- 6 years ago
- Wedding: January 2012
Whew, well after much ‘research’ on Pinterest, Etsy, and various wedding boards I decided I was finally ready to tackle the boutonnieres for the fellas in our wedding party. We’re having a small wedding, so not many folks in our party. He’s got 3 guys and a lady (who gets a bouquet). Since we didn’t ask our wedding party to wear anything in particular, I wanted to be sure that all their flowers matched. So here’s what I ended up with.
- Background leaf fabric (something with some texture or pattern looks best)
- Additional leaf fabric (a complimentary color to your background)
- Outer petal fabrics (two kinds: one regular and one mesh/tulle)
- Inner petal fabric (another complimentary color to background)
- Interfacing or strudy fabric to serve as a backing for leaf
- Cloth covered wire
- Floral tape
- Pearls and beads
- Hot glue gun
- Pinking sheers (optional)
- Needle and thread (optional)
I found it easiest to start with my background fabric as this helped to make decisions about the rest of the colors. I chose a fabric that was a little more masculine to offset the fact that these would have pearls on them too. Plus the colors here (chocolate brown/apple green) are our wedding colors.
Start off by cutting out your background leaf fabric. I did a few versions of this before I found the right size (this really depends on whether it’s going to be on a jacket, vest, suspenders). Your best bet – start big and get smaller, always checking it against his outfit each time. It will be pretty clear when you’ve got the right size.
The long stem at the bottom of the leaf is important! It will be what allows you to add in the sprigs at the end. Don’t leave that part off and just make the leaf shape.
TIP: Once you have the right size (and this goes for any of the pieces, not just the background) be sure to keep that one as a template to cut out the rest of your pieces. It can be really tempting to put it all together right away, but you’ll want that template to keep them relatively uniform.
Now, my background fabric was pretty flimsy so I chose to put a backing on it. This could be interfacing, if you have some, but since I didn’t I used some extra, sturdy fabric that I had laying around. This is also nice because it had the added benefit of making the back of the bout looking a little more ‘finished’. If you do interfacing, I’d recommend the fusible kind. If you do a heavy weight fabric, hot glue works just great.
Set your background piece aside and get your additional leaf fabric. I cut out my leaf using pinking sheers because I liked the extra detail it added, but you certainly don’t have to. You also could play around with making this leaf quite different (round, triangle) – it really doesn’t have to look anything like a leaf!
Once I had the leaf cut out, I added a little bit of green thread in a quick stitch down the center. Part of this was to mimic the same look in my background fabric. But it also gave a little more detail.
A quick note about the ‘extra details’: I can say from first hand experience that it’s quite easy to get carried away by adding more and more extra details to this. My first run of the bout had everything being cut with pinking sheers – ack! My advice is to remember that sometimes less is more. Be thoughtful in how and when you are adding on.
So, after you’ve finished the leaves get your fabric for the flower. I chose to go with a white flower, but I’ve seen several that were a solid color and looked great. What I do think makes a real difference is making sure whatever color(s) you choose, that you get the netting/mesh/tulle for the extra layer. Not only does this add volume, but it looks really pretty.
I cut out three layers (i.e. circles in different sizes for each layer) of petals in my white fabrics and two layers for the green center. Do NOT stress about making these circles perfectly round. Nature is not perfect and your flowers will look just fine if they are a little lopsided. Personally, I think they look better.
TIP: Cut out your netting/mesh/tulle slightly larger than the other layer of fabric so that it shows better.
Now you’ll want to assemble the flower. I put the netting/mesh/tulle behind the solid fabric and felt that looked great. Also, don’t worry about them being perfectly lined up – the lopsidedness works for this flower.
I used needle and thread to put these together because I thought it would hold better than hot glue. However, if you don’t have needle and thread it really can work with the glue. You just might need to ensure the fellas aren’t too rough with them.
If you are going to set it, sew your flower layers first before you add the center bead. If you pull those few stitches tight, it will help your layers to separate and add a bit more volume to the flower.
So avoid the temptation to glue the leaf and flower together now, and just set it aside. Get your fabric covered wire, pearls, and floral tape.
These sprigs can really be done in any way. Add more pearls, make them with no pearls but more spirals. Figure out what you like the look of and do that. If you do decide to use pearls or beads on the sprigs, I recommend adding a little bit of hot glue to help them stay put.
After you get the sprig formation finalized, figure how what heights you want them to be at. I liked mine with one being above the background leaf and one being just below the edge. When you have your heights set, wrap them to each other with the floral tape. I really advise doing this because when they aren’t wrapped they tend to turn all sorts of ways. If you’ve not used floral tape before, be sure you are pulling it a bit tight so that it sticks to itself.
Keep that floral tape handy because the next thing you need to do is attach your sprigs to your background leaf (and here’s why it was important NOT to cut off the ‘stem’ of this leaf). Try to wrap the leaf around the bottom of the sprigs – if you get just a bit of the bottom of the leaf (just above the stem) you’ll see that the background leaf curves just a bit; and it looks great.
Now, since the floral tape is not really all that pretty, I added ribbon on top of it. Before you do that, decide how long you want your stem to be and cut off the excess stem. Then add your ribbon with some hot glue at the top (I started it on the back so you couldn’t see the edge), wrap it slowly and carefully down, and got glue the end to the back of the stem.
TIP: The stem is a great place to add in some additional color – if you love color.
It’s finally time to assemble the entire bout. Add your additional leaf with some hot glue (I liked my leaf hanging a bit off the edge of the background leaf), and glue the flower on top of everything. Finally, my favorite step – grab a glass of wine and smile admiringly at your handiwork.
In addition to our groomsmen we also have our Dads to think about. In order to make the Dads a little different from the groomsmen, I gave them a different background. Each one had a different fabric that then also coordinated with the Moms corsages. The corsages are made the same way as the flower on the bouts, just slightly larger petals.