What’s in your toolkit?

Tools for the designerWhat’s in your tool kit?  The tool kits floral designers use are as diverse as their design styles.

Zippered toolsMany designers have a travel version that suits the purpose without bringing their whole arsenal.

Teacher's kitMasterful teachers have beautifully organized sections and compartments for all essential and non-essential items, on the theory, “you-never-know-when-you’ll-need-it”.  Much of what lives in the case above is out on the table being used.

blue tool kitA sturdy two-sided case holds bulky and large sized items.

Red kitThis patriotic bag was a gift for judging a flower show.  Mrs. Flower Show uses the outside pockets to hold clippers, stapler, paint brushes pliers and other paraphernalia. Knowing a good thing when I see it, recently I began to use my bag in the same way only my clippers are aqua.  Always like cobbler with the barefoot children, my tool kits are pathetic.  Most of my supplies hang out in my studio on shelves or in drawers or…sometimes, the floor…

Stapler with tapeThe friction tape, left is a favorite of mine, in that it is NOT vinyl, not shiny, and sticks to most anything.  Before vinyl, this was the go-to electrical tape.  I use it over the empty plug ends on the Christmas tree lights to keep things safe.  It can also go into a design to mask something, turning it into a dark, matte shadow.  The florist stapler, right, gets in tiny spots to staple plant material.  Plus using it makes you feel like a pro.

Floral shearsMany varieties of cutting implements do the job.

yellow handles kitOasis has come out with a set of cutting tools:  Ribbon scissors, Floral scissors, Jewelry pliers, Wire cutter, Folding knife, Branch cutters and Bunch cutters.  They come in a set with a short black apron to hold them all.  I commandeered one in Baltimore, thanks KP!

cable ties for flowersCable ties are my newest joy.  We recently used them in a design workshop in the Hudson Valley.  Fast and easy to use, they come in a myriad of colors, especially when ordered online.  Using them to connect willow or other branches, they can be repeatedly tightened further as the branches dry out, keeping the connection strong.  Good for those designers who like to get started on their designs early.  No rewiring the connections because of shrinkage.  Just be sure to leave the tails on until the end.  Pull them tighter, and then clip or not.

yarn covered wire for floralMichael’s Crafts is always surprising me with how they keep up with floral design trends.  Their items are particularly good for just little amounts of something, rather than the lifetime supply you might get from a wholesaler.  This colorful yarn-covered wire was a recent discovery.  Not sure I like the thick, then thin, pattern on it, but it enlivened my design for The Hemicycle (see Beaux Arts Bouquets, part 1, Archives).  The bindwire, bottom, is a pretty lavender not tan as it looks here.  It is slightly thicker than the Oasis bindwire.  I haven’t seen that anywhere else.   Bindwire is paper-covered wire, originally sourced from vineyard supplies. Way to go Michael’s!

Basket of springA post without a flower………..not likely.












About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
This entry was posted in floral design ideas, flower arrangements, flower show and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What’s in your toolkit?

  1. Alexandra says:

    Super fun – Match the personality to the kit!

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