Sola wood flowers are one of the most versatile and eco friendly flowers in the market. They adhere well to any type of surface making them perfect for creating small to gigantic floral decorating projects, from small frames and bottles, to huge backdrops and floral walls. I love that you can easily craft them with or without stems. Stemming them however, opens a sea full of crafting opportunities.
In this tutorial, I will be sharing three techniques in stemming sola wood flowers so that making your forever floral arrangements can be a snap.
Gather Your Craft Supplies
- Sola wood flowers
- Green floral wire - 18 gauge that’s precut to stem length
- Bamboo skewer or wooden stems
- Glue gun or Glue melting pot
- Glue stick
- Cutting pier or shear
- Galvanized iron or metal wire
- Floral tape
Prepare The Flowers For Stemming
First, we carefully select the flowers that we need to stem. They have to be in perfect form; fluffed and treated with sola softener. Remember, the beauty of a floral piece relies heavily on the quality of the individual flowers so we have to make sure that we are using the best from the lot.
Depending on a current project, I may use either floral wire or bamboo stems. If I were to create a cascading wedding bouquet, I’d choose floral wire that I can easily bend and let fall. A bamboo stem on the other hand, is more efficient for tight posy arrangements and centerpieces.
Three Ways To Stem Sola Wood Flowers
Method 1: Stem with Green Floral Wire
Floral wire is sold by gauge. The higher the gauge, the thinner the wire. I prefer using the 18 gauge stem wire because of its versatility. I can easily bend if I am making freestyle falling bouquets or keep it upright for posy and hand-tied arrangements. It also provides enough support for the weight of the flower, keeping the form intact but light.
We need to jab a hole in the center underneath the sola flowers. This will serve as our guide when we re-insert the stem later on. We grab our prepared stems and apply hot glue to the tip. We carefully push into the base of the flower. Let the glue dry and make sure the flower is firmly attached to the stem. Another way to do it is to drop a dab of glue underneath the flower before poking through the glue and into the flower. This can get messy though and would leave a noticeable blob even when dried. To avoid this, we need to control the glue gun so it does not squeeze out too much adhesive, just enough to fully secure the stem.
Once the stem is inserted, hold it in place for a few seconds until both stem and bloom are firmly secured.
Method 2: Stem with Bamboo or Wooden Skewers
Apply glue on the sharp end of the bamboo or wooden stem.
Poke the skewer stem into the back of the flower just about 1/4 inch or so deep. If the stems seem to be loose, keep it in place by adding a bit more glue to where the flower meets the stem. Let it dry before moving on to the next bloom.
You can keep the bamboo raw or uncolored. Sometimes, if I need green stems but only have raw bamboo left, I would paint them green before using. You can also wrap with floral or washi tape for a more fun and clean finish.
Method 3: Stem with Galvanized or Metal Iron Wire
If there is no green wire available or you ran out of wire in the middle of a project, use galvanized or metal iron wire that you can buy at any hardware store. Cut it to your desired length using shears or pliers.
Proceed to stem the way you normally would. Apply a dab of glue on the tip of the wire.
Gently push the wire into the flower. I like to hold it in place for about 3 seconds to let the glue dry and set. Once the stem binds to the flower really well, you wouldn’t worry about the blooms falling off when you start arranging your bouquets, wreaths or decorations.
We then use a floral tape to cover the wire and give a more aesthetic, clean and finished look. Floral tape is ideal but green masking tape works too. Stick the end of your tape to the wire right at the bottom of the flower and keep twisting and wrapping until you reach the other end. You can even twine wrap the stem for a more rustic finish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I stem sola wood flowers before dyeing them?
You can dye sola wood flowers with the stems on. However, you may get dye on the stems when drying them upright. If you are making a bouquet and are planning to wrap the handle fully, then it wouldn’t matter if the stems have paint drips on them. For general purposes, we recommend dyeing prior to stemming. If you worry about having not enough to hold while dyeing, you may insert a toothpick before dipping.
Do I need to strictly use 18 gauge wire for stemming?
The higher the gauge the thinner it is so depending on your project you may use thicker or thinner wire. However, we have found that gauge 18 is the optimal size to use for most sola flowers. It can hold the larger ones without drooping. If you need to twist the wire for wreaths, gauge 24 and above may be used.
Why do we need to poke the base of the sola flowers prior to stemming?
Most sola wood flowers do not have a provided space underneath for stems so poking the base of the flowers prior to stemming makes the process much easier. Hot glue dries fast so you don’t want to spend more time working through the hole. All you need to do is insert the stem into the space you created earlier.
I noticed some flowers have “tails” at the back, how can I stem these?
Some flowers have extended petals at the back. You may keep them that way if you are wrapping the stem with floral tape. However, if you don’t intend to cover them, then feel free to clip a bit of the excess part off the bottom. Just be careful not to cut too close to the base or you’ll snip the threads binding the petals together.