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Stop! Don’t Call the Florist This Thanksgiving! How to Make Your Own Holiday Centerpiece on a Budget
You can create your own stunning floral centerpiece and other arrangements to add a festive flair to your home this Thanksgiving. It’s easier than you think. Not hosting Thanksgiving dinner? Why not surprise the cook with a beautiful floral gift and enjoy the look of surprise and amazement on their face when you say, “I made it myself!”
Once you know a few of the basics, arranging flowers is quite simple. YES, even if you think you’re not creative. I offer dozens of FREE lessons and ideas on my website. This month I show you detailed instructions with photos on how to create several Thanksgiving arrangements. You’ll find easy to follow, step-by-step instructions complete with photos for creating over 50 designs in my brand new book, “Flowers Made Simple – How to Arrange Flowers Just for the Fun of It”. This makes a wonderful holiday gift for all of those flower lovers on your list. More information is available on my website.
So what do you need to start fooling around with flowers? You don’t need a lot of costly equipment and materials, so it’s not an expensive hobby. A good pair of cutting or pruning shears is a must. A sharp florist’s or paring knife comes in handy for removing foliage and thorns from stems. Waterproof florist’s tape is used a lot in floral work. Can’t find it? Narrow cellophane tape will also work. Floral foam is a must for many arrangements and designs. It’s available in most craft stores these days, even some of the discount department stores. Be sure you get the foam designed for fresh flowers, sometimes called wet foam, and not that made for silk or artificial flowers. Other than containers and flowers, that’s about it: Cutting shears, small knife, tape, and floral foam.
And what about containers? We can get into a rut of putting a fresh bouquet of flowers into those dirty, old vases underneath our kitchen sink. Get creative when looking for a floral vessel in your home. Recyclables like glass jars from your pasta sauce and pickles are great floral vessels, especially when grouped together. Mason jars are also a good choice. Tie a few strands of raffia around the neck, add a bunch of flowers of any kind and you have a lovely country design. Don’t throw out your tin cans, either. They can be spray painted or covered with fabric, wallpaper, craft paper, jewels, seashells, etc. to transform them into amazing containers to display a bunch of gorgeous flowers. And they’re watertight so you don’t need any type of liner! And they’re also free. Wouldn’t that make a great craft project for the kids?
Explore your cupboards for other intriguing vessels. Pitchers, soup tureens, serving bowls, trifle bowls all can be used as vases. Even small containers such as wine, brandy and martini glasses, tea cups, votive candle holders, custard cups, egg cups, salt and pepper shakers would all be perfect for floating a single bloom.
As long as your flowers are in a water tight container, you can insert them into unexpected items like cornucopias, baskets, straw hats, festive gift boxes, boots, shoes, purses, baskets, wooden and metal trinket boxes, decorated terra cotta or other ceramic pots, watering cans, gift bags…be creative. Look around and see what you can transform into a flower holder! I’ve even used giant seashells. Start thinking outside the vase.
Try experimenting with floral foam; you’ll get hooked! It’s so user-friendly and allows you to do so many things with flowers that you can’t do by just inserting them into water. I provide lots of FREE ideas for using floral foam on my website, http://www.flowersmadesimple.net.
And if you do decide you just want to use the old stand-by glass vase, that’s fine. Just know the proper way to add the flowers and greens. The layering system and taped grid method teaches you how to take that grocery store bouquet and turn it into a masterpiece. No one, including you will believe that it didn’t come from the florist. And it’s SO EASY! How many of you think that you should put the flowers into the vase and then the greens? You’ll get much better results doing it the other way around.
Fresh cut flowers can be found in so many places these days – farmers’ markets, roadside stands, corner vendors, grocery stores, discount department stores, delis, drug stores, not to mention your local florist and maybe even your own garden. Who doesn’t like flowers? And once you learn how to work – actually PLAY with them, you’ll discover a sense of joy, peace and fulfillment unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Get in touch with Nature and start arranging flowers – just for the fun of it! (And don’t forget to take a look at my website and check out my book).
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