I think we can all agree that flowers in mason jars are pretty much the bee’s pajamas. The cat’s knees. Yah. You get what I mean. Sometimes, though, I see mason jar arrangements that are pretty sparse and vertical: too tall flowers being shoved in to what amounts to a pretty small container. There’s a better way…I’m gonna show you how to get a lush, mounded composition easily. The secret? You gotta make a bouquet (check out my bouquet-making tutorial here).
STEP 1: I selected a wide-mouthed quart-sized jar (courtesy of the Ball® Canning Heritage Green Collection). If you want to do a pint-sized arrangement, just scale it down accordingly. Start by filling whatever jar you choose 3/4 full of clean, cold water.
STEP 2: Select and prep your ingredients. Have a wide variety of materials to choose from, and clean and strip the stems of all leaves, thorns, and misc buds and stems that might fall under the water line. If you like the look of leaves and buds in your arrangement, allow a few to remain attached close to the blooms.
STEP 3: Begin assembling. Gather a few blooms in your hand to act as the ‘center’ of your arrangement.
Randomly add other blooms and fillers working in a circular pattern around the center blossoms.
Keep working until your bouquet is approximately a foot in diameter (for a pint-sized arrangement, work towards about a 6 inch diameter):
Step 4: Clip your stems. Hold the bouquet in one hand, and in the other hand use good, sharp shears to cut the stems straight across. You want to cut them so they are just shorter than the height of the mason jar (which is about 6.5 inches for a quart jar–so cut the stems to 6 inches or shorter. For a pint-sized jar, cut stems to 4.5 inches or shorter). When you insert them, you want to flowers to be resting on the edge of the jar, you don’t want the stems to be holding the arrangement up away from the jar.
Optional Step 5: You can wrap a single strand of waterproof florist’s tape just above where your hand holds the bouquet. This will ensure the arrangement holds its exact shape. Be sure that the tape wraps around and adheres back onto itself.
Step 6: Carefully insert the stems into the mouth of the jar and drop the entire bouquet into place. If you don’t tape it, you can play with the blossoms a bit to make them fuller or correct any pieces that might have gone wonky.
Step 7: Now, you can assess the entire composition and decide if you want to add a few more things, which I did. I added some geranium leaves after the fact. I do what I want.
Don’t forget the old adage ‘The thriller, the filler, and the spiller’ as a general guideline for your composition. Choose anywhere from one to three ‘thrillers’ (something eye-catching and bold), anywhere from one to two ‘fillers’ (something less showy to fill the space between thrillers), and one to three ‘spillers’ (something drapey or spiky to create movement). You’ll notice I did no ‘spillers’ in this arrangement. None of these rules are set in stone. And I like to break my own rules.
Now go! Make some gorgeous centerpieces! I’ll wait here.