See how to make a beautiful heart of roses! A rose heart is deceivingly easy to make with just a bunch of fresh roses and floral foam. It’s a sweet and simple decoration and gift idea for Valentine’s Day, weddings, and other romantic occasions.
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Valentine’s day and rose hearts
When I was working in a flower shop in London, Valentine’s Day was one of the busiest events of the year. So busy, in fact, that I never got to spend the day with my husband, but that’s okay because we would always celebrate a few days later.
The other girls and I would tie hundreds of rose bouquets that eager men picked up for their valentine. There really was love in the air!
One of our most popular items were these huge hearts of roses, and for a good reason. Really, what good be more romantic than a blooming heart made of roses?
Today, I want to show you how to create your own DIY rose heart arrangement at home.
If you feel intimidated to attempt this flower arranging project, don’t be. It’s not as time-consuming and fussy as you might think.
I’ll walk you through the whole process step-by-step and share my best tips and tricks on choosing and arranging the flowers. You’ll be so pleased with the results!
Materials & supplies
To make a heart of roses, you only need a few simple materials and tools. Let’s go over the supply list!
- Fresh roses: I used a mix of soft pink spray roses and large, ruby-hued garden roses.
- Floral foam: You need a heart-shaped block of green wet floral foam. These blocks come in different sizes and sit in a plastic tray. Some are caged, others are open.
- Fresh, cool water to soak the floral foam and rest the flowers.
- Flower food (optional) to nourish and strengthen the flowers. When buying your roses at a flower shop, request a few of the free flower food samples.
- Secateurs are useful to shorten the stems. A pair of sharp scissors will also work if you don’t have garden shears.
- Paring knife to trim the floral foam.
- Thorn stripper (optional) is a handy, little gadget to remove stingy thorns from the rose stems.
- Garden gloves (optional) can help to protect your hands from thrones.
How to make a heart of roses
Okay, let’s talk assembling rose hearts! Making a heart of roses is quick and simple, even if this is your first time arranging flowers. Once you have your roses ready to go, it’s a pretty quick process.
Step 1: Hydrate roses
Fill a clean bucket with fresh water and a tablespoon or sachet of flower food. Cut off 1 in to 2 in / 2.5 cm to 5 cm from the bottom of the rose stems at a 45-degree angle. Let the roses sit in the bucket for at least 30 minutes to hydrate and rest.
Step 2: Soak foam block
While the roses are hydrating, fill a large bucket or basin with cool, fresh water. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons flower food and swirl to distribute. Add the floral foam heart and let it soak with the foam side down, for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You’ll know the foam is hydrated when it looks dark green and feels heavy.
Step 3: Bevel edges
Using a paring knife, bevel the edges at a 45-degree angle. Trim the floral foam makes it easier to arrange the roses later on. Skip this step if you have a foam heart with a plastic grid enclosing.
Step 4: Cut rose stems
Shorten the stems to 1.5 in to 2 in / 4 cm to 5 cm below the flower heads. Again, you want to cut each stem at an angle so the flowers can absorb more water.
Step 5: Arrange roses
Pick a large, open rose and insert it in the center of the foam block. Going from the center outward, fill the shape with more large roses. As you come to the edges, insert the flowers at angle and place roses along the bottom of the heart.
Step 6: Finishing touches
Fill in any gaps with small roses until the heart shape is completely filled. Check the arrangement from all sides and rearrange flowers as needed.
Tips for success
Before you get started on your heart of roses, take a moment to look over my helpful tips.
- Buy fresh flowers. Your heart-shaped roses will only look as good as the flowers. For a gorgeous, lush arrangement, buy fresh flowers with sturdy stems and firm flower heads. Softness indicates that the roses are older and probably won’t stay fresh much longer.
- Use a mix of different roses. To create visual interest and varied texture, combine roses of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Having smaller and larger roses is really handy to fill up the entire heart.
- Add complimentary flowers. Feel free to add small filler flowers or foliage throughout the heart bouquet, such as baby’s breath, eucalyptus sprigs, or lisianthus.
How to showcase a rose heart
Smaller rose hearts can be hung on a wall or door. Large heart arrangements are too heavy for hanging. Instead, use them as tabletop decorations.
Since there’s the possibility of water leaking, be sure to display your heart of roses on a waterproof or water-resistant surface.
To use the rose heart as a wedding car decoration, get a floral foam with suction cups at the back.
How many roses do you need?
The exact number of roses will depend on the size of your floral foam heart. I used 30 garden roses and approximately 20 polyantha spray roses. Be sure to buy a little more than you think you need in case a stem breaks off.
Where to buy fresh roses?
- Flower shop: Your local florist is probably the best place to find specialty roses such as polyantha or cabbage roses.
- Supermarket: Places such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods offer stunning flowers. Have a look at their offerings the next time you’re there.
- Online: You can have beautiful flowers delivered to your doorstep. Global Roses offers a spectacular selection of fresh roses on Amazon. They have beautiful pink, red, and white roses.
What are good colors for a heart of roses?
You can arrange a heart of roses in any color you desire. I opted for a mix of light pink and ruby-colored roses. A red rose heart is beautiful for Valentine’s.
Yellow roses are perfect for celebrating an anniversary. For a wedding, a heart of white roses would look absolutely stunning. And purple roses are suitable for a sympathy arrangement.
Does a rose heart smell?
If your floral heart smells of roses will depend on the types of roses used. Most modern tea and hybrid roses have no distinctive scent. On the other hand, heritage, garden, and cabbage roses are often incredibly fragrant.
How many days in advance can I make a rose heart?
I recommend creating this heart-shaped rose bouquet as close to your special occasion as possible, so the flowers remain vibrant. 1 to 2 days in advance should be fine if the flowers are fresh, but I wouldn’t go any further than that.
How long does a heart with roses last?
Your rose heart bouquet should last up to 1 week if properly tended. Roses open with time, and your heart of roses will look more beautiful as the days pass.
What other blooms can I use for a flower heart?
Carnations, peonies, ranunculus, and sunflowers are good stand-ins for roses. Whatever blooms you choose, they need to have sturdy stems. Soft and hollow stems (e.g., tulips) are too delicate to be pushed into floral foam.
Can this be made with artificial roses?
Of course! You need dry floral foam and faux roses or preserved roses. The instructions remain the same.
Rose heart care tips
To ensure a long vase life, water the floral foam every day. I like to inject water directly into the foam using a syringe.
Please don’t spray the roses as this can lead to water spots, discoloration, and decay. If you notice wilted or brown petals, carefully pick them out.