Updated March 3, 2021
MY MOST USED FLOWER
Below are some flower arranging tools I reach for on a weekly basis. They are appropriate for professionals and home enthusiasts.
I think sometimes there’s a short lived satisfaction in buying bunch of things that will get you set up for a project. Proper tools will definitely make the job easier but real reward will come with putting time into practice. That’s why I tried to keep this list as short as possible, so tools don’t become the main focus. Technically you can get going with some flowers, a vase, and clippers but if you’re trying to achieve certain design techniques the tools below will certainly aid in your success.
I’ve included my favorite brands when applicable. I’m particular about what I buy and put a lot of research into products. I’ve taken into consideration production methods, longevity, and ease of use.
LINKS TO PURCHASE
[scroll for more details on each product]
FLOWER FROG / KENZAN 2 ½ – 3 “: SUN MOON KENZAN (*moon used as counter weight)
FLOWER FROG: 2 1/2″ CIRCLE (*US manufacturer, no moon portion)
FLORAL PUTTY – SURE STIK (*to secure frog in place if you don’t have moon)
SNIPS: OKATSUNE PRUNING SCISSORS 306, ROUND TIPS
PRUNERS: ARS GENERAL PURPOSE PRUNER 130DX
WATERPROOF TAPE : OASIS WATERPOOF TAPE 1/4″
CHICKEN WIRE: 1″ GREEN VINYL HEX NETTING 24″ x 25′
SPOOL WIRE: OASIS FLORAL SPOOL WIRE (24 Gauge)
WIRE CUTTERS: HAKKO CHP-170 MICRO CUTTER
STEM WRAP: DECORA 1/2″ GREEN FLORAL TAPE
FLORAL GLUE: OASIS FLORAL ADHESIVE
FLOWER FROG/ KENZAN 2 ½ – 3 “
A kenzan is also known as a flower frog or pin frog. If you can find a sun and moon kenzan that’s preferred. The moon portion can be used as a counter weight which is helpful. The circle size I use most is 2 1/2″ – 3″ in diameter. This is my favorite tool. It works great as a base mechanic for a variety of arrangement styles and is essential for ikebana work.
+ Base mechanic for centerpieces
+ Ikebana arrangements
+ Sculptural work
CIRCULAR KENZAN 2 ½ – 3 “: SUN MOON KENZAN
Floral SNIPS: Okatsune Pruning Scissors 306, round tips
After trying many clippers, these Japanese pruners are my most treasured. They stay sharp, are lightweight, and have a good spring that make working for hours pleasant without hand fatigue. They’re made specifically for soft stems but can cut stems up to the thickness of a pencil. I’ve pushed them to the limit with thick woody branches but this does dull the blade quicker and has the potential to damage them. For woody stems, it’s best to use bypass pruners or even loppers. I’ve specified the rounded tips because I’ve purchased the pointed tip Okatsune’s in the past and find that they chip. The pointed tip can also poke if you aren’t paying attention.
+ Everyday flower arranging
+ Flower harvesting
+ Soft stems
+ Stems up to the thickness of a pencil
FLORAL SNIPS: OKATSUNE PRUNING SCISSORS 306, ROUND TIPS
BYPASS PRUNERS: ARS 130DX
If you’re cutting woody stems you’ll want a pair of bypass pruners (loppers or a handsaw can come in handy as well but I’m keeping this list to essentials) . These will save your flower snips from getting dulled or damaged by thick stems. The ARS pruners require little force to make a smooth cut, they stay sharp, and are surprisingly light.
+ Woody stems
+ Thick stems
+ Flowering branches
BYPASS PRUNERS: ARS GENERAL PURPOSE PRUNER 130DX
Chicken wire: Vinyl Coated
This can be found at your local hardware store where it’s usually more affordable than a floral supply store. Vinyl coated is generally my preference because it doesn’t rust, the matte finish camouflages itself better amongst the flowers, and it’s easier on your hands. The roll I use most frequently is 1″ (hole size) by 2′ by 25′. For certain installs it can be more efficient to use a wider roll but for most everyday use I prefer the 2′ width because it’s the most manageable.
+ Base mechanic for fuller foam free arrangements
CHICKEN WIRE: VINYL COATED: 1″ GREEN VINYL HEX NETTING 24″ x 25′
Green Waterproof TAPE 1/4″
The Oasis brand tears off the roll easily without scissors which is helpful when you’re short on hands. When applying this tape the surface must be dry. Once it’s secure, it will remain intact even if submerged under water.
+ Bouquet wrapping
+ Securing chicken wire into a vessel
+ Floral tape grid
GREEN WATERPROOF TAPE 1/4″ : OASIS WATERPOOF TAPE 1/4″ by 60 YARDS
Floral Tape ½”
Sometimes called Stem Wrap. This tape doesn’t feel sticky to the touch. The adhesive is activated when it’s stretched.
+ Finishing Stems
FLORAL STEM WRAP ½”: DECORA 1/2″ WIDE DARK GREEN FLORAL TAPE
Spool (or paddle) Wire 24 gauge
The higher the number the thinner and more flexible the wire. 24 gauge is a versatile thickness. It’s heavy enough for wreaths, but small enough to wire single stems. I prefer spool wire to paddle wire. The wire seems to come off a spool with greater ease which makes things like wreath making quicker. It does seem harder to find and a bit harder to manage for beginners because of its tendency to unravel. Once you get the hang of it, I’m convinced you may prefer it.
+ Replacing a stem with wire
+ Strengthen and secure floral stems
+ Flower Crowns
+ Stringing Fruit
SPOOL (OR PADDLE) WIRE 24 GAUGE: OASIS FLORAL SPOOL WIRE (24 Gauge)
Wire Cutters: Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter
Any brand of wire cutters will work. I always have a few pairs around so I’m not tempted to cut a piece of wire with my floral clippers which can cause nicks. I like this pair because they’re small, light, and have a spring in them that make it easy to cut through many squares of chicken wire with ease.
+ Cutting chicken wire
+ Cutting floral wire
+ Cutting bind wire
WIRE CUTTERS: HAKKO CHP-170 MICRO CUTTER
Oasis Floral Adhesive AKA FLOWER GLUE
Sold as “adhesive” but most refer to this as floral glue. This cold glue creates a strong bond and superior to a hot glue gun in my opinion. When using, place a dot on flower and on the surface it will end up. Wait about 10 seconds for both to get tacky and then hold together until you feel a bond. Keep in mind the glue will perform better on a porous surface. So for a metal wrist cuff I’ll usually put down a piece of felt, chenille, stems, or faux leather before adding flowers.
+ Wrist Cuffs
+ Flower Jewelry
+ Finishing Touches
+ Alternative to wiring, for delicate stems
FLORAL GLUE: 39g OASIS FLORAL ADHESIVE
Anything that holds water will work. When adding new one’s to my collection I find myself seeking out the following sizes most. A depth less than 2 1/2″ will likely not provide enough water for the flowers.
A shallow flat bottom container, also called a suiban
Width: Minimum of 5″ wide, up to 15″ wide.
Depth: 2 ½” – 3” deep
A bowl or footed compote
Width: 6-7″ wide
Depth: 4″ preferred. Minimum of 2 1/2″
Above are Amazon affiliate links to the products. Keep in mind it’s always great to support your local flower supply store or hardware center when possible. I’ll continue to update this list if my preferences for essential flower arranging tools changes. Feel free to contact me with thoughts or comments.