How to Design a Silk Flower Bouquet

Make a good impression with a silk flower arrangement.

Silk flowers are so realistic that sometimes it's almost impossible to tell the fake from the real. While floral professionals can custom-make them, they're also easy to make yourself.

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Actually, most "silk" flowers are made from cotton, rayon or polyester fabrics. When selecting flower tops, go for a variety of textures to give the arrangement interest, and include both large blossoms and small buds. As for the stems, there are several types. The least expensive is plastic, but better-quality stems are hand-wrapped with floral tape, which provides a more natural appearance. Pliable stems made with wire are even more realistic but can be quite expensive.

With care, silk arrangements can last for years. To prevent fading, protect them from direct sunlight. You can use a feather duster or a hair dryer on a no-heat setting to dust them off; commercial silk flower cleaners can also be used. If, after time, your arrangement starts to look droopy, use a clothes steamer or a steam iron to perk it up.

Here's how to design your own arrangement:

Materials and Tools:

container
floral adhesive
2-inch floral foam
serrated knife
Spanish moss
greening pins
artificial flowers

Steps:

  1. Prepare the container by putting floral adhesive around the inside of the container, which will adhere the first piece of floral foam. Put more strips of adhesive on the top of the foam and repeat with more layers of foam until the foam extends 1 to 2 inches above the container. Cover the foam with Spanish moss and secure it with greening pins.

  2. Open all the flowers by unfolding each one from the bottom, and shape the leaves and petals as naturally as possible.

  3. To create the best proportion, the arrangement should be about 1½ times the height and width of the container. Start by inserting the line flowers — the ones that stand tall and have many blossoms close to the stem — both horizontally and vertically to create a fan shape. Focal and filler flowers are then added to complete the design.

  4. Place the focal flowers — the main flowers in the arrangement — in the middle areas. Fill in the empty space with the secondary flowers, which are either smaller or less vibrant. Finish with the filler flowers, usually small, clustered flowers that are lacy and add texture. Stand back often as you insert the filler flowers to check the symmetry of the arrangement and make any necessary adjustments.

  5. If any of the silk flowers become loose, secure them with hot glue. If the edges of silk leaves fray, sear them with a match.

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