How to Make Corsages and Boutonnieres

Updated on April 13, 2016
anglnwu profile image

Flower crazy and flower power are my incentives for this series of flower-related articles. I make flower arrangements for all occasions.

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I'm not a florist but I do love working with flowers...a lot. From time to time, I've requests to make flowers for wedding, Bar Mitzvahs and proms. When that happens, it's always a good excuse to detour from life's boring demands and enjoy my side passion. Working with flowers is just the best and over the weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of making some corsages and boutonnieres for my best friends' kids.

If you're thinking of making your own corsage or boutonniere, here's how I did mine. Of course, there are variations. You can even glue your flowers to the wrist band, if you're in a hurry and most florists do that now as it's easier and less time consuming. However, mine is made the traditional way, so it'll last the whole night and not fall off (as may be the case if you glue it on).

Corsages

Corsages are small bouquets of flowers using worn at wedding, formal dances and proms. It adds accent to the dress and brings out a festive feel to the occasion. Originially, the ancient Greeks wore bouquets of flowers and herbs to wedding, believing that the fragrances would ward off evil spirits. If you think about it, the fragrance is quite a natural way to diffuse odor in crowded spaces as is the often case in a wedding.

The modern use of the word "corsage" comes from the French word, "bouquet de corsage" meaning " a bouquet of a bodice." Needless to say, it was originally worn on the bodice of a dress. As time goes by, the corsage found many other suitable places to showcase itself, for instance pinned on shoulders, tied around wrist, neck, ankle or used to adorn hair or handbags.

The corsage I'm showing is a wrist corsage, commonly used in proms and weddings as it's very clever way to carry around a bouquet of flowers, strapped to the wrist, leaving the hands free to do whatever...like hold the date's hand.

Make Your Own Ribbon Bow.

Here's what you need:


  • Flowers of choice (remember to pick ones that will last through the night)
  • Foliage (leaves of various sorts)
  • Small flowers (as fillers, if needed)
  • Ribbons (see video on how to make ribbon bow)
  • Floral tape
  • Floral wire
  • Wire Cutter
  • Scissors
  • Flower bracelet

From left to right: flowers of choice, ribbon, wire cutter, floral wire, floral tape and flower bracelet.
From left to right: flowers of choice, ribbon, wire cutter, floral wire, floral tape and flower bracelet.
Pink Gerber daisy all ready for wiring.
Pink Gerber daisy all ready for wiring.

Instructions:


  • Pick the main flower. You may choose to have one single flower or groups of three.


  • Cut off stem, leaving about 3 to 4 inches

Once flower is wired, press wire close to stem.
Once flower is wired, press wire close to stem.



  • Cut about 6 to 8 inches of floral wire.


  • Insert wire through the stem, just below the flower.


  • Pull through and make sure both sides of the wire sits on either side of stem, as shown.

Floral tape should be wound tightly around stem.
Floral tape should be wound tightly around stem.
  • Using floral tape, begin by tapping wire to stem just below flower.


  • Make sure the floral tape was tightly wound around stem.


  • Continue covering the stem and wire until you reached the end of the stem.

Prep any other flower. Normally, leaves and small flowers can be spared from wiring.
Prep any other flower. Normally, leaves and small flowers can be spared from wiring.



  • In the same way, wire any other flower you need for the corsage.


  • If the flower is small, you don't have to wire it.

Almost ready...cut off uneven ends.
Almost ready...cut off uneven ends.
  • After you've wired the flowers, add any leaves or small flowers.


  • In this case, I've added a small twig of pittosporum and some small white roses.


  • Use floral tape to hold them together and cut off any uneven ends.

Light ribbon is a better choice as you don't want the corsage to weigh a ton.
Light ribbon is a better choice as you don't want the corsage to weigh a ton.


  • This is a good time to add ribbons to accent the bouquet.


  • Use ribbons to match or complement the color of the dress.


  • Tie ribbon at the back of bouquet.

You can buy flower bracelet from Michaels or any craft store. They sell them online too. There are many variations of this bracelet.
You can buy flower bracelet from Michaels or any craft store. They sell them online too. There are many variations of this bracelet.
  • Once you're happy with the arrangement of flowers and accents, attach bouquet to flower bracelet.
  • There are different types of flower bracelet. They're also called corsage wristlet. They can be elaborate with jewels, pearls, stones or they can be a simple elastic corsage wristlet.
  • You can tie the bouquet on, as I did with mine. The elastic corsage wristlet has a fasterner that you can use to attach flowers. Then again, you can always glue flowers on the wristlet.

The final result--a stunning corsage, all ready to go.

