Floral designs for a vintage-inspired tea party

Here at Melbourne Art Class, we offer a number of short courses in Floral Design, and last month Florist Carolyn Howells held a vintage-inspired Floral Design Tea Party Workshop at our Richmond studio!Tea Party

Table décor is often a talking point at any event, and floral designs can make such a unique difference to a setting.

Tea parties can look elaborate, even with the smallest budget, and Carolyn aimed to inspire the students’ next event with a number of creative floral designs!


Carolyn brought the outdoors in with three vintage-style floral design pieces that will bring life to any Vintage Tea Party setting. Take a look at the beautiful designs from the workshop that the students were thrilled with!

Tea Party 1

Tea Party 2








Our next Floral Design Workshop
Carolyn’s next Floral Design Workshop will be held on Saturday 17th September and we are really excited about it!

It’ll be held over two Saturdays and you will learn how to create a number of designs, including small glass hanging terrariums, bamboo structure and tropical flower arrangements.

You can find out more and enrol here: https://melbourneartclass.com/advanced-floral-design-workshop/ !

Please note that enrolments close on Wednesday 14th September at 8am because we pre-order flowers.

We look forward to seeing you at the next workshop!


Our Spring Wedding Floral Design Workshop

From no experience in floristry, I managed to create a beautiful vintage bouquet and boutonnière.” – Nilam

Our Floral Design Wedding Workshop, held in Richmond earlier in September was a great success and we are so happy that all of the participants thoroughly enjoyed it! It was completely sold out and we will be scheduling another due to popular demand, later this month! We also have a number of Floral Design Courses coming up in early October which we are very excited about.

In our September workshop, Carolyn presented a popular vintage-style wedding theme for Spring. For each season, Carolyn uses different flowers and during Spring the fragrance of the flowers is exceptional with the art studio transformed into a perfumed paradise.

The workshop was open to all skill levels and this time we had a range of experience. The students created a number of stunning arrangements, all of which they got to take home:

  • Mixed spring flowers and herbs wedding bouquet
  • Matching button hole and corsage
  • Mixed Spring flowers in vintage style glass bottle/small vase
  • Vintage-style table design ideas

One of our students, Nilam, commented that, From no experience in floristry, I managed to create a beautiful vintage bouquet and boutonnière.” Nilam is also an avid photography and took the following photos of the incredible bouquets that were created during the workshop. Thank you for sharing these with us Nilam!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Upcoming Floral Design workshops 

Carolyn will be hosting two Floral Design courses beginning October 10thBeginners and Advanced Floral Design.

Beginners Floral Design – Saturdays, Oct 10th to Nov 7th 12.15 pm – 2.45 pm

You will be introduced to the fundamental elements and principles of Floral Design including composition, balance and colour theory in a creative and relaxed way.

Advanced Floral Design – Saturdays, Oct 10th to Nov 7th 3.15 pm – 5.45 pm

This workshop is designed to extend your knowledge of the principles and elements of Floristry in a creative and relaxed way. Classes include sculpting with nature, using all parts of the flower and their foliage in your designs.

You can find out more about these courses and enroll here. If you have any questions about our courses, please contact Lauren at hub@melbourneartclass.com!

Celebrating spring with our Floristry Teacher, Carolyn Howells

After what seemed like (literally) an ice age, spring is finally here, bringing with it a new creative enthusiasm that infects many people. This can be a time of growth, re-birth and creation. Nothing beats sighting the first buds, then within the blink of an eye pink blossom trees are lining our suburb streets and daffodils are brightening up our parks.

This month Carolyn Howells, our Floristy and Art Therapy teacher, shares why spring is significant to her. Thank you Carolyn!

Carolyn Howells, 2015
Carolyn Howells, 2015

Is spring an inspirational time of year for you?

I love spring, where the days are getting longer and the weather is warmer (mostly) and all the bulbs begin to flower.  I find creative ideas grow and expand and I am inspired to get into the garden and the studio to paint, create flower designs, write workshops and put those ideas that have hibernated in the winter into action.

IFD 18

What are your favourite flowers during this season?

My favourite flowers during spring are, daffodils, I especially love the double daffodils, they are stunning with their pale yellow outside petals and bright yellow inner petals, jonquils, iris especially the flag iris, the vibrant coloured tulips, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, ranunculus, stock, and freesias – especially the ones growing wild.  In spring the fragrance of the flowers is exceptional.  I also love to watch the trees get buds in late winter in preparation for blooming and then watch the beautiful fragile flower blossom in spring.  The rhododendron is amazing too; the colours range from deep burgundy, to hot pink and pale pink.

Which flowers typically make up a spring flower arrangement?

