make a boutonniere

Make a boutonniere more interesting by adding different varieties of greenery.  This is a grower's bunch of Pittosporum leaves.

I spray my fresh greenery with a leaf polish.  This seals the leaves and gives them a nice glossy finish.  Leaves arrive from the farm looking dull and sometimes spotchy with dried water residue.  Leafshine ensures that your greenery lasts a nice long time by sealing the moisture into the leaves.

Allow the leaves to dry before handling.  I cut off each leaf with a floral knife and then wire with a 26 gauge florist wire.  Pierce the leaf as shown.

Bend the wires down, taking care not to tear the leaf.  It helps if you place your thumb and forefinger firmly over where the wire where it pierces the leaf before bending.

Tape the leaf with green floral tape.  This gives you a nice long stem for each individual leaf.

You can see on the backside of the leaf how the wire gives support and allows the leaf to be molded and manipulated.

I can actually bend the leaf forward into the shape I desire that cups and hugs the boutonniere flowers right where I want them.

When you make this boutonniere, always keep in mind that the rose is the focal flower.  All the other elements of the design is to compliment the main flower - not overwhelm it.

Place the first wired pittosporum leaf on the backside so that the leaf peaks out over the top of the rose.

See how the green elements are forming a frame around the focal flower.  They are bent and molded to fit the and compliment the shape of the rose.

The pieces are not splaying out wildly in all directions.  Wiring all your pieces ensures that when your boutonnieres are pinned to the lapels, the look is exactly as you want it to be.

I now add a second leaf, tucking it under the bulb of the flower head on the right side of the design.

I don't like bulky or awkward stems when I make a wedding boutonniere, so I tend to snip off excess taped wires as I add leaves.

Clip off the bulky part by taking small nips with a sharp pair of wire cutters.

After the cut is made, tape over the rough edges and continue down the newest leaf stem.

Otherwise you stem can get very bulky and clumsy looking by the time you are finished adding all your different elements to the design.

I'm going to add a single, smaller pittosporum leaf to the left side of the boutonniere.  This one isn't wired, because I'm taping over half of it and it will stay exactly where I want it.

Notice I'm facing the "right side" outward.

Once taped in place, it cups outward as I wanted it to.

Galax leaves has a lovely, rounded shape that cups around the base of a boutonniere or corsage flower.

Just as every flower in a garden isn't perfect, neither is bulk foliage.  Separate out the best for your corsage and boutonniere work and use the rest for blending into bouquet work.

Galax leaves are a circular leaf with a notch right where the leaf stem is joined.

It tucks beautifully into place as if made for this special purpose!

Fit it snugly up to the base of the rose and tape into place with floral tape.

I'm now going to add one more leaf to the left of the rose and then I will add the snapdragon florets on the left side of the boutonniere, opposite the galax leaf.

As I make this rose boutonniere, I've decided to add one more pittosporum leaf on the left side.

I place it against the rose head and tape into place.

Even though I wired the leaf, it is being pushed out at an exaggerated angle.

I could hold it closer to the rose head with a dot of floral adhesive.

Another fix would be to quickly tape another wire with corsage tape and bend into a hairpin shape.

I then tape this hairpin wire on the boutonniere stem and against the leaf.

This gives me more the clustered look I prefer.   I know this seems like a lot of trouble, but you can get very fast with creating perfect boutonnieres.  Taking the time to make every detail perfect is what I feel sets professionals apart from amateurs.

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