How to Make Beautiful Corsages & Boutonnieres
Making your own beautiful corsages and boutonnieres is simple and fun and will save you a lot of money. My sisters and I made all the corsages, boutonnieres, and bridesmaids' bouquets for my wedding - and saved literally hundreds of dollars!
Of course, you can also make a corsage for prom, for Mother's Day, or any other special event.
To begin, decide whether you will use fresh flowers or silk flowers. I recommend silk since they are much easier to work with. Another advantage of silk flowers is that you can make your corsages/boutonnieres well in advance of your special event; store them carefully and they will look brand new! Craft stores like Michaels offer a variety of artificial flowers that don't look "fake" at all.
It may be helpful to visit a craft store and look around to see all the kinds of flowers available. Decide what you want your main flower to be (I used roses) and also what colors you want to use. Since my wedding colors were red, white, and black, I used only red and white roses (plus greenery). You could also use a variety of colors, if that suits your style.
- Flowers -- For a boutonniere, choose 1 main flower (not too large) that will be your focal point. For a corsage, choose 1 main flower (can be larger than the boutonniere) plus 2 or 4 other smaller flowers that complement.
- Small "filler" flower such as baby's breath
- Greenery - you may be able to use any green leaves that come with your flowers. You can also buy greenery separately, in many different textures and shades.
- Green floral wire
- Green floral tape
- Narrow (up to 3/8" wide) ribbon for bows on corsages
- Corsage pins
- Hot glue gun
- Wire cutters (invest in a good pair as the flower stems can be difficult to cut)
As you purchase flowers, you may also want to think about anything unique you want to do for the groom's boutonniere, or your mother's corsage, to make it stand out a bit. For example, I did red boutonnieres for all the groomsmen, ushers, and male relatives, and then white boutonnieres for my husband and my dad. You could also make junior-size corsages or boutonnieres for any young participants or family members.
Directions for a Boutonniere: Using wire cutters, cut the stem on your main flower to the length you want the boutonniere to be (about 4-5"). Holding the flower in your left hand (hold on to the stem just below the flower), decide which part looks best to face to the front. Add some baby's breath or other filler flower and place where it looks best; be sure the stem is long enough so that you can catch it with your fingers (still holding the main stem, just below the main flower). Arrange greenery in the back of the boutonniere, again catching the stems so you can hold it all together. Hold arrangement firmly in place while you wrap the stems (beginning at the top) with an 8" piece of floral wire. (If this is a bit tricky at first, you may find it helpful to work with a friend so you have another set of hands. Don't worry, it gets easier!) Be sure that the flowers/greenery do not shift around while you wrap the stems with wire. The wire needs to be firmly secured and tight, holding the stems together. Be patient and give it several tries - we found that after a few tries we started to get the hang of it! Once you are finished with the wiring, cut off any poking ends. Now starting at the top of the stem (over the wire), wrap floral tape, winding around and around all the way to the bottom of the stem. Floral tape sticks when you stretch it, so make sure to keep a good tension. Once you have the whole stem wrapped, cut the floral tape and use hot glue to secure it in the back of the boutonniere (so the glue doesn't show from the front). To wear, attach with a corsage pin.
Directions for a Corsage: Cut the stem on your largest flower to the length you want. Holding the stem (just below the flower) in your left hand, add other flowers on each side. Just like the boutonniere, add baby's breath and greenery, catching all the stems together. Hold firmly in place while you wrap the stems (beginning at the top) with an 8" piece of floral wire. Cut off any excess wire. Wrap with floral tape; cut and hot glue the end in back. You can wrap the stems with ribbon or tie a bow at the top of the stem (or both); use hot glue if needed to secure. Attach with a corsage pin.