It’s been wall-to-wall Thanksgiving posts here at Straight to the Hips, Baby, and we were so proud to have this much seasonal content to provide in this very strange year, when so many of our traditions have to be modified! We’ve covered everything from cocktails to side-dishes, a full thanksgiving menu, and my tips for a Gorgeous Thanksgiving Table Setting. This is my absolute favorite holiday! The only thing we haven’t yet addressed is the incredible Thanksgiving flowers that will compliment your table. This year, we thought that a home-assembled bouquet would be a perfect way to have something beautiful on the table. It’s not only budget-friendly, you’ll be amazed at what you can do! So let’s get into how you can create a budget friendly holiday flower centerpiece!
A personalized floral arrangement is easier to create than you think…
I know so many of us outsource our flowers for big events. Maybe we’ll order something online, or grab a bouquet at the grocery store, and call it a day. This year, let’s elevate our floral skills! Instead of ordering flowers from your local shop or preferred flower delivery service, we’ll easily create a stunning bouquet for a fraction of the cost. I’ll give you amazing step-by-step flower arranging advice, that uses minimal flower arranging supplies. In no time flat, you’ll have a unique floral arrangement on your table or to bring with you as a hostess gift, that your friends will think came from a professional florist!
Sharing is caring…
For this post, I was lucky enough to collaborate with the fantastic Jaimie Tucker, over at JaimieTucker.com. One of New England’s most in demand fashion & lifestyle bloggers, Jaimie is also an accomplished hostess with an eye for stylish detail. At the start of the day, Jaimie was a flower arranging novice, but she embraced all of these tricks & tips with lightening speed to create a stunning fresh-flower centerpiece. Today, I’m sharing the same philosophies with you!
Be sure to head over to my instagram IGTV to catch a repeat of our live floral adventure! If you’re in need of some outfit inspiration to go with your new flowers, Jaimie is your lady! I know I’ll be asking her for advice!
So… what’s the plan?
We are going to talk about what I keep in mind when imagining a bouquet, as well as a few tips on color theory. I’ll be sharing how to keep costs down, while not sacrificing any quality or color. Let’s grab those pruning shears, and get this online floral-arranging tutorial started!
Flower Arranging at Home
Theme or Occasion
Before hitting the store, or picking out your favorite vase, narrow down the theme or occasion that you’re decorating for. Is it a Holiday Table? Are you sticking to a theme, such as cottage garden? Narrowing down your theme is going to help set the tone for the floral arrangement.
the Size of your Table
Another important factor is the size of your dinner party. Are you holding an intimate dinner with just a few guests? Then multiple low vases of flowers would be ideal so diners can easily talk to each other across the table. On the flip side, are you hosting a huge dinner (maybe not this year) and adding the extra leaves in your dining room table? Well, those same multiple small vases would work, but then, also adding in a medium vase to that same set up would create harmony. You can also go all out with one large bouquet – size and scale are important when visualizing your arrangements!
Right-sizing will also inform your vase choice, too! I always like to have a variety of vase shapes and sizes on hand, but in an intimate setting, jam jars can be a lovely way to showcase small groupings of flowers. Set up an arrangement of three to four jars, clustered in the center. Or, spread them down the table in a line, with tea lights dotting the table, and you have created a spectacular piece of visual interest for your guests!
Color & Tone
Do you have a certain color palette in mind for your party? Is it big and bold? Then a monochromatic scheme would work for your centerpiece. Or are you going in the opposite direction and staying neutral with your dinnerware and linens? Then grab the opportunity to go bold with big flashes of color! I always try to have a color palette in mind before heading to the market to buy supplies.
Budget & AVAILABILITY
This is where we can get creative! Try to aim to use flowers that are in season in your area. You’ll get more value for your money, and the quality is much better! Trader Joe’s, Costco, and local supermarkets have fabulous options available. My number one tip for budgeting is always, always look for the bargain flowers or the ‘half off’ bins – when you’re doing the arranging, this is the best place to go.
Take a quick walk around, and decide what flowers you’d like to be the “star” of the centerpiece. I typically look for sturdy blossoms that have a lot of texture and color. Flowers like peonies, brightly colored roses, spray roses, chrysanthemums, or daliahs are gorgeous options. You really only need a handful of these to make a statement!
Next, look for more budget friendly secondary flowers, or “filler”. Flowers that have softer stems and you can buy in bulk. Bells of Ireland, Delphininim, Bouvardia, and Lisianthius are all excellent varieties. They provide color, texture, and bulk.
Adding in dried grasses, dried seed pods, or even dried flowers is another fantastic way to give dimension to your centerpiece. These can be found online, or go browsing in your backyard for interesting bits to add to your centerpiece!
I don’t get complicated with my floral supplies. I have a few vases at the ready, some floral foam or a flower “frog” (a piece of sturdy chicken wire) to sink the flowers into while in the vase, and a sharp pair of kitchen shears (all can be found on Amazon.com or your local craft store). I do recommend having something at the bottom of your vase to help keep your flowers standing up tall and in the placement that you want. Foam, “frogs”, or even vase filler, works well.
You mentioned “color theory”?
Yes! Have you ever wondered why we are drawn to certain color combinations? Why some colors are so soothing together, while others light up our brains in a riot of color? That’s color theory, baby!
These are the elements of color theory I prefer to use;
Complementary; These are colors on opposite sides of the color wheel, such as yellow/purple or green/red. These combinations create big bold punches of color that really grab your attention!
Analogous; These are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They blend into each other and provide a really elegant foundation to play with different flower varieties. Examples are pink/red/purple or yellow/bright green/dark green.
Monochromatic; This is when we use one color with slight variations in shade. A gorgeous way to think about this would be a giant bouquet of peonies in slightly different shades of pink, or an all white flower combination. Modern & striking!
Triadic; This is where you would pick a main color on the color wheel, PLUS the two colors on either side of the wheel. Blends like red/yellow/blue or green/purple/orange, offer contrast, but tend to feel more harmonious than Complementary combinations.
Let’s Do It!
- Grab your vases and cut your foam to fit. Soak the foam in water for 10 minutes
- Prep your flowers! Separate the blooms into sections; sturdy stemmed, soft stemmed, and filler. Trim away any extra leaves on the flowers and pinch off any flower petals that look a little crumpled.
- Place your foam into the vases, or just fill the vases with water, and add some flower food.
- Using sharp shears, we’ll begin to to trim the flowers and insert into the vase. Start with your sturdy flowers. Trim and to a desired height (I line the stem of the flower up to the bottom of the vase and then cut it so it’s a few inches taller than the vase). This is going to define your height for the entire arrangement. Start placing the flowers into the foam, in a pleasing shape, focusing on making it round, oblong, or tall. Anything really goes! I tend to make my arrangements ’round, and lush’. These are going to be the outline, or ‘bones’ of your arrangement!
- Start trimming and inserting the secondary “soft stemmed” flowers in between your ‘structural’ larger stems. Keep an eye on shape and texture. I love adding lushness to my centerpieces with lots of draping flowers (snapdragons or anything that ‘hangs’ off its stem).
- Keep adding and subtracting. Begin to add your filler, and some dried flowers or grasses as accent points. Pretty soon, you’ll have an amazing floral centerpiece that you put together yourself!