By: Laura Storme
Having a vase of flowers in your home can accent a table, brighten a dark corner, or add a touch of elegance. The flowers can bring a reminder of warm summer days on cold winter nights or just show somebody you care. Creating these flower arrangements take no time at all and are an inexpensive way to give a touching gift.
First, choose the container you are going to use. A vase, basket or bowl is good ideas. Make sure that there is plenty of space for your blooms, whether there are one or 100. Knowing where this arrangement will reside will give you a good idea of how large or small you need your container. If you are giving the arrangement as a gift, keep in mind the receivers home and where it might be placed. You might also choose a holder that will match the color of the room or, if a gift, the favorite color of the receiver.
You will want to choose flowers that are proportionate in size to each other and will not stick out from one another. You want to blend your blooms. Roses, chrysanthemums, peonies, lilies, carnations, poppies and daisies can be mixed and matched to intermingle in a smooth pattern. If your receiver has a favorite, choose those first. The colors should flow together well. You will not want orange poppies next to violet lilacs. The colors should attract, not distract or offend the viewer of the flowers. The use greenery interspersed with the flowers like ferns, eucalyptus or ivy can break up the monotony of colors.
As you are selecting your flowers, occasionally stop to arrange them in the vase. If you have picked out a highlight flower, place it in the center of the bouquet and use the others to frame it. You don't want to pack them in too tightly as this will make for a busy display. Also, if they fall over while arranging them, don't panic. When you have a nice assortment of blooms in your container, locate some glass marbles. These marbles can vary in shape, size and color. It's totally up to you how you will want them to appear. For example, if you have a clear vase or bowl, pick out a color that is highlighted in your bouquet. These marbles will support your flowers. You will want to purchase enough to fill your bowl or vas half full. If you have selected a basket, purchasing green foam to place in the bottom of the basket is the way to hold your flowers in place.
Once home, lay all of your flowers and greenery out. First, select the height of your flowers. The blossoms do not be sitting at the top of the vase or bowl. They can stand tall just above the rim. Using a pair of wire cutters, cut the stems in a uniform length. If you have chosen a specific flower to highlight, place it in the center of your container and use the other flowers as an outline or frame. Mix and match your flowers and greenery. Use the leaves on the roses to support the other greenery. You will want to alternate the flowers until the desired visual effect is achieved.
Finally, pour the marbles into a measuring cup. After you're sure that you are happy with your arrangement, support the flowers with one hand and pour in the marbles. You will want to fill in the area between the flowers and vase. Once you're sure the flowers will not fall over toward the outside of the container, then gently separate the flowers in the middle and pour some marbles in there. These marbles will be the cement that holds all of the flowers in place. You will have a few moments before everything settles to adjust a bent or an out-of-place flower. The next step would be to jiggle the vase carefully to allow any loose marbles to fall into place.
If you have chosen to do a basket, fill the bottom of the basket with the green foam. Selection is key for the foam as it should fill it neatly. If your foam is too large, use a utility knife to shave off enough to make it fit. Using your wire cutters, trim the flowers to about a one inch stem. These stems will puncture the foam nicely and tuck right into place. The foam is the easiest item to work with because you can remove a bloom and replace it with another one should you not like the effect. Unfortunately, though, should you do this too often, the foam will begin to shred and will not work properly. Follow the same steps as for the vase or bowl by alternating the arrangement of flowers interspersing it with greenery. Once finished, trim the handle, if there is one, with a lovely bow or ribbon. The other option for the hand would be to purchase some garland and twist it around the handle, securing it at either end with drops of glue from a glue gun.
Creating these silk flower arrangements can be fun and inexpensive. Having blooms all year round gracing your table, a shelf, a mantel or windowsill can be a refreshing pick up in the dead of winter or a promise of sun in a darkened corner. A basket of silks can be a handmade gift that touches the receivers heart forever.