A grouping of real-touch tulip floral stems

Master the Art of Floral Arranging with Kathy's Expert Tips


Time to read 6 min

Floral arrangements are nature's way of welcoming a new season with open arms. After a long and dreary winter, they refresh our spaces and uplift our spirits with their vibrant colors and sweet fragrances.

We love a fresh floral bouquet as much as everyone else and use them often in our stores and homes. In fact, some of our favorite small business owners are florists, but we also value a permanent bouquet we can rely on for several seasons and years.

We are not talking about the floral stems you find in clearance bins of discount stores. We are referring to the real-touch florals that look like real flowers and have a realistic feel to them, hence the name. We are extremely selective about the stems we showcase in our stores.

Kathy Eaton, our Jamesport manager and resident floral specialist, helps handpick the best quality florals for our stores. Her keen eyes for colors, textures, and trends are integral in displaying the softer side of a retail layout. Kathy's ability to arrange flowers and create stunning displays never ceases to amaze all of us, and we are beyond blessed to have her as part of our Farm House family. She allowed us the privilege of sharing her techniques with all of you in hopes that you grow to enjoy the art of floral arranging in your homes.

The Benefits of Faux Floral Arrangements

The cost of each stem stays relatively steady because faux florals are not weather-dependent.

Exotic blooms can be difficult to locate and quite costly when purchased fresh. However, a faux version is more cost-effective and lasts forever.

For special occasions, faux florals make perfect sentimental keepsakes, such as wedding bouquets or centerpieces.

A floral arrangement displayed in front of a brick wall.

Choosing a Floral Color Palette

Kathy recommends selecting the floral stems you want to include in your arrangement first, as this will determine the main color. These flowers are called focal flowers. In all of the arrangements shown below, at least three stems of the focal flower were used to highlight it in the arrangement. This not only ensures that the flower you love is most prominent in your arrangement but also creates a visual triangle. Visual triangles are more calming and pleasing to the eye than squares, circles, or chaotic spirals.

Color, like fragrance, is emotional and creates a mood.

An arrangement with pink roses and fern leaves
A collection of pink and white blooms in various shades
A floral arrangement
An arrangement of irises
Pink and white blooms

Choosing Complimentary Floral Stems

If you're looking for dramatic and intense, choose colors opposite one another on the color wheel. For instance, lavender paired with sunflower blooms.

Choose neighboring colors on the color wheel if you prefer soothing and serene. For instance, purple, blue, and teal create a "cool bouquet," whereas red, orange, and yellow are "warm."

Considering your focal stem and what mood you want to evoke, will direct you to your accentuating stems.

Finally, a neutral filler in shades of green or white will finish your arrangement.

Color wheel on top of a floral background

Assembling Your Florals

Assembling florals is visual poetry, a paint-by-petal experience.

Kathy adds cascading florals to an arrangement
Sunflowers are positioned behind cascading florals
Deep red blooms are positioned behind sunflowers
A floral arrangment in the process of being completed
Kathy adds blue/purple blooms to the foreground of an arrangement

While refreshing the front windows, Kathy needed to create a large floral display to act as a focal point for a wall. She began by placing cascading florals at the front of her arrangement in a neutral shade to visually enhance the size of her vase. Next, she added her focal flowers, the bright and cheerful sunflower blooms. To complement the warm tones of the sunflowers, she added some deep red blossoms behind them, which lifts the eye from the cascading florals. Finally, she added a blue-purple floral to the foreground of the arrangement to create a beautiful contrast with the yellow sunflowers.

If you refer back to the floral color wheel, you can see how Kathy used the top half of the wheel to create a dramatic, but soothing arrangement. Next time you visit our Jamesport location, you can admire Kathy's finished arrangement in the front window of our Jamesport location.

"Regardless of color, bloom, or how you display your florals, just have fun arranging them. If you don't like how they look, I tell you what: just try again!"

