March 03, 2021

Flower Experiment: Hairspray vs. Design Master!

Some of my favorite sola wood flowers have delicate, curled edges. And if you have ever tried to dip dye know the results can be very "interesting." The curls may unfold and turn the flower into something very different than you had hoped for your project.

In our Facebook group and on YouTube, we have done a few tutorials on how to help keep the curls and wanted to expand upon our testing and share those findings below!

The Experiment Process:

In true science experiment form, I used a specific method to testing that included a control group! Each flower type was sprayed 2, 5 and 10 times in both hairspray (got2b glued blasting freeze spray) and Design Master (Super Surface Sealer), using one flower for each level of spray. The hairspray and Design Master sprayed flowers were given at least one hour to completely dry before dyeing them. I also dyed one flower without any treatment to show the natural uncurling and used the same exact paint/water/glycerin mix for the sprayed flowers.

While spraying the flowers, the first big difference I noticed was that the flowers sprayed with hairspray changed color and became more ivory/yellow toned (even when dry). It also appeared that the Design Master flowers were a bit harder and less flexible, especially those that were sprayed 10 times.

The Individual Flowers:

As you can see, all of the treated peonies held up really well with even the lowest amount of hairspray or Design Master! 

In terms of how the flowers felt after treatment, the Design Master dyed peonies were the most brittle of the bunch. Even so, they are still usable and will hold their shape very well in arrangements!

The hairspray cottage roses were the only flowers to not hold their curl at all. They still came out pretty but the outer petals did uncurl and spread out and away from the center. In contrast, all levels of the Design Master spray held up well!

Both the raw and hairspray 2 cornelia edges uncurled quite a bit. Another thing to note is that all of the dyed flowers did not have full coverage of paint. It might have been older paint or a more diluted mixture but there were lighter spots on all of the flowers (especially the ones sprayed with Design Master). I personally think that gives the flowers a fresh, realistic look but it is something to keep in mind!

Paris did pretty well in each dip dye scenario! The one thing I noticed the most is that the flowers treated with hairspray mainly kept their curls but the outer petals separated out from the center. 

Blanche is probably our most fickle curled edge rose and only the 5 and 10 levels of Design Master sealant allowed her curls to stay in place. If you want the ability to dip dye any blanche flowers, I highly recommend getting your hands on the Design Master spray!

The Overall Results!

Being able to dip dye flowers with curled edges with varying degrees of success was so much fun! The method I found to work the best on all flowers while still being soft and pliable was 5-10 sprays of the Design Master sealant and using 1.5 times the amount of glycerin I normally use for raw, untreated flowers. The glycerin was able to get into the pores of the wood and keep the flowers from being incredibly brittle.

That said, the Design Master spray did repel some of the paint mixture while the hairspray flowers were much more saturated. The hairspray version's curls held up much better than the untreated flowers so if saturation is very important to you, this might be the method for you!

Happy experimenting!!