Did you find my two videos on what I carry in either my handy tool bag or my large tool bag useful? You can see them on the FloralArtOnline YouTube channel if you haven’t yet had a chance to look at them.
In Step 1of the video series for those starting out on their floral art journey I talked about the main tools you will need and how these are items you should have at home already.
But I know how exciting a new hobby can be.
I know the joy of buying new things to enhance the enjoyment of that hobby.
I know how the “right” tools can improve confidence when you are trying out new designs and techniques.
With that in mind, here are some products good floral designers have found useful over the years. These are through Amazon because you can purchase the item, simply and safely from anywhere in the world with a returns policy second to none.
(Disclaimer: Yes, if you purchase through these links I will receive a small commission, often less than 20c. It all helps to keep this site running for you.)
1. Shears / Secateurs/ Pruners
You need a pair of these that will fit comfortably in your hand. Try out a few different brands to see which are easiest for you to use. Single movement ones are great for standard stems, flowers or foliage. You might also considers ratchet style ones as an additional pair if you use woody stems and branches in your designs.
2. Pliers / Wire Cutters
The best floral designers use one pair for cutting wires and a different pair for manipulating wire (needle nose pliers). Once again, make sure these are comfortable in your hand, giving you enough leverage to open and close the pliers easily. The weight of the pliers should be in your hand not at either end of the pliers.
3. Specialty Scissors
You will be using these for a whole host of tasks – treat yourself to a special pair. For ribbon and paper I would suggest any good pair of standard office supply scissors – just keep them separate and clearly marked for their purpose. e.g. ribbon or paper or flowers etc
4. Small Kenzans / Pinholders
These are the smallest of the kenzans (pinholders) and are good for when you are first trying out how to use them in your designs. They are a solid weight so you don’t have to worry about plant material lifting them out of the design. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to find these in charity shops or antique markets at a good price.
5. Stem Tape and Wire
This is a good starter pack that contains two gauges of wire and some stem tape. Once you have done a few designs you will get a feel for which gauges of wire you work with best. You can use wire in so many more ways than just for the support of flowers – it becomes the basis for contemporary structures, covered with wool, paper or plant material which can then be bent to all sorts of interesting shapes.
6. Turntable / Lazy Susan
You may already have one of these in your home at the back of a cupboard somewhere. If not, this is a great aid to design your work. It eliminates the “oh no” moment when you place a design on the competition bench, take a photo and realise there is a big gap in your design because you didn’t notice it when you were constructing the design. It means you can see your design all around – and not leave any holes or gaps!!
7. Cold Glue
An absolute essential if you are thinking about contemporary floral designs. This glue will stick to fresh cut stems, plastic, wood, paper, metal and does not degrade under water. A word of warning – it also sticks to your fingers, providing an ideal surface to collect the slightest bit of dirt or grime that passes you by. The most effective antidote is eucalyptus oil, nail polish remover will also work quite well.
8. Paper Covered Wire / Bind Wire
Another essential for modern and contemporary designs. You will be amazed at how much easier it becomes to attach plant material to your work with this product and it can show in your designs because it is paper (a plant based material). Floral designers use the brown much more than the green simply for its blending to invisible properties in a design.