So there’s bin a recent dip in activity posting, and that’s pretty much because I took a job at Michaels Arts and Crafts (again). I was a crochet instructor and sales associate there in California, and now in Pennsylvania I figured it was something familiar to go back to. Shortly after I started up, the Floral Designer position opened, and I swooped it up!
I spent the entire week watching tons of Youtube videos on arranging artificial flowers, scouring Pinterest for design ideas and tutorials, and I even read a slideshow article (yuck). But it paid off! Today I was asked to basically “try out” for the position by making a table piece and a wreath. And for never having made a table piece, and only having made a few wreaths several years ago, I’m proud of my first pieces!
These two above were a matching wreath and arrangement (sorry for potato quality photos). I’ve been nervous for the past week about finally trying out floral arranging! After all, I only had a few hours of Youtube videos to teach me, and no actual practice. But when I was finishing up one of the managers stopped by and gave me a great boost of confidence, so I felt pretty good about my chances for the job then.
This little guy was just one more piece I was asked to make. But ultimately my managers decided to give me the job and I’m so thrilled! Can’t wait to play with more faux flower arrangements in the future (and of course, upload lots of pictures!)
If you’re interested in arranging silk flowers, I’ll eventually post my own tutorial. But here’s what I studied to get me to at least a beginner’s level.
Astar’s Place is an incredibly fun to watch series. She has the most adorable accent, and she’s SO fun! Really lighthearted and easy to follow, with great basic tips for arranging custom floral pieces. What a personality! Definitely taught me a LOT.
Mike Gaffney is another amazing teacher. I watched all of his videos, but they’re just a piece of what he offers to teach in his schools across the country. He uses real flowers, but the ideas and principles are similar in a lot of ways. I found myself thinking a lot about his lessons while I was working on my pieces.
I also found this tutorial by Afloral very helpful for thinking about balance and interesting shapes in arrangements.
Honestly, absorb every piece of information that you can. Youtube and Pinterest are your friends. Search things like “artificial flower arranging”, “how to arrange silk flowers”, and “faux flower basics”. Look at wreaths, crosses, sprays, pots, table pieces, centerpieces, window boxes, anything you can. And definitely play with colors!
I found this basic recipe for floral to work well when I was under the pressure and watchful eyes of managers:
Pick your container first.
Cut your floral foam and use hot glue to affix it to the container, then cover it with spanish moss LOOSELY.
Walk around with your container and choose three to four types of flowers: A focal point (large or bright flower), fluffy flowers (sprigs of things that take up space and soften the lines), tall flowers (for height, can also use branches), neutral filler (white or cream flowers that brighten but don’t fight for attention). I just kept counting to three or four and made sure I had these basics.
Still holding your flowers, find matching greenery, one or two types. If using two types, make them different in texture or color. Match warm tone greens to warm tone flowers, and cool tones to cool tones.
Start with your base greens and anything that dangles off the side. You make the skeleton frame first, then fill it in three layers: Bottom, middle, and top. So lay out your bottom, stick your top straight up to mark how tall the piece will be, then fill in your middle a little bit.
Plug in some flowers, always imagining where the focal points go. (Always use an odd number of focal points, and allow them to be at differing heights and facing different directions.)
Let your stems breathe. Give them space. Fan them out. Don’t just stick them all straight up. Your piece should have no front or back, but look good from all angles.
There are just some very simple rules to follow to make a decent piece, but always trust your eye and have confidence in your designs. If you do this, you’ll like your piece anyway, nd that’s the whole point!