How to Upgrade Grocery Store Flowers Instantly

By Brittni • posted on 05/22/2024

Make basic (and cheap) flowers from the grocery store look like a million bucks. I use this flower hack all the time and it works like a charm!

beautiful pastel flowers in modern simple vases, sitting on a wood desk

I’ve never been one to shy away from a DIY flower project. And over the years, there have been many. From tutorials for small flower arrangements and a color blocked DIY bouquet to my go to list for beautiful flower arrangements every time. It’s amazing how cheerful a room can turn with a bouquet or two of flowers.

But flowers can also be expensive, so I wanted to show you how to take two of the most basic flowers, that can be found in nearly any grocery store, and turn them into something that looks straight from a florist.

pastel pink roses in minimal modern vases, also in pastel colors

Making cheap roses look like beautiful garden roses

I’m really not a roses girl, BUT with this flower hack for making regular grocery store roses look more like garden roses (which I do like), I’m a fan!

Flower Cost

Roses at Trader Joes range from $7 (spray roses) to $10 or 15 for full size roses.

How to 

1. Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly. This will reduce the amount of oil from your hands that may transfer to the flower petals, which can cause them to wilt and bruise faster.

2. Once you’ve washed your hands, remove any discolored or bruised petals. Typically these petals will just be around the outer most petals.

Petal Tip: Save any discarded petals that you’ve plucked off. You can dry those out and use them in a bunch of different body scrubs, bath salts, soaps, etc. Check out my tutorial for how to dry rose petals and make your own floral bath salts at the same time.

yellow roses side by side before and after after using a flower hack to make them prettier

3. Start pushing the petals all the way back, individually. I have a video that shows this process as well, which may be helpful to see. It’s in my Instagram highlight called flower hacks

You can do this every single petal or just a few outer layers, for a different look.

*Note: Some rose petals will not stay all the way back. If that is the case, pull each petal back as far as it will go (gently) and continue the process all the way around. Some roses may end up looking more like the yellow ‘after’ above, which also has the look of a garden rose. As opposed to the light pink ones in the styled photos. 

fresh flowers in simple modern vases, sitting on a wood table near a window

Making carnations look cuter

Flower Cost: A bunch of carnations from Trader Joes is $5.

1. Turn your carnation over, so the flower is facing the ground and the stem is up is the air.

woman hands holding a hot pink carnation

2. See the notches at the base of the carnation?  

Take a pair of scissors or pruning shears and cut longer slits on the notches all the way around (or every other one if you don’t want them as full and fluffy).

snipping a carnation at the base to make them fuller

3. Flip the carnation back over and fluff the petals a little bit with your clean hands.

If it doesn’t give your the fullness you want, you can turn it back over and snip the notches a little bit more. But be careful. If the notch slits are too big, the whole flower could fall apart. So just do a little cutting a time.

And that’s it! This hack also makes the carnations appear much bigger as well. Which is a nice bonus.

before and after side by side of hot pink carnations

flowers sitting on a minimal modern desk space in well lit home

Tips for easy flower arranging

If you need help with arranging your flowers once they’re all done, be sure to check out my post for how to make a floral centerpiece without a flower frog. It’s easy!

And how to make a flower arrangement with 7 simple flower hacks. Number 7 on the list is a great way to display small flowers that have lost their stem. 

various modern vases in different sizes and price points

Cute Vases under $40

And since this a budget friendly flower post, let’s find some cute affordable vases too. Here are a handful of cute vases, all under $40!

  1. minimalist scandi vase from Etsy $22
  2. orb quartet glass bud vase from Anthropologie $16
  3. short stoneware vase from Public Goods $7.95
  4. half grooved vase from Etsy $14
  5. glinting rose bud vase from Leif $22
  6. modernist bud vases from Anthropologie $14

pretty pastel flowers in an organic modern home

pastels roses and carnations in an artsy modern setting

closeup details of pastel roses that look like garden roses

pastel flowers is a well lit home, with organic modern styling

How to Upgrade Grocery Store Flowers Instantly

Brittni
I've never been one to shy away from a DIY flower project. And over the years, there have been many. From tutorials for small flower arrangements and a color blocked DIY bouquet to my go to list for beautiful flower arrangements every time. It's amazing how cheerful a room can turn with a bouquet or two of flowers. But flowers can also be expensive, so I wanted to show you how to take two of the most basic flowers, that can be found in nearly any grocery store, and turn them into something that looks straight from a florist.
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Equipment

  • Scissors

Ingredients
  

  • roses from the grocery store
  • carnations from the grocery store

Instructions
 

Roses

  • Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly. This will reduce the amount of oil from your hands that may transfer to the flower petals, which can cause them to wilt and bruise faster. Once you've washed your hands, remove any discolored or bruised petals. Typically these petals will just be around the outer most petals.
  • Petal Tip: Save any discarded petals that you've plucked off. You can dry those out and use them in a bunch of different body scrubs, bath salts, soaps, etc. Check out my tutorial for how to dry rose petals and make your own floral bath salts at the same time.
  • Start pushing the petals all the way back, individually. I have a video that shows this process as well, which may be helpful to see. It's in my Instagram highlight called flower hacks. You can do this every single petal or just a few outer layers, for a different look.
  • *Note: Some rose petals will not stay all the way back. If that is the case, pull each petal back as far as it will go (gently) and continue the process all the way around. Some roses may end up looking more like the yellow 'after' above, which also has the look of a garden rose. As opposed to the light pink ones in the styled photos.

Carnations

  • Turn your carnation over, so the flower is facing the ground and the stem is up is the air.
  • See the notches at the base of the carnation? Take a pair of scissors or pruning shears and cut longer slits on the notches all the way around (or every other one if you don't want them as full and fluffy).
  • Flip the carnation back over and fluff the petals a little bit with your clean hands. If it doesn't give your the fullness you want, you can turn it back over and snip the notches a little bit more. But be careful. If the notch slits are too big, the whole flower could fall apart. So just do a little cutting a time.

Notes

Tips for easy flower arranging
If you need help with arranging your flowers once they're all done, be sure to check out my post for how to make a floral centerpiece without a flower frog. It's easy!
And how to make a flower arrangement with 7 simple flower hacks. Number 7 on the list is a great way to display small flowers that have lost their stem. 
Did you make this?Mention @paperandstitch or tag #paperandstitch!
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