DIY Spring Flower Arrangement by Ashley Woodson Bailey

by Grace Bonney

My arrangements always begin with the container. I’m inspired by the vessel and often look for flowers that will fill it perfectly, rather than the other way around. For today’s spring arrangement, I found this trumpted-style aqua vessel at Goodwill for only $5. It’s such a treasure and what an awesomely cheap find!

I like to head to the flower market with a color palette in mind. This time my goal was to focus on yellow, apricot, white and cream. For this arrangement I chose apricot tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, pieris japonica and a few foraged white dogwood branches. Before we dive into the how-to after the jump, be sure to process your flowers when you get them home from the market. Strip the leaves from the tulips and hyacinth and run them under room temperature water to clean the stems, then cut them at an angle before placing them in water. The pieris and dogwood branches are both woody stems – I like to cut them and strip them of low leaves, then I pound the ends with a hammer before placing them in water to extend their lives. –Ashley Woodson Bailey

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

1. Once you have all of your flowers processed, you need to create a “cage” for your flowers. I use chicken wire as it is easy to find and creates a great shape to work with while arranging your flowers. Just ball it up and push it into your container, then fill with water.

2. Start your arrangement with a branch that works with the vessel – not too big and not too small – something that creates movement. Then add in your heaviest element, which in this case is the pieris japonica. It is perfectly acceptable to put your flower in and remove it, and cut it down until you like the way it looks (I do this often). Then add in your hyacinth, tulips and daffodils. I use the dogwood branch to hold up the tulips in some places to help create a little more drama.


3. Make sure to replace your water everyday (nobody likes to drink old water) and enjoy your flowers. Remember also that you do not have to use all the flowers in the bunch- sometimes less is more – especially with gorgeous flowers.

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  • Oh my gosh, love this! I’m such a moron when it comes to flowers. Never thought to hammer the ends. And as always, a beautiful arrangement, Ashley!

  • To change the water, do you remove all of the flowers and redo the arrangement afterward? This time sink always turns me off to doing fancier arrangements.

    • Hi Andi!

      If you can hold them all with one hand, lifting it up and out to swap water is great. But if you can’t, you can just hold them in place and hold the vase under a slowly running stream of water in your sink (or tub) and let the old water overflow out and new water flow in. Then just pat it down and you’re done. Changing the water as often as possible makes a HUGE difference in the life span of cut flowers.


  • This tutorial offers simple, re-creatable results. The initial inspiration by the vessel is a technique that is often neglected. Rather, we come home with flowers and look where to “jam” them so that they look as nice as the bouquet we are currently holding. The intentionality of this process clearly produces a beautiful, living piece of art.

  • Thank you all for your awesome comments. I hope this helps all of you with your flowers! And Andi, just as Grace said you don’t have to remove the stems just tip the vase and empty the old then run some new into your container! Quick and easy.

  • I love this post and especially the part about how to process the flowers as the first step- such a helpful tip!

  • Beautiful arrangement! I’m inspired to create my own. What do you think about that “flower food” stuff that sometimes comes with the flowers?

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