DIY Centerpieces on a Budget

Calling all DIY queens and brides on a budget!  We’re excited to bring you this step-by-step tutorial on creating DIY centerpieces!  Nikelle Orellana-Reyes is the talented artist behind Wylde.  We’ve been admiring her work for months; it would be difficult not to because her flower shop is literally around the corner from the WedPics office in downtown Raleigh!  She’s a fan of finding floral supplies from her own neighborhood, supporting local farmers, and opting for in-season supplies… so she was an obvious choice to share her advice and tips for keeping costs down while achieving florist-worthy DIY centerpieces on a budget.

FINDING LOW BUDGET SUPPLIES:

  • Forage! – use what’s around you!  Look to see what you have around your house or around your friends’ houses, especially bushes or trees that need to be trimmed, and use that as your base greenery.  Aim for a mix of textures, colors, and lengths.
  • In season & easily accessible – opt for flowers that are in season and locally available.
  • Farmer’s markets – a great place to find local, in-season flowers on a budget.
  • Local nurseries & home improvement stores – an unexpected source, especially for greenery.
  • Online wholesalers – Flower Muse, Fabulous Florals, and Fifty Florals are good online options.  Keep in mind if you use these online sources, the minimums are pretty high so it may be more cost effective to buy the quantity you need from a local florist.
  • Vases don’t need to be fancy – Check dollar/thrift stores for simple glass containers; you can always spruce them up with paint!

Tip! If you’re looking for hard to find flowers (like garden roses or some tropicals), we suggest finding a local florist who can supply you flowers, or purchasing plants from your local nursery or Home Depot. 

YOU’LL NEED:

  1. Vases – ours were sourced from our local dollar store
  2. Flowers & greenery
  3. Floral tape
  4. Floral shears
  5. Lazy susan
  6. Finishing spray

Step 1 – Gather flowers & greenery
We used an array of plants and flowers that were found in our backyards and gardens.

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Step 2 – Tape grid
Create a structural base for your stems by taping out a grid onto the top of your vessel.  This step is especially important for arrangements that are wider than they are tall to keep your stems upright and in place.  Space the pieces of tape about 1 inch apart.

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Step 3 – Create a base with greenery
Shoot for no more than 3 different types to keep your arrangement from becoming cluttered.  Go for an asymmetrical shape, with one side being higher than the other.

Tip! Create a test vase of your foraged items (leave it out for several days) to assess for wilting and lifespan before using in your final arrangements.

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Step 4 – Add heartier stems & taller flowers
This helps create the shape for your arrangement.

Tip! Don’t discount “cheap” flowers; even the standard carnation looks ultra-chic when properly arranged!

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Step 5 – “Carpeting”
Create a “carpet” of smaller flowers in the space around the top of the vessel.  This helps to add filler flowers and hide any “holes” that may exist.

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Step 6 – More height & “focal” flowers
Finish your arrangement with your star-of-the-show flowers and add more height in places that you see needs it.

Tip! Cluster like-elements together, and cut stems long… you can always trim more away but you can’t make them longer once you’ve snipped!

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Step 7 – Finishing Spray
Spray your arrangement with finishing spray to help prevent wilting and drying out.

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CARING FOR YOUR FLOWERS

  • Store flowers in a cool, shady spot – wilting is much more likely to occur in heat and direct sunlight.
  • For summer weddings, create arrangements as close to the big day as possible (the day before or day of, ideally!).  Wait as long as possible before buying or cutting your flowers.
  • Make sure your arrangements have fresh water and plenty of it – the water line should be about an inch below the rim of your vase!
  • You can also mist your flowers with a spray bottle to prevent them from drying out.

SEASONAL CHOICES

Spring – Flowering trees like dogwood, cherry, plum and apple blossoms can be found in your yard, along with Azaleas in lots of berry colors. Tulips, daffodils and other spring bulb flowers are easy to find at your local farmers market. Peonies are available in late spring and are cheapest this time of year.

Summer – Hydrangeas and Roses in early summer can be found in your yard (if you’re an avid gardener or you know someone who is). Stock, Snapdragons, and foxglove start to appear in early Summer and are very affordable during this time. Cosmos, Coneflower, Zinnea and Amaranth are easy to find locally when it starts to get warm.

Fall -Dahlias are the Fall show stopper and can be found at your local farmers market August through November (depending on the temperatures). Chrysanthemums are also available in Fall. Don’t forget to forage in your yard for fall foliage, which can exhibit lots of color changes from subtle to more dramatic.

Winter – is tough if you want local flowers, but there are lots of evergreens that can be used along with bare branches and berries (like Privet).

 

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Image by Trek and Bloom

Nikelle Orellana-Reyes, an art director and graphic designer by day, created Wylde in 2014 to take her love of flowers and gardening into a new direction. Her years of expertise working with form, color, and composition inform her nuanced aesthetic and spontaneous approach to floral design.  Hannah Ross Clarke tends Wylde’s cut flower garden just a few miles from downtown Raleigh and recently joined the Wylde team full-time. Together, they are committed to crafting elegant and organic arrangements for all occasions.