Flower arranging isn’t something I’ve ever given much thought to outside of the days I’ve headed out to Columbia Road in search of fresh blooms to breath some life into our tiny flat. But the other week the guys at Homesense hosted a workshop for bloggers to learn more about floral arrangements, so I figured I’d give it a go in an attempt to improve my home decor skills!
Homesense, which is part of the TKMaxx family, provided all the flowers and vases you’ll see in this post, along with a helpful instructor to guide us in how to create professional-looking displays.
Part of the purpose of this workshop was to get us to thinking about faux flowers (which Homesense stocks!) as something we could use to decorate our homes.
And yes: those flowers above are all fake! They look pretty good, don’t they?
But they also provided a number of fresh flowers, and encouraged us to mix them up for more dynamic (and affordable – especially if you’re happy to re-use your faux flowers over and over again!) displays.
Before we got started, I had a good nosey about the room for inspiration and to snap some photos for this post. And to sniff the flowers, of course There were a lot more fake ones than I thought, and they were all still so beautiful.
To get started we each chose a workstation with a vase and an array of faux and real flowers.
Pro tip: when selecting flowers, look for blooms with colours that will look nice together (this is totally subjective, of course!) and consider their heights in comparison to the vase you will be filling. For example, you may want all your blooms to be the same height in the vase, or perhaps a few different heights for a bit of intrigue. Though you can always trim your stems later to get the heights you want.
This is the vase I started working with, but as I got going I decided to move to something a bit taller.
Pro tip: different flower arrangements look better in different types of vases. For example, the wide vase above would suite a bouquet at one even height, or even something with uneven heights. You can also pop in lots of flowers or just a few. Turns out this is one of the most versatile vase shapes!
Pro tip: work the flowers in a circle, so that the stems kind of splay out. To do this, just rotate the stems in your hand as you go, building up the bunch. This way if you want to swap out any of the flowers it’s easy to pull them out, and when you pop them in a vase they will spread out nicely.
And here it is – the arrangement I ended up with! It was my second attempt (I decided I didn’t like the results of my first attempt…) and I was so proud of it I decided to just leave it be.
At the end of the night we were able to bring home our vase and arrangement (spoiler – see that white milk churn in the background? I was a bit cheeky and brought that home, too! And yes: I asked first.), which resulted in one of the more interesting tube journeys I’ve ever taken, complete with about a dozen compliments on how beautiful the flowers were. (I placed them on the seat next to me because they were too big to leave in the aisle / hold in my lap!)
Pro tip: if you want to make friends on public transport, carry a floral arrangement. But only when it’s not rush hour so that no one feels resentful of losing out on a seat to a beautiful bouquet.
Pro tip: you can change the look and feel of your arrangement by simply tying the bunch together in the vase. If you compare this photo to the one above you’ll see that the bouquet up top spreads out a bit more and looks a bit wider, while this one looks a bit taller and more narrow. It’s all just down to personal preference, really! I used twine (provided in the workshop).
Pro tip: when putting together an arrangement you should consider the flower colours and shapes. Nothing is off-limits, but we were advised not to put all of one colour in one place, otherwise the arrangement might feel ‘unbalanced’. So while I have the bright green at the front, worked through to the bright pink at the back, I mixed in lots of light pink, purple, red, white and light green to help with the colour gradation, and to add a bit more dimension in terms of colour dynamic.
I love that, even close up, it’s difficult to see which ones are real and which ones are faux.
Here’s a side-on view of the structure of this arrangement – I really enjoy how it ‘grows’ up to the top! – and when I put it together I tried to incorporate a variety of heights as I went so it didn’t feel too ‘perfect’.
Remember that milk churn from above? Well, after having a think about what to do with my one BIG arrangement I decided to take it all apart and start over, distributing the flowers throughout the three vases I now own. In the milk churn I decided to put all the roses, trimmed to create a bit of a dome appearance, without any twine so that they splayed out and filled all the space.
This vase Jeff and I bought after our wedding to hold a bunch of flowers we were gifted (I remember feeling so grown up when we bought it!), and I put the rest of the fresh flowers in here, tied together with twine, for a simple, elegant floral arrangement to place on our mantlepiece.
And there you have it! All of my DIY flower arranging tips and a bunch of snaps of some really pretty flowers. Now to figure out the look and feel of my next set of arrangements…
Do you like to decorate your home with flowers? What are y our favourite blooms? Tell me in the comments!
Much love, Katie xo
Please note: while the experience in this blog post was a gift, the views expressed are my own.