10 Pro Tips for Making Flower Arrangements on a Budget
We asked floral experts for their best flower arranging tips and tricks so that you can make your own stunning centerpieces—without breaking the bank.
When you’re striving to be an amazing hostess, it isn’t just about cooking a mouthwatering dinner—it’s important to make your table look beautiful, too. We asked Whitney Port and Laurenne Resnik—co-founders of Bloom2Bloom, a flower delivery service that brings farm-fresh flower arrangements to your doorstep—about their best-kept secrets for crafting beautiful floral centerpieces on a budget. This way, you can step up your tablescape for your next dinner party without spending a lot of money.
1. Less is more
Laurenne Resnik lives by the mantra that less is definitely more—something that keeps her arrangements from looking too busy and overwhelming. “Creating huge, over-the-top displays takes away from the beauty of the flowers and their natural look,” she says. “Pick out no more than five flowers to showcase in your arrangement, and build from there…it’s important not only for cost purposes, but for the overall aesthetic.” So spare your wallet—you don’t need to go crazy picking out tons of flowers. Consider choosing your blooms according to their meaning—check out our guide on flower meanings.
2. Take good care
Taking time to care for flowers will make them last much longer—which means you’ll be getting the most bang for your buck. “Cut stems at a 45-degree angle, and allow for more surface area when placing them in a vase,” says Resnik. “It’s important to remove extra leaves from the stems, too, since this will prevent less bacteria from growing inside the vase and allow the stems to soak up more water.” Changing the water daily will also keep the flowers fresh. (Check out the vases our stylists love.)
3. Opt for seasonal flowers
“If you’re building a flower arrangement but want to save money, it’s best to buy flowers that are in the current season,” suggests Resnik. Not only are seasonal flowers less expensive—they also have a much longer shelf life than flowers that are grown out of season, since the latter aren’t always fully developed or blossomed and likely came from far away. By the way, this Amaranth Vase is designed to keep flowers fresh.
4. Avoid products you don’t really need
“To create an elegant look, it’s best to avoid using extra materials like foam, wire, netting or heavy tape, since this will cheapen the arrangement and create a faux-flower look,” advises Resnik.
Cutting back is healthy for your budget and your flowers. “Netting, especially at the bottom of the vase, can prevent flowers from living their full lifespan,” says Whitney Port. “It encourages bacteria growth, and prevents the stems from soaking up all the water that’s needed.”
For more inspiration, discover our ideas for mason jar flower arrangements.
5. Stick to one focal point
It can be tempting to go all out while choosing flowers for a larger arrangement or centerpiece, but Resnik notes the importance of sticking to just one big eye-catcher so that it won’t become too cluttered. “Although large arrangements have so many layers to them, it’s best to stick to one focal point and one flower you plan on showcasing most in the arrangement,” she says.
6. Use inexpensive flowers…that still make a statement
“Stock, thyme, lavender and succulents are all inexpensive filler flowers and greenery to add to any arrangement,” Port explains. She especially finds succulents to be convenient while creating flower arrangements, because of their independent nature and extremely low price. “Succulents can also stand on their own as centerpieces, and are very low-maintenance and cost-friendly,” she says. By the way, here’s how to find the best grocery store flowers.
7. Repurpose old arrangements
If you have two events in a row, save money on any future centerpieces you want to make by transforming the ones you’ve already used. “You can take larger centerpiece arrangements apart and create a few smaller arrangements,” says Port. So, once you’re finished using a larger flower centerpiece, don’t be so quick to toss it in the trash.
8. Use floral tape to keep flowers in place
They might use other flower-arranging products sparingly, if ever, but both women agree that thin floral tape, an affordable tool, is the way to go while trying to corral uncooperative flowers together in an arrangement. “Bloom2Bloom uses only thin floral tape to help the flower arrangements stay in place,” says Port. Learn more about the tape trick that makes your flower arrangements look professional. When it comes to picking a vase, learn how to choose the best vase shape for your flower arrangement.
9. Add flowers stem by stem
Keep the flower stems in mind while creating flower arrangements—this’ll keep them looking fresh and vibrant. “It’s important you add everything in stem by stem, ensuring they are all fully in the vase and touching water,” instructs Port. “Always trim the stems of the flowers and the greenery down, and gently pull off any extra leaves to keep all the flowers in place and decrease the clutter.”
10. Pick your own
“To really save money, you can plant all of the greenery, filler flowers and succulents in your own garden,” says Port. “This way, you can continue to use these in your arrangements at no cost.”
If you don’t have a garden—or much of a green thumb—Resnik suggests going to local, inexpensive sources. “Buying locally from a farmers market or a nearby grower are some of the best routes to take if you want to make a fresh-looking arrangement on a budget,” she says.