your arrangement couldn’t be easier.

Make sure your vase has clean water in it. Clean water is the simplest and easiest way to extend the vase life of your arrangement. 

And then we’re just going to start adding flowers one stem at time. I typically work from the outside in. I’m going to add my foliage first.

When I’m adding into my arrangement, I’m going to cut the stem to the height that I want and make sure that I’m removing anything off of the stem that may touch the water.

Remember, you only want your stems to touch the water. Leaves or foliage left on your stems, they’ll start to decay if they’re submerged below the water line which can create bacteria that will reduce the vase life of your flowers. 

As you add stems into your vase, don’t be afraid to play with height. Keep it interesting- we’re not going for perfect here because honestly, perfect is boring. Also don’t stress if you don’t like where something ends up, you can always adjust.

After adding my foliage, now that I have some shape, I’m going add some of my bigger flowers.

And now I’m just doing to fill in everything with my smaller blooms. Don’t ever be afraid to work with the natural shape of your flowers. Not all your stems need to be perfectly straight. Having some of those stems that are wonky and curvy I think helps make your arrangement that much more expressive.

And just like that, there you have it! A simple arrangement you can keep in your house or gift to a friend.

It looks elegant but at the same time it’s very reasonably priced so that you can enjoy flowers everyday- not just for those special occasions.  

Conclusion

Thank you so much for ‘tuning in’ to this flower arranging tutorial, my friend! I hope you were able to take away some lessons that will hopefully make floral design feel less intimidating.

XO, Britney (@twosistersflowerfarm)

Britney Zondlak

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Hey there, I'm Britney!

Just your average farm gal, growing + selling specialty cut flowers in West Michigan! I think flowers are the best way to savor the magic that comes with every season- that’s why at Two Sisters Flower Farm we grow everything from daffodils in the spring to pumpkins + dahlias in the fall!

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