Monday, September 23, 2013

DIY Flower Arrangements

It is a familiar sight to see men bringing home a bouquet of flowers before Shabbos, or women purchasing them at the super market when they do their weekly shopping. Fresh flowers are a staple in most Jewish homes on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

My dining room is the first thing you walk into when you come into my home. It can be a little awkward, so I have tried to create a very homey ambiance. I always try to have a nice fresh vase of flowers sitting on my dining room table. I also have fresh flowers in my bedroom and powder bathroom off the kitchen. 
Flowers make me happy.
Just looking at them lifts my day!
They are so so pretty.
Every week I buy whatever is available to me and the least expensive at the store. 

I am very particular about my flowers. 
- How I like to arrange them 
- How I want them to be arranged by someone else
- The colors that are used
- The size and dimension of the bouquet 
-The fullness of the flowers
All of these things come to play when I am putting together my flowers for my table. 

Please note:
I am not a florist, nor do I claim to be.
I'm just a creative junky that has learned these tricks and tip on my own. 
I could be offering you the totally wrong advice, but it works for me :) 
So read on at your discretion.....

Here are some simple tips to make arraigning your own flowers a little easier...

#1 - Choose a vase that works for you. 
I personally like low vases. I do not like tall ones. The ONLY time I will ever use a tall one is if there are smaller vases flanking on either side of  the larger one.

Mason jars make fantastic vases. Use 3 of them in a row, or get larger fatter ones and just use 2.

#2 - Cover the outside or inside of your vase so you can't see the stems. 
- The easiest way to get an opaque vase is to paint them. I painted all of my mason jars and distressed them. That simple tutorial can be found here.
- You can also wrap burlap around your vase and tie it with some raffia.
- Fill up a hurricane vase with apples and hide the stem inside them.
- Wrap very large leaves around the edge on the inside of the vase. Then add your flowers.
Photo Credit : jCreate Magazine
Papaya Events - Chana Blumes Photography 

- One of my favorite things to do is to fill up a vase with pebbles or coffee beans. Watch the video below - It's soo easy! 

#3 - Choose a variety of flowers in the same color family.
That means they are in the same shades and hues. You can add a pop of a complementary color to add dimension.
Photo Credit : jCreate Magazine
Papaya Events - Shayna Punim Photography 

#4 - Use a variety of heights to add shape to your tablescape. 
If you are planning on having a few different vases on your table then I recommend them being a variety of sizes and heights. It will add a beautiful dimension to your overall tablescape.

Photo Credit : jCreate Magazine
Papaya Events Chana Blumes Photography

Photo Credit : jCreate Magazine
Papaya Events- Shayna Punim Photography

If you are planning on just having one vase in the center of your table then add some height inside of the vase by using some taller flowers or vines. I used eucalyptus leaves in mine, but myrtle can work too.  

#5- Make your arrangement look full and lush
You want your vase to look full NOT overcrowded. The trick is to buy a couple flowers that will give you the right coverage. I LOVE hydrangeas. They are my favorite. I will usually buy 3 stems along with another bunch of flowers like the Peruvian Lilies pictured above. 

#6 - Treat Your Flowers Well
I cut my stems every other day and change the water adding some of the flower food powder that they give you. I find that my flowers last a full week till I go to the grocery store again to buy new ones. 

#7 - Find Flowers on a Budget
The best place to find flowers on a serious budget is Trader Joes. They bring in fresh flowers daily and they are always the gorgeous and lush. I can get 3 stems of hydrangeas for $5.99 and bunches of other flowers from $3.99 to $4.99. Bunches of roses are normally $7.99 

My other favorite place to go is Fairway. Although they are a bit more expensive, not much more, they always have a good selection and their flowers always last longest. 

If you don't live near any of these stores, I would recommend you find a place locally that sells fresh flowers, life a florist or farmers market. Make really good relationships with the owners. The more you come by their store the more they will get to know you and your needs. If I don't have time to make my own flowers I always head out to Papaya Events, my local flower shop in Passaic. Devorah can always make me the most  beautiful arrangements on my budget. Not only does she work locally, but she does event planning and floral designing throughout the tri-state area. I highly recommend them for your Simcha needs. 

I hope these tips not only come in handy this week with the holiday coming, but adding color and beauty to your weekly Shabbos tables! 

Till next time!


  1. Spoken like a true florist. I completely agree with all your tips and ideas there. I particularly love your tip on making your arrangements look full. In my opinion, bringing together same-colored flowers rather than scattering them across the vase will make them look, as scattering them can make the arrangement look sparse.
    Nan Blume

  2. I'm looking to get some flower arrangements for an event this weekend. I want it to be kind of spooky. What kind of flowers do you think would be in the spirit of Halloween?