A Babe's Guide to At-Home Floral Arrangements for Under $10

Flower arrangements are one of my favorite ways to add color and life to my home. When I lived alone, I started buying flowers for myself when I was grocery shopping every week to add some life to my living space. Immediately, I was drawn to flower combinations and making the most of what I was buying. I’ve picked up quite a few tips and tricks over my 8 year journey with arranging flowers at home. So, if flowers make you feel great, but you’ve always steered clear because you assumed it had to be time consuming, hard, or expensive – then keep reading!

 Peonies & Babies Breath

Peonies & Babies Breath

 

How to Choose Your Flowers
Isn’t the hardest step of doing anything the first step? This is no different. Your first step in a beautiful arrangement is…duh….choosing what flowers you want! I have a few rules I like to keep in place when I am buying flowers so that I'm not breaking the bank.

  • Under $10 (total)
    You can definitely apply this strategy to stores like Whole Foods or Central Market, you just might break that $10 budget. I’ll break it down by my favorite under $10 stores below:
    -Trader Joes: As most everyone knows by now, TJs is a cheap flower-lovers heaven. Saturday  morning is usually when I find they’re the most stocked. Flowers usually run around $5-6 while fillers are $2-$3. Most affordable and definitely my most used resource for flowers.
    -Kroger: Kroger doesn’t have my favorite selection of flowers, but you can definitely get by for $10. My favorite Kroger flower trick is when you go in the door closest to the florist, there might be a bouquet by the door of older, discounted flowers. I’ve been able to take a few dead flowers off and had perfectly good bouquets for under $3
    -Grow your own/Find your own: This is obviously the most resourceful choice, and one I am hoping to have down next year. Growing your own flowers for bouquets is a dreamy way to always have flowers in your home. Of course, if you're #blessed with some rose bushes, hydrangeas, wildflowers, or anything else pretty around your property - USE THAT! 
  • 1 visually appealing flower
    Look for a flower you feel drawn to. There’s really no wrong flower to choose. I have a few favorites and least-favorites I steer clear of:
    Favorites:
    -Carnations: $3.99 at Trader Joes and they last for at least 2 weeks! Plus, I love the 1950’s vibe a yellow carnation bouquet adds to the house.
    -Peonies: $7.99 at Trader Joes during their very limited summer run. 
    -Hydrangeas: A beautiful, classic that comes in a variety of colors to mix and match if you want
     Least favorites:
    -Snapdragons: At first, I loved these. They were cute, different, and inexpensive. Then they wilt and the petals are EVERYWHERE. Since then, I try to go for flowers that don’t have a lot of mess when they are on the downswing.
    -Anything that is an unnatural color: Most grocery store flowers are unfortunately mass-produced and more flowers than you think actually use artificial dye to get their unique color. I try to steer clear of any artificial looking color (colored daisies, sprayed roses, etc) and stay with the most natural looking flowers and plants that are there because I think they blend in with the home more.
  • 1 bunch of filler leaves or flowers
    Filler flowers are probably the key to this entire post. Trader Joes has an amazing selection of filler and even leaves to supplement your bouquet! I try to stick to neutral colors or greenery for my fillers for a more natural, wild look. My favorites are:
    -Baby’s breath: that white spriggy one. It lasts forever and even when it dries out, it doesn’t shed so I’ve been known to keep them in a vase long after they’re past their prime.
    -Chamomile: This has been my favorite lately. It smells delicious, and looks so happy. Lately, I’ve actually just been buying 2 of these 3.99 bouquets and arranging those.
    -Eucalyptus: Another bold filler that will also add an amazing aroma to your house while lasting pretty much forever. Buy an extra and tie it under your shower head for a Eucalytus steam shower that will make your sinuses thank you. 
    -Leaves!: A lot of stores have started carrying bunches of fern, monstera, or other green leaves that you can add to arrangements and I’ve been loving playing with these in the summer for a more tropical vibe!

Carnations with a Monstera leaf and Fern leaves

Taking them home
Once you get them home, it’s best to go after it right away. Take the plastic off (I like to use that as the bottom of my workspace for easy clean up), cut the rubber bands off, separate the flower food packages, and lay your flowers out so you can see how much you have to work with.

  • The vessel
    For this amount of flowers I usually get about 3 or 4 vases of flowers around the house. When you think of vases, or what you’re going to put the flowers in, don’t be afraid to get creative! Here are some of my favorite sources for ‘vases’
    -Target clearance section
    -Wine bottles
    -Mason Jars
    -Topo Chico bottles
    -An old sea monkey aquarium that I repurposed into a vase after our sea monkey, Bert, died.

I don’t think too much about which vase for what flowers since I cut them down to match the size of the vase. I usually gravitate towards what colors and shape the vases are and choose from there. I like a combination of a wider mouth vase with a few smaller mouths so that you end up with different size bouquets all over your home.

If you have any flower food that came with your flowers, now is a great time to put that in the vases (I divide whatever I have up between all of the vases) and add water.

Arranging the flowers
The key to making arrangements look visually appealing and GREAT is scissors. Having different levels keeps a shape and dynamic to the arrangement. 

  • Start with the non-filler flowers and cut a few down to the tallest height you want in your vase so you have the top of your bouquet and you can work down and fill it in from there. Always cut your flowers on a diagonal and always, always, always, remove the leaves on the flowers that would be inside the vase. This helps them last so much longer. 
  • I don’t have any hard and fast rules for this next part – it’s usually a very intuitive and creative process for me. You’ll pick up on what you like and don’t like after a few tries.  
  • Fill in the rest! Cut some flowers so they’re short and just over the top of the mouth of the vase. Cut some medium. Add that filler up and around the flowers to fill in any empty spaces or arrange them behind the flowers kind of like a backdrop. Get creative and weird with it! The most interesting arrangements to me are the most unique ones.
  • Add them to your space!

Maintaining

  • A note for pet owners: If you have a cat or dog that loves to eat flowers or plants, don’t put the vases where they tend to hang out. Try something higher up or even on a bookshelf. This is why I don’t keep any flowers in my bedroom, which is where my cat seems to think the floor is lava and she walks on every surface.
  • Flowers last longer than you think!! Refill the water when you notice it’s getting low, this really helps extend their life and you’d be surprised how much some of them need.
  • If your flowers die before your filler, just take the flowers out! If you do and some of them are looking sparse, just combine vases. I do this all the time. It’s like getting an extra bouquet for nothing.

Some 2 week old Baby's Breath still going strong!

I hope you have so much fun arranging flowers and adding some color to your home! I wanna see your arrangements! Share them and make sure to use the hashtag #certifiedbabecrew and I'll highlight them! Happy flower hunting!