Brian's boutonniere--bold and elegant--that's what Brian wanted and that's what he got. --courtesy of Terri Lee
Brian's boutonniere--bold and elegant--that's what Brian wanted and that's what he got. --courtesy of Terri Lee

Boutonnieres

Boutonnieres are the male equivalents of corsages--a collection of a single bloom or groups of flowers.The practice of wearing boutonnieres dates back to the 16th century and its original intent was again to ward off evil spirits. The French coined the word, "boutonniere," which means "buttonhole flower"--adaptly named because the flowers were conveniently slipped into buttonholes.

Its popularity continued and by the end of the first century, men who were careful about their appearance would wear a boutonniere....almost as ubiquituous as watch chains, cigar cases and jeweled pins (the neccesary accessories of those days). By the 19th century, it became a symbol of male elegance and masculinity. Today, it is an indispensible part of wedding, formal occasions, dances and proms.

How to Make a Boutonniere:

Boutonniere is easier to make than corsages. You'll need:

  • Flowers of choice
  • Small filler flowers
  • Foliage
  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape
  • Wire Cutter
  • Ribbons (if desired)
  • Boutonniere pins

Instructions:


  • Choose main flower and cut off stem, leaving about 3 to 4 inches.


  • Insert wire just below flower and pull through. Keep wire close to stem.


  • Wrap stem and wire with floral tape, keep it snug and tight.

The finished boutonniere is seen as the first picture of the article.
The finished boutonniere is seen as the first picture of the article.
  • Add leaves and filler flowers.


  • Once you're happy with the arrangment, use floral tape to hold all the stems together.


  • Trim off uneven edges at the end.


  • Add ribbons and accents. You can also decorate covered stem with decorative wires.


  • All done. Boutonnieres are then pinned onto coats with boutonniere pins.

Red Rose and Rosemary Boutonniere

I use succulents and rosemary from my backyard to accent a single red rose--more akin to the traditional boutonniere, where herbs are also used.
I use succulents and rosemary from my backyard to accent a single red rose--more akin to the traditional boutonniere, where herbs are also used.

Corsages and boutonnieres may look beautiful but they really pop when worn by excited escorts and their blushing dates. Here are some examples:

Brian Lee and his date, Rachel, look smashing in their matching Gerber daisy corsage and boutonniere.
Brian Lee and his date, Rachel, look smashing in their matching Gerber daisy corsage and boutonniere. | Source
Rachel's corsage--matching fushsia ribbon and jewel to complement her dress.
Rachel's corsage--matching fushsia ribbon and jewel to complement her dress. | Source
A year later, so still together and still rocking their  boutonniere and corsage.
A year later, so still together and still rocking their boutonniere and corsage. | Source
Brian's boutonniere--a single wine-colored  dahlia, small white roses and sprigs of rosemary.
Brian's boutonniere--a single wine-colored dahlia, small white roses and sprigs of rosemary. | Source
Rachel's matching corsage with more bling as befitting a pretty girl.
Rachel's matching corsage with more bling as befitting a pretty girl. | Source
Jazimin and her date, Chris--looking lovely and ready to dance through the night.
Jazimin and her date, Chris--looking lovely and ready to dance through the night. | Source
Matching orchid corsage and boutonniere, just waiting to be shown off.
Matching orchid corsage and boutonniere, just waiting to be shown off. | Source

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 3 years ago

      Hi Ibrummer, thanks for the positive comments.

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 3 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Very nice tutorial for making flower corsages. Beautiful examples of corsages you've made.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      Thanks, vespawoolf, for your very kind words. Working with flowers is very therapeutic and I'm sure you'll enjoy it if you get the chance to help with wedding flowers.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      You may not be a florist, but I can tell from your gorgeous photos and step-by-step instructions that you're quite an expert in this field! Maybe I'll have a chance to help with wedding flowers sometime soon...I will definitely be returning to your Hub for helpful information. Thank you!

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 5 years ago

      Thanks, Celiegirl, for dropping by.

    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 5 years ago

      Prasetio, thanks for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for voting it up.

      Thelma Alberts, appreciate your sweet comments.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Wow! Beautiful! Awesome! Thanks for SHARING your knowledge in making corsages and boutonnieres.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub. This was brilliant hub. I love your idea in making such of beautiful corsage. I really enjoy your step by step instruction completed with pictures. Voted up and pressing all buttons, except funny. Take care :-)

      Prasetio

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Thanks, Cathleena, for your kind comments and for sharing it. If you're interested, I also have a hub on wedding flowers. Congrats and enjoy the two coming weddings.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      tammyswallow, I agree these are ridiculously priced especially during prom time. Making your own can help save some money and also, it'll be extra special. Thanks for commenting.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Ruchira, good to see you here. I agree we can really get creative if we do it ourselves. Thanks for your sweet comments.

