3 Quick Centerpieces with Grocery Store Flowers

3 Quick Centerpieces with Grocery Store Flowers

Today, on ASK THE DESIGNER, I would like to share a little bit of my floral design knowledge and teach you how to make a quick and easy centerpiece with those pre-bundled grocery store bouquets. 

It is that time of year as the holiday season quickly approaches. I am sure you have planned a few holiday gathering…. or have had a few impromptu one pop up along the way, believe me we have all been there. In those cases we go tearing out to the grocery store to try a pull something together out of nothing; and we inevitably grab a bouquet of fresh flowers. We get home hoping to make something pretty for the table, only to get home and find we have a maybe few roses, daisy’s and a sprig of greenery. Now we have no idea what to do with this collection other than to shove it all in vase. Please know that while you can simply buy a mixed bouquet like this at the store, take it home and plop it into a vase. This is not really the best possible design, and does not really say custom or deisgned. Inevitably, you will end up with a vase arrangement that is all the same height and looks like the end of a trumpet, which is not very aesthetically pleasing. My very first recommendation is to buy 2 or more of the same type of mixed bouquets which will offer you more flower to work with, or you can purchase additional types of flowers like a dozen roses to add into a mix set. Traditionally  mixed bouquets are only packed with only 1-2 stems of each type of flower, so wither of these options will actually give you some numbers to work with as you design. Today, since I like a challenge, I will show you how to make 3 centerpieces out of 1 large size bouquet.First make sure you have the proper tools and a container. As a classically trained floral designer, I know how to create all types of centerpieces, such as the Japanese style Ikebana, Flourish Renaissance, English Garden, and even Mid Century Modern Pave’.  Please know that all of these style all start with the same flowers as a simple grocery store bouquet. The only difference is how long your cut each of the stems and how you arrange them into the containers. For example, Japanese Ikebana is the use of negative space, so very few flowers is key, with specific spacing and heights create a very stylized look like potted orchids. A simple tip is to the use floral sheers, these are very similar to pruning sheers which would work just as well, but I do not recommend scissors. I know several people that like to use scissors, and while they cut the stems, the thick woodsy stems will ruin your scissors and scissors also tend to crush the fragile stems leaving them to not drink properly and die quicker. I personally use a floral knife, which is the professional method but I would not recommend that unless you know what you are doing, you could lose a finger,  just stick to the floral sheers.


So, the first arrangement I will show you is a simple vase arrangement. The easiest way is to start is with the greenery, or filler, it will create a grid work to hold your flowers in place. Next, you will want to strip all the leaves or foliage that will be below the water line. This preserves your water and keeps it clean, which cuts down on smelly water. Next, you will choose your filler flower. It is usually whatever you have the most of in the bouquet. Then, cut 1″-2″ off at a 45-degree angle and place directly into the the vase. The angle cut increases the surface area that the flower will be able to drink from, which helps them to live longer.  Placing them into water directly after the cut will start the siphoning effect to draw water up into the stems. In this case, you will notice that I started with the mums. Since I had a lot of them and they take up a lot of space. I had four stems of mums total. So, I cut 2″ off of 3 stems  and 1″ off the last stem and placed them into the middle to create hight. Continue adding in flowers, while saving your focal flowers for last.Focal flowers are what floral designer call money flowers. They usually cost the most and you want to feature them in the arrangement. Notice above how the 3 roses included  in the bouquet are prominently featured in this vase arrangement. Depending on your vase, you can always add a final touch of ribbon to dress it up. I used a very simple knot of ribbon to dress up this mason jar and give it some character. 


For this technique you will need a  Lomei Bowl (which you could always reuse from a previous arrangement) and Oasis aka floral frogs (which can not be used again but are available at craft stores). Make sure to soak your Oasis in water before starting. You can start by greening in the base of the bowl as seen above. 

Following the same rules as a vase arrangement. Add in filler flowers and then focal flowers until the oasis is covered. For this arrangement you will need to cut the stems to a similar length for a pave style round; or if you prefer more of a English garden, handpicked look, you can vary the hight of the stems like below. 

