One of the only things I enjoy more than a good deal is a good challenge, and making the boutonnieres for our wedding gave me a bit of both. With the cost of boutonnieres estimated at $10-$35 each, the cost to order them would be $130-$455. I've estimated the cost of making my own at $.55 each (breakdown below), which puts our boutonniere bill at a whopping $7.15! By DIY'ing our boutonnieres we saved a good chunk of dough, but more importantly I overcame my fear of tackling floral projects, finally learned some of the basics, and added a new skill to my resume.
I am also making all of the bouquets. Although the bouquets are going to be comprised mostly of feathers, I still had to pick up some finishing touches and supplies last weekend. I came home and as I unloaded the bags full of floral tape, wire, and glue, I realized I had no idea what I was doing.
After some online research I felt comfortable enough to make a practice attempt at a boutonniere, I figured I would start small and see how it went. The process was easy (took me less than 10 minutes) and the result was exactly what I had pictured. I think floral projects are intimidating to every bride—but they don't have to be! Below are simple steps (with photos) to take you through my process of making boutonnieres. Of course, mine are peacock-themed, but I hope you can take the steps and customize them to make boutonnieres that are perfect for your big day!
1. I used one peacock tail feather per boutonniere ($.10 each, ordered in bulk off eBay).
2. Three peacock chest feathers ($.06 per feather $.18 per boutonniere, ordered in bulk off eBay).
3. Ribbon (this royal blue ribbon is from Hancock Fabrics, $3.49 for 18 feet, using roughly four inches per boutonniere $.06 each)
4. Green Bud (I bought one stem of these at Michael's Crafts for $4.99, it had 25 buds on it, which I then cut off to be individuals with 1.5 inch stems, $.20 each).
5. Floral Tape (purchased at Michael's Crafts $1.99 for 180 feet, you might use a little more than12 inches of tape on each boutonniere, so we'll say roughly $.01 each).
The first thing I did was to take the tiny chest feathers and gather them into a bunch. Trying to hold them all in an arrangement you like while connecting them to the tail feather and other items is a bit tricky. It's easiest to use a very small amount of floral tape and wrap them all together before proceeding. Once you understand how floral tape works, this gets a lot easier. The tape isn't really sticky until it is stretched, so as you are wrapping it around be sure you are using enough pressure to stretch it so that it sticks to itself (similar to cellophane). Just a few times around should be enough to hold the feathers in place while you work with them.
Once you have the chest feathers figured out, gather them together with the tail feather and bud and arrange them how you like. I tried to make sure the bud wasn't covering up the peacock 'eye' and put the chest feathers off to the left. Peacock tail feathers often need trimming and grooming. I cut the stem so that it was about five inches long, and I also trimmed the tips so they weren't frayed.
Again, you use the floral tape to connect the arrangement together. Remember to use pressure and wrap the floral tape tightly. The hard parts are over! Next you just need to decide if you want to finish it off by covering the floral tape with ribbon or fabric.
Since the floral tape is sticky, whatever you choose to cover it with goes on easily. I finished mine by wrapping the stems with the blue ribbon and then closed it with a small dab of hot glue. The only missing item is a pearl-tipped tailors pin to fasten it! So now you know how to make a boutonniere, but do you know how to fasten one to a lapel? If not check out these helpful tips.
I hope this helps you creative and adventurous brides who dare to Do It Yourself! I think it's rewarding to see your ideas come to fruition in each project you are able to complete, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they all come together on our wedding day! I am currently beginning our bouquets, so be sure to keep tabs on the Facebook Page for posts regarding do-it-yourself bouquets!