Thursday, July 9, 2009

How to Make a Boutonniere

1) Difference between boutonnieres & corsages:
The essential difference between a boutonniere & a corsage is the bow. Boutonnieres are for men and do not have a bow. Corsages are for women and usually have a bow and are fancier.

2) What you need:
What you will need to make your boutonnieres are: florist tape, florist wire, floral shears, 1 rose or other flower per boutonniere (smaller flowers often look better as boutonnieres and would be most welcomed by the men in your life- small roses are called sweetheart roses), leather leaf or other type of foliage, baby’s breath if desired, plastic baggie, pin

3) When to make your boutonnieres:
These should be the last flowers you create as close to your wedding time as possible since they have no water source. Ideally, you would make them the night before the wedding. If not possible, you can make them during the day on the day before the wedding. Obviously if you choose silk flowers, you can make them as much in advance as you wish.

4) Before Starting:
Before starting gather all your flowers & tools and find a well illuminated and comfortable working area.

10 Steps to Making a Boutonniere

Step One
Lay out all your ingredients on a large table. Take out enough ingredients for 1 to 3 boutonnieres at a time.

Step Two
Prepare your roses in the following manner… Cut your stems to approximately 4”. Wire each rose by piercing the flower head through its base with a half piece of wire approx.10” long. (The ideal wire size is a 22 gauge) See illustration that follows.

Wiring helps ensure sturdiness of boutonniere. If using another type of flower, wiring is not essential. This may seem scary at first, but it is the best way to make your rose boutonnieres secure. Once you have pierced the rose, bend both ends of the wire down along the stem. Tape the entire length of the wire & stem together as one. (To use floral tape, remember that what makes the tape sticky is the stretching of the tape & the heat from your fingers so don’t be afraid to keep the tape very close to your fingers and pull hard) Set roses aside with the other ingredients for your body flowers. If using other type of flower, this step does not apply to you.

Step Three
Assemble the background of your boutonniere. Take 2 pieces of foliage & layer them each slightly off center so that each piece overlaps each other & you can see each piece clearly.

Step Four
Add a little piece of your baby’s breath over the top of your duo of greens. It should be centered so as to cover & overlap the foliage. Keep holding this all together in your left hand (if you are right handed)

Step Five
Add the rose or other flower. Place the rose so that the tip of the foliage extends above the rose for about 1.5 inches.

Step Six
At this point, you now need to secure your main flower to the foliage & baby’s breath together with tape. Make sure to tape tightly from the top of the stem right to the bottom, pull hard to ensure that it is very solidly taped together.

Step Seven
To finish your boutonniere, add another piece of foliage &/or baby’s breath to fill in the bare spot at the front of the main flower. Tape to the rest of the boutonniere.

Step Eight
Add a pin to the back of the stem that will be used to attach the boutonniere to the groom’s or groomsmen’s suit. A pearl headed pin in white or black is best.

Step Nine
Spray boutonniere with a tiny bit of water with a water mister. (often used to mist plants)

Step Ten
Package your boutonniere in a clear baggy.
Baggie types with fold tops work fine. You can then group them in flat top boxes for delivery or transportation. Helpful tip: Label who it’s going on the bag to help with organization of who gets which boutonniere. Keep the flowers cool until time to wear, either in a fridge, or in a cooler. (NEVER put in freezer!) To transport in cooler, place ice or ice packs at the bottom of the cooler. Place medium thick towel over ice. Place body flowers on top.

Learn more about how to choose & make your Wedding Flowers by following this link:


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I'm getting married soon and I wanted to try and cut the costs on my wedding flowers by doing them myself. I had no idea how to make a boutonniere. But now that I've read through this I do! So thanks again.

  2. love this post - there are so many wonderful creative ideas how to make wedding flowers out there! thanks for sharing.