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Working with floral tape

As you read in my earlier post, I recently tried Martha Stewart’s autumn wreath from her Michael’s craft collection. The wreath’s leaves are held together with floral tape. This was the first time I worked with floral tape, and I came up with some tips and tricks that might help you the next time you craft with the sticky substance.

The one tip that came with Martha’s kit was to “stretch the tape.” What they should have said was, “CONTINUALLY stretch the tape, but not too tight.” Stretching floral tape helps it stick to the tape itself and the materials you’re working with. But if you pull the tape too tight, it will snap. So stretch the tape, but do it cautiously.

Keep a damp paper towel close. Floral tape is terribly sticky, and my hands were a gross mess by the time I finished the wreath.

Work with small pieces. If you take a piece too long, it will twist and bind up on you just like a bad piece of Scotch tape. I made the mistake of thinking I needed to be working with one continual piece.

Smooth the tape as you go. When you’re wrapping the tape, use your thumb to smooth the tape against itself. I found this helped a lot with keeping the tape in place.

Hopefully these tips helped. I thought floral tape was strictly for making floral centerpieces, but floral tape does have a variety of crafty purposes.

These are my tips. Does anyone else have any words of floral tape wisdom?

30 Comments so far

  1. Reply to this comment On January 29, 2008 at 8:15 am Handmade Detroit » Product review: Martha Stewart Photo Frame Kit said:

    [...] Working with floral tape [...]

  2. Reply to this comment On June 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm Katie said:

    Hello from Louisiana! I make “Bayou Blossoms” (floral-topped pens), and use floral tape to wrap the “stems.” No one wants to use sticky pens, so I started experimenting. I don’t have any tips to keep your hands clean while you’re working, but once your project is complete, sprinkle it with a fine coat of baby powder. It makes the lines of the floral tape visible at first, but rubbing the coated area with clean hands helps remove excess powder. Good luck!

    • Reply to this comment On February 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm Cala said:

      Katie, thank you so much for your post and advice. I am making the flower pens as I write this and you were a LIFESAVER with the baby powder, as I needed the pens for a party tomorrow. Good luck with your business!

    • Reply to this comment On December 30, 2011 at 11:53 am Sandy in SoCal said:

      Thank you all for the suggestions…I have been making pens for years and always wondered how to tone down the sticky feeling on the pens when they were finished. I’ll experiment with baby powder and corn starch…I also like the sparkly face powder suggestion! Thank you all, again!!

  3. Reply to this comment On June 28, 2009 at 2:38 pm tess said:

    i bought the ‘Martha stewart encyclopedia of crafts’ and in it you can make tissue flowers. it said in it to wrap the floral tape around the stem to hold everything together but the tape just doesn’t stick to the stem and keeps unraveling-i’m finding that I’ll have almost finished the creation and then it all unravels nd all of the petals fall out and i have to start again. this isn’t only annoying but also time consuming and expensive as buying 20 rolls of floral tape isn’t exactly cheap! Any suggestions?

  4. Reply to this comment On October 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm Maddy Nupp McDonald said:

    Tess, Don’t forget to slightly tug at the tape as you’re using it. The floral tape has wax embedded in it, and if it’s not tugged, it doesn’t warm up and stick to itself. And if you’re having trouble getting used to the tape, practice wrapping it around a pencil before using it for your project. You’ll get a feel for it, and then love it.

    You can also always glue pieces together with tacky glue to hold them under the tape.

    Thanks Katie for the powder tip! I love it! I’ll try it :o)

    Thanks Lish for the great post!

    Have a great day! :o)

  5. Reply to this comment On November 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm Kandi said:

    Thanks so much for this! I was having the very same problem Tess had. Will go back and try again tugging the tape as you recommend.

  6. Reply to this comment On June 22, 2010 at 7:05 am Dana said:

    Oh! I just made the cutest flower fairy wands for my daughters 7th birthday. I used the concept of the flower pens that see everywhere, but used long wooden dowels, then put a large pink gerber daisy on top with pink, lavender, glittery white, and sheer green ribbons tied around the base of the flower. I kept a little bit of stem on ea bloom, then wrapped the entire dowel with floral ribbon to hold everything in place and make it pretty. This was my first time using floral tape for anything and was shocked at how sticky the exposed side is! I guess I always figured that only one side would be sticky… so wrong! Anyways, I have been racking my brain and asking around with no avail at all… so thanks so much for the baby powder idea Katie! I can’t wait to go home and see if this fixes my problem. No fairy wants a sticky wand =(

  7. Reply to this comment On July 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm Janine said:

    Yay for the baby powder tip! The sticky residue has held me back from making so many creations that are in my head. I tried fabric-covered wire, but the ‘fabric’ starts to unravel wherever I cut the wire…and you just can’t have that when you’re making miniature branches! Thanks for all the great tips :o)

  8. Reply to this comment On September 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm Amber Brannam said:

    I have a question:
    Can I use dried up floral tape (it’s still good, but it just won’t stay after tearing it) and ’seal’ it by using a dab of clar nail polish?

  9. Reply to this comment On October 14, 2010 at 8:22 pm Char said:

    I hate new floral tape that is very sticky, it’s better to use tape that’s been on the store shelf for awhile. I use floral tape all the time and tried everything imaginable to remove the stickiness (even powder, before reading these posts.)

