DIY Flowers for Mom, with Tips from Nancy Liu Chin

Nancy Liu Chin has been a floral and event designer for well over a decade, and is our resident expert for all things Mother's Day DIY. I sat down with Nancy for her best tips and tricks on a DIY bouquet for mom, using store bought flowers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a local florist, but for those of you that would like to add your own personal touch to this present for mom (or waited until the last minute and can't order flowers now), Nancy and I have got you covered. Really, it only takes 8 steps.

I set out to create my own bouquet by following Nancy's guidelines and had the best time! I'm definitely no professional florist, but I think it turned out pretty beautiful if I do say so myself. All you need for this DIY is a table that you don't mind getting messy, a pair of sharp scissors or garden shears, a vase, some ribbon, and a little creativity! I picked up all the flowers at our local whole foods, and the ribbon I used is from May Arts Ribbon online. 

Step 1: Pick a statement color!


What color does your mom love? Go with that. I chose yellow as my statement color since it is my Mom's favorite. I used this as the color for my ribbon as well.

Step 2: Buy 3-4 mixed arrangements from your local supermarket


Try to find some that are relatively monochromatic and in the color scheme that you choose. You can also purchase some smaller bunches of flowers in your statement color to elevate the arrangement.

Step 3: Open up all of the flowers!

Be prepared to make a little bit of a mess here (that's half the fun though, right?) so clear off a whole counter top or kitchen table. Then, organize the flowers by color so that they are all sorted- neutrals, greenery, statement color. Clean the bottom of the stems, removing any leaves that would be below water level.

Step 4: Cut the flowers down.

Grab a vase, and cut the flowers so that the head of the flower is the same height as the vase. Round vases are easiest to design in, and generally speaking a good rule for the proportions of the vase is taller than wider- think 2 x 3 or 4 x 6 proportions. If I have any tips about this part, cut them a little shorter than you think you should- I found myself cutting down flowers again throughout the process to create a tighter bouquet.

Step 5: Foliage first!

Place your foliage in the vase first, dispersing it evenly around the perimeter of the vase. I chose some that had our statement color in it, but plain greenery works great too. 

Step 6: Add your filler flowers.

Insert your filler flowers next, again, dispersing evenly around the entirety of the vase. These might be flowers in a neutral tone or smaller flowers, and are great for filling the majority of the vase. 

Step 7: Insert your statement flowers.

Finally, insert your accent color flowers or statement flowers! Place them in the arrangement evenly, so that they pop from every angle. My mom absolutely loves sunflowers, so I decided to use some of those as one of my statement flowers. 

Step 8: Add your finishing touches.


Last but not least, add a bow or ribbon in your accent color or a neutral color to finish the arrangement off beautifully! If you have a plain vase, a patterned ribbon would be a fun addition. 

The best part is that you can actually use the leftover flowers to make a small mason jar sized arrangement for you to enjoy yourself! If you're like some of our team and have little ones that are too small to do this on their own, I think it makes for a great activity to do as a family as well!

Nancy Liu Chin is as knowledgeable about flowers as they come, and we hope you have found her tips and tricks to be helpful this Mother's Day! Tag @nancyliuchin and @a_savvylifestyle in your photos on Instagram so that we can see your gorgeous creations. Happy DIY-ing and happy Mother's Day!


I had some extra help from darling Taylor, Kelly's daughter. Our founder Kelly is not only a business owner but a mom to two gorgeous girls! Being a mom and owning a business is never easy, and Kelly handles it like a champion!  I was lucky enough to have Taylor's help sorting through flowers to create this Mother's Day bouquet. 

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