How to Beautify Store-Bought Flowers into a Bouquet

There’s just something special about having fresh flowers in the house. They seem to have a way of making me pause for a brief moment and reflect on how they came to be with me. Perhaps a smile runs across my face as the flowers come from someone who cares for me. Perhaps they serve as a reminder of a life’s event, both in the good and the hard times in this journey. However these flowers may come, and for whatever occasion they represent, there’s just something about fresh flowers. 

For today, the fresh flowers that grace my kitchen counter bring me a smile and sense of accomplishment. I challenged myself to take inexpensive, ordinary grocery store flowers and exercise my green thumb to bring together something magically. The best part . . . you can do this, too!

Where to Find Your Flowers 

Lots of grocery stores have arrangements ready for a quick purchase and they are beautiful. Though I have always found there are one or two types of flowers in the arrangement that I would have subbed out. Look for individual bundles of flowers that make you smile, have different textures and fit a theme or color pattern. I went for an Americana theme for this arrangement.  

Prepare Your Space and Your Flowers 

After I got home from the store, I needed to do a few other things before getting to this creative outlet. To preserve the flowers, I filled my sink with water and let them breathe a little. No more getting squished by other bouquets — here they have space. I learned that trimming the ends at a 45 degree angle will also help preserve their lifetime. To visually see my design, I laid out the flowers in the order I wanted them to go, working with their unique features. The main flowers in the middle, a spiller for the bottom to fall over the vase, and a filler to bring some height. 

Prepare your flowers by placing in water.

Determine Your Vase 

Keeping with my patriotic theme, I pulled out two blue vases. One was a short square and the other a tall cylinder. Vases can bring out a different type of arrangement. Your style depends on what vase you use.

I also like to start with water in my vase as it is much easier to fill up without any flowers.

For the short square vase, I taped off a grid to help give my arrangement some structure and order. You can use chicken wire as an environmentally friendly idea, rather than floral foam, which doesn’t decompose for a long time. 

I used a different method for arranging the tall vase . . . keep reading to learn what I did. 

Taping off a grid on the vase helps arrange flowers

Start Arranging Your Flowers 

You’ve made it this far. You have everything you need to accomplish this task. All you have to do is start. I intentionally bought the Baby’s Breath because I knew it would be a good spiller filler on the smaller, square vase. Hold the flower up to the vase at the height where you want and then trim off the ends keeping that 45 degree angle. I try not to fight the flower too much on how it wants to fall. If it doesn’t seem to work on one side of the grid, I turn it around and try the other side. Continue arranging each flower layering, trimming where needed, and adjusting for the flower’s natural posture. 

Build your floral arrangement layer by layer

For the tall cylinder, I did not tape a grid at the opening of the vase. Instead, I laid out the flowers in an alternating pattern to create a fan shape. One facing to the left, another flower facing to the right, and the main flowers being in or around center. Where all the flowers cross is the sweet spot. I used a twist tie that came from one of the arrangements and tied off the bouquet. Not too tight, though: You need to allow the flowers to breathe.

Once again, I held the flowers to the vase and determined where best to cut. I used the sweet spot, where I had just tied off the bouquet, to sit right at the top of the water to help hide the tie. 

Alternate flower directions to create a fan

Add Additional Fillers But Don’t Overfill

At this point, step back and admire your work. You might surprise yourself with what you have managed to create. Notice any holes or spaces where one flower could add just a touch more depth. For the tall cylinder vase, I filled it with individual flowers along the bottom to give it a more fuller feeling. For the short square vase, I arranged the back flowers to look as if they were fireworks bursting from each side. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes loose is beautiful. When you can step back and a smile graces your face, you know you have reached the end goal. 

Look at the final floral arrangements and add flowers where needed

With $20 of hand-chosen flowers that made me smile on their own, a little bit of time and creativity, I got two arrangements that I am proud to call my own. I’m not sure if I’m ready to quit my day job and become a full-time florist just yet, but this novice hobby is one I will proudly take up. And the best part of all is giving away these arrangements to those I love and care for so their faces might be filled with a smile whenever they see these flowers. 

Be kind. Be safe. Be you-tiful. 

Joining Janie on the pursuit of life’s adventures while laughing along the way are Janie’s husband, Jared who is a flight school director and pilot, their angel baby, Jackson (2016) who passed away shortly after birth, and newest crew member, Jensen (2018). With an undergraduate degree in communication from UTA and a master’s in health communication from the University of Illinois, writing has been a creative outlet for Janie. Working full-time in healthcare, being involved at her local church, and volunteering with the Junior League of Fort Worth, Janie is passionate about serving people and holds a special place in her heart for women and children. When they are not headed to their next adventure, you can find Janie and her family creating their own adventure as proud Fort Worth residents.


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