grocery store bouquets

Planning on buying flowers for Mother's Day? I'm here to help with a guide for giving flowers this Sunday- or really any time you want to brighten someone's day!

If you're looking to get creative and save some cash, it is possible to put together a pretty bouquet using grocery store flowers. All it takes to make them look great is a little forethought and a few extra minutes of work.

Read on for the how-to:

First things first- you have to buy some flowers. I have two pieces of advice for choosing flowers:

1. Peonies. If you can find them, just buy peonies. They're big, beautiful, and every lady I've ever met absolutely loves them.

2. There's nothing wrong with buying flowers at the grocery store, but you have to be choosy about what you buy. Just say no to those cheap mixed bouquets of daisys and carnations- your mom has been to the grocery store, she'll probably know just where you bought them and how much they cost. For about the same price, you can buy bunches of single varieties of flowers that will look much better. The easiest way to select flowers is to choose 2-3 varieties in similar colors. Some of my favorite spring season flowers (other than peonies of course) are ranunculus, tulips, and anemones, but really you can't go wrong with any of the blooms included in Design Sponge's flower glossary. If you can't find two kinds of flowers that look good together, just get a couple bunches of one variety you like.

For a special occasion like Mother's Day, it's nice to take the flowers out of the plastic sleeve and put in a little effort to make them look extra pretty. I know this means you can't just stop at the store on the way to your mom's house (unless you want to do a little flower arranging in your trunk!), but it's really quite easy to do.

Here's all you need:

1. Flowers- 2 or 3 bunches. Here I used tulips and alstromeria. Each bunch was $3.99 at Trader Joes.
2. Something to wrap the flowers in- you can use gift wrap, butcher paper, fabric, or even a tote bag
3. Something to tie up the flowers with- again, lots of options here- twine, ribbon, yarn, get creative!
4. Scissors or floral shears

Start by unwrapping your flowers from the plastic. There, they look better already! If you got a plastic sleeve to cover the bottoms of the flowers, hold on to that for later. Remove all rubber bands and save those for later too. 

Next, arrange the flowers into one bouquet. It's easiest to use the larger flowers as a base. Leave the larger flowers bunched together in a bouquet as they were in the plastic, but remove the top few layers of blooms and set aside. Nestle some of the smaller flowers amongst the larger ones in the bouquet.

Continue to layer the two types of flowers, placing each successive row slightly lower than the last (imagine the flowers are stadium seats). Reserve a few of the prettiest blooms for last so they will be in front. 

Once you've got your flowers all arranged nicely, wrap the bottom of stems with a rubber band or two. If it's going to be more than an hour or two until you give the flowers, you can wrap the bottoms of the stems with a wet paper towel to keep them fresher, but this is optional. Whether you use a paper towel or not, you should put a plastic bag over the bottoms of the flowers to keep them from leaking on your pretty wrapping. The flower sleeve you set aside earlier works nicely, just fold it down so the plastic won't show.

Now you're ready to wrap them up! I'm going to show you two options, first is using wrapping paper:

1. Measure out enough paper to cover your flowers. The piece I used was about 29" tall x 25" wide.
2. Fold the bottom left corner up towards the top right
3. Fold over the bottom right corner towards the top left
4. Fold the top left corner down, wrapping it around to the back of the arrangement. Use a small piece of tape to secure.

Wrap the bouquet loosely with a ribbon and secure with a bow. Congratulations, you've just made those $8 flowers look 100x cuter!

If you want to take your flowers to the next level, you can wrap them in a tote bag for two gifts in one!

Here's how to wrap:

1. Place the handles into the tote bag and fold the top edge in.
2. Slip your bouquet into the tote bag and center it.
3. Carefully flip the bouquet over. Fold the excess on the left side towards you.
4. Fold the excess on the right side over until the flowers are wrapped snugly. Be careful to keep the flowers centered while you're folding.

Wrap your bouquet a few times with twine, tie a bow, and you're done! The cuteness factor may now have reached 1000%.

If this all seems too much to handle, then by all means just go find a good local florist. If you're in the Bay Area, I recommend Farm Girl Flowers. They deliver beautiful, locally grown flowers, and they've expanded their delivery area for Mother's day.

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