5 Ways to Arrange Flowers Like a Pro

Don’t you love how fresh flowers instantly brighten a room? It’s no wonder they’re used to celebrate special occasions or come attached with an apology or condolence. Flowers are our little messengers…expressing love, joy, hope, sorrow.

As special as they are, I try not to treat them like my China, though. I make them part of my every day life. For example, I keep rosemary next to the sink, so steam from the hot water releases its fragrance. Blooms always beam from our dining room and kitchen tables. And every now and then I’ll put sprigs of lavender on my night stand to soothe me to sleep.

My love of the garden certainly comes from my mom, and any knowledge of arranging flowers comes from this trendy little shop where I worked in college. The designers were crazy amazing, and I tried to soak up every ounce of inspiration.

My five favorite flower arranging tips

{ONE} Keep it Simple


Whether you’re snipping flowers from the garden or picking up a bunch from the store, think about choosing all the same color. Monochromatic designs are so simple – yet pretty.

For this arrangement I grabbed a bunch of white Alstroemeria lilies. I cut them all the same length and tucked them into a small vase. (We’ll talk about the vase in a bit.)

Another approach is to get different types of flowers that have the same color. That way you get a variety of textures in your arrangement.

{TWO} Play with Scale


When you cut a long-stemmed flower really short, it gives it a more dramatic look. Take this sunflower for example. It’s not every day you get to look down on a sunny face like this. Wouldn’t it look cool to line up four or five of these down the middle of a dining room table?

I paired my sunflower with a few hostas from the garden, which gives it a fresh twist.

Speaking of hostas…I saw an episode of Fixer Upper where JoJo put single stems of hostas in tall clear vases arranged on a mantel. It was the perfect touch without being too fussy. It looked a little like this >>

{THREE} Branch Out with Your Greenery


Most people think of leather leaf fern when it comes to greenery. But it can be way more fun to shop in your backyard for things to toss into your bouquet.

{Believe it or not, I did learn this from the flower shop. The owner would come back from a weekend in the woods with baskets of greens, pine cones, and twigs. He was so creative!}

Anyway, take a look at the picture above. You’ll see the top two plants are actually herbs. Sage is on the left and lemon thyme is on the right. They add not only texture, but also a nice fragrance.

The lower left was clipped from my boxwoods. These are full on bushes, you guys. And they make such pretty greenery. Then the lower right is a giant leaf from my Black-Eyed Susans!

arrangement with greens

Here’s how I pulled all of them into a small bouquet. BTW, this was just one of those $5.99 bouquets from Walmart. Look how the greenery makes it feel more like a true garden bundle.

{FOUR} Contain Your Blooms


For a word or two about vases…

They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. And they play a big role in how you pull your arrangements together. A square vase can give you a modern look, and a super tall vase can create an elegant display.

I have to say, though…if you’re not a work-at-home-florist with tape, wires, or frogs to help hold your flowers in place, you’re pretty much going to want a vase that has a small neck to hold your stems upright.

The one shown is my go-to because it has a narrow neck and flairs out at the edge to help the flowers fan out. That way they don’t look like I just shoved them down inside a vase.

{FIVE} Think Outside the Vase

vase with hostas

Okay, remember the vase from the first arrangement? Here’s a better look. I covered it with two hosta leaves, then secured them in place with raffia.

Below is what my leaf looked like to start. I cut the stem off the bottom before layering it around the vase.

hosta leaf

You can use any large leaf or even a row of sticks to line the sides of your vase. This helps cover any messy stems. Oh, you can also use ribbon or pretty scrapbook paper. Can you tell my wheels are spinning?

I think I’ll do another post sometime soon about the many ways to cover vases! In the meantime, I hope that was helpful.

Enjoy your Labor Day. And I’ll be back on Tuesday with a fun post about “new uses for old things”.




 photo 73bab94a-1595-47db-8a1e-0ee7d930f9df_zpsihedecfg.jpg


Easiest End of the Year Teacher Gift to Start Now

I’m usually scrambling at the end of each year to find a gift for our teachers. And when I think about all of the time, love, and effort these amazing people have put into my child’s life for nine months, it makes me wish I had thought ahead!

So here’s what I’m planning. I’m going to start now with a gift that’s meaningful, easy, affordable, and surely appreciated.

A memory keeper.

memory keeper

This is a jar that will hold special memories from the year. And at the end, it will be wrapped and given to each teacher as their gift.

Both of my girls are super excited about this whole project. Our goal is to drop in a note at least once a week. It can be anything from their favorite lesson, funny story, or piece of wisdom that was shared by their teacher.

And we’re being relaxed (and realistic) about how often we’ll remember to do this. I told the girls if they forget a week, or don’t have anything specific to share, that’s totally fine. There might even be weeks they want to share more than one note. (Like the first two weeks of school!) I’m sure it will all work out, and these jars will be filled to the brim with cherished memories come time for 5th grade graduation. Sniffle.

Want to make one yourself? Here’s all you need…

teacher gift1

  • Glass jar: Large enough to contain a year’s worth of notes. You can even recycle something, like a large (and clean) Mason jar.
  • Label: I’m using a chalkboard label, but you could also use individual letters to spell out your message.
  • Maker: I have a chalk marker to write on my special label. (Remember when I used this for my mantel project last Christmas?!)
  • Paper scraps: We’re using bright colored paper so the jar will look festive when it’s finished. I found a pad of 4-inch square card stock from Hobby Lobby, which fits nicely in our container. Any scrap paper that’s trimmed neatly will work great.

teacher gift2

That’s it! Super easy, right? Oh, and we keep one for each teacher on the counter in our laundry room – which is a fairly high-traffic spot for us. 😉 That way they don’t become “out of sight out of mind.”

Have a great school year with your sweet kids, and here’s to making happy memories!!