If fall is your favorite season, we’ve got some gorgeous ways to literally bring the outside in. Hallmark Photo Stylist Andy N. is back with another floral styling workshop, and we’ve got his exercises and tips so you can play along at home. Spend an inspiring day creating unique fall flower arrangements…we suggest ending with a warm slice of apple pie (try this one or this one).
Participants from Hallmark Creative arrived on a crisp fall morning with great expectations. The lucky dozen (there is always a wait list) descended on Andy’s beautiful home and yard for an inspiring day—to learn and laugh and create and enjoy. Video Editor Morgan J. was looking forward to “working with my hands, being outside and learning a new skill,” while traffic Coordinator Megan Z. was hoping to “find simple ways to brighten up my house.” Jamee F., Freelance Account Leader, admitted hoping “some of Andy’s talent would rub off on me.”
Fall flower arrangement warm-up exercise: One simple specimen
Andy: “I wanted to start with a warm-up exercise to get students thinking out-of-the-box—or, out-of-the-vase! ha!—by just walking around the yard and selecting one ‘found specimen.’ It’s fun to see the fall colors starting to poke through—the reds and oranges and yellows—among the perennial greens. But I also encouraged them to look beyond and appreciate all of it: the browns of the branches and the bare sticks and twigs, which are also beautiful in their shape, color, and texture.”
After each participant found their one specimen, Andy asked them to feature it in a beautifully styled photograph.
Wait, what? This one little leaf or twig is going to be the feature of the photograph? Yep.
“One simple specimen from your yard can be the star of a photograph,” Andy promises. “By learning how to find the right props and shoot it from unexpected angles, you can create a stunning image. Plus, it illustrates the beauty in a simple flower, leaf, or twig.”
Steps to styling fall flower arrangements
- Find an interesting setting: stacked or open books, an antique platter, an interesting table top, a framed photo, textured fabric.
- Set your fall foliage down right on top.
- Shoot straight down.
- Boom! Your sweet little specimen is captured in a beautiful photo.
Keeping it 100: Our workshop students may have had a little help from Andy’s friends at the Union Hill Photo Studio—but really, you can do it! You just need natural light and a steady hand.
if you stand on a stool and take the photograph as a down shot, the image will take on a whole new personality. Experiment with lots of unexpected angles and you’ll get a creative and artful shot.
The next assignment: Falling for the tiny container!
These itty bitty fall flower arrangements are perfect for small spaces like a windowsill or the edge of a sink—or for giving as day-brighteners.
Steps to making tiny arrangements
- Find a teeny tiny container, like an inkwell, a little jar, or a crystal salt and pepper shaker.
- Pick a few stems from the yard—maybe a vine, or a leaf, or greenery.
- Cut any off any stems that will fall below the water line.
- “Plunk them in,” as Andy would say. Even just one will do.
Give a tiny fall flower arrangement as a gift to a hostess, birthday girl, or coworker. Just tie on a homemade tag with a string with and it’s ready to go! Entertaining over the holidays? Dress up your table with one at each place setting for a lovely, personal touch.
“As the day rolled on, we upped the game by incorporating bigger containers,” Andy says. “Here is where we introduce the group to the magic of using an oasis—a green foam block used by florists to hold flowers in place.” Kat is a fan: “I love that green squishy stuff!” she said.
The Final Assignment: The oversized arrangement
Each participant brought a large container from home. Andy N. says: “Drumroll, please! With the larger containers, it was time to build their final arrangement. Everyone did such an amazing job—there is really no wrong way to do this. You just have to relax, play around, and don’t overthink it. Keep it simple and be yourself!”
More pro tips
- Use lots of greenery to create the general shape of your arrangement—then add touches of color with flowers.
- If you are using a container not intended for water (a basket, for example), line it generously with plastic, then set your Oasis in. Be careful not to poke holes through the plastic. (I learned that the hard way!)
- Cut any leaves off that are below the water line of the vase.
- Experiment, try different things, and just have fun with it!
Andy: “My experience tells me that you cannot go wrong when you are working with the beauty of nature.”
And our experience tells us Andy’s fall flower arranging tips will inspire many beautiful creations every day as well as the upcoming holiday season.
Morgan says: “I live across from a market so I often pop over to get a bouquet of fresh flowers. Now I feel like I can style them and make them my own!”
And that wrapped up another great day of sharing flower arranging tips and tricks with Andy. The participants took home their beautiful creations and left inspired and re-charged.
As Emily put it: “It was a lovely, therapeutic, Zen experience. The whole atmosphere just felt so creatively positive.”
Have you tried your own fall flower arranging? Show off your pictures on Instagram and tag us, pretty please.