Kathy Eaton

Kathy's Recommendations When Arranging Florals

Option 1: Add floral foam to your vessel. Do not wet the foam. For faux arrangements, the foam is meant to stay dry and act as a holder for your stems. This is a great method for all skill levels, but especially for beginners since the foam is forgiving and stems can be moved easily without affecting the placement of neighboring stems.

This method also requires an opaque vessel that prevents the foam from being visible. 

Option 2: Arrange your florals in your hand and then place them in a vessel. This method is typically more challenging and suggested for those with some experience.

Option 3: Forego floral foam and arrange your flowers in a transparent vessel, one stem at a time. This method is for all skill levels but requires a little more patience for beginners. Show yourself some grace! All experts started as beginners!

For the purposes of this tutorial, we will use floral foam to arrange our flowers.

Using Floral Foam in Arrangements

Show yourself some grace. All experts started as beginners!

Step 1: Cut your floral foam to fit inside your vessel. Depending on the size and shape of your vessel, you may have to cut many pieces and fit them together like a puzzle. However, foam is forgiving—a bit messy, but forgiving nonetheless.

Step 2: Most faux floral stems require a little fluffing before being used in an arrangement. This is especially true if your stem has multiple blooms or leaves. Using gentle pressure, fluff the leaves and/or blossoms without creating harsh angles or sharp curves to prevent your flowers from looking unnatural.

Step 3: Using your focal flowers, the stems you chose first, create the center of your arrangement. Try using three stems in the center with varying heights. You may need to cut the stems to create a visual triangle. Trim little sections first. You can always cut more, but it's pretty challenging to make a flower taller when cut too short. You know the old adage: measure twice, cut once.

Step 4: After setting the center of your arrangement, you can start building outwards. It's important to consider where you plan on placing your completed arrangement. If it will be a centerpiece, ensure that all sides are appropriately designed. However, if you're putting it in a corner, you only need to focus on the front side.

Step 5: Continue fluffing and rearranging your stems until you feel good about their placement. Place medium-height flowers close to the taller stems and position shorter blooms around the edges. Cascading florals should be positioned to lay nicely along the perimeter.

Adding Fragrance as a Final Touch

We love the smell of fresh flowers, and while faux flowers don't naturally have a floral aroma, our Honeysuckle Jasmine or Lilac fragrances are a perfect addition to any floral vignette. Place a candle in close proximity or spray your floral arrangement with our Room & Linen Spray for a finishing touch to your masterpiece.

A collection of Honeysuckle Jasmine products

Create a Floral Arrangement with Kathy

Don't miss out on the opportunity to attend Kathy's in-person workshop on March 23rd at our Jamesport location. She welcomes all aspiring florists, regardless of skill level, to join her in the art of floral arrangement. Reserve your spot soon with your friends before it's too late!

Drinks and snacks are provided, but you can bring your own.

Vessels and a selection of florals for your choosing are provided.

Click HERE to sign up!

Kathy amidst several floral arrangments

Our Favorite Florists

Located in historic downtown Parkville and neighboring our Parkville location, White Farm House Flowers is a fabulous floral shop that offers subscriptions for floral delivery and several gift items. Next time you are in Parkville, stop by and tell them we sent you! Visit their Facebook page here

Address: 113 Main St, Parkville, MO 64152

Denise standing in front of Betty, her floral truck.

Olive & Honey is an adorable floral and gift shop located in Hamilton, Missouri, in close proximity to our Hamilton location. Next time you are in Hamilton, stop by and tell them we sent you! Visit their Facebook page here.

Address: 302 N Davis St, Hamilton, MO 64644

Owners of Olive & Honey standing in front of their store

On your way to our Jamesport, Missouri, location, you will drive by Graber's Greenhouse on Hwy 6. Known mostly for their mums and pumpkin selection in the fall, Graber's is a fabulous greenhouse with flowers, local produce, and plenty of garden decor. Next time you visit Jamesport, swing by and tell them we said hello! Visit their Facebook page here.

Address: 30707 MO-6, Jamesport, MO 64648


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