An impressive Thanksgiving centerpiece doesn't need to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time-- and you don't have to be a professional florist to pull this off. Today I created an impromptu foliage-forward centerpiece on instagram live in 25 minutes with less than $20 of flowers from Trader Joe's. In this post I'm walking you through the steps I took to create this centerpiece arrangement. I use a variation of this basic process every time I style an arrangement. Alright, let's get started!
Analyze the different shapes you have available. I look for three main shapes in my arrangement elements whether they're flowers, foliage, or even fruit on a branch: Bold shape for a base element, an irregular "fluffy" or wispy element that will help fill the arrangement, and a statement element in an odd number.
Start with the biggest, boldest shape (here it's the magnolia branches with the wide leaves and thick branches) and build your base.
The entire composition will take the shape of a triangle, so I start by creating a wide base that I'll build the triangle form onto.
I use a small loose ball of chicken wire to hold my arrangements in place. In the photo below you can see this helpful tool showing at the rim. It'll become hidden in the upcoming steps. Creating a grid of floral tape at the mouth of the vessel is another method for holding your stems in place.
When you're trimming your branches or stems cut on a diagonal under running water. (This allows the stems to absorb the most water by give the base of the stem the widest surface area to allow for absorption. Cutting under water will help prevent early wilting.)
The lowest leaves or flowers should fall at the rim of the vase, not within it, and not several inches above it. If any leaves are below the rim simply pinch them off.
Begin working in the statement flowers, thinking again about creating a triangular pyramid form.
Use odd numbers for the statement flowers. This appears more natural to the eye and less staged.
Then begin adding in the "fluffy" pieces to fill, add a playful element, and to create texture. In this arrangement I used a budding eucalyptus for this element, and then adding in a second type of eucalyptus that was a simpler variation without buds.
Continue adding the filler element, shaping your triangular composition as you work.
Once you've created a full triangle shape (this should be subtle and something only you'll really notice) then begin making small adjustments and turn the arrangement around to view from whatever angles will be visible when it's on display.
This simple process will help you style just about any flowers or foliage like a pro, even those from your backyard or the grocery store. Of course having a beautiful vessel to hold your arrangement is pretty important too! My Stoneware Vase Collection blends feminine sophistication with rustic, natural elements. I'm admittedly partial but I think they're the best vases for effortlessly elegant floral displays! Check out my Stoneware Vase Collection here.