Carolyn Howells
Carolyn Howells

Spring is one of the best seasons for mixed posies of hyacinths, tulips, iris, erlicheer, roses, stock, freesias and rhododendron for both the foliage and the flower.

The visual impact with all the textures is amazing and they smell delicious.

Art therapy – what does spring mean for you?

IFD 13
Carolyn’s Floral Design class

Art Therapy in spring can vary from year to year depending on what is happening in my life.  This year I find I have more energy to put things into action, especially around wellbeing.  I love to walk on the beach, practice my mindfulness, get out in my garden and pick straight from the veggie patch to make healthy salads for my family.  I have kept an art journal over winter with design plans for my garden and now I can finally get out there and start redesigning.  I am so inspired by the flowers in spring and love coming up with new ideas and designs to do both in flower design and my art.  I am in the process of updating an art therapy based goal and action board, with all my ideas coming to life as change and growth happen this spring.

Thank you very much Carolyn for sharing this with us! Find out more about Carolyn, her Floristy Courses and Art Therapy.

MAC’s Recent Wedding Flower Workshop

Earlier in September I attended MAC’s first Wedding Flower Workshop with florist Carolyn Howells.

My previous experience with flowers was only limited to painting them so I did not know what to expect. After four hours under Carolyn’s tutelage, I now have the utmost respect for florists and their strong fingers! Carolyn’s approach to teaching is to pass on flower arranging techniques of the highest industry standard.
Rach creating a rose corsage
There were people with varying degrees of experience with floristry design, and Carolyn was very welcoming and patient with absolute beginners (myself included).

The workshop focused on roses, and we each had four bunches of beautiful white roses to work with. We were shown how to make leaves shine (with olive oil) and how to wire and tape them to prepare for the bouquet.

After preparing each rose (all thirty of them), the bouquet came together quickly and Carolyn provided ribbon and pins to finish it off.

The class was in awe of the bouquets we made and they are still holding together now, and opening beautifully. Wedding Roses BouquetWe also created a matching corsage with two leaves and a smaller rose; I never realised just how much work is behind such a small piece. Carolyn provided each student with a gift box and demonstrated how to present the bouquet with white tissue paper, which was a lovely finishing touch and very professional. We were all very pleased to take home what we had made!

What surprised me about the class was the amount of wedding bouquet horror stories everybody had to share. People relayed their wedding days when past flower arrangements fell apart, wilted, and even had wiring work showing – and they were all describing professionally arranged bouquets which they had paid for. The wiring and taping technique Carolyn taught us is exactly how we should expect  wedding bouquets to be made. I am glad I have not yet needed a wedding bouquet; thanks to Carolyn I now know how to recognise a correctly arranged bouquet!

This workshop really opened my eyes to the art of floristry and I am really looking forward to attending MAC’s upcoming Vintage-themed Wedding Flower Workshop, which will focus on a mixed seasonal flower and herb bouquet, vintage-style table designs, matching corsage and more.

Written by Lauren Ottaway

Wedding Roses workshop

Bridal roses workshop

The first of our series of Wedding Floral Design workshops will be run on Saturday September 13th. It will focus upon roses and participants will be working with:

Round, natural stemmed rose bouquet  with greenery

Button Hole – Wiring and taping techniques

Corsage – Wiring and taping techniques

For more information please go to:


Floral Design short course

Minimalist Floral Design Carolyn Howells
Minimalist Floral Design by Carolyn Howells, 2013

Our next Floral Design course will be an introductory short course running over 4 x 2.5 hour sessions on Saturday afternoons. They will begin on July 19th. They are tutored by experience florist, teacher and art therapist, Carolyn Howells. For more information,  please go to: http://melbourneartclass.com/floral-design-course/

Floral Design short course

Floral Design short course, Melbourne
Image: C. Howells, Vintage Style, Floral Design short course

I first saw Carolyn Howells’ work in the form of a bridal bouquet. It was made up of tulips bound together in a bold bright combination of colours and the simplicity and beauty of the arrangement made an impression on me. In talking with Carolyn recently, I realised how amazing the art of floral design, floral art or if you like, floristry, is. Designers such as Carolyn are doing amazing creative pieces of work which retain and even enhance the fragile beauty of the flower yet make bold statements in new territories such as installation.

Carolyn is joining with Melbourne Art Class to teach a course in Floral Design. Carolyn will be bringing her experience as a floral designer, as the former owner of the florist, Henley by Design in Adelaide and more recently as a qualified Art Therapist. In the spirit of creating unique courses, Carolyn is putting together a course which combines the best of all her experience.

For more information about Carolyn’s Floral Design short course please go to: http://melbourneartclass.com/floral-design-course/