Floral Styling Tips from Hallmark Stylist

Andy N. does it all! He crafts, he hosts, and he decorates in the most charming ways imaginable. At Hallmark he styles all things lovely at Hallmark’s very own Union Hill Photo Studio. Today, he’s sharing some simple yet smart tips and tricks for arranging florals.

First of all I’m just going to warn you, dear reader, that I don’t take anything too seriously. I’m here to give you some floral styling tips, which would make you think that I must be some kind of expert, which kind of cracks me up. But now that I’m giving floral advice, I’m actually starting to believe that I’m a floral expert. I think it’s going to give me floral-tip-giving-ego-itis. (Look it up, its an actual medical condition.)

So here are my floral tips, no, my floral demands! (I’m really getting into this!)

  • Cut flower stems while under water. No, YOU don’t have to be under water, the stems should be under water. (Note to myself: practice what I preach. I never do this step. I mean, I do cut the stems but I don’t usually cut them under water. I’ll let you do what you want here, so I guess this one isn’t really a demand. But, I have read that you should do this. I’ve read this information on more reliable blog posts, there are a LOT of them out there.)
  • Strip the leaves off of the stems that will be in water. This one I do, and here’s why. Several years ago I went to New York to work with a group of professional floral designers to create arrangements for Hallmark to sell online. At that time I was just a good-ol’-boy, country bumpkin and I didn’t know nothin’ about flower arrangin’. I made several arrangements and did not strip the leaves off of my stems. The water in the vases became murky and dank, the professional florists in the room started to gather in packs around my arrangements, then started snickering, and much to my horror the photographer’s assistant was sent to tell me to clean up my act and strip the stems of their leaves! I was humiliated and almost shunned from the fantastically fabulous floral fraternity.
  • Use a clean vase and put clean water in it. You are probably saying “duh, brilliant.” I only mention this because I am a little too comfortable with dirt. I am barefoot all spring, summer, and fall, and I track dirt into the house all the time. I constantly miss my mouth when I eat and then end up wearing half of my daily caloric intake. Everything I touch becomes tainted. Pigpen is my hero.
  • Use a vase or container that’s translucent or reflective. These types of surfaces look great when photographed. Place your arrangement in front of a window or other light source. How you light your arrangement is very important.
  • While arranging your flowers to be photographed, make sure you are listening to or singing “Muskrat Love” by Captain and Tennille, “Afternoon Delight” by the Starland Vocal Band, or any song by Celine Dion.
  • I like to use flowers like tulips and roses that open up and look more dramatic as they age, kind of like drag queens.
  • Follow your personality. If you are emotionally unavailable and uptight then create very compact, even arrangements using closed buds that barely peek out of the vase. If, on the other hand, you are like me and you find it impossible to hold anything back, any thought, any action, any anything, then for goodness sakes, let your floral expressiveness rip!
  • Include French tulips that keep growing even after they’re cut. (YES! I got something French into this blog post. To understand this remark read any other blog post I’ve written. I try to work something French into all my writing. It really shows my sophistication.)
  • Add some height! I love to use branches for this. Today’s floral trends are very organic and expressive, so follow your heart.

Dear sweet, patient reader, I can’t believe how long I have made this blog. Actually I can. I have a history with this kind of thing (see every other blog I’ve written). The most important rule of floral arrangements is that there are no rules. Gather flowers and plants that you love and put them in a container with water and then place them near you so that you can enjoy them. It’s really that easy. Then get out your phone and snap some pics so that you have a record of what you’ve created. Flowers bring great joy to people and I look at the process of gardening, gathering and arranging flowers as a beautiful thing. If you try it and enjoy it, then my work is done.

Show off your own floral arrangements by tagging us on Instagram @think.make.share

Video Credits: Host/Stylist: Andy Newcom, Videographer: Jake Johnson/Kevin Sisemore, Video Editor: Kevin Sismore, Music: Chris Johnson


Leave a Comment

  1. 7.26.16 | Reply
    gretchen wrote:

    Andy N, you are tres tres FUNNY. Thank you for brightening my day by teaching some things I already knew about flower arranging, but in an ENTERTAINING and fresh way! I like that there are basically no rules. You make learning a joy. I am going to look for more of your writings… that way I can procrastinate packing even longer! Merci!

    • 7.27.16 | Reply
      Andy Newcom wrote:

      Gretchen, thank you! You know, there are lots of rules out there for a lot of things but I don’t really think flower arranging should be one of those over-thought and restrictive things.

      Pluck some flowers from your yard (or your neighbors yard) and plop them in a jelly jar and set them where you can enjoy them. It’s that simple.

      Thanks for your nice comments and for making me smile. Now, stop packing and keep reading more blog post!