3. Multiple Minis:

My final centerpiece option is what I like to call multiple minis. This is where you line the table with multiple mini arrangements. I usually place candles in between to create ambiance.
For me this is by far the easiest method. You basically design with the flowers in your hand, creating a small hand held nosegay. Then you rubber band the base directly under the flower heads, as seen below. Then, cut the remaining stems off until they are short enough to fit in the mini vases, cups, or jars. For the minis below I used a plastic mint julep cup, perfect for the Derby.  Plus, the fact they are opec, they cover the ugly stems. 


Also, a fun holiday tip I love to use is spray painting your greenery. In this picture, I have sprayed my Seeded Eucalyptus gold.  This will add a bit of flair to any basic floral arrangement. Seeded Eucalyptus also dries very well, so be sure to keep you eyes open at my Christmas Home Tour and I bet you can spot some of these lovelies in my garlands, trees and centerpieces. 

*Please note that this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. These involve no extra cost to you, but may result in me receiving a small commission ‚Äď for which I am very grateful! You can view my full advertising disclosure here.





  1. Love this idea and information that you have provided.

  2. Wow what a great post and brilliant idea to help us non flower people out. I hope you have a great weekend!

  3. There has been a lot of changes since I last left a comment on this site. Looks great and tons of great content! I hope you have a great weekend!

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  6. I hope all of you are having a good week. I really enjoyed this post a lot I would like to see more of this type of articles on your site.

  7. I love that you are showing grocery store flowers made into something prettier. Thanks is so nice and helpful.

  8. I like that you posted this as how to arrange grocery store flowers. I love that my husband brought home flowers this week for Valentine’s Day but you are right beside throwing them in a vase I had no idea what ease to do with them.

  9. This is an excellent article. This site has lots of interesting things, it helped me in many ways.

  10. This is my second time visiting your site and I am very interested in what you are providing here. This is a great post I love all the insider tricks you have given us to create pretty things as you do. Thank you for sharing and keep up ūüėČ

  11. Great post, I certainly needed this for Valentine’s Day this week. I am buying store bought bouquets for my mom’s and trying to arrange them myself. Thanks for all the help and time savers.

  12. Thank you for sharing with us, I always learn new things from your posts. This one was particularly helpful with Valentines’ Day flower arrangements.

  13. Just writing to let you know what a nice discovery your blog is my girlfriend’s and myself. We really enjoyed viewing your blog. We learned so many practical pieces of knowledge, and you actually do more than readers’ expected results. Many thanks for distributing those practical, and revealing tips about flower design.

  14. I needed this post in my life. What a wealth of knowledge you are providing to your readers.

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  17. I have always desired to know how to do this with flowers. I appreciate you all over again. I do not know the things I could possibly have implemented without those opinions provided by you concerning my topic.

  18. I have to express best post ever, I am always trying to buy store flower and ending in a epic fail. This is really great information for me and your readers.

  19. Thank for the great flower tutorial I learned a whole lot.

  20. Thanks so much for providing individuals with a very nice opportunity to read in detail from this blog. It really is so sweet and well packed with a good information.

  21. I have always wanted to know how to arrange flowers thanks you so much for all this information.

  22. Many folks will flock to a blogpost like this. You can gain skills and designs ideas with out spending dime. Thank you so much for giving out your outstanding advice for free.

  23. You have created such a delightful blog, and offered many types of posts structured to help DIYer’s and Crafters find inspiriation. This is the perfect example of a well written post to help out others.

  24. I am just commenting to tell you what a beneficial discovery my best friend’s girl gained by checking your blog. She learned how to make many floral pieces. Your blog actually exceeded our own expectations. Thank you for rendering such important guidance on the topic for our young ladies group.

  25. I simply wanted to write a brief word so as to say thanks to you for these unique pointers you are placing on this site. My time intensive internet research has finally been honored with pleasant facts to exchange with my best friends. I would point out that we website visitors are undeniably lucky to live in a notable community with many outstanding people with good plans. I feel rather grateful to have encountered the site and look forward to so many more enjoyable times reading here. Thanks once again for everything.

