Prom season is drawing closer as students up and down the country embark upon their final exams and start thinking about that dress, those tux, the fancy car and the floral accessories. Most UK schools finish for summer next month, so prepare for prom season (which is becoming more and more extravagant as proven by stats from Visa’s Prom Spending Survey) by getting clued up on how to make a wide range of corsage and buttonhole designs using these tried & tested gluing tactics.
HOW TO MAKE A CORSAGE USING COLD GLUE
YOU WILL NEED
Wrist corsage bracelet — here we’ve used Hailie Wrist Corsage Bracelet (HL1403)
Oasis Floral Adhesive (FA1754)
Accessories — here we’ve used Fireworks (FW1505)
A selection of flowers — here we’ve used 4 x Kalanchoe Leaves, 2 x Spray Roses, 3 x Kalanchoe Florets
1. Florists say, “Use cold glue not pan hot glue… flowers are likely to pop off if you use hot glue.”
2. Use pliers to squeeze the nozzle to an oval as this makes the glue flow more controllable.
3. Use a piece of packaging from your Corsage Creations wristlet, a ceramic tile, non-stick tray or something similar as your work-surface to squeeze a glue puddle onto. This will keep your work-area tidy and also means your glue puddle is ready for the next use.
4. Don’t make huge glue puddles as it dries out quickly, instead add fresh glue regularly leaving you with less waste.
5. Decide which gluing method will work best for your design: 1) Dip flowers and accessories directly into the glue puddle. 2) Glue straight onto the surfaces that you’re sticking.
6. Florists say, “Make all your bows and glue them on to the wristlets days or weeks ahead of time, then just glue in the flowers when you get the orders”
7. Flowers should ideally be at room temperature before gluing or the condensation will not allow the glue to set securely.
8. When cutting flower heads from stems, give yourself as much of a flat surface as possible. For example if using roses, cut the calyx flat – right next to the head — to create a large surface area for the glue to adhere to. Florists say, “You don’t want any stem left on the bloom before sticking.”
9. Cover the whole of cut stem ends with glue to preserve moisture within the flower.
10. Glue holds better when sticking to more glue, so be sure to have glue on both surfaces. Remember glue is cheap in comparison to a returned design, so give yourself plenty.
11. Cold glue sticks best once it’s slightly dried and tacky – so squeeze the glue onto the surface then count to ten before attaching.
12. Using glue means you can really make the most of adding little details to your design – impossible with wire. Corsage Creations recommend using small, delicate flowers where possible. Read Rob Wallace’s top tip to test flowers for gluability. Florists say, “Use the glue to add detail to different areas of a design. Sometimes it’s better to wire really heavy flowers but glue the rest.”
13. Let corsages rest for 10–12 minutes to allow glue to dry and set before spraying or sealing in protective packaging or placing in refrigeration. The glue will not continue to dry once it’s been placed in the flower fridge. Florists say, “Make sure your piece is completely dry before refrigeration.”
14. The team at Corsage Creations advise not to use leaf shine on your corsages because it dissolves the glue.
15. Save a few of the glue tube lids when the tubes are empty, to replace lost ones!
16. Store glue with the lid tightly sealed. If the top does get lost, insert a corsage pin into the nozzle to seal it until the next use.
17. Use an oily substance like Leaf Shine, oil, or hand cream on the nozzle and cap to prevent the glue building-up before next use. Plus if you rub some on your hands it’ll be easier to remove glue from them too. But be careful because leaf shine will dissolve the glue in your corsage.
18. OASIS Floral Adhesive is the highest recommended florist glue, but if you can’t get hold of that or you’d prefer a pot to a tube, then Elmer’s Rubber Cement is florist-recommended. You may have to hunt for it on eBay or Amazon though.
19. Florists say, “Practise makes perfect… the first couple of tries may take way longer than if you’d wired, but once you learn a system that works for you and utilises the waiting time it’s fine”
Get practising now and you could be in with a chance of winning our corsage competition with fantastic prizes and your chance to get your name out there. More details coming soon!
If you’re not comfortable using glue, or are making one of those designs that needs wire work no matter what, check out the range of wires in different colours and thicknesses. For all the accessories, including those essential wristlets and boutonnieres with florist-friendly plastic attachments, visit corsagecreations.co.uk.
For a live tutorial visit the our YouTube channel where you’ll find lots of videos demonstrating best practise for florists.
Article created in collaboration with Purple Spotted.