Fresh flower arrangements always look good in the home, even if you just casually place a small bouquet into a vase. You can easily take it one step further by creating a DIY flower arrangement yourself. Create a floral arrangement that is suitable for the intended situation or location in which it will be displayed.
Shape or Type of Arrangements
Determine the type of arrangement based on what purpose the arrangement is for and also the location it will be displayed. The type of flowers used can also impact the choice of arrangement type. There are three main shapes used in flower arranging: Line, mass, or line-mass.
A "line" arrangement is an adaptation of Japanese flower arranging styles. It features a few flowers, branches or leaves in a minimalistic arrangement. Japanese flower arranging places equal importance on the empty spaces between the plant materials as well as on the plant materials themselves. Shape is more important than color. Line arrangements evoke movement and usually consist of three individual flowers artfully arranged.
"Mass"-type arrangements are European in origin and emphasize the entire mass of flowers and foliage. They are arranged in circles, domes, crescents, ovals and triangles and usually contain an obvious focal point. Use at least three different colors of flowers in different shapes, sizes and textures, and one type of greenery.
"Line-mass" arrangements are a combination of Japanese and European design. They are usually called "Contemporary American" because they were developed in the United States. This type of arrangement is often triangular and asymmetrical, and is meant to be seen from the front only. Create a clean line-type portion of one type of material for the top part of the arrangement and blend a mass-type arrangement into the bottom of the arrangement with another type of material. Avoid using many different types of flowers and greenery; the simplicity and combination of styles is what creates the impact of line-mass-type of flower arrangements.
Select a container that harmonizes with the area where the arrangement will be displayed and in scale with the type of flowers you will use to build the arrangement. Choose shallow, linear containers to hold line-type floral arrangements, portly round containers for mass-type floral arrangements, and footed or tall containers for combination line-mass-type of floral arrangements.
Holders or Floral Frogs
Holders or "floral frogs" are placed within the container and hold the flowers in place so they stay where you put them within the overall design. For line-type arrangements a disk with a series of closely-spaced pins sticking up is best. The stems of flowers are held in place between the pins or impaled on the pins.
For mass-type arrangements, a multi-layered ball of chicken wire is used in the container. Flower stems are pushed into the openings of the wire, which holds them in place. Use regular floral foam to hold flowers in place when creating line-mass-types of floral arrangements. Floral foam is a dense, water permeable type of foam. The stems of flowers are inserted into the foam which holds them in place. The moisture in the foam waters the flowers.
Choose flowers in the same color family--yellows, oranges and reds or blues, violets and greens. Or choose complementary colors such as orange and blue or red and green. Another option is to choose only flowers in different shades of one color, such as all yellow or all orange. Use flowers with different shapes and textures if using a monochromatic color scheme.
For example, an all-red scheme could consist of red carnations, red roses, and red bird-of-paradise. These flowers all have different shapes and textures. Carnations are relatively flat with crinkled edges for texture. The roses are smooth-textured with a bowl-like shape when fully open that gives depth to the arrangement. Bird-of-paradise are exotic and resemble small birds, complete with overlapping petals that resemble feathers.
Ensure that the flower colors you choose do not clash with your chosen container or with the location where it will be displayed.
Filler or Accent Flowers
Select smaller flowers to use as fillers or accents to the featured flowers in your arrangement. These can be in a complementary color or in another shade of the color of the featured flowers. Choose flowers with different shapes and textures than your featured flowers.
If you are featuring roses or carnations in your arrangement, use the tiny, delicate flowers of baby's breath as a filler or accent. Another option is to use branches of pussy willows. The furry buds along the length of the branches will add height and a different texture to the arrangement.
Greens are the finishing touch to a floral arrangement. They frame the flowers and fill in the spaces between them, giving a rich, lush appearance to your arrangement. You will find a selection of greens at florists or head outside and pick some from your garden. Try using fronds of ferns, the fronds of lacy asparagus, or interesting branches from shrubs, evergreens, or deciduous trees. Use fresh herbs as the greens to add their subtle fragrance.