I love having pretty flowers on the table, but ordering arrangements from a floral shop gets expensive so I started making my own. I hit a corner flower stand (or two) to pick up my supplies and then arrange them myself. It's fairly simple and isn't as hard as it looks: About 15 minutes of shopping and 30 minutes of trimming/ arranging. For the flowers pictured here, it translated into a savings of about $85 (3 arrangements at $40 each from a local florist, compared to my $35 worth of flowers - I own the vases so those aren't included in the cost savings equation). Here's how I made these 3 flower arrangement for a fall party.
I bought 5 bunches of flowers from a flower stand, choosing fall colored flowers in coordinating shades and textures. Here's the breakdown of what I bought: 2 dozen white roses ($10); 1 small bunch of green hypernicum berries ($4 - I would have liked more for texture and the price but there was only one sorry looking bunch so I brought it and picked out the brown/dead leaves and berries), 1 bunch seeded eucalyptus ($7), 1 bunch orange alstroemerias ($7), and 1 bunch of hearty winter greens called leucadendron safari sunset ($7). The pickings were slim so I had to hit two flower stands - at the second one I just picked up the alstroemerias to add some orange into the bunch. The only orange flowers at the first stand were either roses (which weren't really a fall shade of orange and wouldn't have provided enough textural contrast since I already had the white roses), and tiger lilies (which were pretty but expensive since I would have needed at least 3 bunches).
Next, I cut open all of the packages and counted the number of stems in each bunch to see how to divide them equally among the 3 vases. I picked the thorns off of the rose stems (would have been nice if they came de-thorned but that's not typical for roses that are $10/ dozen). After counting the stems in each bunch, I saw that I only had 3 stems of the berries so I used those as the center of each bouquet, and divided the other flowers equally among the three bouquets. I made the arrangements by holding a single stem of berries, and gathering the other stems, one by one, in a somewhat symetrical pattern around the berries. When I was done with each bunch, I tucked a few sprigs of the seeded eucalyptus into each bunch in the bare spots/ around the bottom edges. I then tied each bunch with a green rubber band, high enough near the tops of the stems/ bottoms of the flowers so that they wouldn't show. I trimmed the stems at an angle under cold running water, and place them each in a vase filled with water and a packet of flower food. The arrangements lasted for over a week, and even longer once I picked the wilted flowers out. The hearty greens were around for several weeks and I repurposed them for another dinner party.