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      You do beautiful work, with your corsages and boutonnieres as well as your writing. I will share this on my Facebook so my two daughters to be can see these. Both my sons are getting married this year and this hub might really come in handy at a time like this. Great hub!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      These are beautiful! What a clever and creative idea. These are so ridiculously priced at prom time and you certainly don't get anything this nice. Great hub! Voting up and sharing.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 6 years ago from United States

      very creative angi.

      i like how we can play with different flowers if we do it ourselves.

      voted up as interesting and awesome and sharing it across

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Many thanks, Lady E, for your vote of confidence. I enjoy working with flowers very much. You'll definitely enjoy doing these with a friend. Take care and thanks for dropping by.

      Dolores, I know--the very first time I work on a corsage, it took me an hour--wiring flowers can be time-consuming. With practice, it's a lot easier and faster. Thanks for your kind comments.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Thanks, Pamela, for your encouraging comments.

      Om, appreciate your positive comments. If I were the flower whisperer, you must be the cupcake connoisseur. Enjoy your day.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Voted up! I've made both corsages and boutonnieres and it can be a lot of fun. Your instructions are excellent! Of course, it's a good idea to make some practice pieces first as it does take awhile to get it just right.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Very beautiful and unique Hub. The photos are stunning (including the couples). I love your gift of creativity and hope it opens lots of opportunities for you to take it further. The video is very useful.

      I have made a mental note of this Hub. It's something I would enjoy doing with a friend.

      Thanks.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      Wow! Your floral arrangement skills are remarkable. Your corsage and boutonniere shown in this hub are very lovely. I also appreciate the easy-to-follow instructions. Great job, Flower Whisperer!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      The corsages are so beautiful and it doesn't look that hard to do. I may be trying this out. Thank you for such a simple explanation to create something beautiful.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      TToomb, thanks for the vote up and pin.

      ktrapp, thanks for your vote of confidence. I love working on these for sure.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

      Wow - Your corsages are so much better than the ones I see in the floral section of stores. The daisy one is beautiful. I never would have thought to attempt this on my own, but you've given great instructions and I can see how this has become a hobby that you love.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      You do beautiful work! Very nice! Voted up and pinned! :)

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Lesley, always good to hear from you and thanks for your vote of confidence.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Thanks, eiron, you're so sweet. Appreciate your comments.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Celiegirl, thanks for reading.

      Rtalloni, good to see you here. Thanks for your encouraging words. Appreciate that.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      A wonderful detailed and descriptive hub anginwu.

      Voted up, best wishes Lesely

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Lee Tea, thanks for commenting. I've just included a video on how to make a ribbon bow. They come in handy if you want to add a ribbon or two. Thanks for pointing that out. I hope you find it useful.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      teaches, glad you like it. Making your own corsages/bouttonniere is not that difficult and you can save some. Thanks for your sweet comments.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Arlene, always good to hear from you. I agree it's not easy to be a florist--there's so much work involved. Making your own corsage and boutonniere is definitely cheaper and the best part is you don't have to have a corsage/boutonniere that looks like everyone else's. Thanks for commenting.

    • anglnwu profile image
      Author

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Thanks, Diamond, for your suggestion. As you can see, I've already changed it. I'm not very good with SEO and all that stuff.

    • einron profile image

      einron 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Very descriptive. Well done. Love your hubs.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Your corsages are just beautiful! Thanks for highlighting your work and sharing your how-to!

    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 6 years ago

      Thanks, inspiring!

    • Lee Tea profile image

      Lee Tea 6 years ago from Erie, PA

      Thanks for the knowledge, I'm going to make something to wear everyday :) - can you explain a little more about how you tie the ribbons?

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      The corsages are so beautiful and look stunning on the girls. I love the opening blue corsage. With all the proms and weddings coming up, this will save people lots of money. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 6 years ago

      VOTED UP, USEFUL, INTERESTING, AND JUST PLAIN AWESOME. Angin, this Hub is so lovely as well as timely since proms, graduations and weddings are numerous this time of year. Flowers are so expensive when done by a florist or floral designer, but I like the idea of doing your own and saving money. Years ago, my friend had a florist shop, and I tried making boutonnieres for an upcoming wedding. It really opened my eyes to what a florist does for a living. Love the how-to and photographs!

    • diamond1mo profile image

      KE Morgan 6 years ago from Arizona

      Very useful and descriptive hub. My only suggestion is to change the title to "How to Make a Corsage." Removing punctuation in the title will increase search engine traffic.

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