DIY floral arranging may seem daunting to those of you who’ve never been taught the art of making floral arrangements. But, if you unleash your creative side and get inspired, it’s easier than you may think!

To help you create beautiful floral arrangements, today’s flower tutorial features expert tips from Oriana Maki Nelson, the owner of Quixotic Event Floral Design (based in San Luis Obispo, California).

DIY Floral Arranging Workshop and Expert Tips from Quixotic Event Floral Design

I had the pleasure of meeting Oriana a year ago when she was hosted a DIY Floral Arranging Workshop at Anthropologie in Carmel, California. Throughout the year, the store hosts (free) creative workshops, enabling customers to learn expert tips and tricks to creating breathtaking floral arrangements and succulent terrariums.

Not only are these fun-filled workshops a great way to learn new skills and get inspired, they’re also a good way to connect with new people who share similar interests. Recently Oriana came back to Carmel to host another DIY Floral Arranging Workshop. In addition to providing complimentary supplies (including natural birchwood vases and fresh flowers), she taught us how to create gorgeous floral arrangements.

DIY Floral Arranging Workshop and Expert Tips from Quixotic Event Floral Design

As a wedding and special event florist, Oriana regularly creates whimsical, lush floral arrangements that capture the essence of any celebration.

In addition to being the owner and executive floral designer of Central Coast-based Quixotic Flowers, she is a “graduate of the Floral Design Institute of Portland Oregon, has been a part of creating over 300 weddings/events, and has worked with world renown floral designers.” She loves “to use the earth’s products like moss, wheatgrass, fruits, veggies, and recycled materials”  in her dreamy, romantic floral arrangements.

In today’s tutorial, Oriana shares her expert tips and inspiring ideas on how to do DIY floral arrangements at home.

DIY Floral Arranging Workshop and Expert Tips from Quixotic Event Floral Design

Oriana says, “Late summer is the perfect time to bring the outdoors in and nothing will get you more ready to have guests over or simply add to a room than fresh flowers.”

DIY Floral Arranging Workshop and Expert Tips from Quixotic Event Floral Design

She goes on to exclaim, “At all my floral design workshops one of the first things I tell my group is use what you have! If you have flowers in your yard and a tea cup in your kitchen you are ready to create. Fresh flowers in water can work well in any vase.

Also, using floral foam (oasis) purchased from your local craft store can help you put together a more precise pave arrangements with extra flare. Floral foam is especially helpful for short or wide mouth counters that would normally not hold a flower stem well.”

DIY Floral Arranging Workshop and Expert Tips from Quixotic Event Floral Design

DIY Floral Arranging Workshop and Expert Tips from Quixotic Event Floral Design

“Not only around my house, but when I’m out and about I always look for interesting containers and vessels to use. Also, one of my favorite sites to buy from is Save On Crafts. Their birch wrapped containers also add a natural touch to any room.”

DIY Floral Arranging Workshop and Expert Tips from Quixotic Event Floral Design

DIY Floral Arranging Tips

1. Have your flowers and container picked out.
2. Buy your floral foam and gently soak it in a basin of water so that the water soaks up naturally (never push into the water as this will cause air pockets)
3. Cut your foam to desired size and fit into your container. Use floral tape to hold down if needed.
4. Cut floral stems to about 2in long and start inserting, keeping in mind angles and placement.
5. Add fun flare to any bald spots like fresh fruit, moss or stones.
6. Enjoy your creation!

DIY Floral Arranging Workshop and Expert Tips from Quixotic Event Floral Design

As Oriana reminds us, “Floral design is a creative art. There is no right or wrong way, right color or wrong container. Let your imagination be your guide. And as long as you have fun, fresh flowers will always be a please to play with and enjoy year round in your home.

For more floral arranging tips and tutorials, visit the Gardening Section on Inspirations & Celebrations.

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