Monthly Archives: July 2017

  • Flower Arranging Basics: A Beginner's Guide

    flower arranging basics

    There’s no better way to brighten a home than with a eye-catching floral arrangement. But unfortunately, it can be difficult to create the elaborate floral arrangements that you see in magazines or on Pinterest. Arranging flowers is not as easy as it may seem, but you can begin your journey toward mastering the art by first learning the basics. Here are the flower arranging basics that you need to know:

    Flower Arranging Basics:

    flower arranging basics

    Choose A Unique Container

    Most floral arrangements go inside vases, but if you want to do something a bit more unique, consider looking for alternative containers. Anything from a vintage watering can to a mason jar can be used as a container, so use your imagination. Just be sure to thoroughly clean the container prior to putting flowers inside in order to prevent bacteria growth.

    flower arranging basics

    Find the Right Flowers

    Take your time when choosing the flowers for your arrangement. If you want to create a monochromatic arrangement, choose several different types of flowers in varying shades of the same color. Be sure to choose flowers that have different textures as well so the floral arrangement doesn’t look boring.

    If you want to create a more eclectic arrangement, you can have a bit more freedom with the colors that you use. Be sure to get a variety of flowers so you can use different colors, sizes, shapes, and textures.

    Prep the Flowers

    Flowers need to be prepped before they are placed inside a vase. Begin by cutting the bottoms of the stems at a 45-degree angle. To figure out how much needs to be cut off, place the uncut stems inside the vase and mark the point at which the stems should be cut so they are the appropriate height. After the stems have been cut, remove all of the leaves from the flowers that fall below the waterline of the vase. If any of the flowers have thorns, these will also need to be removed prior to putting the flowers inside the vase.

    It’s recommended that you leave flowers sitting in lukewarm water for several days before you begin to arrange them. To extend the life of the flowers, add a packet of flower preserve to the water. If you choose to do this, you may want to snip off the ends of the stems once you are ready to actually begin arranging them.

    flower arranging basics

    Arrange the Flowers

    This is the part of the process where you can use your creativity to build a stunning, unique floral arrangement. There are some basic pointers that you should follow, but besides that, feel free to choose any flowers and color combinations that you would like.

    Start by adding larger flowers in the center of the arrangement and small flowers around the perimeter. If you are using more than one type of flower in your arrangement, add in odd numbers. For instance, use three of each type of flower instead of two or four. You may need to trim some of the stems even further as you start to put your arrangement together. The small flowers around the perimeter should be cut shorter than the large flowers in the center. By doing this, you will give your floral arrangement a beautiful shape.

    After using all of the flowers, step back and examine your work. Do you see any empty spots? Don’t cram more flowers in these tight spaces—use greenery instead. If you don’t want any greenery within your arrangement, be sure to buy filler flowers, which are small, inexpensive flowers that can be used instead.

    Height and Width

    If your floral arrangement looks slightly off, it could be because of the height and width. The perfect floral arrangement will be about one and a half times the height of the container that holds it. The width should provide balance to the height so the arrangement doesn’t look too tall and narrow or short and wide.

    Secure The Flowers

    Have you ever wondered how florists get their arrangements to look so full and dense? Flowers won’t naturally take this shape inside a vase, so it’s up to you to secure them in place. Look for floral tape at an arts and crafts store or find a rubber band laying around your house instead. If you plan on placing the flowers inside a clear vase, you may want to find a clear band since a rubber band will be visible through the vase.

    Then, wrap the tape or rubber band around the middle of the stems. It may take you a few times to find the perfect fit. If the band is too loose, the flowers may fall in all different directions, but if the band is too tight, the flowers may appear stiff. Keep trying until you find the perfect balance.

    Another option would be to use floral foam at the bottom of your vase. Floral foam must be cut precisely so it fits snugly at the very bottom of the inside of the vase. This foam will hold the stems in place so you don’t have to use a rubber band or floral tape.

    flower arranging basics

    Caring For the Arrangement

    Once you have perfected the floral arrangement, you have to care for it to keep it fresh as long as possible. Keep the arrangement out of direct sunlight and away from any other sources of heat that could damage the flowers.

    Take a look at the water on a daily basis as well. If you see debris such as leaves or petals floating in the water, remove it right away. You may even want to change the water and rinse the vase out everyday to ensure the flowers can thrive in a clean environment. If you change the water, don’t forget to add another packet of flower preserve to keep the flowers healthy. You can also trim the ends of the stems every few days to help the flowers absorb the nutrients better.

    Now that you know these flower arranging basics, it’s time to channel your inner Martha Stewart to create beautiful floral arrangements to display in your home!

