Fall Flowers for the Church Altar

So many of you have asked for it, so here it is -- tips for designing flowers for the church altar. Long lasting and economical materials are the key to beautiful altar flowers for any season, especially Fall, when our gardens start to slow down. In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne creates a one-sided design and shares some fantastic tips for working with what you have and enhancing your designs with flowers and on-trend dried & preserved foliages from Florabundance.com. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute, and today's segment is sure to be a favorite. I should probably title it, since you asked. Yes, today, we're doing flowers for the church altar because you asked.

Creating flowers for the altar does have challenges. Sometimes they need to last a little longer. Sometimes you might be in an environment that isn't air conditioned. Sometimes you don't have access to great materials. Well, thanks to our friends at Florabundance, I can show you how to work with what you have, make it long lasting and fabulous, and find amazing flowers.

The container gives me a nice size. I'm actually using a brick and a half of foam, and once that's in there, I still have a nice water reservoir. So I can fill it with water, which will allow the flowers to last longer than if the foam were to dry out. One tip, for you, the pro, make sure you have a great water reservoir.

As you begin, you want to think about base materials that will last a very long time. Things like Israeli ruscus. You could actually use this over and over. It can last two or three weeks, as long as it doesn't dry out. Placing it down low to help break the line on the container, and then also bringing it up high just to make sure and add visual impact. Then using materials that will dry and look fabulous no matter what. Pampas grass, that's a nice one. Giving it a cut, determining how long it needs to be, and then breaking it down a bit. We don't want to take all of your foam space. So, breaking that off, and then placing it into the foam, letting it angle outward. Bringing in for preserved foliage. The preserved Beech is fabulous, because it too will last and last, add beauty that you can reuse many, many times. Now as the season of celebrating the harvest, this harvest gold color is perfect. Then once you have your base materials, you can go back with other foliage and fill in for greater fullness. 

As you're working, make sure that everything is showing from the front. You don't want to waste your value on the back side because no one will see that, but you do want to finish the back, take some foliage, and bring it around, make sure that all your mechanics are concealed so that nothing shows from the backside, but I'm not going to waste time and valuable materials back here. Then as I'm working, bringing in a little more, maybe adding some of that golden harvest onto this side, getting more color. And then, preserved ferns, another item that can hold for so long and bring in a little more of that harvest hue, but can be reused at a later date. So tucking it in, helping to break the line of the container, coming over to the opposite side. And then for some basing, a bit of fatsia right down at the bottom, just to add a little more visual weight. 

To allow for maximum life, make the entire arrangement beautiful before you start having in the flowers, because this will hold for so long you might be able to use it for two weeks, just freshening it with new flowers. Then once the base is done, you can go back and add beautiful roses. Maybe the Heart of Gold. Isn't that a gorgeous color? Making sure it gets down into the water well, so it will drink. Maybe going to garden roses, the Caramel Antique. A nice long lasting rose. It holds very, very, very well. And chrysanthemums, another long-laster. Fanning them out, letting them add color throughout. And even hypericum, beautiful peachy hue, following along with the autumn colors. 

To finish, make sure you fill your water reservoir with water. You don't want it to dry out at all. Then when that's full, go through and spray all your blooms with crowning glory. That will lock the moisture in, making them last even longer and keeping the color natural. 

The recipe, everything came from Florabundance.com. I used five of the Caramel Antique roses, and five of the Heart of Gold roses. Then I switched and I just worked with whole bunches. I have one bunch of the pampas, one bunch of the preserved fern, and one bunch of the preserved beech. Then one bunch of the hypericum, one of the chrysanthemums, and one of the fatsia. Lastly, I used three bunches of ruscus, and one bunch of Ninebark to finish it off.

Yes, you asked for a tutorial on flowers for a church altar, but this could be used anywhere that you're putting it at the very front of a room where no one is going to see the back. The back is just concealed with foliage is so you don't see the foam, you don't see the mechanics, there's absolutely no flowers. You're looking at everything from the front view.

And you'll find more creative inspiration and more designs that could be used on a church alter on the website, Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give us a call at 503-223-8089. Now it's your turn. What are you going to create? Big, large, making a statement. Gather your flowers, design away. Then, make sure you take a picture, post it on social media, and hashtag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see what you do as you do something you love.

  • Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
    Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
  • Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
    Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
  • Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
    Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
  • Waterproof Tape Single Roll 1/4 Inch Wide (Green)
    Waterproof Tape Single Roll 1/4 Inch Wide (Green)
  • Standard Floral Foam Pack of Four Bricks
    Standard Floral Foam Pack of Four Bricks