If you’ve read this post and gathered your supplies, you are ready to create a D.I.Y. boutonniere–or ten! And after you’ve mastered the techniques of boutonniere-making, you only have a few more steps to complete a corsage. Ready? Let’s go!
First the boutonniere. Gather the greenery and flowers you want to include. You might also need a wire if any of your flowers are delicate.
To support a flower with wire, use the finest gauge available. Push the wire through the base of the flower and bend the ends down along the stem.
Next, wrap tape around the wire and stem. The color of tape you choose depends on the clothes you’re matching or coordinating with. Often we use green tape for ladies’ corsages and black for men’s boutonnieres.
Stick the end of the tape to the “tail” and pull to activate the stickiness. When the end is securely stuck, keep wrapping the tape around the stem while pulling it tight. You’ll be adding tape as you go so don’t worry about the first layer looking perfect, but make sure it’s snug!
Add elements to the boutonniere using the same taping technique. This boutonniere is made up of odds and ends I found around the shop, but if I were making this for a wedding party, I would use greenery, maybe some grass loops, a focal flower, and some accent like limonium or seeded eucalyptus.
When everything is taped together, wrap all the way to the end, then snip any extra length. Make sure to use snips that can cut through wire, otherwise the tape-wrapped stems will become a mangled mess. As you can see in the photo above, the stems will be exposed at this point.
If you’re making pin-ons, the easiest boutonniere style from a design perspective, just stick in a pin. Usually we use pearl pins for ladies’ corsages and black pins for men’s boutonnieres.
Then again, you might like to use magnets instead of pins. Here’s what you get when you open a box of Lomey corsage magnets: twelve sets–plenty for most wedding parties, including groom, fathers, and grandfathers. If you’re including ushers, ministers, and readers, or if you have a large group of groomsmen, you may need a couple boxes of magnets.
To give you an idea of their size, here’s one set.
You attach them like this: hold one half of the magnet set in place with your thumb. Tightly bind it with tape as described above. When the taped-in piece is firmly in place, attach the other piece outside the tape. I only partially taped in my first piece so that you could see how the two pieces of the magnet attach in a finished boutonniere. In your boutonnieres make sure the first piece is securely, completely, perhaps even irretrievably covered in tape. You don’t want it going anywhere.
The beauty of a magnetic boutonniere (or corsage) is twofold: it’s easy to attach and it won’t damage thin fabrics. Here’s what it looks like on. Add a little ribbon tie for a finishing touch.
If the ladies in your wedding party prefer wrist corsages, you have options there too. All sorts of bracelet styles are available. Many of our clients prefer the slap bracelet style. It’s nostalgic for eighties girls. It’s comfortable for everyone. Without flowers, it looks like this:
To make a wrist corsage, you can tape together the flowers and greenery just as described in the boutonniere section above. Here I’m using the same carnation and variegated pitt, with some rhinestone dazzle for fun. For ease of assembly, I also grabbed a floral wire, thicker than the one used for supporting the carnation, and tightly wrapped it in green floral tape. We’ll get to the use for that in a second.
Okay, now for that tape-wrapped wire. Bend it into a large loop, and point the ends down parallel to the stem of your corsage flowers. Tape the loop in as if it were another stem.
Next, lay the clear support piece with the ribbons against the loop. When the flowers are nicely positioned against the support, tightly tie the ribbons. Before you tie the knots, you may want to test how high the corsage sits in relation to the slap bracelet so your corsage doesn’t tip when it’s tied together. The wire helps prevent tipping because it gives you something “high” to tie onto. Tie the lower ribbon around in the front of the corsage, hiding the knot in the greenery if you can.
Here’s how it looked from the front. Again, I want to point out that if I were doing this for an event I would use matching ribbon. I know this looks a little crazy!
The final flourish for a corsage is The Bow. We have a technique for making these and, while I wish I could explain it here, that would make this post way too long. Maybe in the future I’ll figure out how to put this method into words…but don’t hold your breath. There are some peg bowmakers available that create a similar look.
I just attached the bow by holding it in place against the stems and wrapping the wires around. Then I taped over the wires, snipped the ends, and covered the end again with tape so nothing would poke out.
Slide the slap through the clear support and voila: wrist corsage!
To finish any personal flower design, it’s always a good idea to spritz with Crowning Glory. Find the details about that hydrating spray in the supplies post, if you haven’t been there yet. Crowning Glory is the last thing on the list because it’s the last touch we put on any arrangement, and it’s particularly important for water-deprived flowers like boutonnieres and corsages.
I hope you’re saying, “I could do that!” but if anything is unclear feel free to ask about it in the comments. If you’re ready for a bigger challenge, click here for more tutorials. Rock on, D.I.Y.ers!
~Every Bloomin’ Thing