Part 1: DIY Flower Stem: How to Make Giant Paper Flower Stem
Learning to stem a giant flower is quite easy, with all the supplies easily found at a craft store. It took me a while to figure out how to DIY a flower stem and make a solid connection to the flower – but once the epiphany struck, it became so simple. Now you are probably asking but how to do I actually stem a giant flower? Well, that’s easy! I’m going to teach you!
Let’s first review the supplies you’ll need for stemming a giant flower.
- Wood dowel (3/4 – 1-inch diameter, 3 ft. long)
- 1 3-4 inch diameter foam balls, cut in half
- Green tulle or green spray paint
- 3-4 large leaves
- One ready-made paper flower – shop templates here!
Gather your supplies. You may be able to find foam balls already cut in half at your craft store If not, you can cut them yourself. I used a small saw. Be careful when cutting or get someone to help you!
Personally I like to wrap my dowels in tulle because it adds a whimsical texture. However, using green spray paint can do the job also.
In this example, I’m using a dowel that’s 3/4 of an inch thick. If you used card stock heavier then 65 lb. to make your flowers, I recommend going up to a 1-inch dowel.
Start wrapping the dowel tightly with your tulle, adding bits of glue as you go so everything stays put. If you decided to spray paint, then do that in this step.
Connect the stem to the foam ball, flat side down. Aim for the center and push very firmly until you whittle a hole with the dowel.
Do not punch the hole all the way through the foam ball, only go about halfway or a little further. The tulle may ride up a little but that’s fine.
After you’ve whittled the hole into the foam ball, generously fill the hole and tip of the dowel with hot glue. Firmly press into the ball. It’s important to press the stem and ball together until the glue completely dries, usually 1-2 full minutes. If some glue squeezes out when you press the stem in, that’s a good sign you’ve added enough glue!
To have the flower face more forward than straight, cut off 1/3 of the foam ball and push in the dowel so the flat side is at a 45-degree angle as shown in the example photo to the right.
To reinforce the stem even more, glue the leaves opposite each other around the base and fold them out.
When you fold the leaves down, try to get them closely in line with the foam ball. This creates a wider gluing surface for the flower.
This first step in attaching the stem is solely focused on loading up the foam ball’s flat side with glue and pressing firmly to the base of your flower. Again, hold this in place until completely dry to ensure a solid connection.
Now add glue to the two leaves you attached and press those into the bottom.
To cover the rest of the ball, add in a few more leaves.
If you’re concerned about the white ball showing, you can still spray paint it green.
Finally, it’s good to know you have several options for making the flower stand.
The challenge with giant stemmed flowers is that they’re top-heavy; therefore, you need the base to be weighted enough to hold the flower up.
The easiest way to stand up your flower is simply to shove the dowel into the ground. Of course not everyone will be using these flowers outside so there is an additional alternative.
The second option is to build a small stand from PVC tubing and weight it with sand or concrete for the flower to stand into.
In the following sections, we’ll cover how to make this PVC stand and how to make a backdrop.
Keep reading for part 2 below.
Loving this tutorial? Have you ordered your copy of The Art of Giant Paper Flowers yet? Don’t miss out on all the amazing tutorials in store! Workbook is included!
Part 2: The Stand
Let me tell you, PVC is going to be your best friend when creating free-standing holders. Whether for giant-stemmed flowers or as a backdrop frame. What I’m saying is you need this DIY PVC Stand for Giant Stemmed Flower.
Perks of this project are- it’s super simple, you get to use power tools, and you get a fancy system for your DIY Paper Flowers!
- Small drill bit -1/16 inch
- 3/4 inch spade or drill bit
- Small saw
- PVC tubing – 1 1/4 inch size
- 1 PVC four-way cross-piece – 1 1/4 inch to match the tubing
- 4 PVC end caps
- Safety eyeglasses
DIY PVC Stand for Giant Stemmed Flower
Using your drill and small bit, drill a pilot hole on both sides of the center of the 4-way cross. This is going to make it easier to drill in the larger hole. Please be sure to wear safety glasses in case of flying plastic pieces when drilling.
After the pilot holes have been drilled, use your 3/4 inch spade and drill thoroughly through one side, then the other. It’s helpful to put the 4-way cross onto the longer piece of your PVC to get a safe and good grip for drilling with the spade.
The goal is to use the same size spade as the thickness of the dowel for the stemmed flower. So, in my illustration, I’m using a 3/4 inch dowel and drilling with a 3/4 inch spade.
Next, cut the four legs that will balance the stand. Measure an 8-9 inch piece of PVC.
Saw four pieces. Be careful when sawing and use proper leverage.
Place the four legs into the 4-cross PVC centerpiece.
Finish placing all the legs into the cross center. Add the four end caps for a more finished look.
Place your wood dowel (finished flower stem) in the center. If you want to provide more stability, add some cement into the ends of the legs of the stand, allowing room for the pieces to connect together.
This stand is going to the perfect addition to your paper flower display system. Do you have any other ideas as to how to DIY a flower stem? Tell me below!
Share what you’ve been up to by using #DIYwithAbbi. I would love to see your creativity in the works so flaunt your flower power magic! You are a huge source of my inspiration!
My mission is to inspire you to nurture the creative magic inside your soul – bringing you fun, easy to learn DIY projects, and quality template designs. I share a variety of projects but specifically love paper crafting and paper flowers. Interested in more flower tutorials?! I’ve created dozens of signature designs for you to enjoy – starting with my best seller, The Art of Giant Paper Flowers, the Giant Flower Library and my shop of endless paper designs and flower templates.
Feeling overwhelmed? Start here with my tried and true Resource List!
Thanks for letting me pop into your day!