How to Make Funeral Flower Arrangements at Home

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Grief looks different from person to person. After losing a loved one, some people are so distraught that they struggle to make a simple decision regarding the funeral arrangements. Other people throw all of their grief into planning an extremely personal end-of-life service for their deceased family members complete with DIY funeral flower arrangements they made at home.

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If you want to personalize the flower arrangements for your loved one’s funeral, you may consider doing it yourself. Making your own funeral floral arrangements may also be a way to save money on the service. Regardless of your reasons, we’re here to help. Here are the fundamental steps to how to make a funeral flower arrangement. 

We know there are many different types of funeral flowers. For simplicity’s sake, we will discuss two basic types: the standing funeral arrangement and a simple arrangement placed in a vase. You may also consider laying the standing funeral arrangement on top of the closed casket to create a funeral spray. 

Virtual funeral tip: If you're planning a virtual funeral with a service like GatheringUs, you can display your flower arrangements in the background for online guests to see. 

What You’ll Need to Make a Funeral Flower Arrangement

Before you can begin your arrangements, make sure you have gathered all the necessary materials. If you’ve never arranged flowers before, you may find it necessary to purchase some equipment and supplies.

If you intended to save money on the flower arrangements by doing them yourself, you may be surprised to find that you could have purchased a professional arrangement for not much more than you spent yourself after buying all the materials you need.

  • Find a good pair of scissors or gardening shears. These will be used to trim the stems to the appropriate length.
  • Buy either an appropriately-sized vase or a styrofoam half ball, depending on the type of arrangement you’re going to complete.
  • Wire cutters might be necessary if you need to cut wire to secure the standing floral display to a wire easel. You may also use wire cutters if you use artificial flowers in your arrangement. Speaking of wire cutters, you may need wire to secure the arrangement or wire-backed ribbon to add to the display. 
  • You may find it handy to have a stem stripper, especially if you are working with flowers with many thorns or leaves.
  • You may find it necessary to purchase the wire easel or pillar where your final arrangements will be displayed. You may check with the funeral home or church to see if they have some available for you to use. 
  • Of course, you’ll also need plenty of flowers. If you are new to arranging, make sure you purchase extra stems. You may find yourself damaging stems or blooms during the placement. You might also find that you don’t have an accurate sense of judgment on just how many flowers it would take to make the arrangement seem full and complete.

Carefully consider what flowers you use. Did your loved one have a favorite? If not, consider using blooms in your loved one’s favorite colors. Perhaps you could purchase flowers based on the region that they are connected with or their meaning. You should also consider the season in which the funeral takes place. Some blooms may not be available at a particular time of year.

Of course, you could also consider using artificial flowers for funeral flower arrangements. This may not lower the cost of your arrangement, though. You would also have to think about what you would do with the funeral flowers after the event takes place. 

ยป MORE: Honor your loved one's memory by taking the right next steps. Here is your free post-loss checklist.


How to Make a Standing Funeral Flower Arrangement

You can find several different types of arrangements used at funerals. One of the most common is a standing floral arrangement. Standing flower arrangements are typically oval in shape. They are similar to a funeral spray that you would see on top of the casket, but instead, you usually see standing floral arrangements displayed on an easel or a three-legged metal wire frame. 

Making a standing floral display takes time, skill, and talent. The process feels different from arranging flowers in a vase. Here are some simple steps to get you started. 

1. Gather your supplies

Gather the items listed in the previous section. As you look at photos of professionally designed funeral arrangements, you’ll notice that these arrangements are full and include flowers and greenery sticking out in all directions.

To keep yourself from having to return to your flower source in the middle of designing your arrangements, it’s probably a good idea to overbuy stems. This is especially true if you are a beginner and think you might damage some of the flowers as you place them in the arrangements.

2. Place the styrofoam half ball on a flat surface

No matter how tidy you are, you’re going to make a mess when arranging flowers. Complete your work on an easy-to-clean surface.

3. Begin placing the largest flowers in the center of the arrangement

If you purchased flowers in a wide variety of colors and sizes, start your arrangement by placing the largest blooms (or most distinct-looking blooms) toward the middle of the half ball. You will have to cut the stems to the appropriate length before placing them. Make sure you don’t cut the stems too short, as you won’t want the largest blooms hidden behind the greenery and other filler material. 

Whether you surround the largest flowers with blooms or larger sizes or greenery, make sure you cover the styrofoam ball. 

You may consider using a clear glue at the base of each stem to help hold the flower and greenery in place. 

4. Continue placing flowers in an outward direction 

Once the center of the styrofoam ball is covered, use longer stemmed flowers and greenery to fill in the outside of the arrangement. 

5. Add ribbon or other decorations to the arrangement

You may consider adding a bow or other decoration to your floral arrangement. This could be used to fill in bare spots or could be used to give the arrangement a sense of direction.

6. Attach the arrangement to the wire easel

Using wire, attach the arrangement to the wire easel securely.

How to Make a Funeral Flower Arrangement in a Vase

If you’re a beginner, you might find it easier to make a flower arrangement in a vase instead of making a standing arrangement. Here are some steps to make a simple arrangement using real flowers and greenery. 

A DIY funeral arrangement is one way to plan a funeral on a budget and it can also make the arrangement more meaningful. Consider using flowers from your family’s garden or even wildflowers and grasses that grow in your area. 

1. Gather your materials

Besides the flowers, one of the most important things to consider when making a flower arrangement of this type is the vase.

Clear glass vases are certainly typical but you’ll need to consider the look of the stems when completing this type of arrangement. 

2. Fill the vase one-third full of water and plant food

Use cool water. You may need to stir in the plant food to make sure it dissolves instead of settling to the bottom. 

3. Add greenery

Instead of starting with the focal blooms, begin your display by arranging greenery in the back.

Crisscross the foliage stems so your flowers can be secured against them when you add them later. 

4. Add your focal flowers

Your focal flowers may include massive blooms or those of a particular color.

Trim the stems at a diagonal so they absorb water easier and last longer. You’ll also want to remove some or all of the leaves from the stems.

5. Add secondary flowers and greenery

Once you place the background and focal point of the arrangements, add secondary flowers and greenery to fill in the arrangement.

Step back periodically to make sure the shape of the arrangement is pleasing. 

6. Add ribbons or decorations

As you complete your arrangement, you may consider adding a ribbon or other decoration to the arrangement.

The box may be placed on a wire stem, which goes in the middle of the arrangement, or it may be tied around the vase.

7. Determine the placement of the flowers at the funeral

Flower arrangements in vases aren’t as secure as those placed on wire easels.

Carefully consider where the vases will be placed at the funeral so that they don’t tip over if someone bumps them.

Other Ways to Personalize the Funeral Service of a Loved One

Many people take great care in how they say goodbye to their loved ones. They choose readings based on what verses gave comfort to their loved ones while still alive. They select songs important to the deceased and the rest of the family. They carefully choose the clothing that their loved one will be displayed in at an open-casket funeral. They may even write the eulogy for their loved ones. 

There are plenty of ways to personalize funerals. Choosing the perfect funeral flowers is just one way to do it.

If you're looking for more ways to personalize a funeral, read our guides on funeral favor ideas and main entryway funeral ideas.

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