How to arrange dried flowers in a vase

Arranging dried flowers into a beautiful bouquet doesn’t require a degree in floristry – literally anyone can do a great job with a little trial and error. That means you! You might not have ever arranged flowers and only ever cut the bottoms off of fresh flowers and plonked them in a vase, but trust us – you can do this. And I’m going to show you how.

I promise – it’s simpler than you think.

Arranging dried flowers top tip #1

This is the most important of all the tips I’m going to share with you today. It is the thing that makes or breaks whether your bouquet looks decent or disastrous and it’s so simple that once you know it, you’ll see other people doing it and want to hit them over the head with a giant piece of pampas (okay, maybe it won’t frustrate you as much as it does me, but you still won’t ever be able to un-see this tip).

Choose the right vase. There, said it. Feels good.

I don’t mean choose a nice colour, or glass vs ceramic, but one that actually fits the bouquet nicely. Have you ever tried on a top or dress that’s two sizes too big? You love it, it would look amazing on you in the right size, but two sizes too big and you look like you’re wearing a floral sack of spuds and feel about as appealing as some mouldy potato peel. Don’t do this to your dried bouquet – just like you, every bit of it is beautiful and it deserves to be dressed to its best.

Here’s what I mean: exactly the same bouquet, same number of stems and in one of the photos below it looks pants. The vase is too big, there’s no arrangement to the stems and it looks like there’s half as much to your bouquet as you thought there was. 

dried flowers arranged in a vasedried flowers arranged in a glassdried flowers arranged in a vase

Now look at the other two – nice narrow necks. The stems stay where you put them and you’ve got a beautiful bouquet that will look good for months or even years.

Now I’ve got that off my chest….

Arranging dried flowers top tip #2

Start with the stem or stems that will form your background. These will either be the fluffiest stems like pampas, the largest stems like eucalyptus or whatever you want to go at the back of the bouquet. You’ll need a good pair of scissors for cutting any stems down to the size you want them.

starting to arrange dried flowers in a vase
Top tip #3

Make sure you add some height to the centre back of the bouquet – even if it’s a few stems to start with, it’ll help frame the height and shape you’re aiming for.

Always cut stems down to the size that you want them to be, in line with the tallest ones you’ve already added. However, I find it helps to keep stems just slightly longer than you think you’ll want them, so you can always take away a bit more later on.

arranging dried flowers

Top tip #4

If there’s anything you want to dangle out to the side, add these in. You can slot stems in front and behind them, but dangly grasses always look best at the side of an arrangement, so this is the natural next step.

adding eucalyptus to dried flower bouquet

Top tip #5

Start filling the bouquet out from the back to the front, adding more taller stems towards the back and shorter ones towards the front. You’ll notice that the shorter something is, the more it’ll tend to fill the vase (if you’ve chosen a thin neck vase for your bouquet).

If you’ve got a few of the same types of grass and you’re not using them as a ‘filler’, make sure you cut them down to be different heights. This is especially the case with bunny tails – 5 the same height will look like a blob of colour, while 5 with a couple of varying heights will look instantly artistic.

arranging dried flowers in a vase

Top tip #6

Once you’ve arranged most of your grasses, hold them tight in one hand and snip away any length that you can do without. Doing this will help fill out your vase even more and keeps the grasses and flowers closer together, which means all your hard work won’t just fall apart or get jumbled up if there’s a gust of wind or a clumsy knock.

If there are any that you don’t want to cut down, leave them out and put them back in the vase. A good way to test if they’re the ideal size or not, is to hold them against your vase and mark where to cut the excess from with your finger and thumb.

cutting dried flowers

Top tip #7

Now for the finishing touches. If you’ve got too much of one colour to one side, try moving a couple of coloured grasses to the other side for some contrast. Play around with framing your bouquet with the same colour and having colours on separate sides – both can look great and this is where you add your own personal flare to your bouquet.

Finally, if you have some delicate grasses in your bouquet, like feather grass or miscanthus, arrange these right at the end. They’re the bits that will usually add the finishing touch you didn’t even know was missing.

adding finishing touches to dried flower arrangement
Summary: 7 top tips for arranging dried flowers into a vase

  1. Use a narrow necked vase
  2. Use some good scissors and hold grasses against the outside of the vase to see how tall you want to cut them to be
  3. Start with the stem or stems that will form your background
  4. Set your height using longer stems towards the back of the vase
  5. Add any dangly grasses to the side 
  6. Fill the bouquet out from back to front – use smaller stems at the front
  7. If you have several of the same stems, test out using them on the same side, at different heights, or interspersed throughout the bouquet
  8. Hold all the grasses tight in one hand and snip the same amount of the bottom to shorten the entire bouquet
  9. Play around with contrast, if there’s too much of the same colour on one side
  10. Use delicate feather grasses towards the end as finishing touches

Dried bouquets and vases at Meadow Made

If you’re still not convinced you want to try your hand at arranging your own dried bouquet, let us know when you order your letterbox flowers. We’ll arrange it to fit in a narrow necked vase and tie it so all you have to do is put them into a vase then untie the string when they arrive. The only downside of doing this is you might end up with a bouquet the wrong height, so if you want to be double sure everything will look perfect, select one of our narrow necked vases and we’ll make your stems the ideal length for that.

About the author

Sally loves everything to do with interiors and home renovations. From her career to her family home, you’ll pick up some great tips and tricks from the lady who has her finger permanently glued on the pulse of the latest trends. Find out more about Sally.