Monday, November 14, 2011

Backyard Date Night Corsage: a little tutorial

Once upon a time, as you may recall, I had a floral business called, A Rose is A Rose.  Now in a different stage of life, I cling onto any opportunity to use my floral brain.  I adore cut flowers.  They change my mood instantly.  I am a richly spoiled woman who receives bouquets of fresh flowers from her husband weekly because, well...he loves me and he knows how much I love arranging them.

I was honored to be asked to create some corsages for a dreamy 'backyard movie' birthday bash for my dear friend Leslie, mother extraordinaire and blogger of 'my happily ever after' amongst a million other things.  I was so giddy using my floral brain again that I decided to create my first ever tutorial over here at Sweet Dreams are Made of These.  So bare with me as I get my feet wet in this richly saturated tutorial blogging world.  

I present to you the...

perfect for that dreamy event in which corsages for your guests would be a surprising treat.  A little touch of femininity.  What girl doesn't want to wear a corsage with her hunky man escorting her!

Supplies to have on hand:

1. and 2. Spray or sweetheart roses in an array of colors
3. Large mass flowers for a single dramatic impact {shown - a dahlia, one of my favorites}
4. Filler flowers and/or greenery, including good size leaves to mask the wristlet {shown - green coffee bean}
5. Burlap {shown - on a large roll bought in garden dept at Home Depot, but you can use any kind}
6. Lace {shown - 1/2" wide}
7. Ribbon {shown - fibrous ribbon 1 1/2" wide cut into 3 fiber wide strips}
8. Wristlet {also used the fun slap bracelet kind - you know we loved those!}
9. My new frenemy, floral adhesive {what is not pictured is my awesomely gooey hands}

Additional supplies:
scissors or knife to cut flowers and ribbon
paper or cellophane to place on countertop for easy clean up
iron to press ribbon
corsage bags for storage

Preparation for corsage assembly:
*Cut fibrous ribbon into 4 1/2" piece.  Cut ribbon into strips of 3 strands each. {as shown above}
*Cut 2 pieces of lace - one 4" and the other 18"
*Fold 18" piece of lace into 3 3" folds and iron in fan formation {as shown below in step }
*Cut burlap into 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece {I cut along the finished edge of the burlap for more durability}

Say farewell to clean hands!!

Get your floral adhesive ready.  
It will become a love/hate relationship I promise you. Anyone with any tips on how to use floral adhesive, would love to hear them!!  

Tips for using adhesive: From what I learned, hold the item you wish to adhere down for a quite a few seconds.  If it seeps through, try using your non-gooey finger to hold it down while you lift up your gooey finger.  Wow, super technical advice.  I also periodically peeled the glue off my fingers in the sink as it began to drive me crazy having all those layers of glue on.  Despite these drawbacks, using adhesive instead of wiring everything seems to give more creative license in your corsage.

Corsage assembly:

1. Apply adhesive to metal portion of the wristlet.  {Watch out the adhesive comes out fast, so apply just a small amount.} Press 3 leaves onto the adhesive...can I just call it glue?..ok..glue in a fan-like formation.  Make sure to place glue in between each leaf to hold them together.  Make sure none of the metal is showing.

{Note: If you are using the slap bracelet wristlets, for the beginning stages, remove the bracelet from the plastic portion.  You can reattach it once the foundation of the corsage is made.}

2.  Glue your burlap piece at an angle across your leaf foundation.  {Feeling your fingers getting stickier?}

3.  Glue your pressed ribbon fan onto the center of the burlap.  It is rather tricky getting it in this shape on the corsage and then trying to get it to not lift up with your finger {see glue tip listed above}, but you'll get it.  

By this stage you are covered in glue.  For this reason I apologize that I did not take the next few steps in a series of photos.  Trying to photograph whilst protecting your camera from an abyss of glue is quite difficult.

I found it was helpful to put on my corsage for the final steps.

4. Cut a sprig of your filler flower and glue it on top of your fanned ribbon, taking care to glue down any other leaves connected to the sprig as well.  

5. Choose three roses varying in sizes. Cut your rose stems very close to the flower head.  Determine where you would like to place each one.  Glue them down in a circular pattern to cover your filler flower, making sure that the lowest flower head is toward the right diagonal of the corsage.

6. Group 4-5 strands of your ribbon together in your hand, varying their lengths on each side.  Determine your center and pinch the strands together.  Glue down the center just below the lowest flower head with the curving shape of ribbon toward your roses.  

7. Glue the center of the 4" piece of lace on top of the determined center of your ribbon grouping.

8. Glue a single leaf at angle towards the right, overtop the center of your ribbons and lace. 

9. Glue a small sprig of your filler flower overtop your last leaf.

And voile!!!  your very own backyard date night corsage.  Now off on your hot date with you.  Oh, you should probably peel the glue off your hands first:)

Other corsages that I made using these very same steps:

For the birthday girl who loves white!

On their way to the dreamy party for all the lovely ladies...


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