The more I work with all sorts of flora, the more I love the entire life span of the ingredients I work with, including their death phase. In autumn, plants begin to die, producing seed pods and dried crunchy leaves. The texture alone is dreamy. I also love how the colors of the foliage shift and change as it begins to dry. In this low, dramatic Halloween centerpiece arrangement, I combine these dried floral elements with freshly bloomed dahlias to create an effect that reminds us all of the circle of life and how these seed pods will result in new flowers next year… plus, it is the perfect way to bring a floral element into your next Halloween-themed gathering!
A Dark & Moody Halloween Centerpiece DIY
- Semi-dried fern fronds
- Dried Poppy Pods
- Black Dahlias
- Pampas Grass
- Chocolate Laceflower
- Low, wide compote vase
- Flower Pruners (these are my go-to, holy grail floral shears!)
- Floral frog
- Waterproof floral putty
For this arrangement, I began by securing the floral frog to the base of the vase with waterproof floral putty and filling the vase with floral food and water. Then I used the fern fronds to create a fullness and shape to the arrangement that would guide all the other ingredients. I opted for an asymmetrical shape to give our Halloween centerpiece some visual interest. As I placed the fronds, I also thought about where to leave room for the pampas grass, which would also be significant in the shape-forming process. When working with something bold and dramatic like pampas grass, I typically work in odd numbers. The eye is very drawn to an element like this and using two or four of these stems would appear too even and ‘too perfect.’ Three felt right for this arrangement, so I cut each stem at different lengths and placed them strategically where they continued the asymmetry of the arrangement, while also adding some balance.
Next came the deep burgundy colored dahlias. These typical focal flowers are a bit understated in this arrangement because of their dark color, so I used a lot of them. I really wanted them to make a statement, especially since they are the only truly ‘colorful’ element in the entire Halloween centerpiece. As I placed the dahlias at varying heights through the arrangement, I took care to honor the shape we created with the pampas grass and ferns.
Finally, the chocolate lace and poppy pods add some extra texture and visual interest to the flower arrangement. Because I didn’t want to overwhelm the arrangement by making it too busy, I only used a small number of each these stems and tucked them into places that would highlight the dahlias and support the grass and ferns. Flower arranging is such an organic process, so it’s best to trust your gut on the placement of these small accent blooms.
As you play with flowers this autumn, try your hand at mixing things that are in their death phase (or even fully dried, like our poppy pods) with things in their life phase. It can be a creative challenge, but I’ve been loving the results it’s achieved for me lately!
If you’d like to recreate the look, here are some mercury glass vase options to shop: