By Erin Frank
Even the least crafty bride can give her wedding a personal touch by making boutonnieres for the groomsmen and important guests. Boutonnieres are one of the simplest ways to add a do-it-yourself element to your wedding without getting in over your head.
To get started you’ll need:
floral wire (26 or 24 gauge should do it—you can get pre-cut lengths or buy a spool)
your choice of flower along with some greenery
floral tape (I prefer the light green)
Creating a boutonniere:
Begin by trimming your flowers to remove any thorns and leaves you don’t want to keep. Take one large bloom, such as a single rose or gerbera daisy, grip the stem just below the flower, and trim about the length of three fingers down (roughly an inch to an inch and a half of stem will be left). Take a length of wire roughly 10 inches or so long (you can always trim the ends later) and insert it where the base of the flower bloom meets the stem. Slide the flower until it is centered on the wire, then fold the wire ends together. The wire can now act as an extended stem plus give the flower added strength and stability. Starting at the base of the bloom, begin wrapping green floral tape around the stem and wire. Floral tape is designed to stick to itself, not the flower, and only when it’s stretched a bit, so pull tightly when wrapping and work your way down the stem. Continue wrapping the tape over an additional inch of wire beyond the end of the stem then cut.
To add a leaf to your boutonniere the technique is much the same. Insert the end of a wire through the middle of a leaf, catching just a bit of the stem. Bring the ends of the wire together and wrap them together with floral wire. Place the leaf against the flower and wrap their two stems together. If you’re using baby’s breath or another spray of tiny buds you don’t need to wire their stems, simply wrap them together with the main flower.
Once you’ve wrapped all components together, create a twist at the bottom using your fingers or by wrapping the end around a pen. Attach the finished boutonniere to a lapel with a long pearl-headed stick pin. Voila! DIY boutonnieres for beginners. Feeling confident in your skills? Spice up a basic flower by covering your finished stem with a plain or patterned ribbon. Or try incorporating ribbons, herbs, fiddle ferns, or crystals into your design. The possibilities are endless!