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DIY Holiday Arrangements with Muir Glen

For the holidays, we partnered with Muir Glen on a special DIY project. We love partnerships with local companies, but this one was especially fun. Why? First, we’re huge fans of the organic Muir Glen products. Second, we love repurposing containers (reduce, reuse, recycle, people.) And third, WE LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!

Read on for more details about this DIY adventure.

DIY Holiday Arrangements:

For these diy arrangements we chose to work with hardy holiday greens and berries, the longest lasting and best smelling bits of the season. Of course you can supplement your arrangements with floral blooms. Just swap out the old blooms for fresh ones as they start to fade! Things you’ll need: floral clippers, sticky, water-tight floral tape, one empty can of Muir Glen tomatoes, and hardy holiday greens and berries of your choosing. These can be found at your local floral shop & craft store!

Step 1 - Container: First thing’s first, always start with a clean container. Always! Wash out those cans with hot soapy water, and you’re ready to go! Any bacteria in a dirty vessel will drastically shorten the vase-life of your arrangement.

Step 2 - Water Temp: Fill your container with WARM water. Yes, warm water, not cold. Would you like to step into an ice cold bath? Neither do flowers or plants. When working with holiday greens, you can actually use almost hot water. A good rule of thumb is : “The thicker the stem, the warmer the water.”

Step 3 - The Grid: This little trick will make designing your arrangement SO MUCH EASIER. Using a sticky, water-tight floral tape (you can find this at your local craft store), make a 2x2 tape grid on the top of your container. Then for added strength, wrap a single piece of tape along the outside edge of the container to further secure the grid. This is one floral trick you will never forget.

Step 4 - The Prep: Before trimming your greenery, make sure to remove any foliage, needles, stems, etc. that fall below the waterline. Anything that’s submerged below water will make things “yucky” and shorten the vase life of your arrangement.

Step 5 - “The 7-second rule”: Cut the stems of your foliage on the bias, then immediately put them into the water. You only have 7 seconds after cutting to get them into water. Act fast!

(By cutting things on the bias you’re exposing more surface area to the water. This helps your greens hydrate.)

Step 6 - Cutting: Remember, you can always cut something shorter, but you can’t add length to a stem. So, experiment. Start by taking off just a little. If you need to trim the stem further, no biggie.

Step 7 - Placement: When putting stems into water, angle them from the outside of the can towards the center of the arrangement. As you put more stems into the vase, this will create a sort of interlocking grid that helps keep things exactly where you want them.

Step 8 - Design: Design is a personal thing. But in general there are a few good rules to follow when working with foliage and flowers. Here’s a quick run-down:

  • Repetition. Don’t grab 15 different type of flowers/foliage and try to shove them into one small arrangement. Select a few different floral elements and repeat those throughout your design.
  • Texture: Select greenery with varying textures. Make it interesting.
  • Scale: Keep the size of your container in mind when designing. Big containers need more “stuff” than little ones.

Step 9 - Maintenance: Once everything is properly arranged, sit back and admire your work. Then, leave your arrangement alone. Do not change the water daily, do not re-cut stems. These things will shorten the vase-life of your masterpiece. Change the water about every 3 days and re-cut the stems every 4-5 days.


Photo Credit: Kate Sommers

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