How to Arrange Flowers like a Florist

Ever picked up a beautiful bouquet only to get it home and not have a clue what to do next? The secret is actually picking the right vase.
  1. Photo by Evan Sklar

    Follow these basic rules and create eye-catching arrangements at home.

    Know when to buy: florists mark up the prices around holidays

    Be picky: choose less expensive flowers that have the same style and texture you're looking for

    Water wisely: the harder the stem, the warmer the water

    Click here to see more flower arrangement tips.

  2. Photo by Antonis Achilleos

    Your Flower: Any combination of daffodils, daisies, anemones, peonies, tulips and carnations.

    The Right Vase: Tall and Thin

    Tip: Mixing blooms of different colors and textures helps keep a tall, skinny vase from looking too lanky.

    Step 1: Fill your vase 3/4 of the way with water.

    Step 2: Remove any submerged leaves.

    Step 3: Give your favorite flower the prime center spot by making sure it's the tallest. Measure it up against the vase. Ideally, you'll want its stem to be about 3.5" to 4" above the rim.

    Step 4: Select your next five or six stems, cutting them a little shorter than the first and placing them around your tallest flower.

    Step 5: Take the remaining blooms and cut them 2" to 3" shorter than the tallest bud. Work your way around the vase adding them in until the lowest tier (closest to the neck) looks nice and full.

    Step 6: Add some greenery around the rim to fill it out.

    Click here to see more flower arrangement tips.
  3. Photo by Antonis Achilleos

    Your Flowers: Roses, hydrangeas -- or anything with a strong (read: not floppy) stem.

    The Right Vase: Wide mouthed

    Tip: A vase with a wide opening looks lush and gorgeous when filled with a single type of flower.

    Step 1: Nix leaves below the water line.

    Step 2: Measure stems against the vase. Cut a little more than 1" higher than top of vessel.

    Step 3: As you cut, create a bouquet in your hand. Tallest buds get center spot.

    Step 4: Pop in vase and examine. Pull them out and make trims; add in buds.

    Step 5: Fill the vase 3/4 of the way with water.

    Step 6: Wrap stems with floral wire. (We cheated and used a hair band.) The trick: Keeping the band at the very top of the bouquet.

  4. Photo by Antonis Achilleos / The Nest

    Your Flowers: Gerbera, ranunculus or any flower with a slim stem and big bloom.

    The Right Vase: Bud

    Tip: Because of the good-size blooms - even a few will look luxe. Give it a fresh, modern vibe by choosing light and dark variations of a single color.

    Step 1: Fill the vase 3/4 of the way with water.

    Step 2: Measure the flowers against the vase. You'll want the stems to be a little bit taller than the vessel.

    Step 3: Peel off leaves that will fall beneath the water line.

    Step 4: Cut the stems and pop 'em into the vase. Two might have been enough, but we favor odd numbers.

  5. Photo by Antonis Achilleos

    Your Flowers: Zinnias, Sunflowers, Chrysanthemums, or any other flower with an oversized, hearty bloom.

    The Right Vase: Bubble bowl

    Tip: Because of the wide sturdy blooms -- a small bowl shaped vase can be filled with as few as four or five flowers!

    Step 1: Fill the vase 3/4 of the way with water.

    Step 2: Ditch all leaves that will fall beneath the water line.

    Step 3: Arrange the flowers into a mounded bunch in one hand.

    Step 4: Measure the bunch against the vase. You'll want the stem to be just long enough for the necks of the flowers to hang over the lip of the vase.

    Step 5: Without letting go of the bunch, cut the stems to length and place them into the vase. The heads of the flowers should support each other and help the arrangement keep its rounded shape.