How to Create Beautiful, Money-Saving Valentine's Day Flowers

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Floral arrangements can be expensive, especially during Valentine's Day when florists hike up their prices. Creating your own arrangement is easier than you'd think, and you can do it for a lot less money using affordable flowers and foliage you probably have inside and outside your home. And it's so beautiful, no one would guess that it's budget friendly.

A beautiful money-saving Valentine's Day arrangement for someone special.
(Jonathan Fong)

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • Houseplant leaves
  • Filler foliage
  • Roses
  • Filler flowers
  • Carnations
  • Berries
  • Curly twigs
Step 1

Oftentimes, a vase is one of the most expensive elements of an arrangement and florists charge a premium for them. The trick is to repurpose a container that was not meant to be a vase, like the candle holder in this example. Sold for less than $5 at a discount store, it would cost much more as a vase at a florist shop. Look around your home and see what else might work as an alternative vase. Pitchers, mugs and bowls work well.

Choose an alternative vase, like this candle holder.
Jonathan Fong
Step 2

Houseplants with large leaves are a great source of free foliage for your arrangement. Place two large leaves in the vase on opposite sides to anchor the arrangement. If one of your leaves is extra large, fold it in half and staple the ends together as we did here. Besides houseplants, common outdoor plants that would work well include palms and rubber tree leaves.

Start with two large leaves in the vase.
Jonathan Fong
Step 3

Fill the vase with green foliage for filler. Again, look to see what is available in your yard or a neighbor's yard. Leaves such as eucalyptus, ficus and bamboo make the perfect filler. You can even use herbs or ivy.

Look in your backyard for green filler.
Jonathan Fong
Step 4

Fill the vase with the green filler. It may not look like there is any more room for flowers, but there is. The green filler provides a backdrop for the flowers and helps support the floral stems, keeping them in place.

Fill the vase with green filler.
Jonathan Fong
Step 5

It wouldn't be a Valentine's Day arrangement without roses, but there are money-saving ways to make the most of your roses. First, choose a color other than red, as stores frequently charge more for red roses during the Valentine's period. Secondly, you can make the roses appear larger by spreading the rose petals by hand. The petals are more pliable and easier to spread when the roses are at room temperature or even warmer. Just open up the outer petals and leave the center petals untouched.

Carefully spread the rose petals by hand.
Jonathan Fong
Step 6

Spreading the petals by hand increases the surface area of the roses significantly. In this arrangement, we are saving money by using only four roses, but notice how much space in the vase they take up because the petals have been spread out.

Place the roses in the vase.
Jonathan Fong
Step 7

Choose inexpensive flowers as filler to complement the roses. Good choices are sunflowers, daisies and mums, as pictured. When placing the flowers in the vase, keep the arrangement compact so you will ultimately need fewer flowers.

Mums are inexpensive filler flowers.
Jonathan Fong
Step 8

Carnations are both beautiful and fragrant, but there is a stigma attached to them as the "cheap" flower. However, there is a hack you can perform on them to transform carnations into faux peonies. Begin by pulling out about half of the petals on each carnation.

Perform a carnation hack.
Jonathan Fong
Step 9

After you have pulled half the petals off of about six carnations, bunch the heads together with a rubber band to form the faux peony. Carnations and peonies have similarly shaped petals, but carnations are much denser. Removing the petals of the carnation give it more of a peony look, especially when several are gathered together to form one big bloom.

Gather the heads together into one bloom.
Jonathan Fong
Step 10

After the flowers and leaves are arranged in the vase, place some berries where there are any open spaces. Berries provide an additional texture to the flowers, and they are usually free in your own backyard. Look for ilex berries, eucalyptus berries or other found organic materials like pinecones or succulent cuttings.

Add berries found in your yard.
Jonathan Fong
Step 11

Your arrangement is technically finished, but to add one final designer touch, forage for some curly vine from willow, ivy or other bushes you might have. Just one or two tendrils top off an arrangement that looks expensive and store bought, but helps you save money so you can spend it on other things … like jewelry!

Finish the arrangement with some curly vines.
Jonathan Fong

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Tips & Warnings

  • Flowers and foliage from your yard can have bugs, so check them first before using in your arrangement.
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