Easy and Inexpensive Summer Floral Arrangements

May 26, 2015




Summertime is party time! Graduations, showers, weddings and seasonal celebrations abound and there's no better way to decorate than with flowers. 

Unfortunately, professional floral arrangements can be pricey. I remember way back when I got married, the florist wanted upwards of $150 per table. Yikes. That was not happening. Plus, the featured looks were just not my style. I am a simple girl and I was looking for something pretty basic. 

After almost an hour of trying to explain what I was going for, she wasn't really getting it. I am sure that she must have thought I was a bit crass, but I finally said, "What's the cheapest thing you've got?"

She rather dismissively responded that she guessed she could throw some tulips in a fishbowl for $25, if I wanted to go "that" route. 

Um. Hello? Tulips! 

Fabulous and done...and now you know where the obsession began. 

My tables were set with the most elegant white linens and white china. In the center of each, surrounded by a few white votives, sat those tulips ~ blooms as large as your fist in a glorious hot pink color. Plus they were low enough that people could actually talk over them. 

What could be better? 

From that day forward, I have always gone the DIY route when it comes to decorating with flowers. The grocery stores have a generous variety for prices that are actually very reasonable and if you plan to mix your purchased posies with ones from your summer garden, even better. 

Now I know that arranging flowers without the help of a professional is not new. Lots of people buy bouquets and plop them in a vase, it's just that when I mention creating your own bouquets to friends, I generally hear skeptical groans and comments like, "They never look the same."

Oh really?

For my nieces' baby shower, her sister put together a few great looks to dress up the tables. She did an awesome job and for those of you who are a bit skeptical about tackling this on your own, she is a twenty-something math teacher...not an artist, not typically a DIYer of any kind. If she can do it, anyone can!

Here are a few tips:

She bought a bonus pack of 18 roses at the local food store. She mixed those with flowers she found in her mom's yard. To dress up the vases, she wrapped the inside of each one with a hydrangea leaf.  She also put roses in almost every vase. 

I think each one is more charming than the next.


This arrangement was a square vase full of roses and a large hydrangea flower. You can see that you don't need a ton of flowers to pack a punch. Just a few gathered together in the proper sized vase makes quite a statement. While the food was lovely (and I promise you, totally delicious), it really was those blooms that made the table sparkle. 


Traditional vases were used in the house as they had a more formal feel. She featured more roses inside, too.



Outside the tables were peppered with more casual flowers. Mason jars were used to hold the stems. Again, large hydrangea leaves, from the garden, were used as a liner. They hid the stems for a more elegant appearance. 


The silver toned bands were left on the jars and a rustic twine bow was tied around each rim.


Then each jar vase was just stuffed with a combination of the store bought roses and the blooms from the yard. The Baby's Breath that came with the roses was also added to the outdoor wildflower arrangements.


This type of centerpiece is very easy and very forgiving. Anything and everything goes, don't be afraid to add a random branch with leaves or frankly, without...a bare twig can add loads of interest to your table. It's all about the unexpected. 

One of the most creative centerpieces I have ever seen was at a backyard beach wedding. It was a fishbowl that contained a few delicate water flowers and an actual goldfish! Awesome. Unexpected and unforgettable. 

So I say, get creative, have fun and make you own rules.


And I guarantee you, it won't cost $150 per table. 

Do you play with flowers? 


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72 comments:

  1. I only play with my own flowers/roses, but then I don't do much entertaining of large groups at all anymore (leave that to my younger kin LOL), so it doesn't matter. Great ideas, though! :)

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    1. Large group, small gathering or for your eyes only, Gwen, I am sure they look lovely!

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  2. Beautiful! Love the trick of hiding the stems with hydrangea leaves.

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    1. She was pretty crafty, Kathy ~ and I don't even think she knows about Pinterest! ; -)

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  3. Such great ideas! You know, we have beautiful vases that have been collected since we married. More often than not though I just love flowers in a jar or even a can. This time of year is the best when you can just go outside and cut a few. :)

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    1. I have some beautiful crystal vases from my wedding too, but I'm with you Stacey, the more rustic the container, the more I like it! Lately, I am very into white pitchers. I think I have too many of them already and yet, I can't pass them up in the store!

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  4. $150/table? CRAZEEE! Glad you went with the more practical route Kim! I went straight to the flower supploer source for my wedding flowers and cut my cost by 75%!! Love all the simple and pretty arrangements you showed here. Flowers are beautiful in their own right, and so it should always be perfect in any table right?

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    1. That is crazy, isn’t it, Vel? AND that was over 20 years ago. Now, how did I know that you were a DIY girl even before you got married! ;-)

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  5. I do not do flowers well. They just never seem to work! However, if you say it can be done, maybe I'll give it a try more often. lol And whomever came up wiith that leaf in the jar thing was a genius!

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    1. Nancy, I am sure you can do anything!!

