Photos & Article by Heather, Blossom and Bone Florals
If you’re interested in building your own centerpiece for the holidays (or any day!) then this guide is for you. With these few easy steps, we’ll have you DIYing in no time!
First and foremost, you’re going to need a few supplies:
You'll need these to make sure your arrangement is the proper height for your vase. You’ll also want to give your flowers a trim before you put them into water at home. The best way to do this is to cut about a quarter of an inch off the bottom at an angle to make sure your flower stems don’t get stuck on the bottom of the vase and can drink the water they’re in.
The vase you choose will significantly determine the shape your bouquet takes; be careful of choosing a vessel that is too small or too large for the number of flowers you’ve chosen as it can make it difficult to maintain shape.
This isn’t completely necessary, but can help your arrangement hold its shape if you’re struggling once you get it into the vase.
You can purchase these at the store or forage for them! Oak, magnolia, and evergreen trees have great foliage for this kind of task.
Filler flowers are still blooms technically, they’re just not really the star of the show. Rather, they’re more like accents! They’re integral in helping maintain your shape as you build your bouquet and can help fill in any holes or gaps you might find at the end of your bouquet making experience.
These babies are what most people think about when they think about an arrangement and are really the stars of the show. I specialize in lush, English Garden style bouquets, which means there is more variety in the centerpiece itself instead of focusing on just one or two bloom varieties, so I recommend working with at least three varieties to give it depth and texture if you’re able, but if you're not able to do so, having at least three focal flowers is the way to go.
Now, onto Step One, Processing:
Before you get started, you’re going to want to “process” your flowers and filler so they’re the most usable for you. Processing is simply cleaning up the stems so they’re easily accessible when you reach for them to put them in your bouquet—typically, this just looks like stripping the lower leaves off of the stem, about ¼ from the top so they still have a little greenery left on them as this helps with texture and filling holes in your arrangement. Below is a picture of unprocessed wax flower (left) and processed wax flower (right)
You’ll also want to process your greens as well so that there aren’t any leaves hanging down in the water in their vase—this helps prevent bacteria growth and preserves the longevity of your arrangement.
Step Two, Building Your Base:
I prefer to build my arrangements in my hand, but you can do it in the vase as well. If you choose to do it in your hand, keep your hand as loose as you can while still maintaining a circular shape so that you can add in additional flowers as you go. Also, if you’re right handed, hold the bouquet in your left hand and vice versa. For this bouquet, I’m going to use one stem of eucalyptus that I’ve cut into three parts and processed down for easy usability (the eucalyptus on the left in the picture below is the unprocessed eucalyptus, while the one on the right is processed). I'm also going to use an evergreen I foraged, in addition to hand-painted red silver dollar eucalyptus.
When putting these items in your hand (or in the vase), try to create a circular interlocking system that will help your base maintain its shape. Don’t be afraid to put greens under others, in the middle of the centerpiece, or on the side! The main goal here is to create something that intersects so it holds.
Also, it’s easiest to start out with greens that are sturdier and add in the floppier greens afterward as this helps create a structure and props up the floppy greens to maintain shape. For example, I started with my foraged evergreen and then added in my eucalyptus to help it gather a shape.
Step Three, Adding Filler Flowers:
You’ll want to add in your filler flowers much in the same way you’ve created your base (putting them on the side, in the middle, and under greens to create an interlocking system) while ensuring that you’re starting to take up some space in the bouquet.
Filler flower is important because it lends texture and creates space for the blooms to rest naturally. For this bouquet, we’re going to use Queen Anne's Lace, Wax Flower, and Hypericum. You can play around with different lengths to give it some height as well as use the filler to prop up the greens so they’re not hanging too much.
Step Four (the fun part), Adding Blooms:
This is what you’ve been working for! By this point, your base and filler should create a silhouette that naturally lends itself to adding the blooms.
For this, we’re going to use the following blooms:
Crème de la Crème Roses
Bronze Football Mums
Red Cushion Poms
I’m going to use three of each flower to create my round shape, but feel free to use any odd number of flowers, just try to avoid using even numbers if you can as it can create a box affect as opposed to a circular affect you’re trying to create. I always start with my sturdiest flower; in this case, it’s going to be the rose, which you should place in sort of a triangle shape throughout your arrangement. Again, when building your bouquet, don’t be afraid to add your blooms on the side, in the middle, and underneath greenery or other filler: this will help create a round affect. Add in your blooms into any holes you see until you’re satisfied (if you’re building your bouquet in your hand, looking at it in a mirror can help you see if there are any holes you’ve missed on the opposite side from where you’re holding).
Step Five, Finishing Touches:
Now that you’ve got your arrangement mostly together, check for any holes and add in any extra filler, greenery, or blooms you might have to fill in the gaps. Also make sure that if your heads slipped down while building your arrangement, you pull them back up (gently!) so they can be seen again.
And voila! You now know how to make a stunning centerpiece for any occasion. If you have any questions, you can always feel free to reach out to me, Heather, from Blossom and Bone Florals on Instagram @blossomandboneflorals or by email at
Enjoy your holidays and I hope to see you at the flower truck! Purchase your box or guide to receive an access code to an exclusive discount on a bouquet.