FOAM FLOWER BOUQUETS
I’ve never been very fond of using foam flowers in bride’s bouquets, but I’ve recently been working with some large, ivory coloured ones (10 cm heads) and I must admit they’ve changed my opinion. See 'Are You An Artificial Flower Snob?'
SOME FRIENDLY ADVICE FOR THE DIY BRIDE
Items you may need:
Foam / Polystyrene shape
Craft / glue gun
Spare glue sticks on hand
Pliers / cutters
Embellishments (Brooches, pins etc)
Dowelling / cane / Bouquet handle of choice
My first piece of advice to any DIY brides out there when using foam flowers is to practice with them because they do not behave in the same way as other faux / silk flowers.
You can handle foam flowers quite roughly and they will continue to maintain their shape
The foam memory is a bonus (if you accidentally squish them they will bounce back into shape); though be warned if you put these flowers too close to each other they will fight for space and literally push each other out of the way unless fixed very firmly.
Repositioning is not too much of a problem if you use pins to fix your flowers
Make sure you know where the centre of your foam shape is; and either insert your first flower there with a long pin, or at least make a mark in the foam.
Firstly, I would position the centre flower; not permanently, but with a long pin.
Secondly, I would suggest you place the very bottom ring of flowers on your bouquet, again not permanently attaching them yet.
Thirdly, return to the top centre and continue to attach the flower heads to the foam in concentric circles until you have reached the bottom layer of flowers.
You may at this stage still see the odd gap that is too big to be ignored. This is where a few smaller sized flowers in the same colour can be used. You can also pare down some of the flower heads that you have; it’s quite easy to do, you just peal off the outer petals.
I didn’t want to make a bouquet with different sized flower heads initially; but I was most pleased with the end result, and in hindsight I believe the bouquet appears more natural with the different sized flowers. After all you will be hard pushed to find a bouquet of fresh flowers where every one of the flowers are exactly the same size as each other.
There are several ways you can use to attach the flowers. In my case if the flowers were not so deep I would have pushed long decorative pins through the centre of each one until it was fixed firmly in place on the polystyrene shape. A little glue on the tip of each pin would ensure that the rose would stay put. I used a hot glue gun.
Now some folk may say why go to all the trouble of sticking all the flower heads on when you could just bunch the flowers together? After all they’re wired?
Yes this is another alternative to consider, but I like to know that the flowers will stay exactly where I put them, and whilst ever the flowers are on wired stems there is a possibility that they won’t.
For the handle I used wooden dowelling, though there are so many ready made alternatives on the market.
Embellishments – The brooches I used were purchased at the Leeds Asian Bazaar Market which is situated outside Leeds Market on Wednesdays. For people like me it is like a small paradise. No airs and graces just lots and lots of sparkly things, ribbons, tapes, buttons, brooches and don’t get me started on the marvelous materials and clothing that they have there. It’s not big, but it’s worth a visit if you want something other than the ‘norm’ which can be found in the other haberdashers around the town.
When attaching ribbon to the dowelling, I usually put a dab of glue on the corner of the ribbon to begin with then a little when I get to the end. There’s no right or wrong. Since I am constantly updating my creations this method works better because there are only 2 places where I have to tackle removing the glue.
As I mentioned earlier, using foam flowers hasn't ever been my first choice, but I can honestly say that I am a convert. Not for every project, though they definitely will be used again.
Let me know what you think about the virtues of the foam flower.
Whichever flower you choose to use. PC Creations Leeds wish you every success with your wedding flower planning.