Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Flower Bouquet Tutorial

Fall flower bouquet - short vase

Wondering where I have been?  Busy helping my daughter plan her fall wedding!  I was so excited when she asked me to take the lead on decorations, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  No worries.  I am always up for a challenge, and the accompanying opportunity to learn.

My latest teacher is my talented friend Natasha.  Not only is she a gifted artist; she is also a fabulous floral designer.  Last week Natasha taught me how to make fall flower arrangements for my daughter's November wedding.  I thought I would share what I learned...

Orange red roses before they are cleaned

The following list is for a tall vase bouquet.  However, if you prefer, you could use a short, five to six inch vase.  Just use one third less flowers.

For the tall bouquet, you will need:

  • One 18 - 20 inch vase
  • 10 - 12 apples and 1 or 2 lemons
  • chicken wire or similar bendable grid
  • 1 bunch of oak leaves
  • 3 orange lilies
  • 5 red or orange daisies
  • 1 small bunch of heather, approx. 1.5 inches in diameter
  • 3 green daisies
  • 6 orange or red roses
  • 3 pink alstroemeria 
  • 3 stalks of dill flower
  • 2 stalks of chinese lantern
  • 6 feet of small gold wire.
  • sisal thread and raffia (optional)

Before beginning the arrangement, be sure to clean all of your flowers.  Their stalks should have no leaves and should be cut at a diagonal.

Using a sharp knife, cut the stem at a diagonal

Now it's time to go to work!

Rinse the vase, and then add the apples into it, making sure to fit them well so that they will not float once the the vase is filled with water.  When you are about two to three inches from the top of the vase, use the lemons to further wedge the apples into place.  (The lemon skin is nice and flexible.)

Add cold water until the fruit is completely covered.  Make sure you will have enough so that the flower stalks will be able to drink!

Beginning to add the water

Apply the chicken wire or grid to the top of the vase.  (Natasha made her own grid out of some wire she had at home.  Clever!)

Natasha makes a grid to fit the vase

The wire grid supports the bouquet

Here's where it really gets fun!

Start adding the oak leaves.  They should be about 16 inches in length, including stem and leaves.

Oak leaves are added at angles

Next add the three lilies, cut at approx. 12 inches in length, making a triangle placement.

Adding the lilies

Add the red/orange daisies (cut at 11 inches), the heather, and the green daisies (also cut at 11 inches).

Keep in mind that this is a tall vase and most of the flowers should be around the edge where they will be seen.

The red daisies before cleaning

Now add the roses, alstroemeria, and dill (all cut at about 12 inches).

Almost done!

Isn't this looking fantastic?!

Next we will use the chinese lanterns to make two garlands.

Chinese lanterns and dill

Cut your length of wire in two so each measures approx. three feet in length.  Remove the lanterns from the first stalk, and wrap each lantern stem along the first wire.  (The process is: one wrap of the wire around a stem, followed by a twist.)  Try to make the distance between each lantern random.  Repeat for the second stalk and wire.

Gold wire and sisal thread

Once your two garlands are complete, hand them over the bouquet.  They look like earrings!

Fall flower bouquet - tall vase

Finishing touches

If you would like, you might also add a bit of raffia to cover any part of the vase that still shows chicken wire.  You could also add bits of orange sisal threads around the bouquet to give a halo effect.

Now imagine a small wedding reception hall full of these tall and short fall flower arrangements!  It will be striking!

Another view of the short vase version

Interested in seeing all of my tutorials?  Please click here.


  1. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Valerie, those centerpieces will be BEAUTIFUL! What gorgeous colors!

    Aunt Diane

  3. Thanks for your encouragement, Everyone. I am really looking forward to seeing these at my daughter's wedding!

  4. Perfect. The color combination are terrific.

  5. Yes! The wedding reception hall looked amazing filled with these arrangements. Many thanks for your comment.

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