Sola flowers are delicate handmade flowers from a tapioca plant; they're a very thin wood that looks surprisingly realistic. In their natural color they're an off-white and truly beautiful on their own. But, with a little paint and water you can transform them into any color you'd like.
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
I'd suggest doing this project in the kitchen, near the sink, so that if you make a mistake you can wash it away by putting the flower immediately under running water (see step three).
- Sola flowers: I bought mine on Save-On-Crafts.com
- Paint in your desired colors
- White paint
- A deep bowl half filled with water
- A paintbrush (or other utensil to stir)
- Once you're ready, mix your paint into the bowl of water. You'll be submerging the whole flower, so make sure your bowl is deep enough. Cereal bowls work great!
Mixing the paint and water isn't an exact science, so I just grabbed the tube and did one big squeeze into the water and then stirred with a paintbrush. If the color looked too bright I adjusted by adding a bit of white to the mix. Too light? Add a little more paint.
You'll want your paint-water mix to be very thin and almost run off the flower when it's time to dip. If you find yourself adding too much paint, pour a bit of the mix out and add some more water.
Step Two: How to Hold
All of the flowers have this little nub on the back that you can grab with three fingers. You're going to get paint on your fingers doing it this way, but it was far easier than using a spoon, fork, or tongs.
Should you decide to use these to make a bouquet, this little nub on the back is perfect for wrapping floral wire around.
Step Three: Dip the Flowers
Completely submerge the flower and then pull it out in one fluid motion. You don't need to hold it in the mixture long. You'll find that the paint gathers in the crevices of the flower, so the best way to get rid of the bubbles is to hold the flower over your paint-water mix and lightly blow on it to disperse the paint.
My favorite flowers were the ones that were just lightly tinted with color, so I found that if they were too bright/dark a quick pass under running water greatly softened the color. After they dried for a bit, if they seemed too light, I just dipped them a second time. You can always go darker, but once the paint dries it's very hard to lighten it up.
Have paper towels laid out that you can immediately put the painted sola flower on to dry. I let mine air dry for an entire day before doing anything else with them, just to be make sure they were dry throughout. However, they felt dry a few hours after dipping them.
I bought 100 flowers and made a third of them pink, a third green, and left the other third natural. Hope this helps anyone else trying to dip their flowers—I couldn't find a great tutorial and just sort of made this up as I went along with tips others had posted.
If you decide to make these, I'd love to see how it all comes out. Feel free to leave comments, tips, and links below!