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Preparing Silk Flower Arrangements

Flowers and Florists
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Silk flower arrangements are an effective all season solution to the problem of adding freshness, color and a hint of the outdoors to your winter rooms. The term "silk flower" is a bit of a misnomer. Most of the artificial flowers sold in craft and floral outlets these days are actually a polyester blend, but that doesn't keep the finished blooms from looking authentic. When you use these manufactured flowers, adopt a few practices to make them last longer and look better.

Handling and Caring For Silk Flower Arrangements

Even though the petals of artificial flower arrangements look delicate, they're still pretty sturdy. They usually respond to crushing by a gentle shake or gentle prodding with your fingers.

The stems are typically rigid and bendable, consisting of segmented plastic or poly bands and a wire core. The evenly spaced thinner sections are designed to make cutting easier. Although your efforts at arranging silk flowers will be successful if you wiggle these segmented bands back and forth to weaken and break stems to reduce their length, having a pair of heavy duty wire cutters on hand will make the job easier. Don't use your good shears. The metal wire in most artificial flower stems will ruin a quality pair of shears or good knife.

You will also need support for the stems once they're in whatever container you're using. The most popular support base for arranging artificial flowers is floral foam, but you can also use a floral tape grid across the opening of the container, marbles, sand, or even wadded up newspaper.

Once you've created a design, don't worry if the base looks a little ragged. Floral moss will cover any bald spots and conceal the lip of the container and any floral tape or glue you've used.

After you complete your silk flower arrangement, follow these steps to keep it looking good:

  • Be careful of sunlight. If your arrangement will be in the sun and you don't have UV blinds or film over your windows, make sure to rotate it often to even out any color fading.
  • Vacuum your arrangement periodically. If the blooms are delicate, you can also use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting to blow dust off artificial flowers. For the insides of buds or other areas that are difficult to clean, use an inexpensive set of artist's brushes to remove dust.

Now that you know the basics for building and caring for silk flower arrangements, start exploring ways to use them in your rooms. They can add dimension to a shady area where real plants won't thrive, and can be an inexpensive way to conceal an unsightly area, like an electrical outlet or utility corner.

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