How to make a boutonniere

Tutorial brought to you by Jenny Zukovsky of Fionna FloralFionna Floral is a premier full service floral design company specializing in weddings and events in Northern and Central Coast California. In this DIY project, Jenny will show you how to make a boutonniere for a prom or a wedding in a few simple steps.

Notes from Jenny: Boutonnieres can be made a day ahead of your event, and stored in a cooler with a temperature between 40° to 42° F. Make sure that there are no tomatoes, berries, or apples in your cooler space, as these fruits emit ethylene which will damage fresh flowers. Use sturdy product to ensure that your boutonniere will last through all of the hugs, kisses and photos of your special day!



  • Select the flowers and foliage you will use in your boutonniere. Use sturdy materials, and if you live in a hot humid climate, you’ll want to use flowers that can withstand the day without wilting. Flowers that hold up reasonably well in hot weather include Carnations, Standard Roses, Calla Lillies, Cymbidium orchids, and Dendrobium orchids.For our boutonniere, we used Exclusive Sin Rose sprays, Chinaberries, Rosemary, French Lavender, Passion Vine, and Geranium leaves.How To Make a Boutonniere
  • Use one to two roses for a boutonniere. Cut the rose bloom off the stem, leaving a mere ¾” to 1” of the stem. For a cleaner, more petite bloom such as the small rose in our boutonniere, pinch the outer guard petals off the bloom. You may choose to leave the guard petals on the second bloom for contrast as we did here.How To Make a BoutonniereHow To Make a Boutonniere
  • Cut your 18 gauge floral stem wire into three approximately 6” sections.How To Make a Boutonniere
  • Cross the wire through the base, or calyx, of the rose bud taking care not to hit the bloom (this could result in severing the bloom from the calyx).How To Make a BoutonniereHow To Make a Boutonniere
  • Bend the ends of the floral wire down, and hold between your thumb and forefinger.How To Make a Boutonniere
  • Adhere the floral tape where the floral wire crosses through the calyx, and then unroll about 7 inches of tape to work with.How To Make a BoutonniereHow To Make a Boutonniere
  • Always pulling the floral tape taut (this activates the tape’s tacky quality), twist the floral tape downward around the floral wire and toward your body (counterclockwise motion) to cover the wire completely. When you reach the bottom of the wire, pinch the tape off.How To Make a BoutonniereHow To Make a Boutonniere
  • Repeat steps two through seven if you are using a second large bloom in your boutonniere. Some people prefer to work with 28 gauge wire because it is easier to bend. If you are using higher gauge floral wire (the higher the gauge, the finer the wire), cross two pieces of floral wire through the calyx to make an X shape, and bend down before taping.How To Make a Boutonniere
  • Position the two rose blooms together, and then tape their stems together so that you have one new thicker stem to work with. This will be the sturdy centerpiece of your boutonniere. Arrange your accent foliage – we used French Lavender, Rosemary, Chinaberries, a tiny curly flourish from a Passion Vine, and a Geranium leaf – around the roses in any way that looks good to you. When you’ve settled on an arrangement you like, wrap floral tape around the entire ensemble to create one new stem.How To Make a BoutonniereHow To Make a Boutonniere
  • Use floral clippers to trim to size – an approximately 2” to 2-1/2” stem worked to balance out our arrangement.How To Make a BoutonniereHow To Make a Boutonniere
  • To give your boutonniere a finished appearance, wrap it in unwired ribbon sized 5/8” in width up to 1” in width. Hold one end of the ribbon against where the tape begins, just under the exposed foliage. Pull the ribbon down vertically to cover the full length of one side of the taped stem, and then up the other side just a tiny bit. Twist the ribbon toward you, and begin spiraling the ribbon diagonally up the taped stem.   
  • When you have reached the top of the stem, pinch the ribbon in place and cut your ribbon from the spool, giving yourself more than you’ll need to tie a simple knot at the top of the stem. 
  • Make a loose loop with the ribbon around the base of the foliage and slip the end of the ribbon through, pulling it into a firm knot.
  • You can cut the ribbon here, or – as we did – make an extra little flourish with your ribbon by pinching a small loop at the base of your foliage, and pinning it in place with a corsage pin. Pin upward at a diagonal angle, being careful not to poke your rose buds with the end of the pin.  
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Tools for Making Boutonnières

When choos­ing flow­ers, it’s best to choose ones that last a long time out of water and can endure hugs. Read our tips on how to choose flow­ers for bou­ton­nières & cor­sages.

