USING FLORAL DESIGN TOOLS
If you’re new to creating flower arrangements, the array of tools and techniques available can be confusing. Follow this guide to learn how to use floral tape, floral adhesive, floral foam and floral wire to create fabulous arrangements!
How to Use Floral Foam
Floral Foam is a very useful tool for making even, steady, and hydrated flower arrangements.
Floral foam comes in a variety of shapes, including blocks, rings, balls, and bouquet holders.
Using Floral Foam Block in a Vase or 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 that is 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. This can take over an hour to fully saturate. If you don’t allow it to become fully absorbed, it won’t hydrate your flowers sufficiently.
- It’s a good idea to use 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 stay securely in the container. 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.
Using Floral Spheres to Make Flower Balls
- 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 thoroughly until fully saturated.
- 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.
Creating a Bouquet with a Floral Foam 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 to keep flowers secure, and bouquets are handled far more than table arrangements.
- 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 even 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 intended for use on flowers.
** You can skip floral adhesive when using floral foam when all the flowers will be standing upright and transportation of arrangements is minimal.
- Bouquet Wrap is used to make hand tied bouquets by simply wrapping around stems, adding additional flowers as you go. 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 well with stems. It can also be used with wire to support weaker stems.
- 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 very useful in floral design. It comes in different gauge: The higher the number the thinner the wire. The standard gauge 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.