Creative Flower Arrangement Containers

Admit it, you've abandoned the idea of a proper vase before and thrown a flower arrangement in the closest water-tight container and realized it didn't look half-bad. In that spirit, try one of these ideas -- you'll never use a vase again.

Scientific Beauty

Stir together a floral potion with small beakers, vials, and other unexpected measuring devices that resemble small pitchers. Scour flea markets, Internet auction sites, and antiques stores for old chemistry sets that are stocked with petite vials.

Mishmash Magic

Hold a multi-container arrangement together by choosing containers of all the same color, such as the white porcelain here. Track down all vases, teacups, dessert cups, wide bowls, and coffee mugs in your home and experiment with the best shape combo.

Repurposed Tableware

Raid your antique stash for a colored drinking glass to plop a handful of flowers in for a two-second arrangement. Or fake it with an inexpensive plastic tumbler from a discount store.

Rinse and Recycle

Don't throw away those colorful soda bottles when you're finished with the bubbly beverage -- rinse them out and keep them on hand for easy place settings and centerpieces.

Overlooked Treasure

Try mercury glass containers as a pristine option for holding flowers. Dubbed the "poor man's silver" in the 19th century when it was first manufactured, mercury glass is formed by pouring mercury, or more commonly silver nitrate, into a double-walled glass form. The shiny silver coating discolors when water seeps into the space between the inner and outer layers of glass. Find discolored mercury glass at flea markets and antiques shops for as little as $5-$10.

Out of the Sea

Make use of your beach vacation souvenir: Tuck three roses in a seashell for a low-lying arrangement that works well on a nightstand or end table. If the shell isn't able to hold water, place the stems in water-filled floral vials.

Kitchen Remnants

Place bright nosegays in anything from Mason jars to tin cans. The rustic sensibility plays nicely against the charm of these petite arrangements.

Search Your Cupboards

Attractive baking dishes in unusual shapes inspire out-of-the-ordinary arrangements. This boat-shape baking dish holds enough water to supply the cut gladiolus stems, which are simply laid in place, first one way and then the other.

Cordially Yours

Give place settings (or a small side table) personality by using silver cordial glasses for individual floral arrangements. Blend the elements: Use different cordials with the same flower, or fill a matched set with a mix of small summer buds.

A Grand History

Pairing an arrangement with an unusual container tells a story, like this bunch of sun-warmed sunflowers placed in a rustic kitchen container.

Odd Couples

A single rose with plenty of natural foliage gets polish from a sophisticated white porcelain pitcher. Other fun pairings include a spiky zinnia with an old beaker or a giant peony in a simple jar.

Fit the Mold

A vintage mold forms the unusual container for this bunch. The low sides allow for a tightly arranged bunch of green glads and hydrangeas, blue asters, and pincushion flowers.

All Together Now

Get a lot of impact out of one type of flower by buying or cutting it in a rainbow of colors. Sturdy-stalked gladiolas are perfect for one-stem arrangements placed in salvaged glass bottles, bud vases, or clean perfume jars.

Drink Up

An old watering can may have retired from quenching the thirst of flowers, but it can still hold them with style.

Insider Trick

Placing flowers in floral vials gives you greater flexibility for containers. For example, a less-than-watertight old wooden toolbox becomes a viable option for holding a flower arrangement when you don't have to figure out how to fill it with water.

On the Other Side

Rinsed jars lend country style to any arrangement. Consider laying one on its side, filling it with an inch or so of water, and placing a few stems within for a totally different look.

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