Design an Elegant Floral Centerpiece | Melissa Thomas | Skillshare

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Design an Elegant Floral Centerpiece

teacher avatar Melissa Thomas, Florist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. Intro - Design an Elegant Floral Centerpiece

    • 2. Choosing Flowers & Prepping Your Workspace

    • 3. The Greenery

    • 4. The Flowers, Part 1

    • 5. The Flowers, Part 2

    • 6. The Finishing Touches

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About This Class

Learn how to design a gorgeous floral centerpiece in this easy, step-by-step tutorial with Melissa of Pepper Rose.

I created this class for my fellow flower lovers who want to learn the basics of floral design and need some assistance!

I’ll guide you through the process of designing a stunning floral arrangement, teaching you the basic skills needed for any novice or aspiring florist. I’ll infuse my best tips & tricks that I’ve learned along the way as a florist to help you create your most beautiful arrangement yet. You’ll finish the class feeling more confident than ever with your new floral design skills, and inspired to create your own design!


Meet Your Teacher

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Melissa Thomas



Hello, beautiful! I'm Melissa, the creator of Pepper Rose. I'm so glad you're here.

Pepper Rose brings together my love for flowers, art and beauty through many different mediums - Skillshare being one of them! Filming these videos for you lights up my whole heart. When I was in high school, my dream was to be like Giada DiLaurentiis on the Food Network and have my own cooking show. My Skillshare channel has allowed for this dream to come true, but with my deep passion for floral design!

Just around the time I decided I wanted to have my own show, I started working at a flower shop as a delivery girl. There, I discovered the flower ranunculus, my heart went pitter-patter, and ever since then I fell head over heels in love with flowers. Speaking of love, j... See full profile