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  6. Wow Kim I love those floral arrangements in the mason jars! They are just so pretty! I love hydrangea plants and how clever to use the leaves to hide the stems!

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    1. I like that trick too, Julie! She was pretty clever!

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  7. I play all spring with flowers from my garden-
    particularly my zinnias .

    I need to find some larger leaves to line the inside of the vase.

    Enjoyed visiting,
    Laura
    White Spray Paint

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    1. Zinnias are my favorite summer bloom, Laura! I don’t have a hydrangea in my yard anymore. I was thinking of using a hosta leaf. It’s the biggest thing I’ve got! ;) Thanks so much for popping by!

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  8. Since I can't seem to grow anything ugly or beautiful, I have to depend on the local Kroger for my flowers. They always have such gorgeous bouquets and are so reasonably priced. I do the "mix and match" because I think it adds interest and doesn't look "all made up"....much like my house...all mix and match...LOL I like finding old, horribly tarnished silver teapots and pitchers at the thrift store to use for flower arrangements. Beautiful flowers in the pics!! Hugs!!

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    1. Mix and match is always best, Benita...so much more interesting that is for sure!! I am still looking for some silver at the thrift store...that elusive silver...grrr.

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  9. Hi Kim :)

    Those arrangements are darling!

    I never buy already arranged flowers anymore, unless I'm sending them to someone far away. I'm not the best at doing it myself, but I kinda like the homemade look better. In fact my favorite bouquets were the ones my kids used to give me that were a bunch of wildflowers in their little fists. I would take them and put them in my fanciest vases :)

    xo
    rue

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    1. I used to do that, too, Rue. I also really liked the bouquets I received when I was teaching. You know the ones, all bent and crinkled from the bus ride...stems wrapped up in tinfoil. I still have a few blooms pressed!

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  10. Hi Kim, love each one of these gorgeous flower arrangements. I love to do the same thing from my garden and a canning jar always looks perfect filled with blooms. Kind of a retro look too, seeing this from growing up in the 60's. I also like to hide stems with large leaves. Great ideas here and thank you for sharing your incredible talents.
    Wishing you a great new week.
    Hugs, CM

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Celestina Marie. I can't wait for my zinnias to bloom now...I've got a few retro canisters just itching to be filled!

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  11. Hi,
    I love to play with flowers. In the summer, I always have a fresh bouquet on the table. I enjoy using Mason Jars too.
    I love the ideas you shared. I will be a copy cat and use some of your ideas :-))) Fun!
    Carla

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    1. Can you believe that I only own one mason jar, Carla? I think that's almost unheard of in blogger circles! ;)

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  12. Those arrangements are just beautiful, Kim! TJ's is my store of choice for flowers, and I usually get 2 or 3 bunches of different things and come home and have fun. I really like the mason jars, especially for outside, but I have one right now on my breakfast table filled with rosemary stems....smells amazing! I really cringe at the price of artificial floral arrangements and decorated wreaths! I much prefer to do my own "thang."

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    1. The DIY flower “thang” is definitely more economical that is for sure, Carol…and so much more fun!! :)

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  13. These are just the prettiest arrangements---I like the hydrangea leaves inside the jar.

    I've always loved playing with the small bouquets from the grocery store. Just a few stems from the boxwoods make them fuller. Sometimes I make an arrangement and then toss in a few clear stones from Michael's to settle at the bottom---they make it look like the bottom of a beautiful ocean! My daughter has floated hydrangeas in large glass bowls, I never knew it could be done. Beautiful and they last a loooong time!

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. I loved the comments, too! :)

    Jane xx

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    1. Hmm. I have never floated hydrangeas or added boxwood, Jane. I love getting tips! Thanks so much, I know what my next bouquets will look like! ;)

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  14. The shower flowers are perfect . . . LOVE THEM!
    Exactly the thing I would do . . . in fact, my favorite kind of "game" to play . . .
    Flower Tweaking . . .

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    1. I like that game, too, Lynne ~ especially in summer when I have so many pretty choices in my backyard to play with!

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  15. I love flowers in the house and these are great fun ideas. Our summers are so hot that flowers don't last beyond a day or two - I feel pretty wilted myself so can't blame them :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. I can only imagine, Amalia! Our summers are pretty temperate, but there are usually a few days that cusp the 100 degree mark and the humidity makes me wilt, too! ;)

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  16. She did a great job! Last year for my son's wedding I recall asking the floral dept. to wrap up roses and such in a special way and the lady explained that if they touched them it'd add 50/00 or more on. I bought the flowers and did it myself....for the bride bouquet. And the tables and mantel, etc had wildflowers accented with some of my bushes.....I have two with reddish leaves. Though LOL, have to be careful with the barberry since it has thorns :)

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    1. I guess no matter what task you need accomplished, one the labor is involved the price goes up! You are so creative, Deb, I'm sure that they were gorgeous!

