A great flower arrangement can be awe-inducing, but so often, it's seen as an expert skill best left to the florists in the garden district. Here's the truth: Even an amateur can make a beautiful flower arrangment. Take the intimidation out of making flower arrangements by decorating your own bud vases and grouping them together. Juxtapose dramatic blooms with tropical leaves--the gentle greens of the leaves will cut the sharp colors of the flowers. This flower arrangement is also excellent for your wallet: Tropical leaves will last forever and you'll only need a few of those precious (and expensive) blooms.
To make this arrangement extra-special and customized to your own favorite color palette, use paint markers and various clever groups of reusable containers. Cups, sake pitchers, and jars are all excellent vessels for flower arrangements -- and not a one of these vases costs more than $3!
And you don't need to be an artist to hand-draw your own vase. Just stick to the basics: Use the paint markers to play with dashes, half circles, dots, and x’s. Mix up scale and density of the patterns: Large polka dots for bold and silly or clusters of tiny x's for an elegant cross-hatching design. The size of the marker matters, too; thin-tipped Sharpie oil markers will make impossibly thin lines on the vase for detail work that'll look great from afar. Chisel-tipped Sharpie oil markers can make wide, swooping designs for dramatic effect. Use them to make semicircles that look like leopard print. Try taping off part of your vase with masking tape for uber-precise stripes or color blocking. If you mess up, it's okay! The vases are meant to look hand-drawn.
The graphic black-and-white palette looks amazing with brightly colored flowers, such as hot pinks, oranges, and tropical greens.
To arrange the flowers, pull a few (maybe two or three) stems and pair a few blooms with tropical leaves. If you live by the edict "less is more," go bold and simply add a single flower to a vase. Good plants to use are gloriosa lily, ranunculus, anthurium, and various tropical leaves.
Solid black or white cups
Solid black or white jars
Oil-based Sharpies, both chisel-tipped and thin-tipped