Florist Secrets: 8 Great Alternatives to Traditional Vases

I've been working with flowers for a few years now, yet somehow I do not own a vase. Not a single one - and frankly, you don't need one! When it's time to display some flowers, I can always scrounge up plenty of teapots, teacups, bottles, bowls, and more.

Here are some of my favorite flower-holding alternatives.

Teapot: Above we have my grocery store flower arrangement, plonked in a teapot. If I'd had enough flowers, I could have made a smaller arrangement to put in my little salt bowl and creamer as well.

Teapot + tea cups: Here's the teapot in action again, this time filled with a bunch of spider mums and surrounded by single spider mums in teacups- broken teacups. These all have missing handles and/or major chips, but I couldn't bear to throw them away. Fill them with flowers and no one will notice the flaws.

The blooms will float on the water, but if you cut the stems the perfect length, you can keep them from getting sucked down into the cups over time.

Here's an aerial shot to give you an idea of how flexible such a floral set-up can be. You could scatter the teacups among your serving dishes, and if you have a full set of teacups you could put tea candles (or even floating tea candles) in half of them.

Bowl: As explored in How To Build A Centerpiece, a wide, low bowl can make an ideal — if slightly challenging — vessel for a flowing arrangement. This bowl from my parents usually holds pretty piles of produce or corrals the trinity of phone, keys, and wallet. Mixing bowls, soup bowls, and pasta bowls could all work as well.

Carafe: Here are those same spider mums, this time displayed in a carafe.

Pitcher: If you own a pitcher — whether a classic glass version or a stoneware one like this — see if the opening is large enough to accommodate stems. Here, goldenrod stems are cooperatively teeny, and the trimmed off extras fit perfectly in a little medicine bottle.

Creamer: I edited down one of those overly-mixed bouquets from the grocery store, creating this punchy but petite arrangement. If you have colorful dishes, have fun playing around with a wide range of colors, both in your flowers and your "vase" — here, a little handmade creamer.

Jar: When I found myself without a vase suitable for my other monochromatic grocery store arrangement, I grabbed a jar, painted it dusty gold, and threw the bouquet in. Done!

Bottles: I realize there's nothing revolutionary about putting flowers in bottles, so consider this a gentle reminder that there are some very, very lovely bottles out there. I saved these after using up all of (from left to right) our new favorite Mexican hot sauce Tamazula, chili oil from a Japanese grocery store, and soy sauce. These products cost between $1-3, and they came in such beautiful bottles. Keeping a range of options on hand will make it easy for you to accommodate any type/quantity of flowers.

(Image credits: Tess Wilson)