Floral Arrangements and Tools 101

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Hi there, I'm Tara with the Hobby Lobby CreativeStudio! And today I am so excited to show you the tools and tricks to getting startedmaking your very own floral arrangements.

Whether you're working with silk or freshflowers, you don't want to miss this.

First up is foam.

Here I have some wet foamthat I'll use with fresh flowers.

I've cut it to fit snuggly into my container and soakedit in water and flower food.

Now my fresh stems can be stuck right in and get the waterand nutrients they need to last.

"For faux or silk flowers, you'll want toget regular floral foam—no water necessary! It comes in bricks and can be cut down prettyeasily using a knife.

See how faux flower stems just slip rightin? Even delicate stems like these have no problem at all.

"Before starting a silk flower arrangement, though, it's a good idea to secure your floralfoam to the container.

I'm using hot glue, putting some on both the container and thefoam for a really good seal.

Now, say you have a clear container and foamwon't work for your arrangement.

Try this trick:"Criss cross clear tape over the mouth of your vase, creating a grid like this.

Then wrap some more tape around the rim, overlappingthe tape ends to make sure they don't peel up.

See how well the flowers are supported bythe tape? It's such an easy trick and so effective.

"I really like using this clear tape method for wide-mouthed containers and flowers withshort stems or heavy heads.

It's usually really difficult to arrange with these guys and keepthem in place, but criss cross your tape and the arrangement is a cinch.

Who says all the attention has to be at the top of your vase? Fillers like these can stabilizeyour stems and add color and texture to the bottom half of your arrangement!"Popular fillers include rocks, floral gems, glass beads, and moss.

But dare to think outsidethe box with things like flower petals, leaves, fresh or faux fruit, sea shells, and driedbotanicals.

Sometimes the filler I want to use isn't goodfor stabilizing stems or is just a hassle to stick flowers into, so here's what I do:cut a foam brick so it fits down the middle of your container with room to spare.

Secureit to the bottom of the container, then hide it by pouring in your filler like this! Youget the benefits of arranging in foam along with the look of your pretty filler.

I especiallylike this because I can use foam with whichever container I want, whereas before I'd haveto choose an opaque container to hide the foam.

Once you've settled on what you want the base of your arrangement to look like—vase, fillerand all—it's time to prep your flowers.

I'm using a basic pair of wire cutters formy silk flowers, since many of them have wire centers.

For my fresh blooms I'll use floralsheers.

They have thinner blades that won't crush the stems like regular scissors will.

And while I'm at it, I've grabbed some protective eye ware for safety as I cut my stems.

Whether you're trimming faux flowers or fresh, you'll want to cut them at an angle.

Thishelps fresh flowers absorb water better, and fake flowers will go into foam easier witha point.

Or, if the faux stems are visible, they just look more realistic!Here's a quick tip on trimming stems with thicker wire centers: First, cut through theplastic to reveal the inner wire.

Without the plastic in the way, it's way easier tosnip the wire on the inside.

Or you can try just bending the wire back and forth a fewtimes until it snaps.

There's a good chance you may want lengthenand strengthen your stems instead of shortening them, so let me show you how to do that usingsome floral wire and green floral tape.

Grab your floral tape and pull out a lengthto start with.

Place your wire near the base of the blossom, about an inch away from thetop.

Floral tape's stickiness activates when youstretch it, so just pull and wrap the tape downward at a 45 degree angle, making sureit's nice and tight.

I'm going to keep wrapping until the tape's about an inch or so pastthe bottom of the flower stem.

And just a side note, the wire I'm using here is cloth-covered,but you can also get wire with a painted coating on it.

Both types are available in severaldifferent gages, or thicknesses.

Wrapping stems with floral tape also workswith wooden picks—like these—for smaller blooms and groupings, and with floral stakes—likethese—for your larger flowers.

With a little practice, you can get prettyfast at wrapping stems, but there's also this handy tool—called a stemming machine—foradding a stabilizing steel pick to dozens of stems in no-time flat.

I'm using silk flower stems here, but it works with fresh flowers, too.

I've already loadedthe picks so now I just have to pull the handle up, then push it down.

and see? It crimpsa pick around the base.

The steel gives stems a ton of stability,and also a little length, which is nice.

I really like using my steel-picked stems infoam because I can pull the flowers out and readjust them so easily.

And the teeth onthe edges keep them in place once I do find where I want to put them.

Now if you don't want to use steel picks, you can still make sure your artificial flowersare nice and secure by putting a little tacky glue on the tips before pushing them intothe foam.

I'm all done with this arrangement's flowers,but see how the foam is still visible? I'm going to add some sheet moss here and secureit with floral — or S — pins.

These little guys are super handy.

Just slightly squeezethe pin together and slip it through the moss and into the foam.

They're also great forkeeping things in place while glue cures.

So there you have it! The tools, tips andtricks to get you started making your own fresh and silk floral arrangements.

That's all for today! Be sure to take a lookat our other fun and inspiring videos and I'll see you here next time at the Hobby LobbyCreative Studio!.