Making Flower Arranging Easy.

Have an armload of dahlias or other large flowers? Use these tricks to turn them into a pretty great flower arrangement no matter how florally unskilled you think you are.

If you reallyyyyy want to make your flower arranging easy click here to skip to the bottom of this post and just buy a dinosaur vase. 

Arranging flowers (and photographing them) is one of those things that seems pretty simple. You put some stems in a vase. Maybe jiggle them around a bit. Nope. They’re just standing there. They don’t look right. Shift them around, cut the stems, fan them around – WHY DON’T THEY LOOK RIGHT? 

Here are the main reasons:

  1. You’ve used too big of a vase.
  2. You don’t have enough filler.
  3. You’re not using flowers, you’re using sweatpants.

No matter what you do to them, sweatpants will never look good in a vase.

As for the other two reasons … that’s probably what’s killing you.

The arrangement I’ve done here isn’t going to win you any awards at a highfalutin flower arranging competition, but it might get you third at the county fair.

And that’s better than the 10th place you’d probably get without this lesson.

Who’s revved up and ready to get started??! 🤣


A couple of notes:

Filler is your friend even if you don’t get it from your dermatologist’s office. 

Whether it’s climbing hydrangea branches (like you see here), hosta leaves or other leafy branches you’re going to need filler. It makes your flower colours stand out and it … well … it fills in spaces so you can get away with using less flowers.


Having only a few types of flowers will make your job a lot easier. There are fewer decisions to make and it’s just a simpler process when you’re only dealing with 1-3 types of blooms. 

It’s like the difference between decorating a room in one style and decorating it with a variety of pieces from different periods and styles.  One takes more skill and knowledge.



Here’s how to do it:

Making Flower Arranging Easy.

Making Flower Arranging Easy.

Yield: 1 large floral arrangement
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This is an easy flower arrangement for anyone who wants a big impactful arrangement but doesn't have a lot of big flower arranging skills.


  • 7 dinner plate dahlia stems.
  • 7-8 ball dahlia stems
  • 3 amaranth stems
  • 5 leafy branches (I used climbing hydrangea)
  • low vessel
  • chicken wire


  1. Form a big piece of chicken wire into a ball and wedge it into your vessel.
  2. Strip the lower leaves off of all of your stems.
  3. Line the outside of your vessel with your leafy branches. Don't worry about making it symmetrical. It should be balanced, but each side doesn't need to look exactly the same.
  4. Start placing your dinnerplate dahlias. The chicken wire will do a really good job of holding them into place and the leafy branches will give them support as well. Follow the shape of your vase and don't put all of them sticking up right. Let them flow upwards and out to the side.
  5. Add your ball dahlias following the lines of your dinnerplate dahlias.
  6. If you have Amaranth add those in too.
  7. Step back and take a look. If you have anything that looks like a huge void, add another bunch of leafy branches.


The General goal:

Remember this is a long and low arrangement as opposed to high and mighty. Remind yourself of that as you're placing your flowers.

Flower Substitutions

Don't have these particular flowers? No problem. You can substitute with these:

Dinnerplate Dahlia - substitute with peonies in the spring, hydrangeas in the summer and sunflowers in the fall.

Ball Dahlia - substitute with mums

Amaranth - substitute with anything that drapes downwards

This is a real flower arrangement for real people who have really no idea how to arrange flowers.  There are no wild curly branches sticking out of it, no whimsical rare orchids, or a million colours to balance.

But it is impressive considering there’s less than 20 flowers in it.

If you aren’t feeling all that skilled then JUST use dinnerplate dahlias and greenery.  In fact if you’d really just like to get your confidence up, only use one type of flower with greenery in any arrangement.

It’s really difficult to screw up an arrangement with one type of flower. A mass of one type of flower always looks great.

copper cup filled with Cockscomb. silver pitcher with Hot Biscuits Amaranth (and a couple of Cornel Bronze dahlias)

Small jug of sweet peas massed together.

You want this vase don’t you? Even though you’re not a 12 year old boy, you want it.  

You can get this “Plantasaurus” here on Amazon. I bought mine this summer and have LOVED every second of it.

Update: The plantasaurus has 3 small  holes in the bottom of it that aren’t glazed from the pouring process.  I filled these each of these holes with a blob of silicone to make it watertight. 

If you like the big arrangement with just the dahlias? Leave it like that!  You’ll probably need to add a few more dahlias and you won’t win the county fair prize.  But you’ll still have a nice flower arrangement and access to cotton candy so basically an award winning day.

Have a good weekend!


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Making Flower Arranging Easy.