Florist Secrets – Learn How to be Your Own Florist!

PUBLISHED: Jun 18, 2019 | By: Julie Blanner

Learn How to be your own florist. Impress your friends and family with DIY arrangements that you can create from inexpensive grocery store flowers!

clear glass cylinder vase of fresh flowers on a white countertop in a white kitchen.

The Florist Secrets You Should Know

I certainly don’t know all the secrets to floral design. First of all, I am almost entirely self-taught… and truthfully, I have figured out a lot of design tricks by myself along the way. I spent years working in the event industry and gleaned a few tricks from my favorite florist friends. However, most of what I know has come from simply playing around with grocery store blooms that I choose on a whim! 

clear glass cylinder vase of fresh flowers on a white countertop in a white kitchen.

Flowers can certainly bring us a lot of joy in our own homes, but one thing I am confident about is that designing a bouquet to give to a friend or family is a source of pride and accomplishment that can’t be beat! Bringing joy to those you love with fresh flowers is wonderful, but saving yourself a little money, too?!? What could be better? A handmade bouquet is the perfect gift – who doesn’t love to give or receive birthday flowers? 

Therefore, I have a sweet little florist tidbit to share with you. The ultimate florist secret is that anyone can design fresh floral arrangements. Yes, it’s true!  It’s not difficult, and it shouldn’t be intimidating. I’m going to teach you how! Are you excited? Are you ready? Let’s do this!

clear glass cylinder vase of fresh flowers on a white countertop in a white kitchen.

Why Are Flowers So Expensive? 

This has likely run through your mind before, especially if you’ve ever shopped for flowers in a traditional flower shop setting. This is because the cost can be overwhelming! Flowers are a luxury item, and yes, they’re often very expensive. To begin our little course in floral design, I think it’s a good idea to get some background on the floral industry and what goes into all those beautiful blooms.

pastel peach roses and soft gray eucalyptus foliage in a white kitchen.

This topic deserves an entire post all to itself, but here’s the short and sweet truth! You’re paying for a few specific things when you shop at a high end florist.

  • Farming is expensive. Yes, you’re paying for someone, (often oceans away), to grow, cut, process, and package those blooms.
  • Exorbitant shipping costs. These are highly fragile and perishable products that are often shipping around the world, sometimes for a week at a time.
  • Demand. During the traditional “floral holidays” demand is increased exponentially, and we’re all paying the price!
  • Highly trained designers. You’re paying for the skills of someone who takes their art form very seriously and knows what they are doing, often with years of training and experience under their belt! 
  • Retail operations (of any kind) are expensive. Small shop owners are paying overhead, labor, covering constant losses and so much more- a local florist that hand delivers doesn’t (and shouldn’t) come cheap.  

clear glass cylinder vase of fresh flowers on a white countertop in a white kitchen.

How To Be Your Own Florist

I absolutely believe in supporting my local small businesses whenever I can, of course. The floral designers in these boutiques are extraordinarily talented, and so their designs are worth the investment. Florists offer a guaranteed product, local same day delivery, and hand arranged stunning design work that can’t be found elsewhere. Hence, you’re paying for a high end, boutique experience and product, and that is something to be proud of!

However, I also know that investing in your own knowledge and skills for a new floral design hobby is affordable, attainable, relaxing and so much fun. Someone once told me that floral arranging is a lifelong skill – something that anyone can enjoy between the ages of 1-100. Maybe it’s like a little therapy session every time you arrange those blooms, and that feeling is priceless. Above all, I believe that beautiful blooms benefit everyone!

clear glass footed vase of fresh roses on a round brass table.

Where To Buy Flowers

First of all, we need to chat about where to buy your beautiful stems! It’s one of the most frequent questions I receive. “Julie, where did you buy those beautiful flowers?” I know it might feel intimidating, simply because there are so many options when it comes to buying fresh blooms. 

arrangement of white hydrangea and peonies on a neutral rattan coffee table.

