How to Arrange Flowers: 3 Easy DIY Bouquets
Wish you had the know-how to make any bunch of spring flowers look elegant? With the right vase and these strategies from floral designer Tom Borgese, you can learn how to arrange flowers even if you've never attempted a bouquet before. The first step to mastering an easy DIY flower arrangement is to start with the right vase for your flowers. A short cube-shaped vase makes arranging roses effortless, while a tall, slender vase will support and shape colorful tulips. From there, buy a bunch of spring flowers—even a simple grocery store bundle will do—and follow these simple steps to turn them into a wow-worthy arrangement. Once your DIY flower arrangement is proudly displayed on your kitchen counter or set on a console to greet guests in the entryway, no one will ever guess you crafted these arrangements all on your own. Grab your pruning shears, flower school is in session.
Bouquet of Tulips
If you constrain tulips (or calla lilies or ranunculus) about two-thirds of the way up with a cylinder vase, the natural arc of their soft stems will take care of the arranging. Look for a vase that's tall and narrow, yet wide enough to comfortably fit the stalks.
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How To Arrange Tulips
- Cut all stems the same length, snipping each tip on an angle for better water absorption.
- Fill the vase less than halfway with water.
- If the flowers are too floppy on their own, gather about a third of them loosely with a rubber band and place them in the center of the vase, with the unfettered tulips draping over the rim.
- Change the water every couple of days. And check the flowers, too, because they may need snipping. Tulips absorb water and lengthen, which can change the look of a display.
The Easiest Rose Bouquet
For stiff-stemmed flowers, like roses, irises, and mums, a low cube guarantees a graceful grouping. Remove all but the top leaves, which add color while they frame and differentiate blooms. Work in loose layers, weaving stems together to form a mound (swipe to the next slide to get the full how-to). Dense arrangements are forgiving: Even if you snip too short, it’s easy to fix the overall shape, because the blooms support one another. Push and pull so that the final product looks natural—slightly imperfect. Set on a coffee table; the best view is from above.
To buy: Cement cube vase (5½ inches square), $8, jamaligarden.com.
How To Arrange Roses
- Fill the vase about three-quarters of the way with water. Place a rose in each corner, crisscrossing the stems; the flower heads should protrude about an inch past the edge of the vase.
- Fill in with more flowers along the edges, weaving a web of stems. For successive layers, cut stems slightly longer and slip them into the webbing.
- The last roses you add, in the center, should be about a half-inch taller than those on the edges.
Bouquet of Branches
Less is more when it comes to woody stems, like quince, cherry, and dogwood. Select just three or four sculptural branches, and use a heavy oblong vase that’s about a third as tall as the branches. Aim for an asymmetrical spray so the branches reach rather than lean.
To buy (similar): Medium Oval Vase, $147, mudaustralia.com.
How To Arrange Branches
- Clip bottoms. (Use a lopper—a strong cutter you can find at your local nursery—to trim stems that are thicker than your finger.)
- Make an X in the base of each with a pruner; splaying the branch bottoms will help them absorb water. Trim off twigs that will fall below the water line.
- Fill the vase halfway with water, then add a bag of clear marbles (sold at nurseries or on Amazon). They’ll give the vase weight and hold the branches exactly where you dig them in, so they won’t lean awkwardly against the side. (Stick with an opaque vase, which will hide all the trickery inside.)
- To improve the final look, you can snip a stray stem or two, but clip only at the joints, so the tips look natural.