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How to Make a Boutonniere

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

The costs of a wedding can really add up, but it is possible to make your own gorgeous Chanel-inspired camellia boutonnieres at home for a fraction of florist prices! In this tutorial I'll take you through the whole process, from printing the pattern right through to fashioning the stem and adding some final flourishes. By the end, you'll have a stylish boutonniere for your next formal event.

Supplies

  • Printer paper, or other decorative paper that fits your printer
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • Floral tape
  • Floral wire
  • Small piece of tissue paper
  • Cotton ball
  • Ribbon, tulle, or other decorative add-ons
  • Needle or small paper hole punch
  • Paper camellia pattern pdf (click "Download Attachment" in the sidebar)
Boutonniere supplies

1. Make Your Paper Camellia

Step 1

Print the camellia pattern onto the paper of your choice and cut out each petal.

You can use any color or pattern of paper you like. The easiest paper to use for me is standard copy paper, because it can be glued much more easily than a vellum or glossy paper. It is also easier to shape the petals when using copy paper, which helps give your paper flower a more natural look. If you prefer to use something like vellum, you may decide to use a different glue than hot glue, as the hot glue peels off vellum fairly easily once cooled and will not hold the individual petals together well.

Boutonniere petals
Boutonniere paper types

Step 2

Create the center of your camellia.

To create this I use a piece of doubled wire (created by twisting), part of a cotton ball, and a small piece of tissue paper. You could also use a large bead or pearl if you want a more perfect orb shape. You can use any color of tissue paper for this—either match your entire flower, or add in one of your wedding colors to customize the flower.

Twist wire
Cotton balls
Tissue paper with cotton ball in the center
Tissue paper wrapped around cotton ball

Step 3

Begin adding petals around the center of your camellia.

As you can see, the pattern has five small, heart-shaped petals. These will go around the center we have created (or a bead if you prefer). Use a tiny dot of hot glue to secure each petal in place, and shape the petals as you go. Be very careful, as it is easy to burn yourself when working on smaller projects like this. If you have a glue gun with a cooler setting, I would recommend using it.

Maybe you want some petals to flare out as if your flower is opening wider, or some to curl in to form a tighter center bud. I use a scissors as if I am curling ribbon, and gently curve each petal before adding it to the flower.

Add the first petal
Shape the petals
Curl the petals

Step 4

Add your larger petals.

Once your center is complete, you will begin adding the larger individual petals, again shaping each one individually before adding it. To keep a common center with all my petals, I usually stack them together before shaping, and use a needle or hole punch to make a hole in each where it will attach to the stem. This way each petal can slide up the stem and be adjusted around the center before it is glued in place.

Punch a hole in the petals
First petal
Camellia almost finished

Step 5

Continue adding petals until your flower is complete.

Shape and add each petal, and fan them out evenly around the center. Once complete, you should have a camellia that looks very close to a perfect circle. Make sure each petal is glued in place, then use floral tape to cover the stem of your flower. Giving a nice layer of floral tape will create a stem with some heft that you will be able to pin in place on a lapel (many suits and tuxedos no longer have a button hole for securing boutonnieres, but if the tuxes at your wedding do, you don't have to worry about this step as much).

Back of the large petals
Finished paper camellia

2. Create a Boutonniere With Your Flower

Step 1

Select or make add-ons for your boutonniere.

These items can vary greatly. You may want to add some leaves, lace, or tulle. If you are having a beach-themed wedding, you can add in seashells, etc. Customize your add-ons to fit your wedding colors or theme. To keep my boutonniere looking very chic and classic Chanel, I decided to add some black tulle. If using hard, non-porous items (like a shell), you may want to use a strong glue like E-6000 to secure your items to wire.

By bunching it up and securing it to a piece of wire, I will be able to keep its basic shape, but still be able to adjust the final placement by bending the wire after it is attached to the flower stem.

Tulle

You can also create leaves with ribbon to add a burst of color to your boutonnieres.

Ribbon leaf

Step 2

Attach any add-ons to the flower stem.

Once you have selected your items, attach each one to the flower stem individually with more floral tape and adjust it as necessary. Boutonnieres were originally just single flowers on a stem, so don't feel like you have to add too much. Sometimes less is more. Once you are happy with your boutonniere, wrap the stem once more neatly with floral tape, and place a pin through the stem so you don't have to search for one later at your event.

Secure tulle to stem
Add a pin to the boutonniere

Admire Your Work

Finished camellia boutonniere

Get ready for some compliments! Not only have you created some gorgeous paper flowers, but you have also saved tons of money on florists by making your own chic wedding accessories. Coco Chanel herself would be jealous of these boutonnieres!

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