Using Florist Wire

Selecting Florist Wire Tips

  • Wiring heavy flowers such as roses and lilies requires a heavy thicker wire that will support the weight of the flower head
  • Wiring medium or light weight flowers like Gerbera and Chrysanthemum requires a wire that is between 22swg to 28swg
  • Wiring very fine flowers or foliage such as Daisy’s and tea tree requires fine wires 28swg or finer
  • Only wire when necessary
  • Too much wire may detract from your arrangement
  • It is important to get the proper thickness of wire right for each project
  • The size of the wire depends on the size of the flower and the intended use in each arrangement
  • If the wire is too large, it will damage the flower or stem
  • If the wire is too thin, there may not be enough support
  • Select a wire that is thin enough to support your project rather than thicker to be safer

Cutting Tips

  • You can buy special tools for cutting florist wires
  • Use a pair of basic wire cutters to do the job such as standard pliers or long nosed pliers
  • A serrated kitchen knife or Oasis ® craft scissor can work well
  • Do not use basic scissors as the wire can indent and notch the blade

Five Wiring Methods

Straight wire method

  • Use when stem and flower are complete
  • Mostly used for wiring flowers that will go into a vase
  • Take a piece of 20 gauge wire holding it about 2cm from the end
  • Insert the end of the wire 2cm into up into the base of the flower head
  • Wrap the remaining wire carefully around the stem going between the leaves
  • Try and show as little wire as possible

Hook method

  • The hook method will keep the stem from breaking in full flowers
  • This method is used for softer stem flowers or flowers that may break easily such as gerbera and chrysanthemum
  • It is also a popular method used for making corsage and sympathy tributes in which flower stems are cut down to between 2cm to 5cm
  • The wire is pushed up through the calyx and out the top of the flower
  • Alternatively, you can also push the wire along the centre of the stem
  • Next, you need to bend the end of the wire that sticks out top of flower into a hook
  • Then you pull the wire and the hook downward so that the hook disappears into the flower head
  • If you are using this method on flowers in a corsage, you will then need to tape over the wires
  • If you are using the hook method for making an arrangement, bend the remaining wire around the stem for support

Piercing method

  • The piercing method of flower wiring is used with flowers that have an enlarged calyx (flower head or cup) such as carnations and roses
  • Start by piercing a wire horizontally through the base of the flower head just above the leaves
  • Next, bend both ends of wire down and wrap longest end around stem
  • If you are making a corsage, you have cut down the flower stem to between 2cm and 5cm. Push the wire through so both ends of your wire is even then bend both sides down and tape
  • If you are wiring flowers for a foam or vase arrangement, push wire through the flower head about 10cm and then bend and bind both ends around the stem

Wrap method

  • The wrap method of wiring can be used to wire flowers with many smaller buds and foliage that has smaller leaves
  • Start by cutting the stem so that a small portion of the stem remains on the leaf
  • Use a 26-28 gauge wire to make a hairpin or “U” shape
  • Hang the hairpin over the lowest pair of leaflets so that the bend in the hairpin rests behind the stem
  • Wind one wire over both the other wire and the stem of the leaflet
  • Use floral tape to conceal the wirework around the stem

Stitch method

  • Use the stitch method of wiring foliage and flowers on broad leaf leathery-skinned foliage
  • By wiring foliage, you create flexibility and extend the greenery making it much easier to us
  • Pass a 26-gauge wire through the back of the leaf under the midrib
  • Stitch the wire around the midrib of the leaf about two thirds of the way up then bring the wire down through the stitching to form a loop
  • Then twist the ends together around the stem of the leaf to create an extension of the stem
  • Wrap the wires several times around the petiole
  • Conceal your work by taping the stem from the bottom up