In this tutorial, we’ll cover everything from preparation to finishing touches, in both written & video formats!
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 Bouquet 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 bouquet 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 steps 1 and 2 with each flower you want to use until you have a full set of stemmed flowers. Be careful as hot-glue can get quite hot and burn you!
STEP 7: PREPARE TAPE AND FILLER
Start by preparing the different parts that will be used to make your wood flower bouquet. We usually prepare to craft in this order:
- Cut your tape (if you have a whole roll). Otherwise, use the sample we included in your kit & move on to the next step.
Make sure to cut all of your tape into smaller pieces about 12 inches long, this way you can apply each piece of tape to your bouquet as needed with ease once we get to that step.
- Prepare your filler.
Break your filler into smaller groups to spread it throughout your bouquet. We break our filler down into small bunches with a few “heads” per filler bunch. There isn’t a “correct” size for your filler so feel free to break it into smaller or larger bunches depending on the design you have in mind!
STEP 8: ASSEMBLE THE BOUQUET
Now we’re going to build the general shape of the bouquet.
Start by holding a single stemmed-flower in one hand, and use your other hand to add flowers in a spiral-like pattern. Be sure to grab flowers that are different sizes, shapes, or colors to keep the arrangement from becoming too uniform, variety is the spice of life!
- Continue the spiral pattern making sure to make each row of flowers slightly lower than the previous, this will start to build out the round shape of your bouquet. Don’t pack your flowers in too tightly, we’ll fill the small spaces in between the flowers with filler later.
- Add the rest of your stemmed flowers to the arrangement following the same pattern.
- Once you’ve placed all of your flowers take a look at the shape and design you’ve made. Placing different sizes, styles, and colors of flowers next to each other is a good way to bring contrast to the piece! To add depth, raise and lower some of the flowers a bit so that they aren’t in such an obvious pattern, and have some life to them.
STEP 9: ADD FILLER
Now that we have a general shape we’ll add the filler!
Success! You should have a proper bouquet 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 10: SECURE YOUR BOUQUET
Now that you have a proper bouquet you’re done! Right? Well, maybe not... because you’re probably still holding the bouquet in one hand. To fix this we just need to add a bit of tape.
- Still holding the bouquet in one hand, grab one of the pieces of tape that you cut earlier and left in an easy to access place, and wrap it around the bouquets “handle” right where the stems start to come together tightly.
- Next, add a second and third piece of tape each a few inches below the one above it. As a sidenote: if you want a longer handle you may want to place a fourth piece of tape to secure the entire handle tightly.
You should now be able to loosen your grip on the bouquet and have it keep its shape. If you cannot, add more tape and make sure the handle stems are pulled together tightly.
STEP 11: TRIM THE HANDLE
At this point your bouquet looks great from the top, but the handle is probably a mess of stems and filler bits. We’ll fix that and leave only a beautiful bouquet behind.
- To find out how long your handle should be, we suggest taking it for a test run. If you want to hold this bouquet when you’re walking down the aisle or want to for an accent piece in your next photoshoot then hold the bouquet in your hands exactly as you picture yourself doing then, and make note of where the bottom part of your hand is. If you’ll be placing it in a vase, hold the vase up to the bouquet and make note of how tall your vase is to make sure you cut in the right place.
- Now that you know how long you want the handle to be, take a good pair of wire trimmers and cut the handle slightly longer than you need. 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.
- If the handle is still too long then keep trimming and testing until you’re right where you want to be.
STEP 12: WRAP THE HANDLE
Now we’re going to wrap the handle. This can be done with whatever you’d like to use, but we often include twine or lace as a wrap.
Place a small dot of glue in the middle of the bouquet’s handle and place your wrapping material on it to glue it to the surface. Let the wrap sit for a moment to dry/cool down so that it doesn’t pull off when you start wrapping.
Once that is firmly attached, wrap your bouquet until it looks good to you—beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and trim any leftover material you don’t want to use.
Finish wrapping the handle by placing another dot of glue and attaching the rest of your wrapping material.
Trim if you need to, relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw, and admire the arrangement you’ve just finished.
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 bouquet 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 bouquet with sola wood flowers and shouldn’t be treated as the ONLY way to make a bouquet 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 arrangement 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