how to make floral arrangements


One of the most popular features in Flower, since the first issue, has been the step-by-step arrangement. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, mechanics lessons, start-to-finish floral how-tos, or tips from a favorite expert, every story is a standout.

Originally titled “Mimi’s Mechanics,” the column shared techniques from designer Mimi Brown. Later expanded to include other influential floral designers, the article now highlights work and methods from tastemakers across the country.

These ten compositions from nearly a decade of Flower magazine show how to make floral arrangements that continue to inspire our staff and readers.

“French Twist: A Hand-Tied Bouquet” (Spring 2010)

how to make floral arrangementsMimi Brown shows how to make a hand-tied bouquet, in the classic European style. “Travel anywhere in Europe, especially France, and you will notice the abundance of flower shops and find it hard not to take something with you.  The European hand-tied bouquet is the quintessential gift to give abroad.”—Mimi Brown

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“A Marvelous Mantel” (Fall 2011)

Houston designer Johnathan Andrew Sage creates an “over-the-top” mantel arrangement. “I love the variance of colors, movement, and textures of the finished mantelpiece arrangement. Working on such a large scale really allows the use of the materials to make a unique statement.”—Johnathan Andrew Sage

“It is not like anything I have ever seen. It has a moody fairytale quality that appeals to me. I also love all the fruit and vegetables he uses. It’s over the top beautiful.” —Alice Welsh Doyle, Flower Managing Editor

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“Glass Act – A Summery Arrangement” (Summer 2012)

Keith Robinson of Gloriosa, AtlantaKeith Robinson of Gloriosa in Atlanta demonstrates a summery floral design using vibrant colors of the season. “We all collect something! . . . dishes, teapots, pewter, cloches—just to name a few. Any can be the inspiration for a design like this, which shows the collection in a new way.” –Keith Robinson

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“Fall Out: A Bold Autumn Arrangement” (Fall 2013)

Atlanta-based event designer Joy Thigpen crafts a freestyle autumn arrangement alive with color.“I had a lot of fun making this arrangement! It’s a very spontaneous, girly, and playful piece. I think it’d be perfect for a really eclectic  restaurant with dark wooden tables, fiery plaster walls, loud live music, and good drinks.”—Joy Thigpen

“That [Fall 2013] issue was my first, and the first time I really saw an intricate arrangement come together and it still fascinates me. I love the hot neon colors, and I think Joy explains the process really well.”—Jena Hippensteel, Flower Associate Managing Editor

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“Into the Woods” (March/April 2014)

how to make floral arrangementsNew York floral designer Emily Thompson crafts an arrangement reminiscent of nature’s forest floor in spring. “The season brings such delicate and fragile materials, so seductive in their vulnerability and tiny scale. This kind of arrangement is a lovely way to greet the unpredictability of the spring weather. I love the slight danger that one of April’s gusts could carry the entire piece away.” –Emily Thompson

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“Desert Inspired Centerpiece” (July/August 2014)

desert inspired centerpiece, colleen lafleurInspired by the Arizona landscape, Colleen LaFleur of Atelier LaFleur in Tucson creates an eco-friendly centerpiece that keeps its cool in the summer heat. “The desert has taught me to be more responsible with my designs, choosing plants and fowers that are drought tolerant, sustainable, and beautiful. I like to think of my design aesthetic as eco-chic.”–Colleen LaFleur

“I love succulents and this table runner design is perfect for entertaining since it’s so low. Plus, it’s eco-friendly! Win, Win!”—Ellen Padgett, Flower Art Director

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“Color Me Happy” (March/April 2015)

oscar mora how toNew York–based floral designer Oscar Mora ushers in spring with a standout arrangement sure to brighten anyone’s day. “Growing up in Venezuela, where everything is all about vibrant and bold color, I loved to draw and paint. Now, as a professional foral designer in New York, I believe that spaces and vases have become my new canvas.” –Oscar Mora

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“Keen on Green” (July/August 2015)

Bloom & PlumeMaurice Harris of Bloom & Plume in Los Angeles makes a lush arrangement that takes his favorite color to new heights. “I like my flowers to look very natural, as though they’re doing exactly what they want.”—Maurice Harris

“Green is my favorite color, so I was instinctively drawn to Maurice’s dynamic, monochromatic arrangement of greens in different tones. I love the winged shape he created—it has a great energy that comes not only from the design but from his inventive use of materials like mint, oregano, poppy pods and artichokes. Harris says he gives each of his arrangements a name to ‘turn them into leading ladies.’ This one he called Green Goddess and I think it fits it to a tee.”—Kirk Reed Forrester, Flower Market Editor.

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A Tropical Creation (July/August 2016)

Floral designer Teresa Sena crafts a centerpiece that celebrates the tropical flora of her beloved Hawaiian island. “Living in upcountry Maui is like living in a garden, and I create arrangements to look like they’re growing in nature. When gathering these materials, I took notice of the lines and curves of each one so that I could later replicate them in the centerpiece.”–Teresa Sena

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“Giverny Greens: A French Monochromatic Arrangement” (January/February 2017)

how to make floral arrangementsNew Orleans floral designer Margaret Ludwig of Giverny Design creates a monochromatic arrangement in the French style using variations of green that speak to winter’s darker shades and spring’s new growth. “On my first trip to Paris, I walked into a little flower shop and was instantly taken with the French style. It’s similar to the garden style, but the arrangements are very structured and accentuated by foliage. It’s still an organic approach, but a little more buttoned up.”–Margaret Ludwig

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Bonus: Fine Lines (May/June 2017)

silver and white flower arrangementWe’ve come full circle! For our 10th Anniversary, Flower revisited Mimi Brown and she showed us how to make a stunning, silvery arrangement of spirea, kochia, and white muscari. “Instead of a traditional vase, I decided to use a lowball glass tumbler. Everyone has cups. You can use crystal or cut glass—whatever it’s made of, I think cups are a new way to showcase the stems and create a modern, tall arrangement.”—Mimi Brown

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