Yes, I know you hate Valentine’ Day, but it’s time to get over it and start letting the holiday be a little fun. It doesn’t always have to be a reminder that you’re single– I actually really love the holiday as an excuse to buy or make my girlfriends something cute. Last year I gave out little leather hair bow ties I made (I’m going to repost the DIY!) and they were well loved. This year I definitely need to figure out what to make and give that’s cheap and easy to make because V-day is CLOSE. Luckily you don’t have to plan too much in ahead and you can still get by with some yummy chocolates 😉
This year I really wanted to do a tutorial on fresh floral arrangements because I feel like you can NEVER stop learning about flowers and living things. This is definitely a big, big thing I’ve noticed from working at Rolling Greens. I learn about a new plant practically every day here– I love the abundance of knowledge!
As the Event Coordinator for RG, I’ve learned a thing or two about flowers, too. It is really so much fun getting up early to head to the flower market and scour which blooms are in season, the colors that depict each season and to be in a place where life is thriving. While I’m definitely not an expert, I know some key basics that I wanted to share because they can literally transform the flowers you bought at Trader Joes into an amazing + unique arrangement or bouquet. Let’s dive in.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Fresh blooms [I used one banksia, coffee berries, ranunculus, snap dragons, wax flowers, and olive tree branches ]
- container of your choice [ I got this sweet selfie pot from Rolling Greens, duh ]
- 1 block of Oasis foam [ you can find at the floral mart or your local craft store ]
- shears / sharp scissors
When you’re picking out your flowers, it can be really overwhelming with all of the color choices. In my opinion, you honestly can mix so many colors and still get a stunning arrangement. BUT, if you’re just getting started, I like to stick with the color wheel rule. Pick one color on the wheel as your base color and only pick blooms that are in the same color scheme as the color you picked and the two next to them on the color wheel.
For example, I picked orange as a color, so yellow and red are also colors I buy into. It’s like a warm toned palette + cool toned palette type of deal. I found this works really, really well. The branches and foliage can of course be green 😉 I chose a more muted green that is sort of sage-like when I went with the rustic look of the olive branches. Greenery comes in shades, too!
- The first step is to PREP your flowers. Make sure they’re in cool water at all times to keep fresh and in a cool, dry area OUT of the sun. Heat will make them blossom and their lifespans spew out faster with heat/warm water. Trim the end of the stems at an angle, this helps them absorb more water as well.Then, strip your stems of any leaves that will be touching the water in the container. This helps prolong the life of the arrangement. If any leaves are in the water of the arrangement, it will get moldy REAL QUICK.
2. Cut your Oasis foam to the size of your container where it fits nice and snug inside. It’s a little funny feeling and seems to crumble easily, but don’t worry! After you’ve cut your piece, run it under cold water until it becomes drenched + soaked in water. This is where the magic happens! When you make your arrangement, you slide the stems into this structural foam to help keep the shape AND keep your flowers hydrated for days.
3. Go with the big blooms first. This big guy is called a BANKSIA and is freakishly awesome. Protea and banksia are some of my favorite flowers because of their unique structure and long-lasting life. Not to mention, they dry really beautifully. I measured the stem to an appropriate height where it would be peeking out of my arrangement just right and snipped. I didn’t strip the entire stem and did leave some of the crazier leaves on near the top for a wild look.
4. Slide ’em on in. Like I mentioned before, you literally just insert the stems into foam the container. It will hold the stem in place any which way you slide it in. You don’t NEED Oasis foam, it’s just a tool, and you can totally create a freeform arrangement without any foam. I think it’s really nice for structural arrangements like this lovely lady, however 😉
5. Keep adding! I like to work with the bigger flowers first to get an idea of the shape and composition. It’s nice to know that nothing is set in stone so I just go at it, sliding in flowers where I see fit. Don’t forget to play with different height and directions, that makes it all the more interesting!
6. Now add in the smaller florals and branch pieces. Using very small white blooms to add a pop, I filled any empty spaces with the pretty petals. Then I take clippings of the olive branches and add them in, making sure my arrangement looks badass and 3D from all angles.
That’s literally it. NOW, just make sure the foam is wet every single day with some fresh water and your arrangement should last 4-5 days (sometimes longer depending on the conditions.) PLUS, you just created this whole rad thing by yourself– no floral experience needed. Feeling like a badass yet?!
Last + most important thing: enjoy the gift of nature. Don’t forget that these blooms grew straight from the ground, despite us buying them precut from the market. They seriously liven up ANY home or space. Love love!