DIY Floral Arrangement
If you fancy yourself a do-it-yourselfer, you’re not alone. At StarHill Farms, we’re all about DIY projects, especially ones that include beautiful blooms. When it comes to wedding planning, there’s plenty you can make, build or create with your own two hands. This week, we’re talking about DIY floral arrangements. And soon, we’ll dive into DIY bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, and center pieces—oh my!
Depending on your skill level, time frame, and budget, tackling this DIY isn’t as intimidating as it might sound. I recently shadowed a wedding florist for a weekend where learned a few tricks, and while leaving it up to the talented professionals will eliminate unnecessary stress on your wedding day, I also earned that with enough confidence and practice (and maybe a few extra hands), it’s possible to tackle on your own.
Even if you’re not up for the challenge, learning how to arrange flowers can come in handy when hosting a bridal shower, luncheon, or any event worthy of pretty flowers—Thursday night dinner? … Why not!
Flowers (blooms and greenery)
Chicken wire (floral foam or tape will work, too!)
First, I head out to my local grocery store to see what they have in stock. If you’re arranging for fun, the surprise of what you might find can be thrilling! This trip, I spent $20 on sunflowers, purple and white stock, tulips, and an un-labeled yellow-green filler that I thought paired well with the sunflowers. I’ll often spend 30 minutes or so just walking in circles around the floral department, pairing this-with-that or that-with-this, trying to get the perfect combination. It’s best to go with your gut, because the best part is that you can never really go wrong.
However, if you’re arranging for a wedding reception or event, it’s a good idea to figure out what you need in advance. Sam’s Club has a wonderful floral department—and they offer online bulk ordering! You can find 30 stems of white hydrangeas for $60 (that’s $2 per bloom!) They also sell silver dollar eucalyptus, which is perfect for table garland. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played around on their website, day-dreaming about the next event I’m hosting and what arrangements I can put together … it’s my version of online shopping.
To supplement my grocery store blooms, I foraged for greenery and filler in my own backyard. Sometimes, a seemingly bland bush or tree can add the perfect texture to an arrangement. Some of my go-to foraging bushes aren’t necessarily the prettiest in the yard, but once paired with delicate flowers, they shine! If you’re foraging outside your own property, the general rule of thumb is to ask before cutting and only take what you need.
Then, I pick out a vase. Next, I cut a small piece of chicken wire and form it into a ball the size of the vase. I learned this trick for the florist I shadowed and have been doing it ever since. Like , floral foam it helps keep the flowers in place and standing up straight. But unlike foam, it’s reusable (and less expensive!). If you don’t want to mess with cutting chicken wire, floral foam is available at most craft stores. Or, you can use tape to create a grid over the top of the vase—this will also help keep the flowers in place. I used a clear vase to show this step, but you’d want to cover up the chicken wire by using a non-clear vase, wrap-around leaves, or even sliced lemons.
Next, you’ll want to prep your flowers. Start by taking off excess leaves and thorns, cutting the stems on a diagonal. I like to put my flowers in water and set everything out so I can easily grab and go once I begin arranging. In cooking, the French call this mise en place, which means “putting everything in its place.”
Finally, it’s time to start arranging! I start by adding greenery to the bottom layer—this step helps keep the arrangement looking natural and organic. After the bottom layer is put down, it’s time to have some fun. If you have bigger blooms, like a hydrangea, it’s best to put those down first and arrange around them. For beginners, there are three main things to know: no leaves below the vase line; for an organic touch, angle your flowers so they are at varying degrees, keeping some blooms long so they pop out of the arrangement; and create balance with color and types of flowers by making sure the arrangement has a nice flow to it, just like a painting. (I usually follow the odd number rule, arranging similar blooms in groups of 3 or 5.)
Tip: put your vase on a lazy susan so you can easily spin your arrangement around to see if you have any holes that need to be filled.
If you’re arranging days in advance, be sure to store your flowers in cool place—you can also use a floral setting spray to keep your blooms from drying out.
Floral arranging is a fluid process. Remember, flowers are beautiful on their own, which makes them pretty hard to mess up. The best advice I learned is to not over-think and never over-cut.
Here is one of my favorite DIY floral tutorial. And, here are some of my favorite florists to follow on Instagram for inspiration—Evergreen Flower Co., The Farmers Daughter, Stems Floral. There is plenty of online research and tutorials you can follow, but nothing compares to hands-on practice. The next time you’re at the store, grab some blooms and get creating!