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How to make a traditional corsage is surprisingly simple to do and you can have a lot of impact with just a few flowers and a bit of time.
Corsages are a lovely thing to make for any woman (perfect give to your mother especially if she is of the generation that use to wear them out to special occasions.)
As a florist I have made thousands of corsages using all different types of flowers but mostly I made them from roses, carnations and orchids.
If the person you are making this for has a favorite flower that is sturdy and not too big you can have a go at making a corsage with them but practice first in case you have to use another flower.
To make a traditional corsage you will need roses, fern, florist wire, florist tape and a small florist bow that you can learn to make at How to Make a Gift Bow.
You don't want the flowers that you use to be too large as they will look out of scale when they are pinned on. I used 5 sweet heart roses. If you buy your roses on the branch instead of one by one they will be about half the cost. Since you are removing the heads it doesn't make sense to buy the more expensive roses.
Cut the stem off the rose so there is just a small amount of stem left.
Taking a piece of wire 8 inches long poke it through the base of the rose, taking another wire also 8 inches long poke it through the rose 90 degrees from the first and slightly higher or lower. You will have two wires that cross. (my wires were a little short)
Pull down the wires so they are next to the stem and with florist tape start taping from the base of the flower. Florist tape is not glued, it is stretchy and you need to pull it as you wrap the stem so it will stick onto itself. This can take some practice.
You will be attaching some green to the rose. Decide where the front of the rose is and if there are sepals that are sticking out on the back side gently remove them so the green will be flat against the rose head.
I used both fern and ivy leaves as the green. I placed the fern behind the rose and taped that on, then I added the ivy leaf to the back and taped that on.
Make sure that the fern or leaf does not twist out of position as you are taping. Attach the greens to each of the roses.
Take three of the wired roses and place them in a triangle. You are going to tape them together to start your corsage. Generally I like to make the top flower a bud but look at your flowers and experiment to see what will look best.
You are going to add two more roses, one to each side taping them individually.
The last rose that you add will be put in upside down. You are going to have the greenery at the bottom as you bend the wire in the rose toward you. Tape this to the corsage.
The last thing that you need to do to make a traditional corsage is add a bow. Use a narrow ribbon and do not make it too large. For instructions on how to make a florist bow go HERE . Instead of using a twist tie use an 8 inch piece of florist wire.
A finished corsage always has two pearl headed pin place in the stem. This is so the recipient can see them right away. To attach a corsage you do not pin them through the stem.
To pin on a corsage one pin is pinned in the middle of the corsage catching part of the corsage and part of the fabric it is being pinned to.
The second pin is used at the top of the corsage where it catches the wire of the top rose and part of the fabric.
If you try to pin the corsage at the stem it will just flop over.
Don't keep your corsage in the refrigerator as the ethylene gases from fruits will shorten their life span. Just keep them in a cool dark spot until they are ready to wear.
Be it for you mother on Mother's Day, a Prom, Wedding or Anniversary, to make a traditional corsage is a lovely floral gift for the special women in your life.