Discover step-by-step instructions on how to arrange roses in a vase. Learn simple tips for creating easy rose arrangements in minutes.

When the clock struck midnight last night I felt like Cinderella with a glass coach and footmen that turned into pumpkins and mice.

My birthday was over and it won’t be back until next year.


I wish I could turn back the clock and live yesterday over again.

And again.

And again and again.

There were calls and cards and visits and a dinner with the best conversation and a day full of the sweetest messages and emails (if you sent me one I’m sending you with all the thanks in the world).

And when I walked in the door yesterday afternoon, these roses were waiting for me on the counter with the sweetest note from my sister-in-law. See what I mean? Who would ever want a day with roses on the counter to end?

In amazing news? I have the BEST way to arrange roses that my mother learned from my grandmother who learned from her mother.

Because now these roses? They look like this.

Don’t they look fancy?

They went from roses in my sink to roses that look like they won the Kentucky Derby.

And it’s the EASIEST tip on the planet.

Because all you need is this.

A flower frog.

My mother had one.

And my grandmother had one.

This one is vintage, but you can find similar ones at yard sales (if you are super lucky) or you may already have one from your grandmother, too.

There are TONS of different flower frogs that work amazingly well for different types of flowers. But these types of frogs are perfect for roses because they have such sturdy stems.

Here’s how I made this arrangement (in five minutes when I was on the phone with my sister-in-law telling her how thankful I was for the roses).

How to Arrange Roses In a Vase


fresh roses (especially if they are birthday roses)

vase (I used a blue and white container)

flower frog (also known as a floral frog or pin holder)

floral sheers

Step 1: Prepare Your Roses

Start by preparing the roses.

I know this is Captain Obvious, but the arrangement will last SO much longer with just a little bit of prep. Carefully remove any leaves that will fall below the waterline in the vase. This prevents bacterial growth and keeps your arrangement looking fresh for longer. Use floral shears to trim the stems at a 45-degree angle.

This is so important. Cutting at an angle allows for more water to get into the stem, making sure the roses stay hydrated.

Step 2: Prepare Your Vase and Flower Frog

Fill your vase with water, making sure it’s at room temperature.

Position the flower frog in the center of the vase.

Flower frogs come so many different designs, including metal grids and pin holders–but again—this type of flower frog works perfectly and provides so much support for the roses.

Step 3: Start arranging

Once the flower frog is securely positioned in the vase, it’s time to start arranging your roses.

The flower frog serves as a stable base, keeping the roses in place and helping to create an arrangement that looks like it walked out of a florist shop.

Select the focal rose—the one in the center of the arrangement. Place this rose in the center of the flower frog, adjusting the height as needed to create the desired focal point.

(quick tip: always cut them a little longer—you can’t go longer but you can go shorter).

Step 4: Add the rest of the roses

Next, add the next row of roses around the main rose in the center (there are holes in the flower frog to take the guesswork out of where to put the roses) to fill out the arrangement.

Again, start longer and go shorter.

It takes me a little bit of clipping to get them looking the way I want them.

Once you have everything where you want it to go? Step back and take a moment to look it from different angles.

Do NOT skip this step. Turn it and look at it from all sides. There’s nothing worse than a flower arrangement that looks good from one side and super lame from the other.

Here are a couple of tips to make your roses last longer:

  1. Clean Vase: Before arranging your flowers, it’s so important to make sure your vase is clean. Wash the inside of the vase with warm, soapy water, and rinse thoroughly before filling it with fresh water for the roses.
  2. Flower Food: Use a packet of flower food to nourish your roses (this usually comes with the arrangement) and prolong their freshness. Flower food contains nutrients and additives that help inhibit bacterial growth. Follow the instructions on the packet for the best results.
  3. Change Water Regularly: Replace the water in your vase every two to three days, or whenever it starts to look cloudy or smell unpleasant. Stinky water is NO GOOD for flowers.
  4. Avoid Direct Sunlight and Heat: Place your vase of roses in a cool, shaded area away from direct sunlight. Too much sunlight can cause your roses to wilt.
  5. Trim Stems Periodically: Every few days, recut the stems of your roses at a slight angle and change the water. This refreshes the stems and allows the water to hydrate the roses. Make sure to remove any wilted blooms to encourage new growth.

From this…

…to this.

Another birthday is in the books.

It went by so quickly, but it was the most amazing 24 hours ever (I stayed up until midnight to watch the coach turn into a pumpkin).

But in the good news department?

I have these beautiful roses to keep me company.

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  1. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Happy Birthday KariAnn!!!! A day late, sorry. But hey celebrate the week as well as the day!!! My friend does the month! Lol XOXO!!

  2. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Karianne, Happy belated birthday. Sounds like you had a marvelous celebration. I have several floral frogs and use them all the time. I especially like the heavy glass ones because they stay put in the vase. Another favorite is a cast iron frog that is also an amphibian frog look alike. So cute. Enjoy the rest of your birthday week. Spring is on the way!!

  3. Image for Sugar Sugar

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🎈 Thank you for always sharing so many great and practical tips. I have used quite a few. Elev a senior citizen can want her house to look good!

  4. Image for Sheila Sheila

    Happy Bday! Karianne from another member of the blue and white decor squad! Love EVERYTHING you do and just have to ask, is the rug pictured here a true white in color with the blue? Love this rug! and would purchase if color is white.

  5. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Lovely arrangement. I have a huge clear vase full of floral frogs. Most of them vintage or antiques. Been collecting them for years. 😊 So glad your birthday was so great! You deserve it. ❤️

  6. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Happy belated birthday to you! I have been using my glass floral frog to hold my makeup brushes. Guess it's time to get some roses and use it for it's intended purpose! I never thought to cut down roses and use them in a shorter vase. Beautiful!

  7. Image for MaryPat MaryPat

    Happy Belated Birthday! Thank you for this post, really! I have inherited 4 or 5 frogs and was never taught what to do with them. So glad that I saved them and will pick up some roses this week.

  8. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Receiving flowers always makes a lady feel special. Those are so pretty. I did wish you a happy birthday, but here is one more to make it last a little longer. Happy Birthday.

  9. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Belated happy birthday, Karianne. Oh, the flowers look soooo pretty. I actually love how they look waiting in your garden sink too-lol. Nice tips to keep in mind for my next dozen. Happy day to you. xoxo

  10. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Those roses are stunning - and the way you arranged them look so perfectly styled in your beautiful blue and white world. Hope you are still smiling from a wonderful birthday. Hope you have many more as great or better.

  11. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Sorry this is so late! Just got home from a day/stay at the hospital. I love what you did with the roses. You always amaze me with your ideas. Happy Birthday again until next year...hehehe You're not growing older just more devine. ❤ Big Hugs,

  12. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Happy Birthday!!! I am like you, I believe that birthdays are your one special day of the year that you should celebrate you!!!

  13. Image for Nadia Nadia

    The way you find joy and delight in every day, and your recommendations for decor, books and fashion always make me look forward to Saturday mornings when I catch up on all of your blog entries for the week over a coffee. Thank you for the positivity and lovely inspiration.

  14. Image for Terri Herman Terri Herman

    Well happy birthday a little late! Flowers are always beautiful for a birthday and these are so pretty this way!

  15. Image for Perry Perry

    Thank you for these “fresh” new ideas, and Happy Birthday…my grandmother always said you can celebrate seven days before and seven days after. Celebrate!!! Perry

  16. Image for Maria Maria

    Happy belated Birthday to you. I just started following you. I am so excited to start new things. I feel like you one day out of the year. I am too going to have a b young a couple of weeks. Keep up doing what you are doing. Thank You.

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