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Tutorial Tuesday-Floral Arranging

I realize I haven't done a home decor tutorial in a while, so how about learning a little about floral arranging? We'll learn a little about arranging silk florals today.

Here is a preview of the two projects we'll make.

Before we get started there's a quick lesson. (Which can actually be applied to ANY design, whether you're designing a room, floral arrangement, quilt, card, scrapbook page, or fabric.)

There are some simple principles and elements of design that any beginning design student learns to recognize. Then, using these principles and elements, can put together a cohesive, pleasing design. These are as follows:

Principles of Design:

Elements of Design:

Today for our floral arranging we'll focus on the Principles: Harmony, Emphasis, and Proportion.
Harmony: Compatibility of elements to create a pleasing whole, achieved mainly through unity and variety. Basically it doesn't all have to be the same to be harmonious.
Emphasis: Anything in the design element that serves as a focal point.
Proportion: The size relationship to the object and it's surroundings. For instance, a really small plant in a really large container means either the plant is proportionally too small, or the container is proportionally too big, and one needs to be changed to make the arrangement more pleasing to the eye.

Ok, so now we'll get started applying our principles.
When choosing your floral stems, choose one or two stems that will be your focal point. I've chosen red for that arrangement and the purple for the other one. This one will take the stage front and center! (You've already got your emphasis now! How easy was that!)
Next, choose a few more stems that will coordinate with your emphasis element. Notice I said coordinate, not match. If you've chosen a red floral stem, like mine, try a smaller red floral, or even some berries in another coordinating color. Like maybe cream or pink. Some copper colored berries would be great too. Don't worry, It's perfectly OK if they don't match! (Great! Now you're harmony is complete too!)
Finally, measure the height of the space that the floral arrangement is going in. (You'll have to do a little math here.) You want the height of your floral arrangement to be about 2/3 of the height. So if your alcove that you're putting this in is 36" high, the tip top of the arrangement should be no more than 24". The red arrangement was going into an alcove about 60" high, so the finished height was pretty close to 40".

Now you've got all your pieces, and you know about how big your arrangement should be, you're ready to put it all together.
For this one you'll need some styrofoam, a few containers, 1 floral stem per arrangement, and a filler. (I used some scrap paper and put it through the shredder.)

Hot glue your styrofoam into your container. Trim the stem to the appropriate height. (Be sure you include the height of the container in your measurement from above and don't forget to use a wire cutter for this! Most floral stems will have wire inside them!) Stick your floral into the center of the foam.

Add your filler to cover the foam and you're done. How easy was that?!?

Here are the two I made to go above my stove in the kitchen!

Now for this one, you'll need a large glass container, 5-6 coordinating stems, and 3 emphasis stems. Don't forget you're filler. I used river rocks for this one. It helps to weigh down the bottom, both visually and physically.

Place your coordinating stems in the back and along the sides to essentially make a backdrop for your focal stems. Then place your focal stems in front of those. Vary the height of them slightly. You'll see that I cut two of the red stems to be a few inches shorter than the one that's front and center. (This adds a little variety, part of the Harmony principle.) Place them in front of your "backdrop" and you're done!

Congratulations! You've completed Floral Design 101! I can't wait to see what you make!

Happy Crafting!