Learn how to assemble your Beginner Centerpiece Kit with the help of our step-by-step tutorial. In this tutorial, we’ll cover everything from preparation to finishing touches!
Step 1: Set The Right Expectations
- No one gets it perfect the first time (let alone the first few times), and that's perfectly ok.
- Crafting with sola wood flowers is like any other hobby or skill - it takes time to get better (and you will).
- If you ever need help or guidance, we're here for you. Our Facebook group is home to the largest (and most supportive) sola wood crafting community.
- Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process!
Step 2: Layout Your Supplies & Prepare To Craft
Prepare all of your crafting materials from your Beginner Centerpiece Kit, or from the list above. Make sure you have all the components you need in all the correct colors.
Next, set them out in places that are easy to reach and make sure you have plenty of space. Double-check that your glue gun is plugged in and do a quick count of all of your flowers and stems to make sure you have enough of each. If you have a glue-pot, start melting some glue.
Note: Your centerpiece kit might look slightly different depending on which one you chose, but if anything is missing or if you have any questions, then please contact our 24/7 customer service team for assistance.
Step 3: Mix & Prepare Your Dye
- Gather the following supplies: water, wood flower dye, mixing bowl (or plastic container), fork, drying rack, or any flat surface where flowers can be left to dry.
- Fill your mixing bowl with room temperature water (or warm water for a bolder, brighter color).
- Mix in wood flower dye with the water. Start off with 1:2 ratio of dye to water (1 part dye and 2 parts of water). If you’d like the color to be more vibrant, you can add more dye, or more water if the color is too intense. For each small (1oz) bottle of dye, you should be able to dye 2 to 4 dozen flowers.
- Grab a fork (or something to stir with) and start mixing. Be sure to mix any dye that settles at the bottom of your bowl (we don’t want to waste any of your awesome sola wood flower dye).
- Now add in our Sola Softener mixture (optional). We recommend you add it as this prevents the flowers from being brittle and chipped once dried. Once you have the dye mixture, use a 1:10 ratio of Sola Softener to dye mixture (1 part Sola Softener and 10 parts of dye mixture). If you're eyeballing it, then we recommend you squeeze out just a little bit.
- Once your paint and Sola Softener is fully mixed in, grab your sola wood flowers & get ready to start dyeing!
Step 4: Dye Your Flowers
- You can use a fork to flip the flowers in the paint but we recommend using your hands (gloves are optional). It's easier and more fun, plus it's not that hard to clean up - just use soap and water.
- If you feel that the saturation of the dye (on the flower) is not the way you wanted it to look, just add more paint or more water if it's too intense.
- If you've noticed some of your flowers are a bit squished, just know that's perfectly normal! This is the time to fluff them out and reshape them. You can gently pull the petals and dip them again to the dye solution to make sure you don’t miss any parts of the flower.
- Shake off any excess paint. Once you’re satisfied with how the flowers look, you can leave them to dry.
- You can always redip your flowers (to get a bolder look, or if you missed a spot).
Step 5: Dry Your Flowers
- Leave them to dry on a piece of parchment paper on a tray, or on an egg carton. You can even use folded up paper towels. Set them somewhere they can sit to dry for 24 hours.
- Make sure to leave the flowers in a place with good airflow and wait until the flowers are dry to the touch.
Step 6: Stem Your Flowers
Start this step by making sure that you have your glue gun turned on, or your glue-pot warmed up to make this as easy as possible. Along with this, make sure you have your flowers, stems, and gluing tool in front of you, with each of them in reach.
Holding the flower you want to stem in one hand, place a dab of glue the size of a pea on the back of the flower. If you’re using a glue-pot, hold the flower you want to stem in one hand and the stem in the other. Then dip the stem in the glue-pot to apply glue to it and continue to step three.
Being careful not to burn yourself, gently twist/push the stem into the base of the sola wood flower, this should be easy and should only go in around one-half of an inch (about the width of your pinky finger).
Repeat the steps above until you have a full set of stemmed flowers. Be careful as hot-glue can get quite hot and burn you!
Step 7: Cut The Stems
Now take a good pair of wire trimmers and cut off approximately 2/3 of the bamboo stem, but be sure to only do a few at first (so that you get the hang of it and don't cut them too short).
Note: Cutting it a little longer gives you a second chance to test the length, and reduces the odds that you will cut it too short.
Step 8: Prepare Your Filler
Break your filler into smaller chunks, so that you're able to spread it throughout your centerpiece. At Sola Wood Flowers, we like to break our filler down into small bunches with a few “heads” per filler. There isn’t a “correct” size for your filler so feel free to break it into smaller or larger chunks depending on the design you have in mind (otherwise just follow our lead)!
Step 9: Prep Floral Foam
Once you've prepared your stemmed flowers & filler, grab your Rectangle Centerpiece Box and Floral Foam.
If the floral foam doesn’t fit in the box, you'll need to trim it down.
Measure the foam and cut it so that it perfectly fits in the middle (you want to make sure there's an equal amount of empty space on each side).
To cut the foam, we recommend you use either: a long serrated knife (like the one you use to cut bread), an electric kitchen knife, or a utility knife - almost any type will do!
Step 10: Glue Floral Foam
Now, take your glue gun and spread some glue on the bottom of the floral foam, and then place it directly in the middle of the centerpiece box.
Step 11: Add Flowers
You're now ready for the fun part! Grab your stemmed flowers and a pair of wire trimmers.
Start inserting the flowers one at a time - starting with each of the 4 corners (facing outwards).
Note: Before you move forward, here are some things to keep in mind:
- You can either cut your stems further or leave them as is - it's totally up to you (feel free to experiment).
- Flowers that face multiple directions will add character to your centerpiece.
- Have fun & don't stress if it's not "perfect" yet - it will all come together very soon!
Step 12: Add Filler
Now that we have a general shape we'll add the filler!
If you’ve shaped your centerpiece properly you should have little spaces in-between flowers throughout the piece, these are what we’ll be using for our filler. Start by locating one of these gaps.
Next, take one of the bunches of greenery/filler that you made and insert it into the gap until you have as much of the filler as you’d like sticking out above the flowers.
Success! You should have a proper centerpiece staring back at you. If you don’t love it, adjust and rebuild until you are satisfied, but be sure to limit yourself. It’s easy to spend hours toying with an arrangement and end up frustrated with a piece that was actually beautiful in the beginning—We’ve done it WAY too many times!
Step 12: Share & Get Feedback
Congratulations! You've just started your Sola Wood Flower journey, and we've love to see what you came up with. Join the Sola Wood Flowers Official Facebook Group and post your centerpiece there for feedback, support, or just to show off your hard work!
These instructions are meant to help you understand how to make a traditional centerpiece with sola wood flowers and shouldn’t be treated as the ONLY way to make a centerpiece with sola wood. The beauty of crafting is its ability to let us make something that is unique to each of us and gives us a way to express our creativity. One part of being creative, that we’re very familiar with here at Sola Wood Flowers, is trying something and messing up. In some cases, these directions will not contain everything you need to finish the centerpiece you’ve imagined, in other cases it will take multiple tries and initial designs before you get it how you want it. The most important thing is that we enjoy the journey, get the chance to experiment, and take something we’ve imagined and make it real.
- Sincerely, Sola Wood Flowers
Can’t wait for my first order! Sadly I didn’t read this first so I didn’t get the softener! Next time