how to make a corsage

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Learning how to make a corsage includes wiring different varieties of greenery.  Italian ruscus is a favorite of mine.  This greenery is wonderful for giving height to large altar sprays, giving length to candelabras and in it's individual leaves being added to both corsages and boutonnieres.

Israeli Ruscus has broader leaves and a more rounded shape than Italian Ruscus.  Both work beautifully in corsage work.

I wire the individual leaves in a stitch pattern, using a 26 gauge wire.  Remember - the higher the number, the thinner the wire.  An 18 gauge wire is heavy and thick, while 22 Gauge and up becomes more pliable and thin, easier to work with.   Don't go too thin, or the wire won't work as a stem or support in a flower design.

Press your thumb and forefinger firmly over the wire, taking care as you bend down the wires not to tear the leaf.

As you can see on the backside of the leaf, the stitch is wide enough to give good support as you bend and manipulate the leaf later when designing.

I spray all my fresh greenery with a sealant such as Leafshine for longer lasting leaves with a glossy finish.  

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