DIY floral masterpieces with Jay Archer | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
DIY flower centrepiece

Lovely lovely readers, such a treat for you today. If you are considering doing your own wedding flowers (or just something pretty for a dinner party) this is a great place to start, a very relaxed but beautiful centrepiece. Work with the season, lots of foliage and you can never go wrong. Expect lots more on here from this wonderful lady, the fabulous Jay Archer. Words and photography by Jay. 

December’s (though now January due to Christmas break and a busy blog! Sorry Jay!) post is one of two halves… it started with specimen pictures of in-season flora and fauna, but finishes with a do-it-yourself table demo. To be honest, the latter part is mainly because I bought myself a load of flowers at market, and could only justify the indulgence by sharing this little piece with you!

A visit to any flower market or florist shop will show the range of colours and flowers available at this time of year, unlike the supermarkets who tend to sell the same thing year round! From rich, royal purples, scarlet Christmassy reds to delicate blush pinks it’s all going on. Blue tends to be a bit tricky, but can be found in silver-blue spruce and ‘baby blue’ eucalyptus, hyacinths and muscari aka grape hyacinths. Forget me nots are just starting to make an appearance too (the little blue flowers featured in this wedding. December, for me, is all about texture- frosted pinecones, glittered apple place settings, twisted willow and berries of every size, shape and creed. Foliage really comes into it’s own aswell with English pine, parvi and Holly all available from Flowers by Clowance. A personal fave of mine, although not English, is mimosa. I used it in a water themed wedding earlier in the season, and it’s colour bewitches me.

Alstromeria Anemone Brassica and ilex berries IMG_1703 IMG_1720 Ranunculus

And now to our diy table centre…, you’ve selected your flowers, botanical embellishments and leafage and conditioned them for 24 hours (freshly cut the stems, stripped them of leaves 1/3 down the stem and placed in clean water), so now the fun begins! My number one rule when arranging flowers for the home is to enjoy- if you get frustrated, walk away, have a brew and a mince pie and come back to it with fresh eyes. There are no do’s or don’ts, and I personally don’t like to follow the rules anyway…

You’ll need some sharp scissors to make your centrepiece, some chicken wire or pre-soaked oasis floral foam and a vessel in which your arrangement will sit.

DIY flower tutorial

Stage 1

Stage One – I like to use chicken wire, scrunched up into a loose ball to create table centres or larger arrangements as a) it’s more environmentally friendly and b) it allows more movement and fluidity within the design, but you can use floral foam. Cut your pre-soaked foam to size, or place your wire in the vessel and fill with water if using the latter. If the wire floats up, add more or tape in place

Stage 2 Stage 2a

Stage Two – I’d like the euphorbia to be the main event in this design, so I am positioning that in first then foliage. The beauty of the wire is that you can take things out too, whereas with the oasis you’ll leave a big hole meaning the stems of the other flowers in it may dry out.

Stage 3

Stage Three – Once you have positioned your foliage, add your next big focal flower- here the chrysanthemums, which are at their best this time of year. I added a couple of the other flowers too, just to help get my general shape and composition.

Stage 4 Stage 4a

Stage Four – Keep turning the arrangement and looking at it on different levels- there should never be a gap, and every person at the table, big or small, should have a flower facing them. Finally, finished off with hanging foliage or berries, I use pink peppercorn, and you’re there!

Finsihed design


Glorious! If you do have a go please tweet myself or Jay (@jayarcher) so we can see! Also, please do leave her some love below or on twitter. She put a lot ot love in to this and I would like her to know how much it is appreciated, not only by me!

Have a lovely Tuesday. I hope it is full of positivity, tea, cake and hugs.


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