We tested these flower arranging tricks to create a unique holiday centerpiece
The holiday season is officially here. Even though you may be busy making your lists and checking them twice, it’s important to remember to participate in the little dopamine-inducing things, including creating festive flower arrangements to make your house feel like a home.
It’s not always easy to find flowers looking their best in the middle of winter, so we’ve tested out some popular tricks that should give you the most beautiful bouquet — all using flowers you can pick up at your local grocery store. From opening flower buds to making your arrangement look as finished as possible, here are our top tips that we can say are tried (and true).
The window is your vase
One of the most overlooked parts of buying flowers: finding a vase to put them in. If you have a gorgeous but very wide vase or bowl that won’t hold your bouquet (or you have weak stems or flowers), creating a grid over the lid of the bowl, vase or jar of your choice solves this problem.
Take a piece of netting that covers the entire opening of the vase, secure it with tape, mounting putty, or by cutting it into a mason jar, then place your flowers through the holes in the netting. This provides support even for flowers with thin stems and prevents them from slipping when they hit the water.
If you don’t have a net on hand, replace it with tape or string, placing several pieces of tape over the opening of the vase to create a net of any size. This also helps you customize the size of the holes so you can adjust the look of your arrangement to your liking.
This trick is especially useful when arranging flowers in containers, as large bouquets tend to bend at the edges. Just make sure you keep trimming the stems of your arrangement before netting them; When the stems are too long, it can cause the flowers to bend awkwardly instead of being fully supported.
Carnations are one of the most popular holiday flowers, beloved for their delicate petals and affordable prices. If you don’t already associate carnations with the winter holidays, you should – you can use them to brighten up any arrangement and find them in stores year-round.
Getting these little flowers looking worthy of a table centerpiece requires some extra prep work. By peeling the green bulb at the base of each carnation, each flower will appear fluffier and fuller, making any arrangement look more professional. To make this flower look more like a rose, pick off a few of the center petals to showcase the different colors in the middle of the flower.
You can also gently press the center of the flower while twisting or pinching its base. This helps open the carnations that have not yet opened. However, note that opening your carnations this way will cause them to wilt a little earlier than if you left them to bloom naturally. You are essentially speeding up the process.
Pennies, bleach, or both?
No one wants to have a flower emergency right before a holiday party. If you put time and effort into arranging your flowers to the best of your ability, you should also ensure that they will last a long time. To do this, you can either add a few drops of bleach or a penny to the water in the vase. (Keep in mind that you’ll need to look for a penny from 1981 or earlier, as they have the most copper.)
The chemicals in the bleach and the copper in the coin kill any bacteria and fungi, making your flowers stay fresher longer. Plus, you won’t have to change the water every day to keep it looking healthy.
As for which one works better: both are equally effective. Putting a penny or two in the vase is a little easier if you plan to change the water occasionally; And you can reuse them.
Double your vase
To create a more eye-catching floral centerpiece, try placing vases inside of each other. The middle vase holds flowers, while the space between the outer and inner vase can be filled with celebration accessories.
Decorators on social media offered to use everything from small ornaments to holiday candy (like mints or long candy canes) to fill the outside of their vases. This creates a fun holiday centerpiece that doesn’t come at the expense of your flowers. You also won’t have to buy any filler for the entire outer vase, as the inner part takes up most of the space.
Make sure your accessories don’t overpower your flowers. Choose colors that match or complement your bouquet, use taller arrangements, and place your flowers upright in the vase to help draw more attention to the main focus: your bouquet.