How to Arrange Table Top Floral Centerpieces

Written by sharon sweeny
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How to Arrange Table Top Floral Centerpieces
Use your own garden flowers to create a table top centrepiece. (Georg Hanf/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A table top floral centrepiece adds elegance and sophistication to your dinner party. A simple arrangement with two types of flowers and greenery is easy to put together and costs less than a florist's arrangement. The ideal container for a table top floral arrangement is a bowl, dish or compote. These dishes are low to the table and can be filled with more flowers than a taller vase without blocking the diners' view of each other.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 7 to 9 large, showy flowers
  • 14 to 18 smaller, secondary flowers
  • 18 to 20 stems of floral greenery
  • Container
  • Floral foam oasis
  • Serrated knife
  • Sharp scissors or garden hand pruners

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  1. 1

    Obtain the flowers and greenery. For a table top arrangement, use flowers with little or no scent. Strongly scented flowers will overpower the taste of the food, making it taste like the flowers' scents. Feature seven to nine large flowers, offset by at least twice that number of medium or small flowers. Secure enough greenery to fill in between and around the flowers.

  2. 2

    Choose the container. A table top arrangement should be held in a low container, such as a bowl or compote, so that it does not block diners' views of one another across the table.

  3. 3

    Cut a piece of floral foam slightly smaller than the bottom diameter of the container with a serrated knife. Place the foam into the container and add water until the foam is completely saturated.

  4. 4

    Insert the showiest of the large, featured flowers into the centre of the floral foam after cutting it to length. This flower will determine the height of the arrangement, which should be lower than the eye-level of guests seated at the table.

  5. 5

    Add the remaining featured flowers in a circular pattern around the centre flower; insert them at relatively regular intervals, staggering them so that they are evenly spaced in all directions.

  6. 6

    Hold each flower in its intended position before cutting the stem to determine how much to cut off. The closer the flower is to the rim of the container, the shorter the stem should be. This will give the arrangement an overall "rounded," or balanced, look from all sides.

  7. 7

    Insert the smaller flowers, stem by stem, into the floral foam. Space them evenly among the featured flowers, cutting their stems shorter the closer they are placed to the rim of the container.

  8. 8

    Fill in the arrangement with the greenery. Begin at the edge of the container, cutting these stems very short and inserting them into the floral foam nearly horizontally, so that they cover both the floral foam and the edge of the container. Continue adding the greenery to hide any exposed floral foam, inserting the stems so that the greens are slightly lower than the level of the flowers, accenting them rather than covering them up.

Tips and warnings

  • Turn the arrangement from time to time as you insert the flowers, so it is balanced on all sides.

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