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1. Intro - Design an Elegant Floral Centerpiece: Welcome. I'm so glad you are here. I'm Melissa, a designer and a florist, and all around artist currently living in Denver. I created the company Pepper Rose as a platform that brings together my love for flowers, art and beauty through many different mediums. I have a special place in my heart for floral design and today I'm going to teach you everything you need to know about creating a beautiful floral arrangement. If you are a fellow flower lover like me, and maybe even an aspiring florist and you want to learn some basic skills to design your own arrangements, then you are in the right place. By the end of these lessons, you will learn how to choose flowers for your arrangement, what kind of vase to use, and you will learn some really valuable design skills about creating an overall style for your arrangement. I'll also teach you some helpful design tips I've picked up along the way, as a florist, that will help you feel empowered to create your own elegant floral centerpiece. Let's get started. 2. Choosing Flowers & Prepping Your Workspace: Welcome to lesson number 1. In this lesson, I'm going to teach you everything you need to know before you actually start designing. I got these flowers from a local wholesale flower market, but you can get your flowers from anywhere you'd like. Trader Joe's has a wide variety of inexpensive seasonal options. You can also just step outside into your backyard, and pick some fresh blooms that are growing. As you can see, I chose many different types of flowers because I honestly just got really inspired at the market and excited. I grabbed probably seven different kinds of flowers, but you really don't need that many to achieve this elegant look. All you really need are about three different kinds of flowers, and one greenery and that set. You can choose any vase that you'd like. For this specific arrangement I'm designing in a small mason jar. I think it's easy to overestimate how beige your vase needs to be. Keep in mind that the bigger the vase, the more flowers you'll need to use. You'll also need some good floral shears, clippers, or a knife. Fill up your vase with water before you start designing. What I like to do is lay everything out so that it's handy and ready to go. I filled up the bunch of vases, as you can see and put all of my flowers around me so that I was ready to grab them when I needed them. 3. The Greenery: Start with your greenery and use these leaves to begin to create a basic shape that will act as a blueprint for the rest of the design. I'm starting with these beautiful gardenia greens to create a long asymmetrical shape. Strip the stems of any leaves so that they don't touch the water and clip each stem at an angle so it's easy for the stem to drink the water making sure it touches the bottom of the vase. When putting in your stems, put them in an angle so that not only are they coming out at a beautiful angle but this will also help create a grid to help hold all the stems in place. Once you have a basic shape with a few stems of greenery, start to build on that by creating a grid of greenery that will work as a foundation to hold your flowers in place. If you don't have enough stems in a vase, a flower could fall over or just not stay where you want it to and the grid system helps to prevent that from happening. Instead of this grid system, you could also use chicken wire, tape, or floral film to hold your stems in place. You can see that I'm choosing each piece of greenery to create the shape that I want. I'll use some stems that are longer with more leaves, and I'll use some other stems that are a little bit shorter to create a simple blueprint of what the arrangement will look like. 4. The Flowers, Part 1: Now for the best part, the flowers. I'm starting out with these beautiful peony and placing it into the arrangement, a little bit off-center. I'm also using these poppies mostly as my focal flower. The flowers are inevitably going to just move around as you place the stems in. They're not going to go exactly where you want, sometimes they will. Some of the stems are going to be longer and shorter to create this asymmetrical left to right look so that the left will have the tallest flowers and the right will have the shortest flowers. Before I actually cut the stem and place it into the vase. I'm just nestling the flower head right up where I think it might look best in a couple different places and testing out where it should go before actually cutting the stem and putting it in and committing to it. I just cut off a little flower bud on that poppy stem so that it was clean stem. Feel free to do this as you see little imperfections or things that you just you don't want in your arrangement, you can just cut them off. I personally like to choose a focal flower to be the star of the show, and also some medium-sized flowers and a few accent flowers or filler flowers. But these are just guidelines. You can really make your arrangement with anything that you want and there are no rules. Don't be afraid also to touch the flowers. Just be gentle. But you can really manipulate the flowers that they sit exactly where you want them to. Now I'm pulling out some colorful flowers which are more medium sized. And for this arrangement, I chose a warmer color palette with pops of white and green to accent. As far as choosing colors, have fun with it. Experiment with different colors that you may not normally think would look good together and you may be surprised. A tip for shopping for flowers, I like to choose the first few blooms that look the healthiest and most beautiful that really speak to me and then build off of that and you can create a color palette from that. I let my poppies and roses sit out overnight in a room temperature area so that the petals would open up more. And this is a good tip if you're designing for an event. You want your blooms to be at their peak openness so that they look as beautiful as possible. 5. The Flowers, Part 2: Make sure to turn your arrangement around and take a step back and look at it from a few different angles to see if everything is looking good as you are designing. You can also twist the stem as you are putting it into the base. If the base gets a little bit crowded, this will just help it slide in a little easie. Adding in [inaudible] , which are my favorite flower because they have a mind of their own and their heads like to dance and bounce around, which I think is so cute and they add just a punchy, fun look to your arrangement, but at the same time there also so delicate, fluffy and feminine. I am also creating a front and a back for this arrangement, which you do not have to do, but I do not want the arrangement to be round. I want it to be more wild and organic looking. These butterfly run Angela's are also one of my favorite flowers because they also bounce around and they have this really beautiful delicate touch. I am adding the stem in on the right lower side of the arrangement, then making its natural curve like droops downwards so that it is one of the lowest points of the whole shape of the arrangement. The reason you want to strip all the leaves from the stems so that they are not touching the water is because the leaves have bacteria on them and if they touch the water, the bacteria will start to grow and your arrangement just will not last this long. This pincushion protea had a shorter stem, so I cut off a couple of greener leaves after I placed it into the arrangement, so that it would not be head in and it could have a chance to peek through. These theories are called kangaroo paw. I love them so much because they are funky and out of fun texture and a little wildness into any arrangement. 6. The Finishing Touches: Once you feel like you finished your centerpiece, take a few photos on your phone from different angles. The photos really help you to see any places where there may be weird holes or flowers that could be tweaked around a little bit. To make your arrangement last as long as possible, you can store it in a cooler or a refrigerator until you're ready to show it off. Another trick to make it last long, is to change the water with fresh water about every other day and right before you put the stems into the fresh water, give them a little trim and it will make your arrangement last so much longer. As time goes by, some of the flowers will start to wither or look a little bit sad, but others won't. So you can pull the sad ones out and that will help your arrangement continue looking lush and beautiful. I hope you learned some valuable skills and tips along the way and I really hope that you feel excited and empowered to create your own arrangement at home. Make sure to take some vital photos of your gorgeous arrangements and post them in this class. I would love to see them. I really appreciate you joining me through this class and I hope to see you in the next one. Happy designing.