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There are four main expenses in any wedding: facility, food, photo, and flowers. In keeping a modest budget, we were able to save money and have a creative keepsake that would last for years to come. Who knows, our children may one day walk down the isle with the bouquet (if it's “cool” then). You will be able to use this for your bridal portraits if you like and will have the confidence it will be exactly what you want providing less stress before the wedding day.

In this instructable, you will learn how to make a ribbon rose and arrange it into a wedding bouquet. This can be tweaked to be used for boutonnieres, corsages, hair accents, toss bouquet, bride's maids bouquets, and even table decorations if you have the time.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Materials for the bouquet are as follows:

1)  Ribbon for main flower at least 1 inch wide or larger (I used 1.5 in)
2)  Ribbon for accent flower at least 1 inch wide
3)  Decorative beads
4)  Feathers
5)  Needle and Thread
6)  Heavy gauge floral wire (I used the kind that is wraped in green string- prevents sliding)
7)  Thin floral wire
8)  Floral tape (I used green but brown and ivory/white are also available)
9)  Fabric for stem/handle (I used the scrap from my wedding dress re-hemming)
10)  Scissors

Step 2: Creating the Main 'flower'

Materials: ribbon, scissors, heavy gauge wire, floral tape, needle and thread

Tip:  Wired ribbon may be easier but may have "hard" edges.
*Thread needle before you start the flower.

1)  Cut around 3 to 4 feet of satin ribbon.
2)  Begin about 4 or 5 inches up on the ribbon and start folding 90 degree corners.  The satin side should always be facing up.  
3)  Be sure you are leaving a small square opening in the center as you fold around.
4)  Once finshed with all the folding, take the end at the top of the flower(what you just finished with) and twist it slightly so it will fit through the small square opening.  
5)  Gently push it through opening and pull it through about 1 or 2 inches on the other side.
6)  Beging twisting in the same direction as you were folding and you will see the flower start to take form!
7)  twist until you like how it looks, gently tug the petals if they need some guiding. 
8)  Gather both ends of the ribbon and sew it together so it will not fall apart.
9)  Trim the remaining end to the same length as the shortest.
10) Put your wire up into the bottom sew portion a little ways- be sure you don't see it coming through to the top.
11)  wrap with floral tape so you cover the ribbon ends from the sewn part down.
12)  The wired flower will be very long, I will address what to do with it  before putting them all together.

Step 3: Creating the Accent Flower

Materials: ribbon, scissors, thin floral wire, floral tape, needle and thread

*I used a ribbon half the width of the main flower for this accent flower.
*Have needle threaded before you start the flower.

1)  Cut a piece of ribbon about 1 to 2 feet long.
2) fold in the corner.
3) Beging bunching or adding mini fan folds in the ribbon, turning as you bunch. (This is a little tricky at first-practice)
4) Go around as many times as you like
5) Once satisfied grab needle and sew it together near the bottom.
6)  Since these flowers are much smaller I wrapped the small gauge wire around the bottom sewn part.
7)  Then take your floral tape and wrap from the sewn part down.
8)  You should end with something that resembles a carnation.

Step 4: Wiring the Beads and Feathers

Materials:  beads/buttons, feathers, thin floral wire, floral tape

Feathers:
1)  Trim off a small portion of the feathers from the shaft, maybe a half inch or more.
2)  Gather feathers how you like them.
3)  Wrap the feathers about where you trimmed them with the wire.
4)  Wrap with floral tape. 

Bead/button:
1)  Use wire through the holes of your botton/bead.
2)  Twist wire at the base of botton to hold in place.
**  Wrapping with floral tape is not necessary, but you may

Step 5: Assembly

Now that you have all the parts created, you're ready to assemble.

* You should have long wired flowers.  This is the point where you choose how long you want your handle for the boquett.  I bent mine in half and twisted the left over wire up to the top again.  You can see this in the picture.  I did not re-tape this but you may.

1) Using one flower as the center, gather main flowers in a circle around that center flower and wrap with floral tape about four inches down.  You want to keep the tape low enough  so your flowers do not squish together and you can bend or adjust as you need to.
2)  Repeat step one using the flower bunch you just created as the "center."  Angle this new row at approximatly a 30 degree angle or whatever angle needed to create a rounded bouquet.
3)  Repeat step two with a larger angle.
4)  Add accent flowers and beads where you see gaps or you feel would look best.  The bouquet should hold it fine while you arrange your accents.  Once complete, tape the accents.  If you have trouble getting them to stay,  you can always tape as you go.
5)  The last row is the feathers.  They should already be arched slightly(candy cane shape) so just change the angle as necessary and tape.
6)  Once you are satisfied with the look of your bouquet and it is secure, you are ready to hide the floral tape with your fabric.  Start about an inch or two from the bottom, wrap to the bottom to conseal the start of fabric and the end of the wires then work your way back up to the top.  Use your pearl headded pins to secure at top.  
7)  I only wrapped once since the wedding dress material was thick but if you want to further conseal lumps from wires, etc, you can always wrap twice. You will probably want to do this if your material is thin.
8)  Enjoy your wedding keepsake for years to come!!!

