Make 3 Centerpieces from a Trader Joe’s Bouquet

Right now at Trader Joe’s in the flower section you’ll find peonies in rich pink hues and whites, as well as gorgeous $10 bouquets filled with festive boughs, pine cones, berries and chrysanthemums. By the way, I don’t need to spell check that last one thanks to Anne of Green Gables… (Leave a comment below if you know what I’m talking about!)

I grabbed one such bouquet intent on stretching it as far as it could go — as arrangements for a 15-person winter baby shower last weekend, and after they’d served their purpose there, as centerpieces to last through my husband’s and my holiday entertaining.

While the baby shower pics are coming soon, I promise, in the meantime I wanted to share how the centerpieces are holding up a week later, and go over how I whipped them up.

Excuse my poor photography skills. And excuse my rudimentary backdrop of gold curtains perforated with holes (courtesy of my cat, Tigerlily).

Without further adieu, here are my three centerpieces:

The pine-cone-on-a-stick came in the bouquet!

I used cheap rectangular and square vases from a florists’ store I picked up in downtown L.A. back when planning my own wedding. They come in handy these days for other parties and for centerpieces like these where the flowers need to take center stage.

Just a tip on arranging without using florists’ foam: hold each stem up to the vase in the position and angle you want to place it to cut it to the appropriate length. Use stems woven through and against each other for support as you build each arrangement starting with the largest blooms and ending with the tiny grasses and lightweight flowers, such as the snapdragons.

I would like to note that since this photo session, my cat has eaten all of the grasses. Seriously, they are now stubs.

And the third arrangement. Love the hypericum berries.

Except for maybe the white roses (can’t really see them in these shots–sorry), I’m counting on these flowers lasting me through Christmas. If you want to try what I did, just snip the bottoms of the stems when you first arrange them, and change the water every couple of days. Add a drop of 7-up or flower food to the water. And use room-temp water instead of cold. They like it more. Don’t ask me why. Just do it. (Says the UCCE Master Gardener who should totally remember why they like it, but doesn’t at all.)

Next up for the new year are some of those glorious Trader Joe’s peonies!

Stay tuned for baby shower coverage as well as some Christmas-y posts on holiday table-top decorating, and a festive DIY project I’m soo-oo-ho-ho-ho excited to try out this weekend!

Have you gone to town with one of those extremely gorgeous bouquets from Trader Joe’s, stretching it into several centerpieces for your home or table?


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