My sister went to Prom last Friday, and called and asked me if I would make her a boutonniere. Can I just tell you right now how much I love flowers, especially the real ones!!! Anyhow, I thought it would be kind of fun to show you how to make one as well. They really aren’t hard to make, and they just take a little bit of practice to get good at them. And then you can make about 3 for the price of 1 that you would buy at the florist. (YIKES, being a former florist—I probably shouldn’t tell you that. ha ha, well there you go—the secret is out of the bag! oops.)
Floral Wire Gauge 20
1 Rose, greens and/or filler flowers (like baby’s breath)
TIP #1: The most important things you need to remember when making a boutonniere is that your rose needs to be fresh! When you go out to buy your rose, gently squeeze the base of the flower and make sure it is firm and not soft. If it is soft, the flower is getting old and will not last as long. Before you start making your bout you also need to make sure your rose is well hydrated (that way it will last longer after it is cut off from its water source). Cut at least 1-2 inches off the bottom of your stem at an angle and put it in a vase of warm water for about 1/2 hr. DO NOT cut your flower with scissors! This smashes the vessels that your flower uses to drink up the water. Use flower clippers or a sharp floral knife.
Step 1: Cut your rose off the stem, leaving about 1 inch, and remove the outer guard petals: those are the ugly ones that are on the outside of the rose…yes it is ok to pull petals off!!!
Step 2: Thread a piece of floral wire through the upper stem of your rose, then bend your wire in half: (Basically you are just recreating your roses stem, but this one is made out of wire so you can bend it.)
Your “new” stem should only be about 4-5″ long. If it is longer, just cut the extra wire off with your wire cutters.
Step 3: Wrap the wires with floral tape. Start at the very top (as high up as you can go) and try not to wrap your calyx leaves (the green leaf like things) with your tape…this can be kind of tricky but it looks so much better if you don’t!
TIP #2: If you find you are having a hard time using floral tape, take some time to practice taping around a ball point pen. Remember that floral tape only sticks when you stretch it…and it does take a bit of practice to get good at it. Tape on a slight diagonal and stretch the tape slightly as you go…
Step 4: Cut a piece of greenery and a piece of filler flower (such as baby’s breath). I didn’t have any filler so I decided to use these gems I picked up a few years ago at a floral wholesaler. If you want similar jewels you can go to your local florist and usually they will sell you some for around 1-2 dollars apiece.
Another fun thing to add to your bout is ribbon, simply loop your ribbon and twist the end of it together with some floral wire and then tape it like so (you may want to use a thinner gauged wire for this 20 was a bit thick, but it still worked):
Step 5: Now arrange your leaves and filler flower (or jewels/ribbon) until they look pleasing to you and tape them into place. My floral instructor taught me to always tape everything individually. He would have said “first tape on the leaves, then tape in your ribbon, then tape on your filler flower” etc. But I have to disagree…I think it gets way too bulky—but you can try both ways and see which you like best:
TIP #3: If you want your bout to look professional, DON’T let your new stem become too bulky! As you add more and more to your bout, make sure to cut off any extra wires, or stems…you only need to leave enough so you can tape them onto your bout, everything else can be cut off!!!
Step 6: Take a pen and twist your new stem into a pretty spiral:
And now you are done!!! YAY!!!
Tip #4: Try not to make your boutonniere more than 24 hours in advance. After you make it spray with a thin mist of water. (Florists spray it with a product such as Crowning Glory which helps slow down the deterioration of the flower. A spritz of water will help your flower to remain hydrated—since flowers can absorb water through their petals as well as their stems. And a hydrated flower will also not deteriorate as quickly.)
Then place your bout into a cellophane sack, or a ziplock bag.
And finally, place your creation into the door of your refrigerator. Flowers like to be at a perfect 40 degrees. Just in case you were wondering :-)
In my next post I will show you the proper way to pin on a boutonniere. Another florist secret. ha ha. okay, not really but I’ll tell you what—I would have liked to know back in high school when I was going to the prom. he he.
ta ta for now!
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