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Monday, December 16, 2019


I must have flowers, always, and always.
~ Claude Monet

 Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring - I appreciate having flowers in the house, in the garden, on the porch. 
When winter arrives and stays too long, I appreciate them even more!  Making arrangements in pretty containers or wood boxes is my favorite way to enjoy them.  While flowers are non-existent outside in Minnesota once the frost hits, foraging our yard for greens like boxwood, pine and spruce branches, and pine cones is still an option.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying a mixed bouquet of flowers and plopping them in a vase, but if you want to kick it up a notch, try arranging them.  Floral centerpieces that I make for less than $20 cost between $50 and $60 at local florists depending on the flowers.  Trader Joe's has the best deal in town for flowers, but you can also find good prices at Sam's Club and in some supermarkets.

When shopping for flowers look for:
Larger flowers:  larger mums, carnations, roses, hydrangea
Medium flowers:  cushion mums, daisies, button mums, mini carnations
Filler flowers: babies breath, berries, any tiny flowers
Foliage: leather fern, ivy, dusty miller, lemon leaf, eucalyptus, spruce, pine, etc.

Before we get to the video tutorial, know that I made 3 different arrangements from the flowers I bought at Trader Joe's for less than $20.  One large centerpiece and two smaller arrangements.

Here's a quick look at the steps to make a centerpiece.
For this arrangement, I started with a small bowl.
 next, I added floral foam that had soaked in water for about 30 min. Floral foam can be found at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and sometimes local florists will even sell it to you.  
Florists typically have the best price, around $1-$2.
 The foam should be slightly higher than your container.
Next, add foliage.  Boxwood, Juniper, Spruce, Pine all work nicely for Christmas arrangements.
Put a taller piece in the center of the foam.  An old school rule of thumb was to make arrangements 1.5 times higher than the container.  I rarely follow that guideline these days, but it's a good starting place.  Continue adding foliage around the edges of the container, and fill in with the branches.  You don't have to fill the container at this point.  Leave room for the flowers!
 Continue filling in between the foliage with your flowers.  Add larger flowers first, then move on to the smaller, filler flowers.  Flower arrangments look best with an odd number of flowers!
Here's a quick video of me putting together a centerpiece.  This was my first time using iMovie.  There is a bit of a learning curve - and I'm so thankful for modern technology that allowed my son, Nate, to see my laptop (and control it) all the way from Jacksonville, FL to help me (ok, practically do it all) with this video - while I learned alongside him.  (Check out Nate's Mid-Century IG account at
Being a beginner at something is difficult, I've decided to not be afraid of being a beginner!

I didn't plan to use the dried hydrangea from our yard, but I'm sure glad I did, it was just the right soft green color against the red and creamy whites.
 Plenty of flowers left over to make a second arrangement.  These make nice hostess gifts.
Containers are plentiful at thrift stores for making hostess gifts or to give away small arrangements.  Mugs make nice containers too.

 This little vase was the perfect vessel for the leftover blooms... and I just love having flowers and something pretty to look at when I'm washing up dishes.
Don't be afraid of being a beginner! You've got this.
Enjoy the process and please post your photos and be sure to tag me (mycottagelife) if you post on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations!

Here are some other great Christmas decorating, craft and baking ideas from a few of my friends in the Miss Mustard Seed Mentoring program.  Please click, leave comments and pin/subscribe to their posts if you like the content!

 The Lemon Tree Home       |       Miss Mustard Seed                |     Color Filled Cottage
Hearthside Comforts      |    Well Purposed Woman      |      Efex           |           My Cottage Life

Merry Christmas,

Credit:  Thank you, Nate, for giving up your free time, teaching me and assisting with my project.


  1. You never cease to amaze me, you have so many gifts. Love the centerpiece!

  2. Cheri, it turned out beautiful! Love the added dried hydrangeas. It made your arrangement so full and textural! Great video:)

  3. Love the arrangements! Thanks for the great tips!

  4. Cheri, These are BEAUTIFUL! I love your design and style! Wish we lived near each other so I can be mentored by you! I want to try to do this for my dinner party. Your arrangements are wonderful!


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