Boutonnieres are flower decorations worn by men at weddings, proms and homecomings, to name a few occasions. They are easy to make and a cost effective option for those of you who don't want to spend a lot of money to have a boutonniere made for your soon to be husband or your son's prom. You don't have to have experience with flower arrangements, in other words, anyone can do it!
My husband and I got married a little over 2 years ago and we had no money to spend on expensive wedding flower decorations, bouquets and more. We wanted a small wedding. I decided to make my husband's boutonniere and my own wedding bouquet although I had no experience with flower arrangements. I was thinking "how hard can it be?" I looked at a video and I put them together. I loved how they turned out, as well as my best friend who later asked me to make her wedding boutonnieres and bouquet for her wedding.
Boutonnieres can be made from anything from live flowers, fabric, buttons, brooches and more. In this instructable we will focus on how to make flower boutonnieres.
Your flower garden (if you have one) is your best friend in this situation, because you don't have to spend money buying flowers at the grocery store like I did.
Step 1: Gather the Materials and Tools
- Center Piece Flowers - I chose Cherry Brandy Rose
- Filler flowers - I chose Wax Flower
- Foliage/Greenery - I chose Italian Ruskus
- Stem wires (24 gauge)
- Floral tape - Green colored
- Scissor (my scissor is multifunctional - a scissor and flower cutter in one)
- Wire Cutter
- Flower Cutter
- Ball point Pins
***I will be using my Scissor to cut the flower stems and to cut the wires as well since I don't have a wire cutter in my house. If you have the type of scissor I have than it will do the work just fine. If you don't have a scissor like this I would suggest buying all the tools at a craft store.
When choosing the center piece flower for the boutonnieres it is recommended to pick a flower type that does not get wilted easily and is not fragile since you want them to look good all day. With all that said I think roses are pretty sturdy and do not get wilted easily. There are many types of roses of course, nonetheless look for those that have a slight thick stem and rose blooms that are not completely open (see Pic 1.4).
The greenery and filler flowers on the other hand can be of any type. If you have a flower garden make use of it. If you don't, just ask someone in the floral department at a grocery store what type of filler flowers and greenery they have available.
Keep sharp tools and materials away from the reach of children in order to avoid them being hurt.
Step 2: Prepare Flowers for Assembly
Remove the extra leafs or parts of the rose that you are not going to use. Set aside some Italian Ruskus and parts of the Wax Flower that you'll incorporate in the boutonniere.
- Clear stem form all leaves and thorns/prickles (Pic 2.3). Don't worry if you haven't done a really good job at cleaning the rose stem, we are not going to make use of the whole stem (I'll explain in the next step).
- Remove the outer petals that look wilted or loose (Pic 2.4)
- Remove Italian Ruskus sprigs form the stem with the help of the flower cutter. Cut the sprig right at the base where it meets the stem.
- Set them aside for later use in the assembly of the boutonniere (Pic 2.5).
- Remove Wax Flower sprigs from stem using the flower cutter. Cut the sprig right at the base where it meets the stem.
- Set them aside for lather use (Pic 2.6).
Avoid cutting yourself with the flower cutter/scissor by keeping you fingers away from the blade edge.
Avoid piercing your fingertips when removing the thorns/prickles. Check out the web page I linked to "thorns/prickles" above for more information on this.
Step 3: Cut the Rose Stem and Wire Porperly
It is really important to cut the rose stem and wire properly. Both of them have to be cut diagonally (see pictures). This will make the taping of the rose easier and it will have a polished look after you finish the boutonniere. In the case of the wire, this cutting technique will provide a pointy wire end, instead of a dull end. It will be easier to pears through the rose stem (I'll talk more about this in Step 4).
Avoid cutting yourself with the scissor by keeping you fingers away from the blade edge.
Avoid piercing your skin with the wire. After applying the diagonal cut, the wire will have pointy ends that can easily scratch or pierce your skin.
Step 4: Pierce Though the Rose Stem With the Wire
- Pierce the middle of the rose stem with the wire (Pic 4.1) and push through the rose stem from one side to the other straight (Pic 4.2).
- Continue pushing the wire till it is about half way through the stem (Pic 4.3).
- Take the two ends of the wire and bend them downwards (Pic 4.4).
Avoid stabbing your fingertips when performing this task. Hold the rose stem in a way that your fingers will not stand in the way of the wire that will exit the other side of the stem.
Step 5: Wrap the Rose Stem With Floral Tape.
The floral tape is an important component in putting everything together. This is what holds the boutonniere together, if not applied properly the boutonniere might fall apart.
- The floral tape is slightly elastic and both it's sides are slightly sticky. In the process of wrapping the rose stem you have to make sure you stretch the tape a bit as you wrap. By doing so the tape will stick to the flower stem easier and also to itself. Make sure you wrap tightly so the boutonniere would not fall apart.
- In case the floral tape tears (due to stretching) in the process of wrapping the rose stem, don't panic, just continue wrapping right where you left off.
- When wrapping start at the top (right where you pierced the rose stem with the wire) and work your way down slowly in a spiral/helix form. Turn the rose with one hand in the same direction and use your other hand to apply the tape as you turn the rose (see Step 5 video).
- Make sure the floral tape layers overlaps slightly, this way it will be able to stick to the stem and to itself as well. The rose stem and wire should not be visible after the floral tape has been applied.
- If it looks like the first layer of tape does not cover the stem properly feel free to add another layer.
- Stop wrapping when you get about 1.5 - 2 inches down form the top of the rose stem.
- Use the scissor to cut the floral tape or simply tear it like I did in the video.
If you are making multiple boutonnieres at a time I would suggest doing all the tapping of the rose stems first and than going to the next step. This will save you time.
I am only making 1 boutonniere for demonstration purposes, but in case you are making boutonnieres for a wedding for example, than you will most likely have to make more than 1.
Step 6: Assemble the Boutonniere
Have all you need on hand before you start putting the boutonniere together (Pic 6.1).
- The Italian Ruskus and the Wax Flower are used to decorate the rose so don't use too much of them (ex.: use 1-2 Italian Ruskus sprigs that have the most 3-4 leaflets on them - see picture 6.1).
- Take the Italian Ruskus sprigs and hold them close to the base of the rose stem (right where you pierced the rose with the wire). Arrange it in a way that the sprigs would be right next to each other and the leaflets are overlapping somewhat (see Step 6 video).
- Add the Wax Flower sprigs to the both sides of the rose right next to the the Italian Ruskus. I made it look symmetric but you don't have to do that. Make sure you hold the sprigs tightly to the stem.
- Apply the floral tape the same way you did in the previous step (see Step 6 video).
- It the Wax Flower and the Italian Ruskus moves a little around the rose stem while you tape them together don't worry, this will make the arrangement look naturally beautiful.
Step 7: Remove Unwanted Sprigs and Wire
- After you got about 1 inch of the boutonniere taped you have to remove the long sprigs and the unwanted wire.
- In order to reach the narrow ice cream cone shape boutonniere stem you have to make sure you cut the sprigs at different lengths, this will make sure your boutonniere stem will not end abruptly.
- After you removed the flower sprigs you have to cut the unwanted wire.
- Use your flower cutter to remove the flower sprigs and use the wire cutter to cut the wire (see Step 7 video). I'll use my multifunctional scissor to perform this activity.
There are boutonnieres styles where the stem of the boutonniere looks like a cylinder instead of a pointy cone shape. To reach that result make sure you cut the wire, the filler flower sprigs and the greenery sprigs at the same length.
Avoid cutting yourself with the flower cutter by keeping you fingers away from the blade edge.
Step 8: Finish Taping the Boutonniere
- After you cut the unnecessary sprigs and wire you can finish taping the boutonniere.
- Make sure you completely cover the pointy ends of the wire so it will not scratch the person's suit and that they would not stab themselves by accident.
- After you finished taping use your finger tips to check if the wires are completely covered (see Step 8 video).
Step 9: Conclusions/Tips
Congrats, you are finally finished! It might take a little time to get into the habit of using the floral tape but it is all worth it.
If the boutonnieres are made one day prior the event you can place them in rock's glasses or whatever kind you have at home and put them in the refrigerator. This will keep them fresh for the next day.
- When preparing boutonnieres always make one more than you need in case one of them falls apart.
- In case you cut yourself with tools, scratch or pierce yourself with wire make sure you disinfect the place of the cut/scratch with disinfectant and use a band aid to cover it up. Click here for more information on First Aid.
Video Music By Bogdan Alin Ota (album - Day of Wrath)