How to make floral garlands
In Victorian England no party dress was complete without a garland of flowers (flower leis) encircling the shoulders and another one wrapped elegantly throughout a profusion of curls. Estates had large greenhouses for growing flowers to wear. The common folk treasured the flower-laden fields for their flower supplies for festivals and celebrations .A floral garland in Hawaii is called a lei. It is a symbol of affection.
Basic Carnation Garland
To honor a guest, give to a loved one, decorate for an event or make for yourself. You will need about 4 dozen carnation heads and a needle and thread.
1. Cut the flower heads at the base of the calyx.
2. Measure a double length of thread the size of the garland plus 10″ for knotting. Thread your needle.
3. Divide the flower heads in half. Insert the needle through the flower from the head to the stem. Use half the flowers.
4. Insert the needle through the stem end up through the flower head using the remaining flowers.
5. Compress the flowers on the thread before tying the garland into a circle with four knots.
An Elegant Garland
1. You will need four dozen carnations or roses and five dozen marigolds to complete your garlands. The larger the flower, the less you will need; the smaller the flower, the more you will need. Collect a sturdy needle, heavy thread and some greenery, statice and baby’s breath (for added texture and color).
2. Measure a double length of thread around your neck to determine the length of the garland. Add about 10″ to the length for tying off the ends of the garland. Thread the needle.
3.Cut the stems of the flowers to 1/2″ long. Arrange them in the shape of the finished garland on a towel placed on a flat surface.
4. Thread the flowers two at a time, facing from side to side. Add bits of greenery and other floral material in-between the double flowers. Compress the flowers on the thread before tying them off.
Twine Base Garland
Dainty twine based garlands are perfect for wrapping around pillars or poles, hanging in swags on a table front or framing a window or door. Heavier plant material requires a more rigid base. This is a great project for two people to do together.
1. Cut the flowers and leaves into 3″ pieces. Make a bundle of flowers and foliage. Secure it with spool wire.
2. Form a hanging loop at the end of the spool wire. Place the bundle of flowers on top of the twine and bind it with the spool wire.
3. Make another bundle, and place it over the stems of the previous bundle.
4. Continue making bundles of flowers and binding them to the twine until the garland is complete. Mist lightly (do not drench), cover with moistened paper towels and store in a cool place until ready to hang.
Note: Home refrigerators are usually too cold for flowers and the air doesn’t circulate. But, if the weather is hot and you don’t leave the garland in the fridge for more than a few hours or so, it will stay fresh longer in the fridge than outside.
Floral Foam Garland
The solution to a lasting garland is using a floral foam base. It is perfect for decorating topiary trees or making lazy circles down a buffet table
1. Soak Oasis floral foam before cutting in quarters.
2. Wrap them in long sections of fine polyethylene sheeting(plastic). Tie each sausage-like section with twine running the twine down the length of the foam to the next section. The attached twine holds them together and gives added support to the base.
3. Insert the foliage throughout the length of the garland. Add the flowers. Use a toothpick to pierce the plastic before inserting the stems of the floral material. Note:Use lightweight floral wire to secure the garland to shrubbery.
A Lasting Floral Garland
The solution to a lasting garland is using a floral foam base. It is perfect for decorating topiary trees or making lazy circles down a buffet table.
1. Soak Oasis foam (water holding foam) before cutting in quarters. The shorter pieces make for a more flexible garland.
2. Wrap them in long sections of fine polyethylene sheeting, floral netting (plastic chicken wire) or chicken wire. Tie each sausage-like section with twine running the twine down the length of the foam to the next section. The attached twineholds them together and gives added support to the base.
3. Insert the foliage throughout the length of the garland. Add the flowers. Use a toothpick to pierce the plastic before inserting the stems of the floral material.
Note: Use lightweight floral wire to secure the garland to a grapevine arch form or shrubbery. The length of the garland will determine how many flower heads you will need. Use one kind of flower for a uniform size and shape.
Experiment with different color flowers. See how they look in different groupings. Add pearls, colored beads or feathers in-between the flowers. If you are making a long garland to wrap around a pillar or hang on a table, thread all the flowers in the same direction.
If you are making a garland to wear, A lei flower garland,
.1. Pull the heads from several sprays of one kind and color of flower.
2. Divide them in half.
3. Thread a needle with as much thread as you will need for the length of your garland. Use a double thread
4. Thread the first half of the flowers from the top through the “stem”. Thread the second half of the flowers from the “stem” through the top. The flowers will meet in the middle.
The Flexible Garland
Symbolizing romance, the elegant, versatile garland has become readily available since the advent of artificial flowers.
They can be made quickly, stored easily and arranged in a variety of places
1. Create the base by encasing an evergreen garland in Spanish moss. For longer garlands, secure two or three garlands together. Secure the moss with fishing line
2. Wrap ivy garlands around the moss-covered base. Use fishing line or small pieces of floral wire to secure the ivy. Cut stems from sprays or bushes of ivy and wrap the ends of the stems around the stems of the garland
.3. Secure hydrangeas, roses, lilac, berries, whatever you like, and using hot glue. Cut the stems from 3″ to 5″ long.
4. Fill in bare areas with filler flowers like honeysuckle, forget-me-nots or baby’s breath. Insert twigs and vines for texture.