  • Fun Flower Crafts: What to Do With Pressed Flowers

    what to do with pressed flowers

    How can you remember the beautiful blooming flowers that you came across this summer? Photos only capture a fraction of the beauty of Mother Nature, so instead of taking photos, preserve your favorite flowers by pressing them. Then, you can incorporate them into fun arts and crafts projects. Here’s what to do with pressed flowers so you can hold onto them forever:

    what to do with pressed flowers

    Photo by Clare McGibbon, Etsy.com

    Phone Case

    Carry your favorite pressed flowers with you wherever you go by using them to create a unique phone case. All you will need for this project is a plain white iPhone case and a few other supplies that you can pick up at a local crafts store. Then, choose which pressed flowers you want on the back of your case. You don’t have to cover every inch of the white case with flowers, so don’t feel the need to cram as many flowers as possible onto the case. Stick with one type of flower to create a bold, textured case, or use an assortment of different flowers in all shapes, sizes, and colors for a more eclectic look.

    what to do with pressed flowers

    Photo by Pearl Blay, BeadingGem.com

    Jewelry

    Wear pressed flowers around your neck by making your own necklace. Finding the right pressed flower to use for this project is important. It’s best to choose a smaller flower with a bold color so it will stand out from afar. If you only have light colored pressed flowers, consider dying the resin before placing the pressed flower inside to create a better contrast between the resin and the flower. Don’t try to use multiple flowers within the same necklace or both flowers may end up looking squished inside the necklace.

    what to do with pressed flowers

    Photo by Marianne Koo, Brit.co

    Coasters

    Even if you don’t have a need for them in your own home, these coasters with pressed flowers make a great gift for your loved ones. If you’re planning on making these for someone else, incorporate some of her favorite flowers into the design so she knows that you put a lot of thought into the gift. Each coaster doesn’t have to be exactly the same—in fact, it actually looks better when they’re all slightly different—but they should still be cohesive. Stick to the same color scheme or choose one type of flower that will be used in every coaster and switch up the rest.

    what to do with pressed flowers

    Photo by Rachel Beyer, Adventures-in-Making.com

    Candles

    Flowers will not smell as strongly once they have been pressed. However, you can still remember their sweet smell by incorporating pressed flowers into a scented candle. Choose the flowers that you use for this project carefully based on the size of the jar. If you choose a tall, narrow jar, look for longer stemmed flowers that will fill up the space more appropriately. Creating a candle is actually much simpler than it may seem, however it’s important to remember that the wax is unscented. If you want it to smell like your favorite flowers, you must add your own scent using an essential oil of your choice.

    By tackling some of these projects, you can hold onto your favorite flowers and the summer memories they carry all year long!

  • Tying the Knot: The Big Guide to Types of Wedding Flowers

    types of wedding flowers One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding is choosing the flowers. There are thousands of varieties of flowers to choose from, so it can be incredibly challenging to decide which ones are right for your big day. To narrow down your options, take a look at this guide to the different types of wedding flowers:

    Types of Wedding Flowers:

    types of wedding flowers

    Roses

    Roses are one of the most popular types of wedding flowers, which may be because they symbolize love, passion, and romance. Another reason why so many brides love roses is that they come in a variety of colors and can therefore complement many different types of weddings. Dark red and white roses are great choices for winter weddings, while yellow, pink, and coral roses are perfect for the spring and summer.

    Hydrangeas

    Hydrangeas come in white, green, blue, and various shades of pink. These flowers are large, so they are often used to create fullness in the table centerpieces. By placing a few of these flowers in your centerpiece, you can fill up a significant amount of space without breaking the bank.

    types of wedding flowers

    Peonies

    The peony is another large flower that is often used in centerpieces and bouquets. These flowers are brightly colored and have a strong scent, so they will definitely make an impression on wedding guests. However, the peony is a seasonal flower that is only available in the spring and summer. If your wedding doesn’t fall within these seasons, you will have to pay more to have these flowers imported. Since the peony is expensive even when it is in season, having them imported may put these flowers outside of your budget.

    Calla Lilies

    The calla lily is a uniquely shaped flower that is often associated with elegance and luxury. Many people use calla lilies in art deco inspired weddings because of the clean, simple lines of this flower. Although most brides choose creamy white calla lilies, these flowers can also be found in yellow, orange, and even a deep purple.

    types of wedding flowers

    Sunflowers

    Nothing screams summer quite like the sunflower, which is why many brides incorporate these flowers into their summer weddings. Sunflowers also symbolize happiness, so they’re perfect for your wedding day. Large sunflowers can be used in bouquets or table centerpieces, while smaller sunflowers can be used as boutonnieres. Sunflowers are typically less expensive than many other flowers, so brides on a budget may want to consider incorporating this flower into their big day.

    types of wedding flowers

    Tulips

    Having a spring wedding? Tulips are the unofficial flowers of spring, so they are often used in weddings that take place during this season. If you’re not getting married in the spring, you can still use tulips since they are typically available year-round. Tulips come in many different colors, including pink, white, magenta, red, and purple, so they will complement almost any theme. In addition, they are very affordable, which makes tulips a big hit with brides who don’t want to spend a fortune on flowers.

    Ranunculus

    Many brides love the look of roses or peonies, but simply can’t afford to include these flowers in their wedding plans. Fortunately, brides can achieve the same look at a much lower cost with ranunculus flowers. These brightly colored flowers have the same fullness and sweet scent as roses and peonies, but they are far less expensive. Add these flowers into your centerpieces or bouquets and it’s very likely that your guests won’t even notice that they’re not roses or peonies.

