D.I.Y. wedding flowers ~ florists tools

Have you ever wondered what florists’ tools you might need to design flowers on a budget?  For all our creative friends, especially D.I.Y. brides, we thought it would be nice to have a resource list.  Here are the tools and supplies we use ourselves and feel good recommending to you.  We’ll give them in order of their use in the “life cycle” of a basic centerpiece.

1. Scissors.

We use these to cut into our shipments in the morning.  Everything arrives bound in twine, wrapped in tape, and sheathed in cellophane.  Scissors let us dig into the goodies quickly.  Later on we might also use scissors to trim leaves or shriveled petals, and we have pairs specially designated for cutting ribbon.

2. Shears and sharp paring knives.

As often as we can, we cut stems with a sharp, clean knife.  The reasons for this are explained in detail in the conditioning post, but in short, it’s to prevent damage and bacteria growth.  Sometimes it’s not reasonable to cut something with a knife: hydrangea and branches are some examples of things we may choose to use shears for.

3. Buckets.

If you plan to ever have more than one full bunch of flowers (usually 10 stems), it can’t hurt to have a bucket.  It gives you a place to hydrate flowers you aren’t ready to design yet–for example, if you pick up flowers on Wednesday in preparation for a party on Friday.  We have dozens of buckets and use most of them each week.  Old vases will also work, but they can become a shattered-glass hazard when you combine them with wet hands, so plastic buckets are our bet.  After use, we scrub them with detergent and a bottle brush, swish with hot water, and set upside down to dry.

4. Flower food.

We use a powdered food diluted in tap water.  This gives our poor, road-weary flowers a little jolt of nutrition, kind of like what Gatorade does for people.

5. A dedicated cooler.

Sometimes we need flowers to open a little more.  For example, Asiatic lilies and alstroemeria look their best if they’re allowed to open before being chilled.  But if you’ve ever wondered how to make flowers last, for most varieties cool air is a good solution.  If you do a lot of entertaining or often arrange flowers just for fun, it could be worth your while to invest in a large refrigerator to keep them fresh.  Our cooler is usually set around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  Just as being too warm is sure to cause flowers to wilt, being too cold is sure to cause them to blacken, so never store cut flowers on the refrigerator shelf closest to the freezer.

6. Crystal Clear pump and Crowning Glory spray bottle.

Crowning Glory refill and spray bottleWhen we arrange flowers in a vase, we always fill the vase with a solution of water and clear flower food (the pump jug pictured in #4 above).  When the arrangement is complete, we spritz it with Crowning Glory that we keep in spray bottles.  If you’re wondering what the point is, think about it this way: do you ever paint your nails?  Crowning Glory is analogous to a topcoat.  You can’t really tell it’s there, and you may think it’s pointless, but in actuality its job is to protect the beauty underneath.

These are the basic tools we rely on to create arrangements that look their best and stay fresh.  If you’ve ever wondered how to make flowers last, trying these things should help you.  Click here for information about supplies we use specifically for boutonnieres, corsages, and handheld bouquets.

~Every Bloomin’ Thing

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