DIY Bouquets: The Basics
A simple single-flower arrangement is not difficult to make, and the classic dome shape of this round bouquet complements most wedding gowns. Be sure to stick to hardier flowers like roses, which are easier to arrange and can endure a little manhandling. To make a bridal bouquet about 8 inches in diameter, just follow the instructions below. This bouquet takes between 30 and 60 minutes to construct, and about 30 to 60 stems.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
30 to 60 stems of a hardy flower like the rose (20 to 40 for each bridesmaid bouquet)
Ribbon (in a complementary color), 1 to 2 inches wide
Rubber bands or green waxed floral tape
Stem cutter or very sharp knife
Straight pins or pearl-tipped corsage pins
STEP 1: Preparing the Flowers
Use your hands or a stem stripper to remove excess foliage and thorns, and pull off damaged or unattractive outer petals.
Fill a sink or bucket with water, and holding the stems underwater use the stem cutter or knife to cut the stems at an angle about 2 inches from the bottom.
Allow the flowers to drink for a few seconds with the stem ends underwater, then place the stems in a bucket filled halfway with cool water until you are ready to use them. Note: If you're working with roses and the heads aren't open yet, you can force the blooms open by placing the stems in a bucket of hot water; but only do this for a couple of minutes just before you are going to use the roses, or you might kill them otherwise.
Keep the stems long while you work with them and trim them to a shorter length when you've finished constructing the bouquet.
STEP 2: Assembling the Flowers
Take one stem at a time with one hand, and use your other hand to hold the flowers in place.
Assemble four flowers at an even height in a square shape -- these will be at the center of the dome.
Arrange the other flowers one by one around the center flowers to create a dome shape. Note: To better see what the bouquet will look like in your hand, stand in front of a mirror as you construct the bouquet to observe how the shape is progressing.
STEP 3: Securing the Bouquet
Use a rubber band or floral tape to bind the stems at the spot where they naturally join (about 3 to 4 inches below the flower heads).
Repeat the binding toward the end of the stems, leaving about 2 inches of excess stem beneath the bind to trim later.
Either place the stems in water and wrap them later or continue to Step 4.
STEP 4: Finish the Handle
Cut the stem ends so they are all the same length, about 7 to 8 inches long.
Dry off the stems with a paper towel.
Cut a length of ribbon about three times as long as the length of the stems.
Tuck the end of the ribbon inside the top bind and start wrapping in a spiral down the length of the stem.
When you reach the bottom, wrap in a spiral back up the stem.
At the top, tuck the cut end of the ribbon underneath and secure with a couple of pins pushed through the ribbon and into the stems. If you'd like a bow, cut a separate length of ribbon and tie it just beneath the flower heads.
STEP 5: Preserving the Bouquet
Wrap the bouquet in tissue.
Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to leave for the ceremony.
For ultimate freshness, it's best to make the bouquet the morning of the wedding. Once the bouquet is constructed, keep the bare stems in water as long as you can and mist the heads well. Then when you're ready, wrap the stems.
Cymbidium Orchid Bouquet
From "How To I Do"episode DHTI-104
Floral designer Carolyn Shepard creates a lush bouquet of cymbidium orchids -- the perfect project for a do-it-yourself bride!
25 stems green cymbidium orchids
7-8 bunches green hypericum berries
Green floral tape
Floral wire (24-gauge)
Pan Melt floral glue and electric skillet (or a hot glue gun)
Clip the orchid blooms from the larger stem, then cut an additional inch from the bloom stem.
Thread floral wire through the center of the stem, towards the base of the flower.
Once the wire is halfway through, use thumb and index finger to bend the wire straight down (figure A, figure B).
Put some of the floral tape around the base of the flower. While holding tape with your index finger, gently pull the tape while rotating flower stem until the wire and flower stem are completely covered 3/4 of the way down the wire (figure C).
Pull the leaves off of the berry stems.
Remove any brown or discolored berries or leaves.
Trim the berry stems to 8-10" long.
Arrange 2 to 3 stems back-to-back, then slowly add more berries and blooms around the outside of the bunch until the bouquet is full (figure D).
Wrap floral tape around the bunch of stems just below the base of the flowers, and slowly pull the tape and rotate the flower bunch until all of the stems are covered approximately 8 inches down the wire (figure E).
Cut away extra lengths of stems and wire.
In an electric skillet, melt pan melt adhesive. Use a wooden stick to apply a strip of glue on top of the flower stems. Alternately, a hot glue gun can be used.
Beginning at the top, just below the base of the flowers, run satin ribbon over the glue and lay the ribbon flat across the bottom (figure F).
Tuck the sides of the ribbon inside and then wrap the ribbon from bottom to top until the stems are covered with ribbon.