  26. Wow this working like a charm, I followed the vase instructions and my flower were very full and placed properly. It looked very professional if I do say so.

  27. Thank you so much for laying this all out in a tutorial. This make so much sense to me now and I know what I was doing wrong all along. Please do more post on flowers, I personally love them.

  28. Very good post with easy to decipher instructions. Thanks for sharing all your tips.

  29. Have you ever thought about teaching a floral design seminary or class? I think you would be very good at it. Maybe at some ritzy country club or something.

  30. I really want to thank your putting this information out here, I know I plan to utilize it regularly. It is hard to find good information on prepping and designing flowers, it is a well kept secret.

  31. I as well as my friends I am so excited to see this kind of post from you I have so many question that I think you will be able to answer. I see a lot a flower work online but you never know it will hold up or just last through the photo shoot. LOL I think you hold the key since you make flowers for actual weddings and events, obviously they have to last!

  32. Very helpful and tons of information on how to work with flowers. I always have dreams of making great arrangements but they always look skimpy and this I am under buying just like you mentioned. I guess I never really though about how many flowers it takes and how much that would make those large centerpieces cost in the end. Mind blown.

  33. An impressive share, I have simply given this to a colleague who was doing somewhat evaluation on this. If possible, as you turn into the expert, with your thoughts would you consider updating your blog with extra details on this type of topic? It’s extremely useful for me. Huge thank you and many kudos for this weblog!

  34. Such very useful article, I will pin for later. I love the tip on spray paint I would have never thought of that either.

  35. Really wanted to express how much I appreciate this particular post. There are not many floral post on the the how too portion. I guess since people may not be making them properly. My guess is most blogger post pictures of these elaboration designs that last for the photo shoot and and not actually built to last any amount of time. Thanks for keeping it real.

  36. Popping in to say how much you have brighten my day. This post is a really great read and I have enjoy it immensely. Thank you for all you do.

  37. I definitely wanted to type a comment to send my appreciation for you and all of the magnificent tips you are giving at this website. My rather long internet search has finally been honored with wonderful facts and strategies to exchange with my family members this holiday season. I feel pretty fortunate to have encountered your site and look forward to plenty of more great reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.

  38. This is a really great article Jen. I am so glad you are doing what you love, you have so much talent to share with the world.

  39. Damn, I wish I could think of something smart like this, you are a great blogger, keep it up!

  40. This is a really intellignet way to answer the question so many people might be asking about, just blog it.

  41. Why do I bother calnlig up people, when I can just read this! Thanks ūüôā

  42. I agree, she is so talented you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

  43. Helpful information everywhere I look on this site, your blog is my new favorite thing got to add you to my rss feeder. I can not stop reading your posts and looking at all theses beautiful pictures. High quality work you have here, and I am excited to tell all my friends about your stuff next week. I always hear about there finds and deals I am so excited to bring something as greats you to the table.

  44. My pals and I ended up digesting the best ideas from your web site. Many thanks for truly being well helpful and also for settling on certain high-quality tips millions of individuals are really needing to learn about. My honest apologies for not expressing gratitude to you earlier for those techniques.

  45. I have always want to know how to arrangement flower like a pro thank you for this very useful an free advice.

  46. Jen I love this post, it really is something that a lot of people would like to know more about. Thanks for being such a great wealth of knowledge.

  47. I love those pretty flowers and you creativity. Thank you so much for running such and interest blog site with lot s a great content and posts.

  48. Love this post and Love your blog too. I am constantly checking it every week to see what you have new. I have notice several people mention they add you to there bookmarks or rss feed do you know how I can do that too? Does it send me updates when you publish a new post?

