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DIY Flower Arranging How-Tos

Martha Stewart
At Home
September 19, 2012

Brighten up your space with these try-at-home tips for creating eye-catching flower arrangements.

Go Big

Celebrate big, billowing flowers, like hydrangeas, with an exuberant large-scale arrangement. Here, the flowers overflow from a generous glazed-iron urn-shaped vase in an effortlessly elegant way, while tendrils of clematis emphasize the cottage-garden feeling.

Tip: Leave the woody stems long and anchor them in a two-tier wire flower frog, which can be secured to the bottom of a vase with dots of floral adhesive.

Plus: Fall Flower Arrangements

The Unexpected

Make a jewel-like bouquet by combing unexpected elements. Begonia leaves snipped from houseplants in rich shades of red and green blend beautifully with the caramel-colored Mission vase.

Go for Height

Long flower stems naturally follow the shape of this trumpet vase: They reach up and out, and the result is delicate and light. Choose flowers with graceful stems, such as this crocosmia, for the most pleasing look. Shorter cuttings of maidenhair fern float beneath the blooms. Echo the idea with smaller vessels; parfait glasses work perfectly, holding just a few stems.

Create Texture

Play with texture by adding airy sprigs to a dense mound of flowers. A contrasting element -- here, wispy asparagus fronds - in a bowl of late-summer dahlias makes the hot colors and spiky forms of the flowers even more striking.

Tip: A grid of clear cellophane tape spanning the wide mouth of the bowl supports the top-heavy flowers better than a frog would. Cut the stems short, and insert one or two flowers in each opening in the grid. Tuck fern clippings in last.

Keep It Monochromatic

Create a study in color with different flowers in shades of the same hue. Hydrangeas and clematis in purple tones look unified yet diverse. The aqua-colored McCoy bowl peeking out is a bright surprise.

Tip: To support the stems in the low container, use a flower frog. A spiked one is good for the hydrangeas' woody stems; bits of floral adhesive on the bottom of the frog keep it from shifting and scratching the pottery.

Plus: Purple Flower Arrangements

Try a Single Flower

Use a massive gathering of a single type of flower for a big impact. Dainty alstroemeria make much more of an impression when grouped by the dozen. A neat dome of them -- with every leaf removed -- is softened by chartreuse hosta leaves.

Tip: First, bundle the flowers in a single bouquet bound with rubber bands, then fit into a container, like this French ceramic pot; the leaves can be tucked in afterward.

Decorating by Color
Ideas for Decorating with Photographs
A Peek Inside Martha's Kitchens
Gorgeous Fall Flower Arrangements

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