It’s quickly coming up on a year that we moved into our house. We’re still finding our style and slowly picking out furniture and decorations. I’ve been wanting to add some flowers to the living/dining room, but arranging them is not a talent I possess.
A couple weeks ago, I saw an email about a new modern flower arranging class available on Skillshare. For those who haven’t heard of Skillshare, it’s an online learning platform with a plethora of creative and fun classes. Some are available for free, and others are only available to premium members. A premium membership allows you to take unlimited classes for $10/month (discounted rates available if you purchase a yearly subscription). Subjects in my personal class list range from hand-lettering to knitting, learning Excel to knife skills (learning to chop like a chef). I absolutely love Skillshare!
When I got the email announcing the class about arranging a modern centerpiece, I immediately saved it. I’m constantly saving classes; there are about 150 in my list. Who knows if I’ll actually get around to even half of those, but this is one I took right away. The class is taught by Michael and Darroch Putnam, founders of Putnam & Putnam Flowers in New York City. Before I started the class, I spent way too long scrolling through the breathtaking work in their portfolio. Talk about inspiration; what a dream!
The class was taught using real flowers, but I wanted to use artificial ones for a more permanent decoration. Although some of the details were specific to using live blooms, the principles taught in the class carried over well for my project.
I won’t give away the details of the class, as I highly recommend watching it for yourself, but here are some of the main takeaways that helped me throughout the selection and creation of my flower arrangement.
Tips from Skillshare Class
- Color palette: Choose a main flower and base your color palette around the colors in that. Monotone is best (especially when you’re a newbie like me). If possible, create light and dark areas in your arrangement.
- Materials and Supplies: After you have your “star flower,” as they call it in the class, choose a base green, filler flowers, and other interesting texture elements. Select a vessel appropriate for the type of arrangement you’ll be creating (vase, bowl, pitcher, etc.). Some other materials that you may need include a styrofoam base, floral tape, floral wire, and wire cutters.
- Space: Don’t be afraid of negative space! Use it to your advantage as part of the arrangement. Ensure your arrangement has a high point and low point.
These tips helped me immensely at the store while picking out my materials. I’ve always found that part to be the hardest. I started first by picking out my main star flower, choosing three individual stems. My house has a lot of woodwork and earth tones, reminiscent of Fall, so I wanted to stick with that color scheme. After identifying my main flower and color scheme, I searched for the other pieces of the arrangement. I went for a variety of textures while ensuring that the colors in each piece were found in my star flowers. I was able to get all of my flower supplies for under $40 at Hobby Lobby. They were all 50% off, aside from the base green, for which I was able to use a coupon at 40% off. Initially, I was looking for some kind of vase to put them in but stumbled upon the perfect pitcher at JoAnn Fabrics ($15 on sale).
Here are the steps I took to put my arrangement together, based on guidance from the class and adjusting to artificial flowers.
- Measured and cut styrofoam to fit vessel
- I forgot to buy floral foam, so I traced the outside of the pitcher onto a piece of packing styrofoam.
- If using thinner styrofoam like me, cut a couple pieces to layer for stability.
- Arranged base green (sticking stem pieces into styrofoam)
- Arranged texture flowers
- Added main star flowers, cutting stems to different lengths using wire cutters
- Filled in arrangement with extra texture flowers and interesting elements
- Took a step back, tweaked to my liking
- Reinforced with floral tape where necessary
- Continued tweaking for days, which I’m sure is not normal
Overall, I’m happy with my creation; it fits well into the color palette of the room where it lives. I’ll probably keep tweaking it a bit and may remove some of the green elements, as it seems a little bit full (gotta remember that negative space!). But in general, it’s worlds better than it would’ve been if I tried creating an arrangement without that Skillshare class.
Do you have any tips for arranging a bouquet or centerpiece? I’d love to hear them and see some of your work too. And if you take the Skillshare class, please share your results!