  49. such pretty flowers and you clearly have some amazing talent. Thank for sharing the insider tricks to flowers, hopefully I can do better with my flowers next time. pinning for later

  50. Ooooo this was a great read, packed with information I have been looking for, thank you !!

  51. I am impressed you made 3 different arrangements all from the same floral bouquet. I admit I awls look at them and have dreams of grandeur but they end dropped and in a vase until they die. Now I might actually be able to do something fun with them.

  52. I ams so glad I found this post and your site. I love all the information you provided and your site is so streamline and easy to navigate I had to check out a few more things while I was here. Now I am Bookmarking for later.

  53. Wanted to tell you how much I love this post. Not only are the flower pretty but I actually learned a few things too. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  54. Awesome idea about spray painting the foliage, I have seen florist do this in FTD arrangements and I think I should remember that and I never do.

  55. I found this post full of really great information about flowers and how to make them look pretty after you get them. Such a great idea for a post.

  56. Know more about gardening then I do flower arranging but I found this to be a very enlightening post. I guess I should know a little about what to do with the blooms I produce.

  57. I love that your love all things from nature, from my short amount of reading I see you love animals, plants, and the environment. Theses all all great things to love and feature on your blog site. I am sure you have big plans for your spring edition. Cheerio!

  58. Thank you so much for posting this information. It is really hard to get a good tutorial on flower design I guess all the florist want to make big bucks for there know how, LOL. Since I don’t keep a florist in my cupboard it is nice to have a basic idea of what I am doing with these exotic stems. Thanks again.

  59. Hello there, just want to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your blog over the holidays. You have such a wonderful variety of things all related to design and style. I hope you have enjoyed blogging and plan to pursue this for the 2018 year as well. I know I have enjoyed reading some of your older posts too.

  60. Great post and really pretty flowers. I like the part about spray painting the foliage, that is such a great designer trick.

  61. Free ideas and inspiration! You are such a great resource in the design world, and the fact you do not charge or make a ebook is amazing. I am telling all my friends.

  62. Hi Shirley I studied floral design in college and was told by instructor that I had a natural gift and should pursue it. At the time I could see being a interior designer, however over the year I experience more joy with y floral designs then interior. LOL

  63. Super article you are a very good teacher, I have always wanted to be able just to pick up a few fresh flowers and make something pretty and they always turn our horrendous. I think I am not buying enough, which became appear to me in your post. I buy one bouquet and I really need 2-3 to do anything worth while.

  64. I absolute love this post. It is highly useful, and I think most ladies could stand to have this knowledge in there back pockets. We have lost a few of the fine arts of entertaining and making out homes beautiful.

  65. Wanted to say it is post like this that will send your following through the roof. Great article to pin for later.

  66. These flowers are so pretty and your did such nice job showing several options for centerpieces. I would presume that you are also a florist? My grandmother was a florist and had so much talent but apparently it skipped my generation. I will have to follow your lead to make pretty centerpieces that my granny would certainly approve.

  67. I am impressed you could make 3 different types of arrangement from those grocery store bouquets. Just shows you have a lot of talent. Thanks for the extra purchase tip I think that is where go wrong and never have enough to work with, and then they look skimpy. I will be buying 2-3 bouquets next time.

  68. I can not tell you how many time I have search this topic and today our post popped up. I have never been to your site before but I know I will be back. This is exactly what I have been search for, thank you.

  69. The post is beyond helpful, I have looked for this information so many times and I am never satisfied with the out come. I am not sure why but this time with your post I actually created something very pretty. First time ever! Woohoo! Thank you!

  70. This is really very helpful as far a blog post go. I have rad so many that do not offer solutions to every day problems. I have learned more at your site in the last hour, than in all my searching over the holidays. Adding you to my bookmarks.

  71. I am pinning this post for later, it is very helpful and I know I will wish that I could find it later. Off to the pin board it goes.

  72. This is such a useful piece of reading, I know I have found myself in this kind of mess on more that one occasion. It would be nice to just be able to make something pretty with flowers from the store.

  73. What an awesome idea for a post. This is really handy and you have great tips on working with flowers. I guess since you are pro you would have the best tips on that, but still you made in obtainable for the rest of us. Thanks.

