How to Arrange Flowers — Here’s how to DIY your own floral arrangement at home

We need as much joy as we can find right now, and nothing brings me more happiness than a stunning bouquet of fresh-cut blooms. I love that they add a touch of natural beauty to any space, and you don’t have to splurge on pricey stems, either. Wildflowers or less expensive cuts are just as stunning.

To get the perfect bouquet at home, here are some tricks to start arranging!

Flowers in a glass vase

Gather your tools

  • Vessel of your choice
  • Floral wire netting—This holds flowers securely in place as you create floral arrangements.
  • Florist clay
  • Knife, floral shears, or sharp scissors
  • Floral wire
  • Tall vase—to keep your flowers in the water while you arrange

Think about variety

In truth, there isn’t any wrong way to go when pairing flowers. Whether you select flowers that are currently blooming in your garden or that you find at your local market, stay open-minded and see what you’re drawn to!

For me, I look for blooms with different textures, shapes, and colours. You want visual impact, of course, and balance, so you can go in one direction or another: Either choose a pared-down palette with a wider variety of flowers or more colour with fewer kinds of blooms.

Prep your bouquet

As a general rule, your bouquet should be about one and a half times taller than your container of choice. It would help if you also tried to balance the width and the height of the flowers, so they’re all relatively uniform.

  • Remove leaves from the flowers (they can rot the stems when they’re in the water), and remove thorns, if they have them. This increases the lifespan of your bouquet.
  • If there are any unwanted beds on the same stem as a complete flower, cut those off and then make a fresh diagonal cut to the stems’ bottom.
  • It’s best to keep your flowers away from direct sunlight and any heating vent—both will affect the flowers’ stability.
  • Every other day you can recut the stems and change out the water.

Select your vase of choice

I have plenty of vases (as I’m sure you do as well!), and the shape of your vase will dictate the look and feel of your arrangement. A tall, skinny vase will proffer a column arrangement, whereas a low, shallow case will be less stiff and appear looser. For me, I prefer a vase that has some edges that can support the stems to lean against. I don’t love the look when blooms look like they’re drooping over the vase.

Create your base and build from there

  • Start with placing the most robust stems (and end with the most delicate)
  • Frame your arrangement with large leaves (like eucalyptus, ivy, dogwood, magnolia, or calla lily leaves)
  • Create the foundation within the frame with sturdy or large-bloomed flowers that have a big face. I love hydrangea, peonies, and dhalias.
  • Create a centre point—these are the flowers that are the “star” ingredient, which will draw the eye into the arrangement’s focal point. There are plenty to choose from, whether you go with tulips, freesia, roses, or lilies).
  • Observe the whole arrangement from all sides as you go along, and look for negative space where you can insert your filler flowers or something florists call “floaters” – these are the lightest flowers you have that are delicate and tend not to last as long. Daffodils, baby’s breath, or pansies are beautiful!
  • Give your finished flower arrangement a light spritz of water to mimic the look of fresh dew. It’s such a simple trick, but it’s impactful.
Hands preparing flowers