How to Create a Florist-Worthy Fall Floral Arrangement

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show off your floral-arranging skills to wow holiday guests. Creating an impressive centerpiece by mixing fresh flowers, artificial greenery and seasonal fruit is easier than it looks. Since some of the greens used are artificial, pieces of this arrangement can be reused and reworked again and again.

Materials Needed

  • large, deep bowl
  • 2 blocks wet floral foam
  • serrated knife
  • 1 bunch of faux evergreen sprigs
  • 1 bunch of faux magnolia leaves
  • 1 bunch of faux rosemary
  • wire cutters
  • scissors
  • 1 bunch of mums in desired color
  • 1 bunch of small roses in desired color
  • 1 bunch of mixed seasonal flowers
  • 1 bunch seeded eucalyptus
  • 2 bunches hypericum berries in desired color
  • 5-7 persimmons or other seasonal fruit
  • 3-5 pears or apples
  • 3-5 small artichoke heads
  • wooden skewers (about 8-10" long)

Prepare Wet Foam

Cut wet foam blocks into pieces using a serrated knife so they fit into the bowl. Fill bowl with water, allowing water to fully saturate foam blocks. Leave some standing water at the bottom of the bowl to be absorbed by the foam. Tip: Mix floral preservative into the water to keep flowers looking fresh longer.

Create Greenery Base

We recommend using two varieties of artificial greens. One should be a feathery evergreen that can drape over the edges of the bowl and hint at winter. The other can be large leaves, like faux or real magnolia leaves. Clip the bunches down into individual stems with a wire cutter or utility scissors (Image 1). Insert the feathery evergreens into the foam and around the rim of the bowl (Image 2). Repeat with the large leaves to form the next layer (Image 3).

Insert Mums

Using scissors, cut the fresh mums into smaller stems. Be sure to cut stems at a 45-degree angle and strip off bottom leaves (Image 1). Insert cut ends into wet foam evenly to cover center area of the arrangement (Image 2).

Add Contrasting Flowers

Fill in open spaces with flowers in contrasting colors and textures. White roses, daisies and hydrangeas are a nice contrast to the texture and color of the orange and red mums. Note: The arrangement will still look a little sparse at this stage.

Add Hypericum Berries

Add berries in two different colors throughout the arrangement, again, filling in the empty spaces. Continue turning the arrangement to ensure even distribution at each step. Also, take a step back to observe the arrangement from a distance.

Insert Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

Stick a long wooden skewer through the bottom of seasonal fruits and vegetables like persimmons, pears, apples, artichokes and anything that looks beautiful at the market (Image 1). Even seed pods, pine cones and dried flowers could be incorporated. Insert the skewered fruits and vegetables into the foam, filling gaps in the arrangement (Images 2 and 3).

Fill Gaps With Remaining Greenery

Turn the arrangement again, looking for gaps or areas where color, texture and accent elements aren’t distributed evenly. Make any adjustments necessary by filling in gaps with fresh or faux greenery. For this arrangement, fresh seeded eucalyptus and faux rosemary were used. This is also a great time to add clippings of branches or herbs from your yard or garden. Surround the base of the arrangement with more seasonal fruits and vegetables. Bunches of sage and rosemary add fragrance and more color and texture to the table.

Enjoy Your Beautiful Centerpiece

Most fresh flowers will last an average of 7-10 days in the wet floral foam, while the faux elements can be repurposed again and again in future centerpieces. Tip: Floral foam can dry out, causing your flowers to die prematurely. Keep your centerpiece looking its best by pouring on a bit of fresh water every few days. Now that your centerpiece is complete, follow our tips to formally set the table to complete the guest-impressing scene.

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