What could possibly be more quintessentially spring than tulips and daffodils? These happy blooms are popping up all around for a much-needed jolt of cheerfulness after a long winter — and just in time for Mother’s Day! Yesterday, Joanna shared an eclectic tablescape for three to celebrate Mother’s Day, but let’s talk about the main star of the event: the nest centerpiece! We decided to embrace spring’s best floral offering for this month’s floral DIY with a giant bird’s nest full of tulips and daffodils — and it’s super-easy to recreate on your own.
- 45-50 tulips in shades of pink and peach
- 45-50 daffodils in shades of yellow and light orange
- 1 dried grapevine wreath (Etsy is a great source)
- chicken wire
- floral tape
- paper mâché floral dish or another dish that fits inside the wreath
- floral snips
Step 1: Prepare daffodils. Several hours before you are ready to arrange, recut your daffodil stems to the length you’ll want them to be in the arrangement (we suggest a variety of lengths, ranging from short to as tall as possible), and put them in a vase of water for 2-3 hours. Daffodils emit a sap when freshly cut that is harmful to other flowers. However, if you let them drain before you use them, it will help keep your arrangement fresh much longer. Just make sure not to recut the stems while you are making your arrangement!
Step 2: Prepare your nest for the flowers. The deeper the dish you can find, the better. This paper mâché floral bowl was fairly shallow and it worked, but a deeper dish will help secure your flowers even better. Use chicken wire to create a double layered shape that fits inside your dish, leaving about an inch of space between the layers. The goal of the chicken wire is to fit tightly in the dish and create smaller pockets to stick flower stems in so they will stand in place. Once your chicken wire is in place, use floral tape to create a grid or simple cross on top of the chicken wire securing it into the dish. Add water, but keep it well below the top as you will displace much of it with all the flower stems and you don’t want your dish to overflow. You can always add more at the end.
Step 3: Arrange your flowers. When we think of daffodils, we usually think of the plain yellow trumpet variety the flood the entrances of grocery stores this time of year. I know I’ve mentioned before how often I think certain flowers get a bad rap because one boring variety gets paraded in front of us (like carnations and chrysanthemums – joanna, you could even link to the november and february DIYs we did using these flowers) and daffodils are another casualty of the grocery store “make-flowers-boring” campaign. When you start exploring narcissus (the scientific name for daffodils) varieties, you can’t help but be awed by the intricate details and beautiful options that exist. Some of my favorites are White Lion, Thalia, Petit Four, Sir Winston Churchill Daffodil and Mary Gay Lirette Daoffodil (google them, you won’t regret it!). Spring is only just starting to bring us tulips, so I decided to let daffodils be the star of this show and stuck with a few different colors of a standard single tulip. To begin arranging, I gathered 8-10 stems of tulips and daffodils in varying heights and colors and placed them in the one of the holes in the chicken wire in the center of the arrangement. I continued in this way, moving towards the sides, slowly filling out the arrangement, cutting some shorter stems to go around the front and sides until I had a full cascading arrangement of tulips and daffodils. This arrangement is fairly simple as far as design, the key is mixing color and staggering height to add dimension to your arrangement. When your arrangement is filled out, you can go back and place individual stems wherever needed.
And one more helpful tulip tip: Tulips tend to start bending over if they spend any time without water. If your tulips have developed curved stems and you’d like to help them straighten up, you can recut the stems, wrap them in a fairly tight paper cone that keeps them all straight (but doesn’t squish them) and let them rest in cool water for a couple of hours. When you take the paper off, they should all be much straighter — just make sure they don’t leave water for more than a few seconds! Happy arranging :)
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