DIY Weddings – How to Make Corsages and Boutonnieres

Making your own wedding boutonnieres and corsages can save you a lot of money, but it can also be a fun task to complete with your bridesmaids. Even if you aren’t artistically inclined, it’s actually very simple to make these small flower arrangements. The first step is to decide if you want to use real flowers or silk flowers. If you use live flowers, you’ll need to make the corsages and boutonnieres the day before the wedding to make sure they stay fresh. However, if you decide to use silk flowers, you can complete the project weeks in advance.

You’ll need the following items to complete the task:

Flowers – Fresh or silk, they should be the same flowers and colors as those in your bouquets. Plan to purchase at least three or four flowers for each person you plan to give a corsage or boutonniere, including the groom, groomsmen and the parents of the bride and groom.
Greenery – Purchase several leaves and stems to use as filler materials.
Baby’s breath – Buy this in large bunches. You can then cut it down to fit each setting.
Floral wire – Buy this in a spool to provide support and structure for your creations.
Floral tape – It’s possible to buy floral tape with the wire inside, but it is much easier to use them separately. Floral tape comes in many different colors and is stretchy enough to help you position and support the elements of your corsages and boutonnieres.
Pearls – These can be purchased in a string by the foot in the floral department.

Start by cutting the flowers to fit the setting. Each flower should be left with a three inch stem. You also need to cut the baby’s breath and the greenery to be the same length. Line them all up side by side to make sure they are around the same size. Next, cut the pearl string into two inch sections; you’ll need two or three strings per setting.

Now that you have everything cut, it’s time to start making the arrangements. Start by laying the greenery down first. Next, add a thin layer of baby’s breath. You can then arrange your flowers on top of the greenery and filler and mix in the strands of pearls. Grab the arrangement by the stems and pick it up.

You will want to hold the arrangement with one hand and fluff it with the other. Once you have the desired appearance, you can use your free hand to wrap the arrangement with floral wire. Some people prefer to arrange each piece, wrap them in small groups, and then finally wrap the whole arrangement together. However, you have more flexibility by wrapping the whole bunch all at the end. Once you have the boutonniere or corsage arranged and wrapped with wire, you can begin wrapping it with the floral tape. Start just below the base of the flowers and wrap it to the bottom, making sure you leave no gaps. Wrap the top part thicker than the bottom, letting it taper as you move down the stems.

Once you have your finished product, you’ll need to store it correctly until the big day. If you used fresh flowers, store the arrangements in the refrigerator being sure to protect them from other items. If you used silk flowers, place the arrangements in Ziploc bags so they don’t gather dust before your big day.

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Filed under: Accessories — vicky at 8:54 pm on Tuesday, February 10, 2009