A toolbox should contain fastening materials such as tapes and twine!
In my toolbox, I carry a roll of floral wrap tape, and waterproof floral tape in green and clear. I also include a roll of green florist twine. These are the most useful fasteners for me. This is how I use them.
Floral wrap tape is essential for fresh flowers. (The light green tape in this picture.) This tape is a thin crepe paper lightly encased in wax. To start this tape, hold the end between the index finger and thumb. Pull the tape over the are you are securing. As the tape passes through the finger the friction created activates the wax to secure it to itself. This tape is used to create blooms from petals. This will include corsages, boutonnieres, and bouquets used in weddings. Others uses include covering florist wire with the floral wrap tape. This keeps the wire from cutting the pieces that are being connected, it also conceals the wire.
Waterproof tape is used to hold the floral foam to the design container. I also use it to make a crisscross on the top of a vase, such as Roses, to hold the stems in place. I keep green and clear in my toolbox. Some clear decorative vases look more elegant when the tape is invisible.
Florist twine has been used for decades, maybe even centuries! This twine is also covered with wax. This allows the twine to be used with water. This twine is used to create the Arm Bouquets you see in beauty events. The greenery is tied to the stems of the blooms and the stems are arranged to create the bouquets. This twine is very strong! It will tie arrangements to permanent fixtures. Be careful, like a wire, this twine can cut and it can be very painful!
A silent tool that helps the florist tremendously is wire.
Wire aids flower blooms in many different functions! Strong Wire adds strength to a floral stem. Thin wire can totally recreate a bloom. There are many different roles for wire in a floral setting.
In my floral designing, I use three gauges of wire. For strong support to fortify stems, I use #18. This is one of the heaviest gauges that the florist utilizes. It is great to support carnation blooms in funeral work. The gauge I use most often is #22. This gauge is flexible. It can used in many situations. It can support the stems, create shapes for designs, and it is great to hold together a bow! The thinnest gauge I use is #26. This gauge is used to wire flowers for corsages, boutonnieres and wedding bouquets. The thinness of the wire allows control to hold together the petals, but it takes skill and practice not to cut the petals. It is important to realize that this gauge of wire can cut your fingers like a razor if you pull it through your fingers.
This is a sample card supplied to the wholesalers by wire suppliers, Southern Steel & Wire, Inc. And Highland Wire, Inc. The sample card was offered to the florists to show all wire gauges available. Orders could be made if a project required a special gauge and a minimum was met.
My major tools for cutting wire are wire cutters and shears. I use wire cutters for gauges #18 and #22. When using #26 gauge, shears are better for me to cut the wire. The thinness of the wire does not always make a clean cut using wire cutters. It is important that the cuts of the wire be neat, so as not to harm anyone.
Like any other artist, a flower designer needs different tools!
There are a variety of tools used for cutting flowers. These are the tools I use most often for cutting the variety of flowers I choose.
I use pruning shears for cutting flowers from the plant , and also heavy stems such as evergreens. This tool easily cuts through the bark and makes a clean cut. I sometimes use pruning shears to cut flowers underwater.
Ribbon scissors are used exclusively for ribbon. This pair of scissors need to be very sharp. This allows a clean, sharp cut on the ribbon. I try not to use these on wired ribbon. This may dull the scissors. I may cut the ribbon with a pair of shears, pull through the wire on the end, then make a clean, angle cut on the ribbon ends.
Shears are another pair of scissors that are used by designers. My Mother used shears, instead of a knife, to design flower arrangements. These shears are multipurpose. They can cut flowers, thin wire, plastic, and other thin solid surfaces. Shears are usually serrated. This can cut through heavier objects.
Another cutting tool is the florist knife. There are different styles of knives. The knife I used is a foldable knife. It is very sharp. It takes practice to use a knife. To use a knife, learn the hold the knife at a 45 degree angle against the stem of the flower. The trick is to pull the stem against the stationary knife. This helps prevent cutting your thumb.
Remember, practice is the best way to learn control and speed when using the tools for flower designing.
A toolbox keeps essentials together!
This is the toolbox I am currently using. It was my Mother’s. In the late 1960’s, Dad decorated a fishing tackle box for her tools.
In my toolbox I have my basic tools. For Cutting I have – pruning shears, florist knife, shears, ribbon scissors, and wire cutter. The wire in my toolbox is paddle wire, great for saving space, I carry # 26 and # 22 in paddle wire. I also carry a few pieces of straight #22 that I have folded in two from the box in my workroom. In tape there are a roll of floral wrap tape, and waterproof floral tape in green and clear. I also include a roll of green florist twine. To complete my tools are packets of flower food, a few corsage pins, and rose strippers.
This works for me because most of the work I create is done off the site. I arrive at the site with most of the arrangements completed. At the site, most of the work is placement and decorating permanent fixtures that are on the site. All I need are basic tools to finish the designs for decorating
My sister also is a floral designer. She does most of her work at the site. She will bring the flowers and tools to the site and create in a small area. Her toolbox is four times the size of mine. Hers is a current fishing tackle box with foldouts. But, she has to carry anything she may need to complete her plans to decorate the site.
Like the tools, the toolbox is a reflection of the designer.
Blooms can change the aroma of day!
In the past few months, life for most of us has changed. The surroundings are the same, days are lost, and socializing is discouraged.
Staying in one place can make some nose blind. Many times the change in the scent of an environment can change the attitudes of the surrounds. One can change the atmosphere often by changing the floral scent.
Blooms from the garden, grocery store, or floral shop can change the aroma of the environment. Different flowers have different aromas. Some aromas are soft and subtle, such as roses. Other aromas are strong, such as Stargazer Lilies. The scent of fresh flowers can last for weeks.