Sunday, September 23, 2012

DIY Boutonnieres

As many of you know, my sister's wedding is fast approaching and I am making all of the flowers out of paper. Today I will be sharing with you some ideas for making your own boutonnieres. These come in handy not only if you have an upcoming wedding, but also any formal dance or prom. Above you can see a variation I did in Sister's wedding colors, with some eucalyptus leaves and guinea hen feathers.

A traditional boutonniere is simply a single flower on a long stem (it is inserted into a special button hole on a men's suit lapel). As such, you will start with a single bloom on a stem, since my flowers are paper my stem is wire covered in floral tape. Make sure to leave yourself at least 3 inches of stem to work with, it may always be trimmed later.

Next you will want to decide if you are adding extra foliage or decorative "flair" to your boutonniere. You can get really creative with this: if you are doing a beach wedding, why not add some seashells or sand dollars? You could add tinsel or holly for a Christmas wedding. Simply attach any extras to some wire (you can tie the wire around the object or use glue) and then position it however you like!

Position your foliage, I used a decorative Autumn leaf, and cut a piece of floral tape to attach to your flower stem.

Make sure to wrap your floral tape snugly to prevent your boutonniere from moving or falling apart. I typically wrap each item on individually and then wrap the entire stem again once I am satisfied with the final product.

If working from the back, make sure to turn your piece over and make sure everything is lined up correctly. Make any adjustments before wrapping your stem with floral tape a final time. If you want, on your final wrapping of floral tape you can add in a pin back or alligator clip to fasten the boutonniere to a suit without the use of a long straight pin later. The final product may also be wrapped with ribbon if you don't like the look of floral tape

Which style is your favorite?


  1. The purple one looks awesome! We'll need 8 or 9 like that :)

  2. These are beautiful! I'm making paper flowers for my wedding, and I want to make corsages for the moms and my grandma. Do you have any advice for adapting this into a corsage? Thanks!

    1. To make these into corsages you can simply add additional flowers to the stem (if making a pinned on corsage). Or attach your flower stems, etc together (typically by twisting the wire stems together into one solid stem) and tie your stem around a ribbon or elastic bracelet to be worn on the wrist. The real difference is that corsages usually have more than one flower (almost like a tiny bouquet) so you may want to opt for several smaller blooms rather than one large one, like a boutonniere tends to have.

      My sister and I will also be making corsages, so I may even get a specific corsage tutorial up here in the next few days if time allows!

      Adding ribbon or lace is also a nice touch for a corsage to set it apart as the more feminine of the two wedding accessories.

  3. I'm making all the flowers for my daughter's wedding in August (2013). Any advice you can share? I'd love to know how you did it and if you can share some pics. Thanks!

  4. I will try to get some pics from the wedding up at some point (I am horrible and didn't really take many photos of my finished work!) Some advise I have if you are making flowers is below:

    1) Cut out your flowers WAY in advance and cut out more than you think you will need. This is the most time consuming part of making paper flowers, and a rush job at the end will not look pretty.

    2) Don't plan on making flowers for everything. If you are making the bouquets/corsages/etc. Don't plan on making centerpieces/church decorations, etc that are also paper flowers (at least not if you are flying solo). Depending on how complex of a flower you are making, it may be possible to really go all out with paper flowers, but otherwise it is a lot more work than you may think. There are a lot of other great and easy handmade things that aren't flowers that can be used as wedding decor and it will really save your sanity!

    3) Find out exactly how large the bride wants her bouquets, etc. Maybe make a test one, and then have her decide how much larger her bouquet is than the bridal party bouquets (the bride's is always the best!). This will help you out with how many flowers you need to make.

    4) How many different types of flowers will you be making? I tested out tons of flowers, but my sister decided she only wanted the roses in the wedding, so I only made the roses for the wedding (well in advance!). This is a time consuming process, so making sure you are making only what you need is key (again a test bouquet is a great idea, and comes in handy as an extra bouquet to "toss" at the wedding so you can preserve the "real" wedding bouquet from getting ripped or trampled).