Bang For Your Buck: Styling Supermarket Flowers on any Budget

After all of the delicious food and free-flowing drinks, what's left in your party budget for flowers? Whether you've only got $4 or nearly $40 to blow on bouquets, an appropriate and pretty arrangement can be yours. I grabbed a bunch of those ubiquitous 3-for-$12 bunches from the grocery store and started arranging.

Here is my haul from the grocery store: three sets of 3-for-$12 bunches, for a total of nine bunches and $36 plus tax. There seems to be more plastic than flowers, but let's see what we can come up with:

$4 Arrangement: To make my first and most affordable arrangement, I chose the daintiest, most charming flowers in my heap. These daisies are so sweet, have excitingly bright centers, and you get a lot of blossoms for not a lot of money.

Straight from the store, daisies are always a bit of a jumble and are tall without being full.

I separated each little bloom from the main stem, cleaned off all the leaves, and arranged them into a tight, flat cluster. Please see How To Process Flowers Like A Pro and How To Build A Centerpiece for lots more details.

$8 Arrangement: It might not be worth it to you to double your flower costs just to add greens, but they're often my favorite part of an arrangement. They can provide texture, richness, structure, and a lovely asymmetry.

Here I added a 2-pack of green hydrangeas, which conveniently match the centers of the daisies. The largest leaves were too large for an arrangement this size, so I trimmed them.

$12 Arrangement: A single white hydrangea is nearly the same size as the entire cluster of daisies, so the two elements balance each other well, with the greenery adding a smaller counterpoint.

$16 Arrangement: A beautiful blue hydrangea will add quite a bit of volume, of course, but also a shot of color. It won't stick out like a sore thumb, however, thanks to the bright green hydrangeas and the daisies' centers.

You'll notice the arrangement has finally outgrown its broken teapot, and has graduated to a water-filled jar placed inside a flowerpot. Perhaps someday I'll own proper vases.

$20 Arrangement: You'll notice that I've once again changed vessels, this time to an even larger flower pot. The jar of water I've been using is slightly shorter than the pot, with a wide mouth, so it is able to accommodate all of the additional flowers...

Like the daisies above, I took this unassuming bunch of carnations and broke it down to its smallest elements.

I then clustered the stems in groups of seven, nine, and thirteen. These were rubber-banded together and placed amongst the other flowers, creating a much fuller arrangement with many points of interest.

$36 Arrangement: More daisies! Lots more greens! Another blue hydrangea! This is the sort of arrangement that works well on a sideboard, credenza, or buffet table. You can even use it as a dramatic centerpiece, moving it aside when it's time to bring the food to the table.

As you can see, this amount of flowers with this amount of fluff takes up some serious space. An even larger flowerpot could work, as could a deep bowl or large cube vase. I grabbed an antique wooden box from the garage, placed tall jars of water inside, and let the flowers fill and overflow the box.

And there you go! With a quick trip to the grocery store, somewhere between $4-$36, and a few teapots, jars, flowerpots, and crates you have lying about the place, you can put together the perfect arrangement for any budget and occasion!

(Image credits: Tess Wilson)