If you don’t know by now, I (like 75% of the population), adore Joanna Gaines. I think everything she touches turns to magic- or at least, shiplap and rustic-chic perfection. Seriously, when I’m not sure what to do in a decorating situation, I ask myself WWJD… since I doubt Jesus cares how my bathroom is decorated, the “J” in that acronym stands for Joana, obvi. Anyway, aside from shiplap and white-on-white decor, JoJo is also known for her love of plants, and her technique of incorporating them into her decor schemes. And who can disagree with her? Plants, whether they’re flowers, herbs, or simple greenery, bring life and freshness to a room that inorganic decor items simply cannot. Unfortunately, I was born with two black thumbs, so living plants aren’t really in my wheelhouse, and fresh cut flowers don’t have a line in my weekly budget. Luckily, today we have many great life-like options for silk flowers, so you can enjoy the look of real plants without the hassle.
A floral arrangement is a great way to breathe new life into a room, or if you live in a house like mine, serve as a distraction from the chaotic renovation mess. I love to change out floral arrangements to reflect the season or decorate for gatherings or events in our home. Every once in a while, when I put on my fancy-pants, I’ll get fresh flowers, but silk flowers are my default. I like the ability to use them for multiple seasons and not have to worry about watering them.
I fell in love with silk floral arrangement 10 years ago, when I was a broke full-time college student/full-time administrative assistant planning my own wedding. As much as I would have loved to have real flowers at our wedding, it just wasn’t an option. Ever the diy-er, I set out to create my own bouquets for my bridesmaids and myself. Over the years, I’ve helped a friend or two prep bouquets for their own wedding, and I’m reminded every time of how much I love doing it!
I’m not a professional- if I can do this, anyone can. It’s simple, really:
Choose your flowers and greenery
This is usually the hardest part for me. I walk in with a general idea in mind, but once I see all of the options, I quickly get overwhelmed and lose sight of my original idea. Pinterest is really helpful here since you can go through and pin images of arrangements you like and work from that for inspiration. For smaller arrangements, I like to choose one flower to be the focal point, and then fill in around it with a couple of smaller flowers, and add greenery. If you’re familiar with floral arangement terms, you want a “thriller” (something tall), “filler” (something that can fill in any bare spots- baby’s breath is a common one), and a “spiller” (something to spill over the sides). I don’t adhere 100% to that every single time, but it is something I keep in mind loosley when I’m making my selections.
I purchased my flowers and greenery at Hobby Lobby while they were 50% off. They have a great selection, no matter what time of year it is.
Clip your stems
The first thing I do is clip the stem on my focal flower. I line it up against the vase to get a general idea of where to cut it.
Next, I cut my “supporting” flowers down.
It won’t look right yet, but I go ahead and stick them in the vase anyway, just so I can get an idea of what I’m working with. You’ll notice I don’t cut them both at the same length. I like to vary the height just a little bit.
Next, I begin cutting the greenery down to size.
I just bought one stem of these pretty white flowers, because I knew a little bit would go a long way. I cut each small stem off of the larger stem so I could have a little more freedom as I placed them throughout the arrangement.
One of the best parts about working with silk is that generally, they will be wired, which means you can bend them and shape them to your liking. I didn’t cut the greenery apart in the back, I just spread it out using the wires.
It’s starting to come together! This time around, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and add some cotton to this arrangement. Cotton stems are everywhere in decor right now, and I have to say, I’m really digging it.
Arrange your stems
Once you get everything in your vase, keep playing with it until it looks right. I aim for general symmetry, while still keeping the overall look very free and organic.
I ended up having to cut apart some of the cotton stems to better incorporate them into the arrangement. I loved the look, but I wasn’t crazy about being able to see the fake stems through my jar, so I added a little burlap. Painted jars or galvanized buckets make great vases for arrangements, and then you wouldn’t have to worry about hiding your stems.
I love love LOVE the cotton stems! I plan to use them again in a fall arrangement, but honestly, I’m not ready to let go of summer yet. What do you think? Are you a silk flower kind of person, or do you prefer the real deal?