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  17. Beautiful arrangements! I thought you painted the vases, then I realized you used a large leaf as liner, How smart! Some florists do great jobs and they should charge for their talent, but I cannot justify spending so much money on flowers either. Flowers are naturally beautiful, and I love simple arrangements :)

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    1. I’m with you, Annie, I totally believe that professional florists are worth every penny, I just can’t afford them on a regular basis…and the grocery store choices are so plentiful now!

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  18. Beautiful arrangements, Kim! I'm with you, simple and pretty. I can't believe the florist was going to charge that much per table. My wedding was done rather inexpensively, couldn't imagine ever paying that much.

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    1. …and that was 21 years ago Brandi. I can only imagine how expensive it is today. I hope my girls like tulips! ;)

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  19. Both of our daughters are getting married this year. One is having a huge shindig and the other is very low key. You can guesswho's spending the most on flowers. These arrangements are lovely and I like the idea of leaving the band on the mason jar.

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    1. Sandra, congratulations! What an exciting/ expensive year for you! ;) I bet both weddings will be gorgeous...and yes, this flowers can get pricey!

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  20. Beautiful and hiding the stems with a large leaf is genius. I don't have a hydrangea but i am thinking a grape leaf might work Great post.

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    1. I think a grape leaf would be an awesome idea, Lorri. I was thinking of a big hosta leaf, I have tons of those!

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  21. Love all your flowers and I think we must think alike since I just did a post about them too!

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    1. I saw you gorgeous peonies! Fabulous!

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  22. These are beautiful, Kim. I had a dried bouquet at my wedding for the same reason. xoxo Su

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    1. I bet it was just fabulous, Su!

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    1. Thank you, Julie, it was nice of you to let me know!

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  24. I am looking forwards to seeing more of your arrangements. I would love to see what you do with the zinnia's. I enjoy flowers's - all of them.

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    1. Zinnias are my favorite Ronda. I just plop those suckers in any container I can and pepper them all over the house! :)

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  25. Beautiful ideas! I love decorating tables as well as my home with bouquets, and these tips are very helpful indeed!

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    1. Thank you, Francine! Flowers just seem to brighten up the place, don't they?

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    1. Thank you! I think she did a lovely job, too.

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  27. Great tips, Kim! And your niece did a beautiful job for her sister's baby shower. The hydrangea leaf hide was great. Florists charge ridiculously for their services. I avoid them as much as possible. Your niece's creations were simply charming!

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    1. Thanks Kimberly, she did a great job and stayed under budget…success all the way around! :)

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  28. Simple is always best, and what beautiful, beautiful things come from simple things like a few flowers in a simple vase, I just love it! I loved all the flower arrangements, what a lovely touch to add to the shower!

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    1. Flowers just seem to add something wonderful wherever they appear. I love having them around...

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  29. I like the idea of the hydrangea leaf in the vase. A very creative way to hide the stems.
    Great ideas. xo

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    1. She's a smarty. I like that idea, too!

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  30. Love all those lovely flowers.
    It's always good to have flowers around the home ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. I completely agree, Jan! It just brightens up my whole day!

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  31. $150 a table, wow that is steep! I love the mixture of the store bought roses with the garden blooms. And using the Hydrangea leaf in the jar is perfect! Yup, love the unexpected! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Yup! Crazy right? And that was 21 years ago…I can only image the prices today. I think my own kids will be getting the DIY versions! ;) Shhh. Just don’t tell them that…

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  32. I love those mason jars with the flowers! Thanks so much for sharing them at our first Cooking & Crafting with J & J party!

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    1. Thank you, Julie! I love a party! :)

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  33. Great tips! I'm hosting a picnic soon and plan to use sunflowers in mason jars on the tables. I'll remember the hydrangea leaves trick. Love that!!

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    1. I bet your arrangements will be lovely! Thanks so much for the visit and enjoy that picnic! :)

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  34. Enchanting arrangements, Kim. Lots of inspiration here. Loved this! Nancy

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! It was fun to focus on flowers and not snow!! ;)

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  35. I love all of your beautiful yellow roses!
    I also love your idea of the fishbowl and fish...gotta' remember that one!
    I do flowers too....home and church. It's fun, and you can personalize the arrangements to suit any situation! This past weekend we did a grad party for a young lady whose school colors were grey/navy. Perfect....silver containers, white mums (grocery store) and the school logo printed in color and mounted on a skewer for the center. Navy ribbon around the base of the containers and we were good to go!
    Have a good weekend and blessings to you,
    J

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    1. You arrange flowers? I am not surprised at all, you are so creative! The graduation party arrangements sound fabulous. I bet she was thrilled! Sound like you’re the one who should be giving the tips! ;)

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  36. What amazing arrangements! I loved your hints to keep them affordable. Lining the vase with leaves was genius! And the canning jar arrangement is just precious. .

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    1. I really like the hidden stems, too, that always bothered me when they were displayed in glass. Thanks so much for the comment! :)

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