Why and How to Glue Prom (and Other) Flowers
Why glue prom or any flowers? Which glue to use? And what shouldn't you do with glue?
Weight is one reason to opt for glue. It’s lighter than wire or tape, which is especially important for wrist corsages. Customers are more likely to wear lightweight designs.
Speed is another reason. Once you learn how to glue, it is usually faster than wire and tape, especially with the right glue choices. Also, some people report that gluing is easier on the hands.
What works for securing fresh flowers and decorative materials in prom designs also works for party, homecoming, wedding and special occasion floral arrangements.
This hold-tight combo is faster and easier than the more time-consuming process of wiring and taping personal flowers.
Applying UGLU to the structural form gives a good base to start layering your design materials. You can then use floral adhesive to secure flowers into the base. The combination of the two bonds the design securely.
How to use floral adhesive
Two methods work well for gluing flowers in a design:
- Dipping the end of the flower stem into glue.
- Dripping the glue directly onto the flower stem.
Dip the flower stem into glue
- Place a small dab of glue on a square of plastic.
- Add a drop of glue to the design area where the flower will sit.
- Dip the end of the flower stem into the glue.
- Insert the flower into the design and hold for a few seconds for it to adhere.
Tip: Avoid placing a lot of glue in the puddle at once. Glue tends to dry out quickly.
Tip: If it does become dry, add a bit of new glue to the spot and to reconstitute the old glue.[rev_slider alias="why-prom-1"]
Add glue to the flower stem -
- Glue adheres to glue, so attach flowers securely by adding drops of glue to both the stem tip of the flower and the surface where the bloom will sit. Wait a few seconds for it to set.
- Position the flower in your design and hold it for a few seconds until the glue becomes tacky enough to keep it in place.
- Wait a few minutes for the glue to completely dry in the design before placing the fresh flowers in the cooler. A glue that is still hydrated cannot dehydrate in the moist, cool environment and the flower won’t be properly secured until the glue fully dries.
Tips for using a glue tube more efficiently
- Use needle-nosed pliers to squeeze the end of the nozzle into an oval shape to control the flow of glue more efficiently.
- Before using the glue, dab an oil-based product like petroleum jelly, lotion or cooking oil spray onto the tube cap and nozzle to prevent a glue build up that hardens in the cap. This makes the tube easier to open later.
- Rub the oil-based product on your hands to keep the glue from sticking and to make clean up easier.
- Clean the nozzle each time before placing the cap back on to prevent sticking.
- Save extra caps from empty glue tubes to replace lost ones. You can also seal the nozzle by inserting a corsage pin into the opening or wrapping it in plastic.
For more, see Gluing Flowers into Prom Wristlets is Fast and Easy.
Why use adhesive strips and dashes?
If floral adhesive works well, why use UGLU too? The two adhesives serve different purposes.[rev_slider alias="why-prom-3"]
A UGLU strip is excellent mechanic for attaching the back of a boutonniere to a lapel. Smaller UGLU dashes are an efficient way to attach materials to the front of a boutonniere form.
Apply the adhesive to the back of the first surface, such as a flat wire backing, remove one side of the white liner paper, apply the UGLU to the surface.
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With firm pressure, rub your finger over the remaining white liner to ensure solid contact. No worries about it holding your flowers: when well placed, a 3 inch strip of UGLU can hold up to 2 lbs.
To cut UGLU into a smaller segments, serrated scissors work well. Rub the scissor blades with an oil-based product or dip the blades into water prior to cutting to keep the UGLU from sticking.
With adhesives, use flowers at room temperature[rev_slider alias="why-prom-4"]
Avoid using flowers taken directly out the cooler. Neither UGLU nor floral adhesive bond well to cold or damp surfaces. Let flowers cool a couple of minutes at room temperature to allow the condensation to dry.
Cold temperatures can cause UGLU to become brittle. Hot temperatures can cause UGLU to become more liquid. Either state can cause the bond to lose its strength. Be sure the surface you are adhering to isn’t too hot, cold or damp.
Advise customers not to leave designs made with floral adhesive or UGLU in a hot car or place them in a freezer prior to their event.
Prep materials for a tighter bond[rev_slider alias="why-prom-5"]
Prepping the two materials you plan to connect is important for a good, solid bond. UGLU may not bond well to materials that have surface residue such as dust, oils or uneven surfaces.
Take these steps to help UGLU bond to surfaces, skin or fabrics:
- Clean any surface by wiping away any dust, debris, grease or oils before attaching UGLU.
- Before applying UGLU to skin, clean the area with rubbing-alcohol to remove any oily residue.
- When attaching UGLU to fabric, be sure the finish is not made of an oil-based product. If the fabric has a smooth or slick surface, rub it with a rough cloth before attaching UGLU.
Love your wire and tape? Keep using them! Try adhesives, though, and you may find they work their way into your designing.
Gluing flowers into a corsage, bracelet, ribbon or other flower form makes fast and easy work of corsages, boutonnieres and other decorative designs for weddings, proms, homecoming or any event.
Which gluing technique is your favorite?