Fresh flowers brighten up an entire space while bringing the lush colors of nature inside, but — as any bride or decor buff knows all too well — cut flowers are an easy way to bust a budget wide open. We called in the experts to show us how to DIY flower arrangements on a dime.
Sarah von Pollaro, floral designer and owner of Urban Petals in Washington, DC, filmed this video with us to show Shoestring readers how to seriously stretch their cut flower allowance by transforming one regular grocery store bouquet into three stylish arrangements. She also demonstrates how to take something unlikely — a head of cabbage — and work it into a bouquet with dazzling results.
The total cost of these creative collections? Only $15.00. Have a look:
Plus, here are 5 more of Sarah’s secret ways to save:
- Fruits and vegetables add color and texture to arrangements while keeping costs down.
- A simple solution of water, bleach, and sugar helps flowers stay fresh longer. Sugar helps feed foliage while bleach gets rid of bacteria.
- If you buy flowers from a grocery store ask someone in the floral department when the flowers were delivered. Choose stems that are fresh versus those that have been sitting for a few days.
- You will get more for your money when you let experts do their jobs! Give your floral designer your budget — say $25.00 — a little direction (like, you need a tall bouquet for the center hall) and let them work their magic. You will get an arrangement with more flowers when the pro has freedom to pick stems that are in season and available in the store. Let go a little and let the designer exercise his / her talent versus spelling out exactly how to execute the bouquet. (Bonus: This tip also works when planning wedding bouquets.)
- Keep your eyes out for floral “happy hours” or times during the week when stores need to get rid of inventory.
Not only does Sarah have a passion for teaching others to find their inner florist, her company focuses on giving back to the community by donating event arrangements to nonprofit organizations in the DC area. Check out her blog or follow her on Twitter for other hints, tips, DIY videos, and price breakdowns for beautiful bouquets.
So, you have your challenge, Gumshoes! Take one grocery store bouquet and see if you can come up with three separate designs. Post your results on our Facebook page (and view our gallery of photos from this shoot) or leave a link to your photos/blog posts in the comments below!
Story, video & photos: Copyright 2011, Shoestring LLC & Kaarin Moore.