Consequently, I have a comprehensive post covering the topic of where to buy flowers. It’s a must-read, and if you’re researching an upcoming floral purchase I highly recommend that you start there! Of course, if you don’t have time for that much reading, here’s a few quick options to get you started.  

  1. Local Flower Farmers
  2. Trader Joe’s (learn more about Trader Joe’s Flowers here)
  3. Whole Foods
  4. Local Grocery Store Florist Department
  5. Local Florist
  6. Online
  7. Garden Centers
  8. Your Garden

clear glass cylinder vase of white tulips on a white countertop in a white kitchen.

Grocery Store Flower Tips

Another one of my favorite floral tips? Above all, don’t be a flower snob! Of course we all have our favorite flowers, but if you approach your purchases with flexibility and an open mind, you’ll score a better product for a much better price. This means that while you won’t find your favorite peonies in October, you might be surprised by something equally gorgeous and a lot more seasonally appropriate. Keep an open mind – even carnations can be beautiful when they are designed well!

In the floral world, seasonal availability and bulk buying is everything. As a result, grocery giants like Trader Joe’s and Costco often have access to the best product for a bargain price. I love that Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s support local flower farmers and still find ways to keep their costs down. 

closeup of white hydrangea and white ranunculus blooms.

Where To Buy Flower Vases And Supplies

We covered how to get started, where to buy your blooms, and I gave you a few tips on what to look for and why. What’s next? You’ll need a simple vase, of course. Those fresh flowers aren’t going to contain themselves! 

clear glass cylinder vase of fresh flowers on a white countertop in a white kitchen.

Due to the questions I receive about this kind of thing, I have an entire post dedicated to the fine art of selecting a flower vase for your blooms. As always, I prefer simple containers to keep things effortlessly beautiful. Here’s a few good options you’ll enjoy! 

If you’re looking for more vase ideas or supplies to begin your floral design hobby, my Amazon Storefront has wonderful options to guide you! 

Cream kitchen backdrop with a simple clear cylinder vase filled with roses and eucalytpus.

How To Arrange Flowers

Now that you’ve learned a little about what it takes to get the blooms home with you, let’s figure out what to do with them! I’ve got so many floral design tutorials, and many of them begin with the same basic principals. I’ll highlight a few of my favorite design tips here, as well as linking to some of my most popular arrangements. 

How to Arrange Flowers Like a Florist

How to Arrange Flowers Like a Florist

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $12.00 or less

Learn the secrets to create a simple floral arrangement with budget-friendly grocery store blooms.


  • Vase
  • Fresh floral bundle
  • Fresh greenery bundle


  • Floral clippers or scissors


  1. Prep your flowers by measuring how long you want them to be and trimming them all about equally, trimming at an angle. You want them about 4-5" longer than the vase when positioned diagonally.
  2. Remove any leaves that will fall below the base of the vase.
  3. Fill your vase with water. Add flowers diagonally across the vase, criss-crossing stems and allowing them to fall to each side of the vase.
  4. Start filling in {alternating a few blooms of another color or style if you choose} using the existing stems to help you position new blooms, leaving some vertical.
  5. Trim eucalyptus (or other greenery/filler) to be an additional 6+" longer than the flowers themselves, and again remove any leaves that would fall below the base of the vase.
  6. Insert eucalyptus (or other greens/filler) around the edge of the vase all the way around or at 3 opposite points.
  7. Add small stems of filler or greens, nestled in between the blooms at opposite points in the flower arrangement and adjust stems as needed to appear full.


Many blooms open with time and become fuller - this centerpiece becomes more beautiful as the days pass, just refresh the water.

If you don't like how it looks, adjust. Small tweaks can make a big difference in the overall look of your arrangement!

The smaller the vase opening, the fuller your arrangement will look.

Popular floral tutorials to guide you in your florist design efforts: 

Cylinder glass vase with roses on a cream kitchen range.

Thanks so much for joining me to learn a few florist secrets of your own! Learning how to be your own florist is easier than you thought it would be, right? Above all, I’d love to see any of your creations!  Please share with me here in the comments, or join me in the Facebook share group, Celebrating Simple