  • Flow­ers that last well out of water & can endure hugs:
    • Suc­cu­lents
    • Ros­es
    • Mums
    • Scabiosa Pods
    • Cras­pe­dia (Bil­ly Balls)
    • Var­i­ous Green­ery like Seed­ed Euca­lyp­tus, Rus­cus, Camel­lia
    • Bru­nia Berries
    • Berzil­lia Berries
    • Hyper­icum Berries
    • Cym­bid­i­um Orchids
    • Baby’s Breath
  • 6 inch­es of Straight Florist’s Wire in 24–26 gauge
  • Flo­ral Tape in Green
  • Bou­ton­nière Pins
  • Flo­ral Shears or Flo­ral Knife
  • Wire Cut­ters
  • Rib­bon or Twine to Cov­er Tape (Option­al)

Purchase Our Boutonnière Kit

Boutonniere KitFlower Duet’s Bou­ton­nière Kit has what you need to cre­ate your own fresh flower but­ton­holes. You just need to add your own flow­ers. The kit includes:

  • Flo­ral Tape
  • Flo­ral Pins
  • Felt­ed Wool Pin­cush­ion (keeps pins sharp)
  • 24-guage Flo­ral Wire

All of this in a reseal­able heavy duty plas­tic bag which is essen­tial for keep­ing flo­ral tape “fresh” as it can dry out eas­i­ly. Per­fect for wed­ding plan­ners, wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers, wed­ding film­mak­ers and any­one who might need to repair or make a bou­ton­nière on-the-fly.

Add to Cart

Steps For Making a Boutonnière

Flower Duet flower arranging student placing a wire through a hot pink rose stem to make a boutonniere.

Flower Duet flower arrang­ing stu­dent plac­ing a wire through a hot pink rose stem to make a bou­ton­niere dur­ing a wiring class at our Flo­ral Design Stu­dio.

  1. Be sure all the mate­ri­als dry before you start as the flo­ral tape will not adhere if it is wet.
  2. Cut the rose stems to a length of 1-inch and insert the wire thru the stem about ¼ down from the base of the head.
  3. Run the wire thru so that the stem has the wire stick­ing out on both sides even­ly and then drop them down to par­al­lel where the stem had been, mak­ing a new thin stem.
  4. Using flo­ral tape, wrap the stem and wire to join them togeth­er cov­er­ing the wire and stem com­plete­ly.
  5. Add any leaves or small flow­ers by tap­ing the stem to the taped “wire stem” and trim­ming the excess stem before run­ning the tape down the wire.
  6. Be sure to stick a bou­ton­niere or cor­sage pin into the base of the design before the event.
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How to Wire Flowers Video

Casey Schwartz shows Sheryl Bor­den of Cre­ative Liv­ing TV how to wire basic flow­ers. This skill builds the foun­da­tion for cre­at­ing any­thing from the basic man’s bou­ton­niere to a woman’s cor­sage. From there, you can cre­ate, hair wreaths, gar­lands and even flo­ral dog col­lars.

How To Wire Succulents for A Bridal Bouquet Video

Learn how to com­bine beau­ti­ful suc­cu­lent plants with fresh flow­ers to cre­ate a stun­ning bridal bou­quet from the flo­ral design­ing sis­ters, Kit & Casey of Flower Duet.

Learn more about what the best bou­ton­nière flow­ers are for last­ing well out of water and endur­ing a day of hugs, pho­tos and jump­ing for joy.

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