I recently purchased some hydrangea sola wood flowers from Oh Your Lovely. I was very excited to work with these flowers. Since they come in a bundle of about 25 smaller flowers, they are a little different to work with than the typical sola wood flowers. So, I decided to show you how I went about coloring two hydrangea bundles. These particular bundles of hydrangeas were a special order from a friend of mine. She loves hydrangeas and wanted me to make some to match a vase she purchased. I was sent a picture of the vase to try and match the blues in it. However, since I do not have the exact vase, I will just take the finished pictures in a vase that I have. I have also seen people separate their hydrangea bundles into individual flowers or smaller bunches, about 3 flowers, and add them to arrangements or bouquets.
- Sola wood flower hydrangea
- Green spray paint or acrylic paint
- Acrylic paint in color or colors you want your flowers to be. I did these two blues to match my friend’s vase. I also added white to the centers of each flower to add more character.
- A vase
- Small paint brushes
- Plastic containers to mix paints and water. I use cool whip containers and things like that. You do not need anything fancy. Just something that is a good size for the amount of paint mixture you need and you do not mind getting it dirty and possibly throwing away after the project is finished.
- Saran wrap to protect your flowers when spray painting the stem
- Water. Tap water works just fine.
- Optional: vegetable glycerin. This helps the flowers to be less fragile and more flexible and softer. This was the first time I tried using this. Check out this post I did. At the end there is a video that explains more in-depth the benefits of using glycerin. This is a link to the one I ordered.
- Drying rack. I use empty egg cartons.
The first step is to spray paint or paint your stem of the hydrangea green. I chose to spray paint the stem so the acrylic paint would not drip on my flowers when drying. TO protect my flowers when spray painting the stems I covered the flowers with saran wrap. I used the stem to poke a hole around the stem so it was not big enough for the spray paint to get through. I left some of the stem close to the flowers covered. This part will not show when the flowers are in their vase. I also paint these blue to blend in with the flowers more when I was painting the flowers. I only needed one coat of spray paint. Once the stems are dry you can move on to the next step.
The next step is to make your paint mixture. If you are using the vegetable glycerin, then start by making this mixture first. You will need 8 parts water to 1 part vegetable glycerin. For example, 4 cups of water and ½ cup of the glycerin. You can make extra of this mixture and store it till you are ready to use it again. You can use tap water, and it does not need to be warmed or anything special. Make sure to stir this mixture well. Every time you go to use this mixture it will need to be stirred well. Use this water glycerin mixture just like you normally would if it was just water, when adding it to your acrylic paint. You can check out my other sola wood flower post for more information on how much water to paint you need. Make sure the water glycerin and now acrylic paint is mixed well before dipping your sola wood flowers into the mixture.
The third step is to dip the hydrangea bundle into the paint mixture. Always dip the flowers with your lighter color, then add the darker colors later. Since the bundle is big, I dipped the top of the bundle first, then rotated the bundle in the paint mixture to cover all the sides. I also tilted the container as I rotated the flower bundle to help cover the sides. I then let this dry a little as I did the second bundle. To prevent the extra paint on the flowers from dripping down the stems I laid the flowers on my egg carton/drying rack upside down (flowers touching the drying rack and the stem up in the air). Once both bundles were covered once with my light blue paint mixture, I held the bundle by the stem upside down over another empty plastic container and poured my paint mixture over the inside/bottom of the flowers. I set this bundle to dry upside down again as I did the same thing to the other bundle. I did this method twice to each bundle. When I say I am setting them aside to dry I never let them fully dry. I am only setting them aside to allow the extra paint to drip off. Next, I took my paint brush and painted on the paint mixture in areas that still needed some paint. Since the flowers in the bundle are so close together it is easy to miss spots. So, I recommend saving your lighter colored paint mix in case you find some more spots you missed the next day. To save the paint mixture I just put the container lid on. Also, I recommend stirring your paint mixture a few times during this first layer of paint covering to ensure the glycerin remains mixed with the water and paint. You can adjust the petals carefully while they are still wet as needed.
Now for the darker color paint mixture. You will not need as much paint mixture for this second color. Once I got the color and consistency to my liking, I hand painted with a small paint brush the areas I wanted the darker color. It works best if the flowers are still wet. This helps the colors to blend better. I touched the darker color around the centers of the flowers and let the moisture spread the darker color. I would then add a little more of the darker color where needed to help it bled outward. You could also add the darker color to the tips of the flowers and blend it down towards the center. Just be sure not to miss an of the flowers.
After the darker paint mixture is applied to your satisfaction, leave the flowers to dry overnight. The next day I looked over the flowers and added any of my saved light blue paint mixture to areas that needed it. Do not forget to stir your paint mixture before applying it to the flowers. As the flowers dry the petals may open up more or shift around revealing areas where the paint could not get to before. Once the flowers were covered to my satisfaction, I took another dry paint brush and dipped it directly into my white paint, no water or glycerin mixture added. I did not add the water or glycerin this time, because I did not want my white centers to drip down or blend with the blues. I then touched all the centers of my flowers. I did not cover the entire center white. Some of the centers were pretty big, and I thought that would be too much white. So, I just did small spots of white to each of the centers. Below you can see what a difference the white centers make. You can also see if you like the white centers or not. You can skip this step if you wish. Now allow the flowers to dry and once dry you can add them to a vase to display them. You can add some berries or greenery if desired to your vase.
When working with the vegetable glycerin it is okay if it gets on your hands. It should make your hands softer if it gets on them. I believe the vegetable glycerin is sometimes added to hand lotions. It also made the flowers smell nice in my opinion. Once the flowers were dried, I did a Squish test. The glycerin did make the flowers softer and more flexible. They did not creak when I squished them, and they came right back to their original shape. I will be adding this to my future projects as well as spraying a glycerin, water mixture (still the 8 parts water to 1 part glycerin) to my previously made projects. To add the mixture to previous projects, just add the glycerin and water mixture to a spray bottle and spray your already painted sola wood flowers until you are satisfied with their flexibility. If you add to much glycerin to your sola wood flowers, then they will just always feel wet. Spraying this mixture onto the previously painted flowers should not cause any paint to bleed, but still be careful when applying it.
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