    Chrysanthemums

    Chrysanthemums are full flowers that can add a pop of color to floral arrangements. Orange, yellow, or white chrysanthemums are ideal for spring and summer weddings, while deep pink chrysanthemums complement winter weddings. The unique layout of the petals gives this flower a textured look, which will give your bouquets and centerpieces an extra special touch.

    types of wedding flowers

    Orchid

    If you’re having a tropical wedding, it’s wise to pick exotic flowers that fit the theme. One flower that works perfectly for tropical weddings is the orchid, which come in a variety of colors, including green, white, and purple. Orchids can be used in bouquets and centerpieces. Some brides even carry a single orchid with them down the aisle instead of carrying an entire bouquet of flowers.

    Carnation

    The carnation is an inexpensive flower that can be used to add fullness to centerpieces without going over budget. These flowers come in countless different colors, so it’s fairly simple to choose a carnation that will complement your wedding theme. Although the carnation works well for all different types of weddings, it has become increasingly popular among couples who are planning vintage-inspired weddings.

    types of wedding flowers

    Daisy

    Rustic and country-inspired weddings are a major trend right now, especially in the south. If you’re planning a wedding with this theme, talk to your florist about incorporating daisies into your floral arrangements. The daisy is simple, charming, and gives off a woodsy, country vibe, making it perfect for this theme. Use this flower in bouquets, centerpieces, or even as boutonnieres for the groom and his groomsmen.

    types of wedding flowers

    Baby’s Breath

    Baby’s breath used to be thought of as a filler flower, but it’s now taking the wedding industry by storm. Many couples love the tiny, delicate look of baby’s breath flowers, so they have started to pop up in centerpieces, bouquets, and on boutonnieres. Couples also appreciate the quantity of baby’s breath they can use in their wedding because it is so inexpensive. It’s also available year-round, so you don’t have to worry about having a hard time finding it for your big day.

    Anemones

    Do you want to make a statement with your flowers? Anemones are breathtaking and edgy, so they’re perfect for brides who want to turn heads with their floral choices. The contrast between the blue-black centers and the pure white petals of anemones is eye-catching, and will definitely make your floral arrangements stand out. These are a great choice for formal weddings, especially those that take place in the winter.

    Before meeting with your florist, reference this guide to the different types of wedding flowers. This guide will help you create a short list of flowers that you’re interested in so you know exactly what to tell your florist.

  • How to Dry Flowers for Beautiful Crafting Projects

    six-dry-flowers-isolated-on-white

    Flowers make people happy. This is not an opinion, but a scientific fact. Just seeing flowers can elevate a person’s mood, and receiving them as a gift can preserve that mood for days afterwards. It is no surprise, then, that decorating with flowers is so popular. It’s no surprise, also, that people want to learn how to dry flowers, so that they can keep them long after a fresh flower would wilt.

    Learning how to dry flowers is a great idea for crafts that we intend to last a long time. Fresh flowers are beautiful, but dried flowers stay preserved. A flower dried using good technique will retain its color and some of its vibrance, putting crafting with dried flowers on par with crafting around fresh ones. There are a lot of good techniques, all of which center around which type of flower is being dried. Is it a cupped flower, like a rose, or a flatter flower, like a daisy? Is it a delicate flower that might fall apart easily, like baby’s breath?

    how to dry flowers

    No matter what type of flower you are looking to preserve, there is a drying technique that will preserve it for use in your beautiful crafts! Here are some different techniques you can try at home:

    How to Dry Flowers

    Silica Gel

    Mixing silica gel (that stuff in the packet that came with your new shoes) with a powder like borax or cornmeal can create a desiccant, which is a dehumidifying agent. This is a powdered substance that can be poured around the flower without damaging it. It preserves the shape of the flower while removing the moisture in it, all without sucking out the color!

    Microwave

    One neat technique involves burying flowers in cat litter, then heating them in a microwave oven. Cat litter is absorbent, making it a great dehumidifier, but it is also light enough not to harm the flowers. While this method is a great way to do a few flowers quickly, you can only do one at a time, so it is a very time intensive technique.

    Sand

    Sand is a common material for drying flowers, probably because it is so easy to get! Sand also has its pros and cons - it is too heavy for some flowers, like phlox, geraniums, or violets. However it is great for roses, daisies, and other flowers that last more than a day or two after being cut. Sand takes time - a few weeks - but flowers come out beautiful and retain their color for use in your crafts.

    how to dry flowers

    Air Drying

    Nothing beats the natural way!  Hanging flowers in a dry area with plenty of air and little sunlight can be the most effective way to keep them pretty, as well as fragrant. The important thing with this method is to give them plenty of space, so that they get lots of air and don’t gather mold. Hanging them upside down makes it easier to monitor the petals for brittleness, which is the sign they are fully dried.

    No matter what craft you are using dried flowers for, these methods can help your flowers stay gorgeous! Whether you are going to attach them to a larger piece like a wreath or candleholder, or use them in a sachet or potpourri bag, knowing how to dry flowers can give your crafts an attractive floral enhancement that everyone will enjoy!

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Flowers to get you out of the doghouse

Dried Flower Wreaths

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