Artificial flowers are a common decorating item because they don't require the attention and care that real flowers require. Crafts are often made using artificial flowers because they don't die and they aren't as brittle as dried flowers. Silk flowers are a favourite because of silk's natural sheen and beauty. Unfortunately, silk is a thin and light material that moves easily and can get displaced with little difficulty. In order to make static crafts, the silk flower petals need to be treated so that they become immobile.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Strong hairspray
- Water-based stiffening agent
Remove the silk flower heads from the stem, if possible. Typically they can be pulled off with a sharp tug.
Hold the flower head by the centre of the back and spray the petals with hairspray until they are wet enough that the hairspray is beginning to soak through the silk.
Turn the flower head over, hold it by the centre and spray with hairspray until the petals are completely saturated.
Place the flower heads on waxed paper, metal grating or some other non-stick surface until they are completely dry. Press on the petals with an index finger to make sure they are stiff enough. If they are still flimsy, spray with a second coat of hairspray and allow to dry again.
Replace the flower heads on the stems.
Purchase a bottle of stiffening agent from a craft store, hobby store or online.
Remove the flower heads from the stems.
Dip the flower heads in the stiffening agent until they are submerged completely. Let them stay there for a few seconds.
Remove the flower heads from the stiffening agent and place them on waxed paper. The stiffening agent will act like a glue, so if the flowers don't need to be replaced on the stem they can be attached directly to the project.
Tips and warnings
- Be careful when using large amounts of hairspray or other chemicals. Make sure the room the work is being done in is well ventilated and take breaks fairly often to get away from the chemicals and let the air clear out.
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