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Use These Guidelines To Select A Container For Your Next Flower Arrangement

Updated on May 12, 2008
Centerpiece Arrangement of "Silk" Flowers In Cobalt Blue Glass Bowl
Centerpiece Arrangement of "Silk" Flowers In Cobalt Blue Glass Bowl

The Right Attitude

The first thing to consider when choosing a container for a floral arrangement is how the arrangement will be used. Will it be a freestanding centerpiece? A tall accent?

Next consider the surroundings. Do you want a formal arrangement or something more casual? A simple basket is great for a fall arrangement in a casual setting. My last arrangement was a very formal centerpiece, which I arranged in a cobalt blue glass serving bowl.

Here are some container materials. Each has a different level of formality:

  • plastic
  • wicker
  • machine made glass
  • pottery
  • tin
  • wire
  • copper
  • handmade or collectible glass
  • porcelain
  • crystal
  • silverplate

Use your imagination. Many, many containers besides vases can be used to hold your next flower arrangement.

  • pitcher
  • bowl
  • plate
  • compote
  • flower pot
  • small tray
  • rock with a depression
  • decorative box (for silk flowers - may need to add weight)
  • basket
  • large mug
  • tin container with the lid removed
  • pumpkin
  • wreath
  • Collectible food can
  • water can
  • hat

Some containers, such as a basket, will need to conceal a waterproof liner or inner container if you are working with live flowers.

When considering the attitude of your container, be sure that the container is not so ornate that it will overpower your arrangement.

Measure Up

Be careful when choosing the size of your container. A relatively small container can end up part of a fairly large arrangement.

If your container is taller than it is wide, then measure the height of the container. Your eventual arrangement should be 2 1/2 to 3 times that height. So a vase 14 inches tall should be part of an arrangement 35 to 42 inches tall!

If your container is wider than it is tall, then measure the width. The height of the arrangement should be 1 1/2 to 2 times taller than the width. So, for a bowl 9" wide, the arrangement will be between 14" and 18" tall plus the height of the container.

Remember, the larger the arrangement, the more flowers it will take to do it justice and the higher the cost. Also, larger arrangements take a larger space to display. Choose wisely.

About Dining Room Centerpieces

We've all heard that dining room centerpieces should be low enough to hold a conversation over. But in reality, a dining room centerpiece should complement and enhance the dining room table, fitting both the size and the style of the room. The centerpiece will simply be removed during actual dining most of the time anyway. Why have a puny arrangement that doesn't do the dining room justice just so it can be left on the table while dining? The vast majority of the time, the dining table is not in actual use.

Remove the arrangement to your sideboard or buffet when the dining table is in use and replace it with beautiful silver or glass candlesticks, a collection of votives, or other small table decoration that works better with a table filled with tableware.

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