How to Create an Artificial Floral Arrangement

flower arrangement supplies
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.

flower arrangement supplies

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).

Process

Here are the steps I took to put my arrangement together, based on guidance from the class and adjusting to artificial flowers.

  1. 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.
  2. Arranged base green (sticking stem pieces into styrofoam)
  3. Arranged texture flowers
  4. Added main star flowers, cutting stems to different lengths using wire cutters
  5. Filled in arrangement with extra texture flowers and interesting elements
  6. 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

flower arrangement process

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!

tracing paper floral arrangement
Happy arranging!