Whether you’re prepping your house for a big Halloween costume bash, a festive fall dinner party or a spooky movie night get-together, nothing adds seasonal style and charm to your space quite like fresh flower arrangements. Thankfully, making a DIY bouquet doesn’t need to take up a ton of time or cash! We tapped floral experts and party planning pros for their tips and tricks on creating a variety of eye-catching floral displays. Continue reading for 10 simply impressive autumnal bouquets — from blooming gourds to twinkling floral ponds — that you can toss together in minutes!
1. Colorful floral-and-fruit autumn mix
All it takes is a few handfuls of supermarket flowers, some fresh apples and a couple of bowls to create a surprisingly stunning pedestal bouquet that’s sure to brighten a fall table! To do: Fill a large shallow bowl with cut-to-fit soaked floral foam. Next, cut handfuls of flowers (like sunflowers, mums, roses or carnations) to lengths between 3 and 5 inches. Press stems into foam until the bowl looks mostly full. Next, pierce small green apples with wooden kitchen skewers and press into foam, filling in any gaps. To finish, place the shallow bowl atop an overturned cereal or soup bowl (as shown). Display on tabletop. (To wow guests as they arrive with indoor or outdoor pumpkin decor, click through for our pumpkin painting ideas!)
2. Fun flowering ‘Jack’
A chrysanthemum plant popped into a smiley jack-o’-lantern basket perks up any space—fast! To do: Apply 2 coats of orange spray paint to a bushel basket; let dry. Draw on a jack-o’-lantern face with black paint pen; let dry. Drop in plant.
3. Cheery deconstructed floral ‘runner’
“To give your table a pop, add in colorful florals,” says event planner Seri Kertzner, founder of LittleMissPartyPlanner.com. “Recently I’ve been re-obsessing over bud vases. They really are just the perfect way to make your space look full and beautiful.” Here, Kertzner lined up about 12 water-filled bud vases — in a variety of shapes and sizes — down the center of her Halloween party table. To finish the look, simply cut seasonal blooms (like the dahlias shown) and insert one or two stems per vase. Tip: Pick up wallet-friendly glass bud vases at the dollar store or check local thrift stores and flea markets.
(For ready-made decor for your gathering, check out Kertzner’s striking custom party boxes for Halloween and more!)
4. Welcoming rustic wreath
Making a beautiful handmade autumn wreath is actually just as easy as making a DIY bouquet! Plus, when hung from a front door or fence post, it’s such a warm welcome for visitors and passersby. To do: Start with a 12″ grapevine wreath from the craft store. Next, collect handfuls of rosehip berries, rowan, dried fall flowers (from the yard or craft store) and colorful autumn leaves. Then, using small snippets of floral wire, attach clusters of rosehips to the wreath leaving a few inches between each cluster. Then, using more floral wire snippets attach rowan and dried flowers to the wreath form until mostly full. Next, tuck in fall leaves or use wire snippets to affix leaves in any empty spots. Hang on door or fence post.
5. A blooming pedestal pumpkin
Right now, pumpkins are affordable and plentiful at supermarkets and farmer’s markets — even the fancier gourd varieties in muted hues and interesting shapes! Pick your favorite one to use as a surprising vase, doubling the wow factor on an entry table. To do: Cut a hole around the stem of the pumpkin and remove. (Hint: Don’t make the opening too large — a smaller opening gathers stems at the ideal spot to create a full look.) Scoop out the inside seeds; fill with water. Next, cut stems of fall blooms so they stand 3″ to 4″ taller than the pumpkin. Insert stems one at a time into pumpkin at an angle, forming a mound. Fill in gaps with branches, berries or leaves from the yard. Display on cake stand.
6. Whimsical mummy bouquet
Adorable mummified vases bring playful Halloween pizazz to any surface in seconds! To do: Start by wrapping a clean, recycled can with rolled gauze several times until can is covered. Fill can halfway with water; insert fresh-cut blooms (like mums and daisies). Glue two craft-store googly eyes to the vase. To finish, nestle the “vase” into candy-filled dish; display on a buffet, shelf or side table.
7. Gorgeous floral-kissed gourds
Modest supermarket mums will scream sophistication when used to blanket a pumpkin (or two!) in blooming fall beauty. To do: Pick up about a dozen stems of chrysanthemums for each small (5″ to 7″) pumpkin. (Mums have about 3 to 5 florets on a stem.) Cut flowers to 1 1⁄2 inches long, then pierce through the rind of the pumpkin with a wooden skewer to create pilot holes for each stem. Finish by inserting stems side by side through the skin until the surface is completely covered.
8. Charming ‘haunted house’ centerpiece
Colorful paper, a handful of mums, candy and recycled juice boxes magically transform into a “haunted railroad” table display! To create this floral-kissed centerpiece, cut out the fronts of three juice boxes with a razor knife, cover the boxes and a pint-size juice carton with construction paper and decorate all four “cars” by attaching candy with hot glue. Then arrange, open side up, on black licorice “tracks.” To finish, fill each juice box with soaked floral foam and press in green button mums and ghost cutouts.
9. Twinkling tabletop posy pond
Guests will be impressed by a pretty DIY bouquet, but you’ll receive even more compliments with a twinkling floral pond — and this one is unexpectedly simple and stunning! To do: Fill a large shallow bowl halfway with water. Next, cut 4 or 5 fall flowers (like Gerber daisies, sunflowers or the like) to 1 inch; set blooms afloat in water. Next, light a trio of floating candles and carefully set afloat. For extra flair, set a few colorful autumn leaves afloat and a couple of decorative pumpkins. (Note: Keep any candlelit displays within view at all times.)
10. Eek-chic test tube table centerpiece
“Give test tubes a spooky chic spin by filling them with florals, greenery and dried grasses then using them as vases for a Halloween centerpiece,” event pro Annaliese Johnson of A Joyful Fete. “Incorporate creepy cloth, amber hued vases, decorated witch’s hats and black pumpkins to further the spooktacular feel. Layer mini cauldron place cards and tiny wooden witches and you have a perfectly wicked tablescape.” To do: Start by spray painting decorative test tubes (buy at OrientalTrading, $4.97 for 12) black; let dry. Then place tubes into a test tube holder (Buy at Amazon, $6), leaving a space between each one. Place rack on tabletop; fill each tube halfway with water. Pop fresh or faux blooms and greenery into each tube.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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