Basic Flower Arranging October 25 2016

Have you ever watched a florist at work and thought “I wish I could do that”.   Well, if you follow just a few simple rules, then it is possible for you to create your own floral masterpieces. Here is a brief introductory, to guide you in the basics of flower arranging….

Brainstorming is the first essential step in any creative process. Depending on where you intend on placing your flowers, consider whether you need to build your bouquet vertically or horizontally. For horizontal arrangements, use a shallow vase or container.


You should also think about the shape of your arrangement (oval, triangle, etc.).  Vase dimensions can also play a part in the stem length and base row configuration.  For vertical arrangements, make sure the flowers are at least 1.5 times the height of the vase or container. Large-scale arrangements can have an interesting effect, but make sure they are proportional to your container.


Stems of artificial flowers can be arranged into groups,  preferably in uneven numbers, as this gives a more pleasing presentation.

Start by placing the large flowers towards the centre and the small flowers in the outer areas. For a symmetrical arrangement, cut the stems gradually shorter as you work away from the centre. You can fill in your arrangement with foliage, extra stems, or leaves, depending on the look you are going for. 


As you build, take a step back every once in a while to make sure no empty spots or holes need to be filled.  If you are having difficulty handling a large arrangement you could try working in segments which can be loosely wired together, starting with the top and working to the base. When you are happy with each segment’s dimensions and flower positioning, tighten your wiring to fix the segment within the arrangement. 


Remember that arrangements may have uniform air (or space) between each bloom, leaf or other component, and can look good. Arrangements can look like a classic fountain, pointing up at the top and hanging down at the base. Of course arrangements don’t have to follow any rules as long as they look as intended. Stems should never be bent like an elbow, but should be curved (usually less at the top and more at the base of an arrangement).

When you are almost finished your arrangement, STOP. Go away and do something else, as working too close or long with an arrangement can commonly give a false impression of incompleteness. When you come back in say 20 minutes or so, it may well now look finished!

Arrangements should be displayed with the observer or audience in mind. Sometimes less is more, that is, a simple sparse arrangement can look better than lots of blooms crammed together. Artistic curves and spacing, can look just as good as bulk flowers. Thoughtful arrangement can save dollars and look great. Google Ikebana for some inspiration.


Flower arrangement location can save too. If an arrangement is against a wall or mirror then the front half of the arrangement is only needed, as the back is lost to the wall, and a mirror can multiply decoration. The same goes for corner decorations.


If you have multiple arrangements to make, then you may want to make some cardboard &/or wire patterns, so you know what to use and how much to curve the stems in each segment, so you have some uniformity of look.


Sometimes Stems have to be separated, lengthened or shortened to get the desired look, so some tools and consumables are required for this:

Wire, of strength that will support the desired length of stem

Stemming tape green

Other tools:

Light cable ties

Fuse wire

Light or craft tie wire

Wire cutters

Fine pliers

Tape measure

Hot melt glue gun and glue stick/s


Remember if you have to cut a stem shorter. Always cut conservatively (less off) at first, as you can always cut more off, but you can't easily add more back on!


Take a look at our large variety of artificial flowers HERE, where you can select your favourite colours and varieties to create your dream arrangement.


If you are feeling too timid to give floral arrangement a go, we’ve got you covered. In addition to our beautiful pre-made arrangements we are always happy to make a custom posy with your choice of selected flowers.

Happy Arranging!