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Homade Boutonnieres

Leave the tough stuff to your professional florist, but if you want to add a handcrafted touch, try making the groom's boutonniere.

We suggest using a hardy flower with a big head such as a rose or miniature calla lily; they can survive being handled. You can make a boutonniere the day before the wedding, and be sure to get extra flowers for practice. Here's a step-by-step guide on do-it-yourself boutonnieres.


Step 1: Selecting & Preparing the Bundles of Blooms

  • Pick your bundles of bouquets.
  • Remove excess foliage and thorns, and pull off damaged petals.
  • Fill a sink or bucket with water, and holding the stems underwater, use the stem cutter or knife to cut the stems at an angle about two inches from the bottom.
  • Allow the flowers to drink for a few seconds with the stem ends underwater, then place the stems in a bucket filled halfway with cool water until you are ready to use them.
  • Note: If you are working with roses and the heads aren't open yet, you can force the blooms open by placing the stems in a bucket of hot water; do this only for a couple of minutes just before you are going to use the roses, otherwise you might kill them.

Step 2: Choosing & Preparing Particular Flowers

  • Choose a particular stem and/or flower for the boutonniere.
  • Use a stem cutter or sharp knife to cut the stem to a length of approximately three inches.
  • Create a bed for the flower: Take an ivy leaf, fern frond, or other bit of greenery and place it behind the flower.
  • Note: The bed should not extend much beyond the top of the flower, and it should be visible from the sides.
  • Place a six-inch piece of wire behind the stems.

STEP 3: Crafting the Boutonniere

  • Prepare the stems: Starting from the top of the stems, begin to wrap floral tape down the stems in a spiral to secure them together; wrap until about 3/4 of an inch is covered.
  • Trim away the excess stem and continue to wrap floral tape around the wire about three inches down, then wrap the tape back up toward the flower head.
  • Once you're back at the top, wrap tape around several times to be sure it's secure.
  • Trim the excess tape.

STEP 4: Securing the Boutonniere

  • Finish the boutonniere stem: Trim the wired and wrapped stem so the total length is about 1 1/2 inches.
  • Curl the end around a pencil point and pinch the tip to finish it.
  • Attach a ribbon bow (if you like).
  • Depending on the weight of the boutonniere, insert one or two pearl-tipped pins into the stem to use later for attaching it to the lapel.

The boutonniere is now complete! Mist it with water and place it in a resealable plastic sandwich bag (blow a puff of breath into the bag before you seal it to provide airspace around the boutonniere). You can place up to two boutonnieres in the same bag.