I am so thrilled to introduce this guest post today. One of my best friends also happens to be a very talented floral designer. A native New Yorker, Margaret Kelley splits her time by being both a floral designer and public radio radio producer in DC. She first discovered her floral sensibilities as a child in Junior Garden Club as well as in her British Grammy’s garden. Her blog, The Wing is a lovely slice of life in the District of Columbia through the lense of her camera. This tutorial is amazing and makes creating a boutonnière so doable. Thanks Margaret for sharing your mad skills with us!
It’s July, and no doubt you’ve got a party to attend to, or you’re the hostess. A nice way to class things up a bit are for the hostess’ main man (or any one of the guys at the party) to sport a casual boutonnière. Boutonnières are quite possibly the easiest and cheapest floral wear-ables to make. They are essentially miniature bouquets. You can create them using any kind of plant material; it doesn’t have to be the typical rose, orchid or calla lily that you see at weddings. For simplistic ones, it only requires floral tape (which sticks to itself), ribbon or twine and 2 pins.
- Scissors or knife
- Floral Tape in green or dark brown (you can buy this at any craft store)
- Ribbon or twine
- 2 floral pins
Forage for plant material. If you have a garden or know of a good spot for roadside flowers, use those resources. Or use some of the flowers you may have bought from the farmers market.
What to Look For
- A hardy leaf which will be used as the backing (something that won’t wilt)
- A main flower or focal point
I decided to use an ivy leaf from my garden for the backing leaf, a cone-flower without petals, and a couple sprigs of lavender.
Begin placement of your plants over the larger backing leaf. Remember that this will be worn, so make sure that it isn’t top-heavy. Maintain proportion with the focal point and fillers. Once you’ve decided on your final placement, cut the plants to the same length, leaving only about 2 inches. Strip the leaves underneath the main part of the display.
Begin wrapping the boutonnière with floral tape. First, unwind some tape, and stretch it. This allows it to stick to itself. Work from the top and wind to the bottom. Rip or cut the tape and secure it to itself.
Finish off by simply tying or wrapping ribbon around it. I chose to use some garden twine, and tied it in french knots for a more organic/rustic look.
You’re finished, and ready to pin! In French, boutonnière translates to buttonhole. For that reason, you’ll easily be able to remember that the piece will be placed over the buttonhole (left lapel) of the lucky man who will be wearing it. Secure it to his shirt or jacket by inserting 2 pins from the back, angled in opposite directions: one going up, and one going down into the “stem” of the piece. Et voila, instant class!