Step 6: More Ideas for Saving Some Money at Your Wedding!

Also pictured are a few other ideas to help your wedding budget! 

1) Ribbon flowers glued onto styrofoam ball make a great toss boquet with a ribbon handle (this is where all my practice flowers went!!!)

2) Ribbon flower and feathers attached to bobby pin for for hair accent

3)Make your own boutineers with matching parts from your bouquet.

4) Instead of throwing away money on tux rentals, consider having the men buy suits.  In this economy, there are often BOGO sales on men's suits from department store.  Express has dress shirts to match whatever color you picked for your wedding and they have great coupons that they send out from time to time.  Department stores offer 50%-70% off sales quite often (bring your grandma on Tuesday for an extra 15% off).  For suit, shirt, and tie, the total bill was $150 per person.  They can always sell the suit or donate to Goodwill for a tax writeoff after.

5) Buy a cheap basket and paint it white yourself (or whatever color you want).  Use leftover feathers or ribbon flowers to decorate it. If you still have leftover fabric from your wedding dress fitting, cut it into flower petals.

6) Consider an outdoor pavillion for a inexpensive but nice outdoor feel.  Often parks will have covered picnic areas that can be rented ($200 for the entire day in our case).  Simply add fabric panels of your wedding color between the posts to give it a elegant personal touch .  Be sure to look for a good coupon or fabric sale before you buy! 

7) Reception table decorations can be exspensive however if you buy the vases at a pottery outlet or even walmart, you can fill them with flowers from the farmer's market for less then $20 a vase.  That's a GREAT price considering a florist would charge over $70. 

8)  If you're having the ceremony or reception outside, create your own program that double as a hand fan for guests.  Have kinkos print the program on card stock paper but not front and back.  You'll want to glue two pages together so that you can hide the top of the tongue depressor (handle) between the sheets.

9)  Make your own cake stand out of couple of stumps of wood and find a friend who is gifted in cake making to make the cake.

10) Consider purses for your bridesmaids instead of flowers!  Again, live flowers are crazy expensive and don't last.  Plus, the purse can double as a bridesmaid gift!

11)  For the guestbook, have them sign a kodak photo book you designed.  If you take as many pictures as we do, this will be a great way for your guests to see the road that brought you to the isle.  Your friends will likely be in some of the pictures and will enjoy reliving those memories.  Search the internet for coupons and compare different places to find the best price.

12) Bulk candy and sparklers make a wonderful inexpensive wedding favor.  We used cow tails which were a hit.

13) We made our own arch to add our own personal touch.

14) And Finally! Return the favor.  The wedding is over and you have 20 vases, lots of fabric, and a lot of other supplies.  Instead of throwing them away, put them on craig's list or donate it to good will.  The money you get back from selling makes a frugal wedding even more economical.  What you can't sell can be donated for a tax writeoff.  Getting money back is great, and you are helping another bride be frugal too!
Wow!!!! Your wedding looks beautiful, I am getting married on July 2014 and this tutorial will definitely come of help.thank you
hi! just wondering how many big flowers your used for your bouquet? was it a pretty decent size or small or big? thanks!
I probably used about 20-ish roses and then a few smaller carns for filler. You can see in the second picture that there are hair spray cans next to it and it is resting in a drinking glass, so no, it wasn't very big in my opinion. :) Hope that helps.
can you give a little more information on how you folded the 'fans'? i can't tell from the pics and i am having a very difficult time with this step. however, i was able to make the bigger flowers pretty easily! thanks!!
hmmm, you sort of have to make this up. But after the first 2 folds you just fold the ribbon accordion style as if you were making a paper fan- as you go you kind of rotate gathering it all up in your other hand to hold it. Does that make sense? There is no exact science so what ever works for you! :) This might help too, I used this book as a starting point to learn how to make the flowers and then created the flowers the way it was easiest for me. <br>http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Fashioning-Ribbon-Flowers-Helen/dp/0873415620/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1326979674&amp;sr=8-2<br>
Your bouquet is lovely!! However, I'm having trouble getting the flower to be a flower - it unravels when I take the top end of the ribbon &amp; pull it through the square opening. Any advice? Thanks.
That part is tricky. In the picture I look like I am freely pulling it through but I always hold things as I am pulling the ribbon through. Don't forget to twist in the same direction that you were adding the ribbon, this helps hold the form too. The ribbon is slippery so don't let go all the way ever! :) Hope that helps, let me know if I did not answer your question. :)
Your husband is a lucky guy. It makes me sick to see people going in debt and freaking out over a wedding. It should be fun and within your means. <br>Congratulations
<br>I am so impressed by you wedding DIY skills, I am a DIY bride myself and this is just amazing! Congrats!
WOW! your whole wedding is really beautiful!
They really did look good at our wedding! They looked real unless you were really looking. My wife is amazing! :)
These roses are so cute!! Granted, I'm not going to be married for quite a while, but there are many other places where I could use this 'ible. Thank you so much for sharing! :D

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