    THE VERY BEST thing to remove stickiness from the stem is to use sweat from the top of your head. Trust me this completely removes all stickiness and is less messy than powder. Work up a sweat by moving around for a couple of minutes. Then use your hand to wipe your head and rub on stems.

  10. Reply to this comment On March 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm Jess said:

    I’m going to make flower pens for my sister’s bridal shower. I will be making about 30 pens. Does anyone know how much floral tape I should buy? Thanks!

    • Reply to this comment On March 31, 2011 at 10:51 am michele said:

      Just made 13 pens with a 60 ft roll of tape and still have 1/2 a roll left. I would think 2 rolls should be enough!

      • Reply to this comment On April 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm Katie said:

        Floral tape can definitely be a pain to deal with because it leaves a residue on your hands every time you pick up the flower pen. I love your idea for having them at the baby shower! They are wonderful favors for everyone. What I love to do is print customized words on my stems for the individual event. People love them!

  11. Reply to this comment On April 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm Stephanie said:

    Thanks so much for the baby powder tip! It worked perfectly!

  12. Reply to this comment On April 29, 2011 at 9:49 am Aimee said:

    Use hand sanitizer on your hands after your done to remove the sticky residue from your hands.

  13. Reply to this comment On May 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm donna said:

    After wrapping your pens with the floral tape coat with one coating of mod podge,it worked perfect to mask the sticky feeling.Takes about an hour to dry.

  14. Reply to this comment On September 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm Beth said:

    Thank you for the mod podge idea! I used powder, but then it started unraveling and I actually just bought some mod podge so it worked out perfectly!

  15. Reply to this comment On October 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm VeeCat said:

    Instead of baby powder on another project, just used sparkly face powder. Looked nicer and left a subtle sparling sheen.

  16. Reply to this comment On December 2, 2011 at 10:22 pm Katieliz said:

    I just used Cornstarch because we had no baby powder in the house….it gave the flower pen stems a nice velvety feel.

  17. Reply to this comment On January 25, 2012 at 5:56 am Patti said:

    Thank you for posting. I was working on the following project and had never worked with floral tape before. Your advise really helped. http://www.diynetwork.com/decorating/beaded-tree/index.html

    Patti

  18. Reply to this comment On June 23, 2012 at 6:13 am lesley said:

    Thank you for all these good ideas. I hadn’t realised that the floral tape became sticky when stretched! so I have been stuggling with my project!! Browsing for help I found another blog where they have used
    Frog Tape succesfully as its not sticky both sides, especially good for the flower topped pens I think.
    Lesley

  19. Reply to this comment On November 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm Cryptomon said:

    Thank you so much for this post and all the comments! You saved my wedding!

  20. Reply to this comment On December 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm Tiffany said:

    I have tried and tried and tried!!!!!! I still cannot get my floral tape to quit sliding off and unraveling! I am working on a baby sock bouquet to take to my cousin that just had her baby, in the hospital… Looks like she will not be seeing her bouquet tomorrow! Oh well, Thanks for the tips! Im guessing i should never buy tape again! lol

  21. Reply to this comment On May 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm Amy said:

    I used Goof Off. It gets it off your hands too. After rubbing a little between your fingers rub it on the pen. Then blot it with with a dry cloth, After a minute it will be smooth. I think it smells good too, but I don’t know it everyone will agree with that. I have also used Modge Podge - it’s just more work but they turn out shiny.

  22. Reply to this comment On September 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm Coffee Filter Flowers | Pinspired Creations said:

    [...] you’ve used it before, look into how to use floral tape. I found these tips helpful. Most [...]

  23. Reply to this comment On February 8, 2014 at 5:53 pm Meghan said:

    Hi

    Can anyone tell me if you can get floral tape wet. I want to make bridal bouquets up and put them in water for the night. I was thinking of using floral tape and wire to bind them and then to wrap ribbon on them in the morning for the wedding, but I don’t wan to use floral tape if it will come apart.

  24. Reply to this comment On March 14, 2014 at 10:18 am Natalie J said:

    Hi from NYC - I’m new to this forum. I’m currently trying to make a baby clothing bouquet out of onesies hats and washcloths - I can make the flower buds fine and wrap the floral wire in tape to strengthen it but I cannot get the floral tape to stick and wrap from the flower to the stem to join them. I’ve read so much about sticky tape but mine is just like paper it is not sticky atall it just does not stay - can anyone reccommend an alternative or a better floral tape? I am not crafty atall ! Thanks! x

  25. Reply to this comment On March 16, 2014 at 7:31 am dori said:

    thank you soooooooooooo much katie for the powder idea. i have been doing these pens for our parents to sign in and out their children at the daycare and every time i make them the pens are so sticky. we have to wait a few weeks before the sticky goes away!!!!!!!! thank you thank you thank you!!!!!! i actually used a cornstarch baby powder by avalon organics that i had from my baby……it worked perfect!!!!!!! thank you so much!!!!! you are a lifesaver!!!!!

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This post was written by Lish on October 25th, 2007. She filed it in the Projects category , and tagged it with . So far, 30 people have responded. If you enjoyed it and you'd like to read some related posts, try one of these:

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