Rookie Mistake: Carnations

Rookie Mistakes: a series of common decor mistakes made by rookies… aka US. And no we are not judging because heck, we have made (and continue to make) these mistakes too!

Fresh flowers are a big indulgence for us both. Some girls are into shoes, others like a new mani every other week, but we…we like fresh flowers all over our homes. Alstroemerias, hydrangeas, roses…just about any flower will do. But even if our fresh blooms are on sale, they can still cut into that budget. So we usually try to choose cheaper blooms that will last a long time so we can get the best bang for our bucks!


Carnations certainly fit the bill. Sadly, these blooms get a bad rep. But today we want to show you that these cheaper flowers can look very high end if you display them the right way.

Before we got into the whole fresh-flowers-every-week thing, we were not very good at displaying flowers. Instead we would just plop them in a vase, put them on the kitchen counter, and call it a day.


Yep…we made this rookie mistake all.the.time.2-rookie-mistake-flowers-carnations

The stems are awkwardly tall, the flowers dwarf the small vase, and it looks as inexpensive as the flowers.

So let’s remedy that rookie mistake…3-carnations-bowl-vase-flowers-tutorial

Ohhhh much better!

Here’s how to achieve this look every single time. 3-cutting-flowers-stems-carnations

Buy some pretty carnations at the grocery store (we typically find a whole bunch for less than $10 at our local stores!) 4-bowl-vase-flowers-carnationsThen find a cool vase to display them. We prefer round & low bowls, but geometric or other cool shapes work well too. Fill it with water and the packet of plant food that comes with your flowers. 5-cutting-flower-stem-carnations-tutorial

Now it’s cutting time. Hold up a stem next to the vase, eyeball the cut, and snip the end on an angle. Be sure to also remove any leaves that will be below the water line (so just about all of them). 4-carnations-bunch-flowers

Keep going and bunch them together in your hand as you go, making sure the flowers fan out from the center. 5-pink-carnations-flowers

Then place them in your vase. You may need to snip the ends a bit more at this time so they all lay nicely. 6-carnations-flowers-pink-vase1-flowers-on-nightstand-campaign-carnations

Much better, right? Those carnations are looking much more high-end. People will never guess what a deal you got on them! 7-carnations-flower-bowl-tutorial-nightstand

Now the best part about carnations is that they last FOREVER. Seriously, these babies can still look good up to 2 weeks later. It’s crazy….crazy awesome. 2-nightstand-bedroom-flowers

Let’s hear it for the often-ignored carnation. It’s time to give this flower some love & attention, because when displayed properly it can be incredibly gorgeous! So what do you say? You gonna brighten up your dreary January with some colorful blooms? We sure hope so!How to Cut and Style CarnationsBridget and Casey Signature

Pssst…need help displaying roses? Try out our tutorial to get those beauties looking good in no time!How to arrange long-stem roses


  • Glitter your Dash

    I too was part of the long stem awkward vase clan until I helped put together some of the flowers for a friends wedding. The ladies from the garden club gave me some of these tips & my flower displays have never been the same! Thanks for sharing!!

    • It seems we were all united in the awkward vase clan for some time then! 🙂 Happy you’re on team classy carnations now!

  • Kate LaCorte

    I’ve found if the stems won’t stay togeather, a little rubber bank does the trick to help keep it looking full.

  • I always set my vase close to the edge of the counter so I can drop the stems below the counter’s edge while measuring the length I need, and than I only have to cut them once! 🙂

  • Amanda Risius

    So simple but does WONDERS!

  • Ashley Sorrick

    Love the fix to the rookie mistake!

  • I love this! I need to remember to buy myself some flowers sometime!

  • Delighted Dwelling

    Any tips on where to get the low, round vases??

    • Often times Goodwill has a large selection of these! If not, try the floral section in your local grocery store or even the dollar store vase section.