Flower arranging is one of those skills that's lost on many of us. Try as we might, our floral creations wind up all wonky and off-balance, with rotting leaves in the vase and petals that wilt before their time. Learn these basic steps, however, and you'll get a prettier bouquet and more time to enjoy it.
Step 1: Cut the Stems
Everyone seems to agree that immersing your flower stems in water, and cutting the base at a 45-degree angle, is the way to go for fast capillary action. Runway Chef also recommends gently smashing the ends of woodier stems with a hammer for good measure.
Step 2: Remove Leaves
You'll definitely want to remove any leaves that will fall below the waterline in your chosen vase.
Step 3: Add in Odd Numbers
This is where the creativity comes in. Taylor Patterson, owner of Fox Fodder Farm, told Refinery 29 that as you start assembling your arrangement, it's best to add in odd numbers. (We have to agree. The Rule of Threes is for real, y'all.)
Read more: The Rule of Threes: Why You Should Know It, Love It, & Use It at Apartment Therapy
Step 4: Secure the Arrangement
Once you like what you've got, wrap the stems in either a rubber band or floral tape to keep your arrangement in place. Don't wrap it too tight or things might shift and look messy. Flowers Plus Love cleverly uses a clear elastic so it's not visible once the flowers are in their vase.
Related: 39 New Uses for the Humble Rubber Band at Apartment Therapy
Step 5: Hack Your Vase
If you can't finagle an acceptable arrangement, jump ship and fiddle with your vase instead. Atilio used simple wire mesh to create a flower frog of sorts to separate stems and create an unique bouquet. You can also use floral tape to make a grid directly over the vase's opening.
Step 6: Keep Them Cool
A writer over at Apartment Therapy did a whole bunch of tests to figure out the best way to keep your fresh flowers perky longer. The verdict? Keep them in the fridge overnight and they'll stay fresh and vibrant longer.
Read more: Test Lab: The Best Way to Keep Flowers Fresh at Apartment Therapy
This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 6 Foolproof Steps to Flawless Flower Arrangements All Summer Long