There are six basic shapes for cut-flower containers, but when you apply those shapes to everyday objects, there are thousands of choices.
Ball Definition:A round, bubble-shaped container, usually with a small mouth.
We used: A teapot. It's already watertight, and the handle and spout add character.
Definition: A tube-shaped container.
We used: A martini shaker. The strainer makes arranging flowers easy.
Definition: A boxy container, with or without a lid.
We used: A cardboard lunchbox from a craft store. To make it watertight, insert plastic containers or line with floral foil (foil backed with plastic, available at florists' supply shops.) Floral foam holds the flowers in place.
Definition: Short and squat, with a wide mouth. Its base typically measures between 4 and 6 inches.
We used: A beach hat. Just insert a soufflé dish to hold water.
Definition: The quintessential flower vessel — big on the bottom, narrow at the top.
We used: A sake bottle.
Definition: A container that's smaller at the base and flares out.
We used: A basket-weave tote with handles. Perch it on a tabletop or hang it on a doorknob. Another spin on the basic shape: A child's purse. Use plastic cups to hold water.
Cut flowers in bouquets go downhill fast once the water gets dirty. Keep them looking fresh longer with this floral preservative developed at the University of California at Davis.
Mix 1 part lemon-lime soda (not diet) with 3 parts water. For each quart of the mixture, add 1/4 teaspoon household bleach. Pour the mixture into the container (here, a soufflé dish inside a beach hat).
The sugar feeds the flower buds, the acid improves water flow in the stems, and the bleach reduces growth of fungus.