I have worked with dried flowers and plants in my artwork but this was my first time creating floral arrangements and I had so much fun! I made these boutonnieres for my wedding and the great thing about them is that they can be made in advance and, unlike fresh flowers, they are inexpensive and keep a long time.
The first step is to pick out some plants and flowers that you think you might like to work with. I gathered all my plants by collecting while hiking or ordering from these two sites: Curious Country Creations and Dried Flowers R US.
Plants I used for this project include:
Additional tools and supplies include:
- Green floral tape
- Sewing pins
- Silicone based adhesive
- Needle nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Plastic sheeting
Step 1: Skeleton Leaves
The first step, after you lay out your plastic, is to glue the skeleton leaves to each other. You may choose to arrange them however you like, I chose groups of three. I placed a glob of glue on the top leaf near where the stems overlap and where it will be covered by the cedar rose. I then spread the glue making sure it went through all the layers. You will need to hold the leaves firmly with one hand so they don't scoot while you spread glue with the other hand.
The great thing about this glue is that it has the right amount of working time. You can mess around with the arrangement for at least 5 minutes before it starts to harden and you have up to half an hour to get it to it's final drying state.
These will seem to get stuck to the plastic but don't worry, we'll peel them off before the adhesive cures.
- Lay all you leaves out in the desired arrangement.
- Glue each set together, working from one side of your workspace to the other.
- Use scissors to snip the excess of the leaf stems.
Step 2: Add Moss and Cedar Roses
Before you begin this step you want to lay out all your materials and divide them among the boutonnieres. Once you have glue all over your hands it's difficult to handle your delicate materials so laying them out really helps. Be generous with the glue as you apply it to the back of the moss and then set it down on the leaves. You may want to apply some of the more stringy mosses to the back of the cedar rose rather than the leaves.
- Use two pairs of needle nose pliers to bend the wire stems on all your roses to a 90 degree angle.
- Use adhesive to attach the moss to your skeleton leaves in an arrangement you like.
- Place the rose so the wire points down with the stem.
Step 3: Add a Dried Flower for Color
I chose pink caspia as a colorful addition to this boutonniere. I pulled three pieces from the bunch for each and laid them out on the table. It's a good idea to do a dry run and see where you might like to place the caspia stems before dipping them in glue and adding them to the piece. Make sure there's plenty of glue and the stems are securely lodged in the moss.
- Dip the caspia stems in glue and place them in the moss behind the cedar rose.
Step 4: Pin the Boutonnieres Together for Drying
This is the point where we carefully peel the leaves and their contents off the plastic and pin them together. By this time the glue is starting to cure and they should hold as long as you're careful. To keep everything together I used two pins, on the back side of the leaves, to go through the leaves and around the wire stem of the cedar rose. This also rolls the leaves around the contents and gives everything a nice shape. These pins will be removed once the glue is dry.
- Carefully lift the boutonnieres up one at a time, in the order you glued them.
- Roll the leaves and pin them together around the wire stem.
- You may set them down again on a clean part of the plastic when finished.
Step 5: Wrap and Curl Your Stems
Beginning at the area where the wire stem meets the base of the leaves, wrap you wire stem with floral tape. I doubled back a bit after I reached the end to keep it from fraying. When curling the wires I started as close to the tip with the tightest bend and moved up the wire from there.
- Wrap the wire stem with floral tape, gathering together the base of the leaves in the tape.
- After you wrap, use pliers to curl the wire into your desired shape.
- Hang your boutonnieres as you finish them to let them dry, the pins will stay in overnight.
Step 6: Box Them Up!
Now you can box your creations and put them away until your event. I used blue painters tape to hold down the stem so they didn't shift in transit. Be sure to pull the pins out of the back before packing these up!
- Use needle nose pliers to carefully pull all pins from the backs of the boutonnieres.
- place them in a box and tape them to the bottom with blue tape.