DIY Flower Bouquet

Designs by Design shares how to create a floral arrangement that will make $20 look like $100.

 A dozen long-stemmed red roses may be the quintessential ‘I love you’ statement of movies and fairy tales, but why opt for the extravagance if roses aren’t her favorite blooms? “I like to recommend a beautiful arrangement of assorted flowers with a couple roses mixed in,” says Trish Mahoney of Designs by Design. “There are so many beautiful – and less expensive – flowers, like lilies, tulips, and irises; find out her favorites and seek them out. It will show you’re thinking of her.”

While prearranged bouquets often run upwards of $50, you can still get your hands on those high-end florals, without the high-end price tag. “Buying loose flowers at your local floral shop or farmers’ market and arranging them yourself will definitely help save your budget,” Mahoney says. Look for an assortment of foliage and flowering branches to fill out the spaces between your star buds.

Begin with a large glass vase and tape a grid, using Scotch tape, over the mouth of the vase. “This allows for the separation of the flowers and will help create that ‘professionally arranged’ shape that you are looking for,” Mahoney says. Next add your foliage, inserting your tallest branches and line stalks, like snap dragons and larkspur, throughout the center of the grid. Place your valentine’s favorite blooms throughout the arrangement, adding slightly shorter secondary flowers, like alstroemeria or mums, as accents. Finish by tucking any additional foliage or filler flowers you have left to fill in the spaces. Try adding cuttings from your own backyard, like eucalyptus or rosemary. “You can even add color to the piece by first placing some fruit in the bottom of the vase, like lemons, limes, or pomegranates,” Mahoney says.

Keep your love blooming longer by changing the water every two days, and adding fresh water every other day. Do not place the flowers in direct sunlight, and try to keep them away from any direct heat source. “Flower food is always a good idea,” Mahoney says. “If you don’t have any of the prepackaged preservative, you can add anything with a citrus base to the water and a drop of bleach for controlling bacteria.”