How to Make a Silk Flower Arrangement for a Vase
There are many types of artificial flowers, but silk flowers are the most realistic and beautiful ones. Silk flowers can be used as a decorative item for your home or a ceremony in bouquets or garlands, or you can use them to make your own accessories such as a flower crown, a boutonnière or a corsage.
Silk flowers have many advantages, the most notable being that they don't fade or rot - and you don't have to water them! In this oneHOWTO article, we'll give you some ideas on how to make a silk flower arrangement for a vase.
Flower arrangements: the basics
What is a flower arrangement?
The history of floral design is very long - researchers believe that it was practiced even in Ancient Egypt. In the Western world, flower arrangements often focus on color and use many flowers to create striking designs for vases, floors and all sorts of ceremonial or important occasions.
The Japanese art of ikebana, on the other hand, has a more minimalistic approach to composition. However, the ikebana style of floral design focuses on spirituality and the magnificence of nature, so perhaps artificial flowers - even silk ones - are not the best choice for that.
What do you need to make silk flower arrangement?
If you want to make a silk flower arrangement for a vase, you should first get the flowers. If you buy wire-stemmed silk flowers, you shouldn't put them in water, as the wire will eventually rust. You can get a realistic look by using self-hardening acrylic, but once it settles you won't be able to re-arrange the flowers - you must be very sure of what you're doing!
Instead of water, you can keep your silk flowers in clear or colored marbles - that depends on your desired look - or gravel, or you can use an opaque vase. There are gels that look like water on the market, so you should do some research in your local decor shops.
You can use a hard foam brick or block as a base to insert the flowers, placing it at the bottom of the vase and covering it with moss or foliage. In order to make it stay in place, use floral tape or hot glue.
What kind of silk flowers should you choose?
When choosing the silk flowers for your arrangement in a vase, you need to take into account that you are creating a 3D item, not a picture: the arrangement will be seen from different perspectives, so it will look better if it is symmetrical. We recommend choosing flowers of different sizes to allow more creativity in the combinations.
As for the colors of the silk flowers, it really depends on the style you're going for - we'll give you different options below. However, a good professional trick to make a beautiful flower arrangement is to use "bridge" flowers. If your silk flowers are yellow and red, you can add some orange flowers to tie the visual impression together.
You can also get "filler", such as eucalyptus shoots, lamb's ear, or foliage of all sorts. When you cut the stems or shoots, do so at an angle: this will make it easier to stick them to the base if you're using one. Finally, when you place the flowers and filler, don't forget to "fluff" them. This means gently bending the stems and leaves to create the illusion of growth and vitality.
How to make a traditional silk flower arrangement
Sometimes "traditional" means overwrought, too much - however, this is not necessarily so. Traditional silk flower arrangements, in which the largest flowers are placed in the middle and the smaller around them, are perfect centerpieces for formal occasions, as they dress up any room and add an instant touch of sophistication.
For this sort of flower arrangement, we recommend using a ceramic or glass vase, either transparent or of a neutral color. The best silk flowers for a classic look are rich in color and size, which will create the impression of lushness. Our favorites include:
- Persian buttercup
- Calla lily
For filler, we recommend using sprays or shoots of the following:
- Lamb's ear
Of course, the main flowers will be the biggest ones unless they're very pale and the accent flowers are very bright. Consider your vase and plan the design before starting to trim and arrange the silk flowers.
Place the ones you want to be the focus of attention in the center; they should be higher than the brim, but not too much. You can make the stem longer by adding wire and taping it strongly.
If it's a long, tube-like vase we recommend placing the fillers and flowers individually, letting them fall in their natural direction and then working in a circle. Wide, square or pitcher-style vases will look better if you arrange the silk flowers like a bouquet and tie them together beforehand.
How to make a romantic silk flower arrangement
Romantic silk flower arrangements are the obvious choice for a wedding, but their lighter and more delicate, subdued look also makes them perfect for bedrooms or to decorate a shelf just because. We recommend making this sort of arrangement in a white vase, be it birch wood or porcelain, or in a vintage glass vase. Worn-down gold is also a good choice if the flowers are not too colorful.
To make a subtly whimsical floral arrangement, choose pale-colored flowers and wispy fillers:
- Jamesia or waxflower
- Sea-lavender or statice
- Cherry, plum or apple blossom
- Lily of the valley
- Lamb's ear
- Hoary mugwort or Dusty Miller
- Asparagus fern
- Baby's breath
A romantic flower arrangement is less bound by rules and tradition, so you can just experiment. However, experts recommend being minimalistic; consider smaller vases and compositions.
How to make a modern silk flower arrangement
Do you want to make a silk flower arrangement in a vase with a modern, trendy vibe? These latest seasons have been notable for favoring simplicity, clear lines, and geometrical shapes.
You can use an understated ceramic or whitewashed wood vase, or even a zinc vase for an industrial chic touch. We recommend choosing green and white flowers, with perhaps some cream or purple as an accent. What flowers, do you ask? Succulents, of course! In this article we went over the different succulent plants you can get; choose one, and combine it with viburnum, purple basil, saracenias or scabiosas as filler.
Succulent plants are hardy and resilient, and they're still undeniably beautiful in an odd way. These flowers - even when artificial - don't have stems, so you will have to make your own by sticking a skewer to their base.
These are our tips on how to make a silk flower arrangement for a vase, with traditional, romantic and modern ideas. Share your tips in the comments section and don't miss the following articles:
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