Tasteful flower arrangements can enliven any occasion, but if you buy them from a professional florist, they may strain your budget. Fortunately, you can make original flower arrangements at home which can be truly beautiful and need not be expensive. Instead of relying exclusively on pricey store-bought flowers, you can incorporate flowers and other plant materials that you collect yourself. In every season, there is a wealth of free materials to be found, and with a little creativity, you can make dazzling floral arrangements at little or no cost.
Take a walk outside and search for natural materials to use in your arrangement. Look for sturdy flowers which keep their petals a long time and do not bruise easily. Collect ferns or appealing foliage to use as filler. Search for interesting seed pods, dried grass seed heads, or small, nicely shaped sticks in fall and winter, when there are few flowers. Visit nearby roadside right of ways or natural areas, where collecting is permitted, if you can't find what you need in your backyard. Be sure to ask permission first, before you collect anything on private property or in public parks or gardens.
Choose a decorative vase for your arrangement. If you don't have a pretty vase, try covering a large aluminum can or glass jar with colored plastic, wrapping paper, aluminum foil or large, pliable leaves. Secure the covering with ribbon or raffia.
Cut a block of inexpensive florist foam to fit snugly inside your vase and fill it with water. You can also use a 2- or 3-inch layer of small pebbles instead of the florist foam.
Assemble your plant materials on a wide counter or table. Decide on a general shape you want to make your arrangement. Your arrangement could be pyramidal, spherical or fan-shaped depending on your tastes and the type of materials you have.
Test the placement of each flower first, and then use scissors or pruning shears to cut the stems to the proper height. Make cuts at a 45-degree angle and place freshly cut stems in water immediately.
Use larger flowers in the lower part of your arrangement. Avoid clumping similar flowers too close together. Space them evenly throughout the arrangement instead. Use smaller flowers and greenery to fill in any voids.