How to Make Sympathy Flower Arrangements


Flowers help soothe the pain a family endures during the loss of a loved one. Your flower garden can provide a lush bouquet of cut flowers to make a sympathy arrangement with. Choose flowers that are in bud form or newly opened when you harvest them from your garden early in the morning. The favorite flower of the deceased will be a meaningful touch for the family. Use an array of colors or shades of a single color when arranging a sympathy flower arrangement.

Step 1

Cut an Oasis florist foam block in half across the width with a butcher knife so that it will fit snugly into the container. Oasis is a material that is made to absorb water and hold up under the weight of a full floral arrangement. It has marks embedded in it which will enable you to cut a straight line. Pour water on to the block after it is firmly set into the container. The water should fill the container. Set the container aside to allow the water to thoroughly soak in to the Oasis.

Step 2

Cut delphinium, stock, gladiolus or tall sturdy flower stems to 14 inch lengths with a sharp paring or butcher knife. The stems should be cut on a slant in warm water in a bucket or under the tap. Place the flowers at the back of the container sinking them down into the foam. Add twigs of greenery behind and in front of these line flowers. Asparagus fern, leather leaf and cedar work well in sympathy flower arrangements.

Step 3

Choose five to seven stems of any large mass flowers such as peonies, chrysanthemums or hydrangeas and cut them to a height to fit in front of the taller flowers. Mass flowers fill in the flower arrangement giving it shape and substance. Large mass flowers work well in large sympathy arrangements.

Step 4

Cut roses, daisies, small sunflowers, iris, chrysanthemums or any hardy blossoms from the flower garden and place in any of the empty spaces in the arrangement. These smaller mass flowers will add variety and color to an arrangement of any size.

Step 5

Add in baby's breath, bridal wreath blossoms or other small blossomed filler flower sprigs.

Step 6

Choose a ribbon bow that is attached to a wired stick. The bow should be made with two--to--three inch wide floral ribbon that complements the colors of the arrangement. Push the stick of the purchased or pre-made ribbon bow down into the foam at one side or at the center of the front of the sympathy arrangement near the rim of the container. The ribbon 'tails' can flow down the front or side of the container for a finished look.

Tips and Warnings

  • Let flowers sit in a cool dark room to 'harden off' for several hours before creating a flower arrangement with them.

Things You'll Need

  • Basket or papier-mache vase
  • Oasis florist foam block
  • Knife or garden shears
  • Garden flowers
  • Satin ribbon bow on wired stick


  • HGTV Landscaping: The cut flower garden
  • Gardens Love to Know: How to arrange Flowers

Who Can Help

  • Teleflora: Sympathy flower guide
  • The Light Beyond: Sympathy flower etiquette
Keywords: sympathy flowers, funeral flowers, flower arrangement

About this Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written ad copy and online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Chilldren's Literature course in 1988.