  74. Great quick read on how to make a pretty center peices out of grocery store flowers. I can not tel you how many time this happens to me and I have no idea what I am doing.

  75. Thank for this insightful post, it is full knowledge and helpful information for working with flowers. I am one of the people that just tosses the bouquets into a vase, now I know better. Thanks, great blog to by the way. I have really enjoyed reading your post over the holiday season.

  76. I do not work much with flowers but this is such a wonderful wealth of knowledge on this topic. I need to check out you other stuff since I assume you work with flowers regularly. Thanks again for all the great tips.

  77. Such a useful post, I am pinning this for later because I know I will need this information some day. Pretty flowers too!

  78. Wow this is a really great post, I will pin it for later. I can not tell you how many time I have been looking for this information and can not find it. Now I will know where to look.

  79. This is such a helpful article for those of us that have node what they are doing when it comes to flowers. I am not the most creative person and really ten to have more of a technical mind, but I find the easy to follow tutorials have made me a little bit more domesticated. Thanks for all the advice.

  80. Wow this was such a helpful post. I am so pinning this for later use. I heard about your blog over the holidays from a family member that referenced this article while watching me fumble my way around a flower arrangement. It is well written and saved the day for sure. Thank you I will bookmark your page for later reading.

  81. I love you blog and all the fun and unusual posts I find here. Thanks for keeping it all very lite and fun, I hate reading downer blogs that address hard to take topics and try to work through your day to day issues.

  82. I am so glad I pinned this last month, I need it today when the in-laws showed up with flowers. I think my mother in-law was impressed that I knew so much about flowers. I just did a quick review on my phone and then when two town. The picture made it super helpful for a quick at a glance review.

  83. This is a great post and really cam in handy for me over the holidays. Thanks for posting such a great tutorial, I feel my confident in arranging bouquets from the store now. Also I am adding you to my rss feed so I don’t miss thing like this when they come out.

  84. This is a an excellent post for any holiday gathering. I can not tell you how many times I have bought flowers a thought how on earth do they make them looks like that once you get them home. The answered all my question and then some. Thank you sweet lady.

  85. Fantastic post and so useful. I would love to see you actually do a video post on how you do the flower magic some day, but for now this will work just fine. Thanks again for all the great tips.

  86. Thank you so much for this post. I saw it last month but actually used this week with my store bought flowers. Now my table is perfect for the holidays. Merry Christmas!

  87. This is such a handy thing to know how to do. I have pinned it for later reference, but I did use today. You just keep putting all these great thing out here, your fans, like me LOVE IT. We can’t get enough of it! Keep up the good work love, and Merry Christmas.

  88. It works, it works!!! This formula and tutorial helped me make a pretty centerpiece…..ME!!!!…LOL. OMG I can not even believe it. The family swears I bought it pre made. FML

  89. You have so many great posts, I am so glad I will have time over the holiday to catch up on a little reading. This one came in handy today, I knew exactly what to buy at the store and I will work on it tonight. Thanks and Merry Christmas.

  90. Such a easy tutorial, made the grocery store bouquets look fantastic, for the first time ever. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you taking the time to put this out here for reference.

  91. Just completed one of my first holiday centerpiece. I am so glad I pinned this last month. I was able to recall it and make it happen. The folks shoed up with presents, flowers and Bailey’s. So I poured everyone a glass of Bailey’s and made a centerpiece, it turned out great thank you. Merry Christmas!

  92. I just pulled this up, as I saw it before Thanksgiving and it was too late, but I totally utilized this for my Christmas table. Thank you so much!!!!

  93. This post saved me for looking dumb about flowers when my inlays showed up with flowers and fruit basket. I actually felt like I was in charge of the situation. I would have mentioned where I saw these tips, but I cannot give away all my secrets.

  94. This is a great post, especially right before Thanksgiving, I image a bunch of people were goggling this just before their guest showed up.

  95. Thank you this was very helpful before my guests arrived for dinner. Great site by the way!

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