This post is in partnership with Kroger. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible!
Like many moms, I often struggle with spending money on “frivolous” items for myself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled random items out of my cart in the checkout lane because I decided a) they weren’t really a necessity or b) maybe I should wait until next payday to purchase them. And then next payday rolls around and the cycle begins again…
But there’s one indulgence that I do allow myself quite frequently — fresh flowers. I just loovvveeee the way they brighten up a room and breathe life into a space!
Of course, it helps that my taste in flowers doesn’t run on the expensive side of the spectrum. Carnations are the perfect example of an often overlooked flower that I think is totally gorgeous. Plus they’re super budget friendly AND last forever (well, up to two weeks). And since January is National Carnation Month, I figured there was no better time to feature this gorgeous flower!
It also helps that I’ve learned a super easy method for arranging carnations that shows off their best assets — those exquisite, frilly blooms. Since carnations have such long stems with very few leaves, throwing them in a tall vase can make them look awkward, spindly, and sad. Occasionally it works — but mostly it’s a big DON’T. If you’re guilty of this “arrangement” technique in the past, don’t stress about it. It’s a classic rookie mistake that we’ve all made but one that’s easily remedied!
Simple Carnation Flower Arrangement How To
This stunningly simple carnation flower arrangement is nearly effortless. Trimming down the stems and using a low, round bubble vase shows off these blooms to perfection. All you need is a pair of floral shears and about five minutes of time!
- about 2-dozen fresh carnations
- floral shears
- bubble vase
Flowers On A Budget
The number of blooms you’ll need depends on the size of your bubble vase and the size of the flowers. I have a larger vase that’s about 6.5-inches tall with roughly a 5-inch opening, so I grabbed 2 dozen carnations from Kroger’s floral department. Talk about a steal! The lighter pink carnations were $6 for the dozen, and I found the darker pink ones with the markdowns priced at just $2.99.
Kroger is actually my favorite store for fresh flowers on a budget. Their Growers Bunch flowers are simply beautiful, they’re always well stocked, and the bouquets are rotated regularly. So you always get the freshest flowers for your money… And their markdowns can’t be beat! Typically they still have plenty of life left in them, giving you plenty of bang for your buck.
Preparing Your Carnations
Start by trimming each carnation so that it’s just slightly taller than your vase. Use a sharp pair of floral shears for a clean cut, and trim at an angle to allow the flower to take up plenty of water. Blooms that haven’t quite opened up all the way can be gently coaxed outward with your fingertips.
You’ll also want to remove any leaves that will be below the water line, which usually ends up being just about all of them. This will help keep your carnations looking beautiful longer.
Arranging Your Carnations
Choose the largest, fluffiest bloom for the center of your bouquet. Add the rest of the carnations around it, alternating sides and criss-crossing the stems.
I started with the darker pink flowers, and set them in the water-filled vase after I was satisfied with the bouquet. As I mentioned, 12 flowers wasn’t enough to fill out my larger bubble vase, so from there I tucked the lighter pink blooms in between the darker ones until I was satisfied with the overall appearance. I happen to adore the two-toned look, but one solid color is equally impressive.
Flowers that are around the edges of the vase may need trimmed slightly to maintain a domed shape, but don’t overthink it. The beauty of this simple carnation flower arrangement is that it’s not too structured and fussy.
Caring For Your Carnation Flower Arrangement
Carnation arrangements require very little care to keep them looking beautiful for days and even weeks. Just add water as needed and change the water completely every 4-5 days. Also, try to keep your arrangement away from drafts, direct sun and/or excessive heat.
I can’t even tell you how many compliments I got on this arrangement on New Year’s Eve — which happened to be about four days after I initially put it together! And in case you needed any more convincing, here’s one last perk… Low-laying carnation flower arrangements like this make the perfect centerpiece. No trying to hold a conversation around or through a vase full of flowers! Larger arrangements are gorgeous but are best placed in a less obtrusive spot.
I’d love to see how your carnation flower arrangement turns out… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook so I can check them out. Enjoy!
Thursday 29th of April 2021
you can also keep the water pristine by dropping in 1/2 to 1 cap full of Clorox bleach.
Thursday 29th of April 2021
Great tip -- thanks for sharing, Davida!