Saturday, February 27, 2010

Make a Corsage

You might be thinking: "Huh, where did this come from?"

In my past life, I was a florist. I mean in this life, but in earlier years. I enjoyed those 20-some years. My favorite part was the fact that my coworker was my mom!

Anyway, I haven't made a corsage as part of a job for over 12 years, but now and then an occasion will present itself and ask that I make up a corsage. Well, a person will ask, or suggest. In this case, I made a corsage for my lovely mother-in-law's birthday celebration.

So, I better quit with this talk of years or someone will do some math and come up with a pretty good sized number. Let's get down to business here.

Buy some pretty flowers. Smaller blossoms are nice for corsages. Leaving a 1/2 inch or so stem, cut or pinch off each flower.

Buy some size 24 gauge green florist wire. Cut lengths of about 6 inches or so, one for each of your flowers that you are using. Push a wire through the fat part of the upper stem. I'm sure it has a name, it escapes me right now and I don't feel like interrupting this to research it.

See those petals in the photo up there? Those were on the outside and were a little ragged so I plucked them off. Do the same if you need to.

Bend the wire down on both sides so they become an extension of the cut-off stem. Using florist tape, wrap the stem beginning at the top, stretching the tape as you go. It's naturally sticky this way.

Repeat until you have a nice pile of wrapped stem flowers.

Don't dismiss the flower buds; they are an adorable splash of color in your corsage. The purple stuff is statice, if you'd like to purchase some. It even dries up nicely, but that's another story.

Ok! So now make a bow with a wire stem. I am not going to include instructions for making the bow because I'm pretty sure there is a good selection of bow-making tutorials in blogland. See the pretty puffy cream colored bow in the bottom left of the photo up there? That's the size and style bow you need. Also, cut some sprigs of baby's breath, leaving their natural stems attached.

With the bow in the center, nestle some flowers up around it. And some baby's breath. Press about 3 stems together and then tape. No need to tape each flower as you add it. It can get too bulky with too much tape.

Continue adding stems, taping after every 3 stems. No need to twist the wires, they will stick on their own if you take your thumb and forefinger and press them together. 

Can you see the design taking shape? You began with the round cluster of flowers in the middle around the bow and then, as you add flowers, you are elongating the corsage shape. Don't just make one big round blob. Also! Don't overdo the baby's breath. It should accent, not overwhelm, your corsage.

Pretty, huh? I have taped in some salal leaves on the back. You can use any greenery, or none at all. Even artificial greenery works with fresh flowers. I particularly like to use artificial ivy.

Then, using a wire cutters, cut off all the stems evenly, leaving a stem for pinning the corsage on. Tape up the stem well, we don't want wires poking your lucky corsage wearer.

Spritz your corsage lightly with water, and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. You can make it up to 2 days ahead of time.

Most important tip --------- buy extra flowers so you have enough left over to make yourself a beautiful bouquet!


concretenprimroses said...

What a neat tutorial. I'm going to pass it along to a friend who is doing the flowers (and lots of other stuff) for her daughter's wedding.

Pokey said...

I've done these, too! But I don't think I could anymore, LOL. Some things are Not like learning to ride a bike. Pretty corsage, with beautiful colors, I'm sure MIL will love it!
BTW, I like the bloglift you've given here, light and bright!

P. said...

What a great tutorial, and your corsage is beautiful!

Michelle @ Periwinkle said...

I like the last part best, where you have enough left over for a vase-full bouquet!

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