How did I learn? Luck.
I've blogged about flower bouquets before HERE and also HERE.
Now that my two older sons are in college, there's only one boy still at home. AND... tonight is his junior prom. One of the challenges of homemade bouquets is flower selection. You can't just go into a reasonably priced flower selling location and pick out the EXACT flowers that will match the dress. But, you can skirt around the issue by using coordinating flowers or all one color - like white!
Today's dress color is CORAL. So, I went with a dark coral rose, pink and white tulips and few other white accent flowers and some greenery picked from the yard. The dress is apparently somewhere between a pink and a coral, so I thought these colors would work. I selected these flowers at Trader Joe's for a total of $18.
In addition to the flowers, a pair or sharp snips are helpful and some floral tape is a must. I got a 3-pack of floral tape a few years ago for around $5 and I'm still using the same batch. Keep it wrapped in plastic so it doesn't dry out. I went with the thinner type but thicker might require less wrapping.
First step, remove the excess greenery and anything broken or undesirable.
Next, start adding flowers to your hand between your thumb and your index finger, letting the end of the stems criss cross as you go. Making a big X while you're building the bouquet seems to work best. I try to make the flowers slightly different heights for some dimension.
Once the bouquet looks the way you want, start wrapping it with the green tape just under the blooms and continue round and round for about 4 inches.
Whew - now take a breath and rest your hand. I always get nervous when I'm making the bouquet, afraid I'll drop the whole batch or something. Next, I trim off the bottom stems just a bit, an inch or so. I do this so I can immediately add a few inches of water to a vase and stand the wrapped flowers in it.
Next, I wrap the hand-hold part (over top the green tape) with something decorative. I use bits and bobs of fabric, and today - as I have before - I used satin blanket binding.
When I'd wrapped enough (make it as tight as you can - same when you are wrapping the floral tape - tight) binding, I tucked the final end under and then stuck it through will pins. I use a flat edged spread knife to push the pin all the way in and save my fingers. The florist uses fancy pearl topped pins, I just go with flat head silver, very inexpensive - hundreds of them for just a few dollars.
I think it looks like a little tuxedo wrap on the hand-hold when the pins are done.
Final - add some bling. I just go with some sort of ribbon. As I had a lot of the dark coral color in the bouquet, I decided to off-set it with some light pink. I tied a knot around and let the ends hang. Then I tied a bow around atop that and let the ends hang. Nice.
The ribbon I used frays a bit at the ends. I just brush a little clear nail polish on the front and back of the ribbon at the very tip where I cut it to keep it from fraying further. I'm sure watered down glue would work for this as well.
Once the bouquet is all wrapped and has a bow, I store it in the basement fridge after sprinkling the flowers with a hand spritz of water. Before we are ready to take the bouquet to the young lady recipient, I cut the stems to the perfect length, nearer to the bottom of the hand-hold. We usually transport the bouquet in a vase in the car - it's easier to hold that way and doesn't need to be laid down - the ones at the florist come with a plastic lidded container, but I figure it's one less box or bit of plastic to recycle.
The bouquet just needs to look good for the photos and for walking into the prom and for the prom photos themselves, after that, I figure we're lucky if the flowers make it back home and maybe get a bit of display at the house. Who knows.
Here are a few other bouquets I've made over the past couple of years.
If you click on the links I've provided at the beginning of this post, you'll see another step by step tutorial and yet two more bouquet photos if you need ideas. Good luck!