March 29, 2022

How to Make an Asymmetrical Arrangement!

Mother's Day is around the corner and asymmetrical arrangements are among my favorite designs so I wanted to create a fun piece inspired by my own mother!

Before starting, I gave her a call to ask about her favorite flowers and...let's just say she gave me a laundry list of what not to use instead. So here is my attempt at making something for my mom when my instructions were a purpley-blue hydrangea, lots of no's to other flowers and her not being too keen on the idea of an asymmetrical piece. Here we go!

Create a Compote Bowl!

Dollar Tree has some amazing glass pieces that you can combine for an inexpensive, but beautiful compote bowl! Yes, DT items may be $1.25 now instead of $1 but when you look up how much compote bowls are going for these know you'll be saving a bunch of money!

Grab one of their candlestick holders and a glass bowl (this one has a pretty design on the sides), E6000 and some regular hot glue to put this together.

Use Extra Glue for a Larger Surface Area!

I have seen this hack of putting the two glass pieces together a bunch in the florist community but usually, it only involves using a ring of E6000* around the rim of the candlestick holder and attaching it to the bowl. This doesn't provide enough surface area for the candlestick to stay in place once you are adding florals and greenery to the bowl.

The trick I used for this piece was to squeeze E6000 around the candlestick rim as well as into the cup area where the candle would normally go. E6000 takes around 24 hours to fully cure so instead of filling the entire "cup" with it, I made to cover all of the glass inside the cup with a thin layer of E6000 and then filled the cup with hot glue! Hot glue dries much faster but it can kinda of just pop off glass (which is why you want the thin layer of E6000 under it to hold to the glass).

Glue the Glass Pieces Together!

Once the candlestick cup has been filled and is dry (you only need to wait for the hot glue to dry), add a layer of E6000 on both the rim of the candlestick as well as the dried hot glue. The amount of surface area you have now holding the candlestick to the bowl will ensure it stays in place!

Another trick with E6000 is that it sets better when it is somewhat tacky. So after adding the candlestick holder to the bowl, pick it up again, turn it slightly and then put it back on the ring of glue that is now on the bowl. Leave it to dry overnight (I left it standing in the position of the above picture) and come back tomorrow for the next step.

Spray Paint the Container!

Now that your compote bowl is sturdy and all one piece, you can spray paint it! I chose white because I will be using bright and bold spring colors for my florals but you can use any color you would like. Flip the bowl upside down and apply light coats of spray paint (allowing the paint to dry between coats) until it is all covered.

To ensure the paint stays in place, you can use a sealing spray like a clear acrylic coating or even mod podge spray.

Add Foam!

Once the compote bowl is completely made, painted and dried, it is time to attach your dry foam!

As I mentioned earlier, hot glue and glass aren't the best of friends. When the glass cools, it makes the hot glue easy to pop off. In addition, E6000 and foam aren't great pals as E6000 can sometimes dissolve the foam. To create a floral structure in a glass bowl, you could add tape to the top of the bowl in a grid pattern but I wanted to see how double sided tape on the foam would hold up.

FYI - it is holding up great!

Select Your Greenery!

When creating an asymmetrical arrangement, I always start with my greenery base! For the most part, the greenery will set the shape and boundaries of the whole piece.

The greenery used (from left to right) is:

  • Eucalyptus and lamb's ear mixed bundle (it has great movement, bounce and flow)
  • Sage leaf bunch (the leaf shape and darker color add contrast and color)
  • Lamb's ear (it has a lot of volume to it and is great to fill in gaps while still complementing the other two greeneries)

Start Your Greenery Base!

The eucalyptus and lamb's ear mixed bundle is what I used first to start creating the shape because of it's natural movement (it isn't stiff and the leaves are on stems without wire so they can bounce). I wanted the piece to be higher on the left side and then cascade down on the right.

These first two pieces of greenery that you add will set the overall flow for how you add everything else so be sure you like the way they are looking!

Add More Greenery!

Keeping that curved line from the top left to bottom right in mind, I added the rest of the eucalyptus and lamb's ear mixed bundle to the center, front and back areas.

Next, the fuller lamb's ear was added. To keep that asymmetrical curve and to fill the arrangement out, you want to add the second and third greenery types to follow the boundaries you have set. For example, I needed to be sure there was a lamb's ear stem that went in the same upright position on the upper left as well as one the cascaded off the right side of the bowl. The lengths of the greenery stems can and should be different but the directions they go in should flow with one another.

Add Even More Greenery!

Add the sage leaf greenery in using that same flow and direction as the others. There will be spots where you can see the foam but much of that will be covered by flowers in the next few steps and you can add more greenery and/or fillers once the flowers are in.

Select and Paint Your Flowers!

My mom's only actual request was purpley-blue hydrangeas so I decided to go for a bright and bold wildflower inspired flower type selection and color story!

For this piece I used:

  • Celeste (dyed as daffodils)
  • Spider mums (kept mostly white with yellow/green in the center to mimic chrysanthemums)
  • Hydrangea (spray painted with blues and hot pink to create the purple effect)
  • Dolly (painted purple)
  • Sola branches (dyed pink to resemble magnolia buds)
  • Mini daisies

Add Your Tallest Flowers!

Look at that pop of color from the sola branches! Having them follow the greenery boundaries but going just a bit further, outside the box really accentuates the asymmetrical shape.

Add Your Largest Flower!

Next up is the very full, large hydrangea to add. It takes up the most space and is a real stand out with that coloring so you want to place it second. I placed it off center (what I usually recommend) and near the rim of the bowl. The rest of the flowers can help elongate the shape so this one should be closer to where the greenery is concentrated.

Keep Adding Flowers!

I then continued to add flowers to balance the colors and complement the overall shape. The dollies (purple flowers) were glued onto a faux rose stem - the top flower where the rose would be and the other two where greenery had been attached) - and helped to pull the darker hydrangea coloring out to the edges of the arrangement. The spider mums and celeste flowers were kept close to the center area where the greenery was thickest. Placing these in a triangle formation kept balance but also added interest to the eye.

Add Mini Daisies as Filler!

The last of the flowers, the daisies, were individually stemmed but then added into the arrangement in bunches of 2-3 at a time. They helped bring the soft yellow color to the outer layers of the full arrangement.

Add Final Filler for Texture!

Last but not least, I wanted to bring the white out to the edges so I grabbed a filler from my stash and followed the already established lines of the sola branches and dollies!

The Finished Piece!

Here is the view from the side! It is amazing how much you can pack into a compote bowl in terms of greenery and flowers and I am pretty happy with the final result.

Fingers crossed that my mom thinks so too!