Floral Arrangement Mechanics - The Basics
D-I-Y Floral Design Classes
This chapter is dedicated to helping you figure out how to use the mechanics that can help you create an arrangement properly. We are going to cover how to use mechanics such as floral tape, floral adhesive, floral foam, and floral wire.
Floral Foam is a very useful tool for making even, steady, and hydrated flower arrangements. Here is how to use floral foam properly.
Floral Foam Block in Vase/Floral Container:
- Cut down the floral foam to fit inside the vase you intend on using. You can use a floral knife or kitchen knife to cut down the foam. Do not try to snap the foam in half, this will create an uneven surface and be difficult to work with.
- Once it is the right shape, soak the floral foam in water and floral food. DO NOT push the foam under the water, put the foam in the water and let it gradually sink. Take the foam out when there are no more bubbles coming out and the foam is saturated.
- Now you will need either floral adhesive or clear waterproof floral tape to secure the foam into the vase. This will make transportation easier and will ensure that your arrangement will not spill in the back seat of the van you are transporting flowers in! If you use floral adhesive (which is waterproof and will not be affected by the soaked floral foam) spread the adhesive at the bottom and sides of the floral foam where it will connect to the vase. Or you can use clear floral tape (waterproof too) and secure the foam at the top of the vase.
- Floral foam will hold all the stems in place while you create the desired shape.
- When using floral foam, order a little extra greenery to cover any floral foam showing when you are finished making the arrangement.
- Floral Spheres are most commonly used to make pomanders (round flower balls). We have a video that shows you how to make a pomander if you are thinking about this for your event.
- Soak the floral foam.
- Use ribbon or wire to create a handle for the pomander
(see this in our video).
- Insert flowers in foam after applying a small amount of floral adhesive. This is important because a pomander hanging from the ceiling will make flowers hang upside down. The floral adhesive will keep all the flowers hanging upside down in place.
Floral Bouquet Holder:
- As always, soak the floral foam. Place the bouquet holder in the water and wait for the floral foam to soak. When the bubbles no longer appear remove the bouquet holder and dry off the handle.
- Use floral adhesive when inserting the stems in the bouquet holder. This way the flowers will not fall out.
- Make sure you are cutting the stems short enough. This will allow more room inside the floral foam for all the flowers you need to cover the foam.
As you have read above floral adhesive has many uses. You can use it to secure floral foam to a container or vase, secure flowers into foam, and event secure corsages to a wristlet. The perk of floral adhesive is that it is completely waterproof and safe to use on flowers. Using floral adhesive will not decrease the vase life of the flowers or interfere with the current state of the flowers. We advise against using a regular hot glue gun or glue that is not purpose for flowers.
** You can skip floral adhesive when using floral foam when all the flowers will be standing up-right transportation of arrangements are minimal.
- Bouquet Wrap has a couple great distinct purposes. You can use it to make a hand tied bouquet. All you need to do is hold all the flowers in place and wrap the floral tape around the stems. It sticks to itself and is extremely easy to use. You can use the bouquet wrap to make a boutonniere, corsage, floral garland, a floral head band, and decorate your cake (cluster flowers together with floral tape). This green tape blends extremely well with stems and provides arrangements it with a finished neat touch. Using floral tape will help you attached flowers without noticeable mechanics sticking out.
- Waterproof floral tape can be used in many ways. You can also use this for holding together bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages. This tape is a little thicker, therefore, more noticeable but easy to use because one side is sticky and no pressure needs to be applied to get it to stay.
- Clear Floral Tape is mostly used for gridding. When you are using a clear glass vase and need to create a shape and keep flowers in place you can create a grid using clear tape. Placing the tape on the top of the vase in a grid pattern will create supportive mechanics that you will not be able to see. You cannot use floral foam since the container is clear and the clear tape will not show like the green tape.
Floral wire is another mechanical tool with a few purposes. They come in different gages the higher the number the thinner the wire. The standard gage ranges from the thickest wire# 16 to 30, the thinnest wire.
- Strengthen the Stem: Use floral wire to strengthen weak flowers or flowers with hollow stems. Flowers such as lisianthus, ranunculus, and anemones are some flowers that you may need to wire in order to put them in floral foam or a bouquet.
Visit our blog post that shows you how to wire a flower.
- Lengthen the stem: This is mostly for flowers like orchids that come on a very short stem. You will need to make the stem longer to put orchids into a bouquet or even make a boutonniere.
- Create Shape using flower stems: Sometimes you need flowers to bend or point in a direction that the stem will not naturally stay in. Many florists do this to create interest and balance in arrangements. Wire the stem by inserting the wire through the inside of the stem and then you can bend and point the flower as you wish in your arrangement.
Other mechanics you may need to think about would be for more complex arrangements. If you are making your own wedding flowers and arranging for the first time we suggest keeping things simple. Stick with the simple to tools in this lesson to help you make the wedding arrangements you desire. Try to stay away from extremely complex designs that require too much work.