Flower Origami Stems

Normally I use green pipe cleaners as the stems for origami flowers. They are sturdy and are easily able to bend in a variety of shapes - spirals, twists, straight lines, and so on. They have texture, so the flower "stays" where it is put and does not slide down the wire.

However, I do offer other options if you are looking for something different. Floral stem wires come in "gauge" which is a standard size measurement for wire. Interestingly, this has no real correlation with inches, meters or anything else! Back in the 1200s, they made wire by pulling a metal rod through a hole. The hole would "shave off" any excess material on the wire. So they'd start with a big hole, then pull it through a smaller hole, then a smaller hole, and so on until they finally reached the hole of the desired size. All gauge really meant was the number of holes the wire went through until it was done. Therefore a small number gauge (say 3) would be a much bigger wire than a high number gauge (say 32). Gauge zero is about 0.5" wide. Gauge 40 is about 0.001" wide. I guess above 0.5" they don't count it as wire any more :)

So anyway, floral wire comes in ranges between about 16 gauge - about .05" - and 32 gauge - about .01". You might think there was only a little difference between .05" and .01". However, the .05" / 16 gauge wire is really stiff and hard to bend. The .01" / 32 gauge wire is super floppy and can't hold the flower head up!

In the below pictures, from left to right:
1) pipe cleaner
2) 16 gauge, .05", green painted wire
3) 18 gauge, .04", green cloth covered wire
4) 20 gauge, .03", silver wire
5) 20 gauge, .03", green painted wire
6) 22 gauge, .02", green painted wire
7) 32 gauge, .01", green cloth covered wire

origami flower stem

origami flower stem

As you can see in the photos, the silver doesn't look "bright silvery". It looks dark and natural. The green cloth wire really does look nice and "soft". You do have to put a little "bend" in the wire beneath the flower head on the non-pipe-cleaner wires. Otherwise the flower head would slide right down the stem. Another alternative would be to put a little wrap of green floral tape just beneath the flower head.

The pipe cleaners are 12" long. The floral stems are 18" long.

Price per iris or lily flower: $3.00
Iris and Lily flowers are made from squares - they cannot be made from dollar bills.

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