Monday, November 20, 2017

Creating a floral arrangement for Thanksgiving

Glad to see you back here as we wind down this Thanksgiving hosting series.  I've been savoring the preparations and though I tend to enjoy the whole process, I'm down to my favorite part.  The centerpiece part!  I decided on flowers for my table this year.  I find flower arranging to be one of the most restful and enjoyable hobbies, and I believe anyone can create something beautiful with flowers. 

Now, a word on floral centerpieces.  It's important to take into account the size of the table, and the type of gathering you're hosting.  There are flowers that can be considered formal (think roses) and others that are a bit more casual (think, dahlias and mums).  Once you've assessed your type of gathering, the colors of flowers you'd prefer and what is in season, you might want to consider a few other things. Firstly, will the food service be tableside or buffet style? (If tableside, you'll want to make sure there is room around the arrangement) Height, amount or arrangements needed and what type of vessel best represents those specific types of flowers.  Keep in mind that if your arrangement is too tall it may drive people crazy while they are trying to visit across the table.  You don't want your beautiful work to get shuffled to a side table somewhere!  (I actually kept sitting on the chair and looking over the top of mine as I created, to double check that nothing was too high!) On the other hand, if flower arrangements aren't big enough they make little impact and you may want to create a few smaller arrangements, rather than one large one.

After thinking through all of the above, I decided on something long and low.  We will be going with buffet style food service which means I don't have to worry about keeping plenty of room on the table for food items.  Because my table is quite long, at nine feet, I've chosen my vessel which is also a long, narrow bowl. (It's actually our everyday fruit bowl which goes to show that your flowers can be displayed in nearly anything you want them to be in.)

I've gathered together all of my flowers, greenery, and tools. For this arrangement, I purchased Eucalyptus leaves, peach roses, peach carnations, kale flowers, and used dried oak leaves and antlers as accents. (I recommend sharp clippers or scissors, and wet floral foam.)  I will be showing you (mostly) step by step, how I createed this arrangement, so you can make one as well if you like.

Tips on Flower Arranging (from a non-expert)
*After floral foam is completely wet and placed into vessel, begin placing stems.  Once a stem is in the foam, do not try to re-arrange it. If you must move it, take it completely out, and place it in a new hole in the foam.  

*Create a sort of structure for your flowers, by placing your branches or greenery in first.  Once you have the bones of the arrangement, it's much easier to begin placing flowers and accents.  Think outside the box when it comes to making it unique.  I've added some antlers from our collection and it adds a nice fall touch.

*Make sure to turn your arrangement as you build and add flowers, so that you're not flower-heavy on one side. (Unless it will be against a wall, then go for a flower-heavy side!) 

*You won't want any leaves sitting directly in water or in the floral foam so strip the base of the stems of any leaves before you insert them into the foam or vase to prevent them from rotting.

*If you use kale, here's a great tip to make them into full "flowers" like I have done.  Gently start at the outside, peeling each leaf back just slightly until it resembles an open flower.  Simple. (Mine were sold in the floral department of my grocery store, in a two pack.)

*Consider your own backyard.  You may find greenery, dried leaves, berries and such there. 

*Lastly, don't get caught up in perfection.  You can create a wild arrangement or you can keep it symmetrical but it's your art so make this part as unique as you are and enjoy the process.  

It turned out really beautifully and just as I imagined it and I hope you're inspired to create something lovely for your own table.  I'll be adding some copper wire lights on Thanksgiving for a little twinkle. 

Now, I'm turning my thoughts toward the people who will be sitting around this arrangement in just a couple of days and I hope this series has inspired you to do likewise as you prepare.  Details are important but also not really all that important, as we remember those we are preparing the details for.  Tomorrow I'll be ending this series, by sharing our table and how we make it meaningful while sitting around the table.  

Happy Hosting, XOXO, 


  1. Just lovely and thanks for sharing the "how to." Happy Thanksgiving Sasha!

  2. Beautiful! I actually think I could do this!

  3. Thank you for sharing, that is absolutely gorgeous!

  4. Just lovely! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family :)