Seems like so many of the popular web posts I read have the word HACK in them.
Seems like that word can make a post popular!
But what exactly is a HACK?
Inquiring minds want to know!

A hack is an easier way to do something, a shortcut.
Sweetwater Style is all about making things easier and taking some thrifty shortcuts! 
For your viewing enjoyment, here are my favorite Sweetwater Flower Arranging HACKS!
Buy Inexpensive Flowers
You don’t need to go to the florist to purchase flowers.  
My favorite places to buy my blooms are grocery stores!  Cost Co, Cub, and Trader Joe’s have wonderful selections at bargain prices.  
These three bundles cost a total of $10 dollars and will make at least two lovely arrangements!

Use Fresh Floral Foam

Floral Foam or Oasis makes arranging your stems simple.
Be sure to buy “WET” foam.
Wet foam absorbs a lot of water to keep the arrangement fresh.
DO NOT use dry foam for fresh flowers!  This is the stuff you use for artificial arrangements!

Simply cut a chunk of foam the size of your container and soak it thoroughly in a sink full of water.  You know it is completely saturated when no air bubbles come out anymore.
Floral foam can be purchased at any craft store for around $2 a block.  You can also buy in bulk from Amazon.  
Condition The Water
  There are all kinds of “tricks” to condition the water in the container.  I have heard of putting a penny or an aspirin in the bottom of the vase.
Since most flowers you buy come with the little pack of floral conditioner….I think the HACK here is to use it!
I sometimes add a tad of regular chlorine bleach too.  It keeps the water clear in a transparent vase!
Prepare Your Flowers 

DO NOT skip this step! 
 Before you put any bloom in your vase you need to strip away any foliage that will be touching the water.
You also need to make a fresh diagonal cut using a really sharp knife.
The diagonal cut will give more surface for the stem to absorb water.

Choose and Plan The Shape
Once you have decided on the container for your flowers, you can decide on the shape your arrangement will have.  
This decision is totally your call….but the flowers may help you make the choice.
Here are some basic diagrams of the possibilities.
Use Flower Frogs 

Sometimes floral foam doesn’t work for the container you are using.
The use of a flower frog to stabilize the stems is a great way to go.
You can buy metal frogs at the craft store.
Many times there are glass frogs at the thrift store.  Keep your eyes open for these beauties and buy them when you see them.
A glass frog is a great way to support thick stemmed flowers in a low vase.  Great for Daffodils, Tulips and Irises

Other Clever Hacks to Support Stems

Handtied bouquets are a nice way to help flowers stand up in a vase.
Simply gather the stems by over lapping them.
Wrap some raffia around the center up close to the flower heads.
The whole thing can be dropped into the vase.
Using this technique is great for  long lasting flowers because the bottom of the stems stay straight to absorb lots of water.

Yes….the hack here is plain old paper towels!
Stuffing some of the toweling into a vase to support large heavy stemmed blooms like Sunflowers is a great way to give them stability.
Use the hand tied technique to arrange the heads of the flowers in a pleasing way. The raffia tie becomes part of the charm of the rustic arrangement.

Use Interesting Add Ons

Seed pods, branches, and grapevine can add visual interest to your centerpiece.

Use hot glue to attach a skewer to a fun pieces of potpouri for interesting pops of texture.
Thrift stores are a good source for these items.  Remember to keep them when you discard your arrangement and they can be used over and over again.

Camouflage Tricks

Use a large leaf like Hosta to line the inside of a clear vase.  This a clever way to hide the stems.
Spanish Moss or moss from the woods is a great way to finish off the top of your vase.
This hack can also be used as a disguise for a basket of small plants.
Moss harvested from the woods is great camouflage in this Birch arrrangement.

Enough for now, I will leave you with a look at the centerpieces I made using those flowers from Trader Joe’s.

Take a minute to comment and add your favorite Hacks for flower arranging.
Have A Great Day!