Floral Tools: Which ones do you need?
D-I-Y Floral Design Classes
It is easy to become overwhelmed by DIY because there is a fear that you need to have official training and tools. It would really help if you knew what was really necessary, right? Well here it is, learn what you need certain tools for and what you can skip all together.
Floral Scissors: This is one prep tool you MUST have as a DIY'er. Floral scissors are quite different from kitchen scissors in a couple ways. They have sharper ridges that are designed to cut through layers of each stem which prevent stem crushing. When stems are crushed the flowers cannot draw up water evenly and tend to die quickly. Floral scissors are much sharper than kitchen scissors and have not been used on tough materials that dull the scissors. They cut straight through the stems without fraying or crushing the stems. You will need floral scissors to cut the stems which will prevent bacteria plugging and hydrate the flowers properly.
Floral Knives: If you have floral scissors, it is not absolutely necessary to purchase floral knives because they are quick and come in handy for pruning. While making arrangements you need to remove and separate flowers to create arrangements. If you separate sections or pull off a leaf you can damage the stem, it is better for the flowers if you use a floral knife that makes a clean cut.
Thorn Strippers: Thorn strippers are tools that exist to make your life easier. You can easily remove thorns by popping them off with your thumb. However, having this tool will save you a decent amount of prep time. Be careful to not remove the outer tender bark from the stems when using the thorn stripper. When ordering wholesale roses, keep in mind that they require a little extra prep time because you need to remove thorns, bottom foliage, and guard petals. In this case, tools are on your side to save time.
Construction and Mechanic Tools
Floral Foam: Floral foam can be a very important in the construction of centerpieces. It is absorbent foam that stabilizes stems into desired positions to create an arrangement shape. Soaking floral foam in water and floral preservative will increase the vase life of the arrangement. Either way, the floral foam needs to soak in order to be effective. It comes in many shapes. Spheres are used to make pomanders. Brick shapes are cut down and used inside vases. You can cut and shape foam bricks to make new shapes or use bouquet holders with foam to create a cascading bouquet.
As you can tell there are many uses for floral foam. However, if you are making hand tied bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and clear vase centerpieces, then there is no need for floral foam. If you are going to DIY flowers, keeping things simple will save you from buying addition supplies and cut the arrangement time down. If you want a very specific shape, practice ahead of time so you have a better idea of how many flowers you need and how to work with floral foam. Keep in mind that you will need to use floral adhesives if you plan on using foam for hanging arrangements.
Floral Tape: There are a few types of floral tape. The most commonly used is called stem wrap. This tape is used to hold bouquets together as well as boutonnieres and corsages. The tape sticks to itself when pulled tight. When wrapped around stems it securely holds together to form professional looking bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages. It comes in multiple colors but most commonly is used in green to camouflage itself and hide the mechanics of your arrangements. This is a highly recommended product!
Other types of floral tape are available such as waterproof floral tape and clear floral tape. These can be used for gridding and holding floral foam and mechanic tools into place. Gridding is the process of putting clear tape at the top of a vase in order to hold an arrangement shape like in the photo to the right.