A few months ago we were online checking out ideas for boutonnieres for our wedding. We came across some button based boutonnieres we thought looked pretty cool and figured it didn’t look too difficult, so we decided to make them for the men in our wedding party.
We ordered a seemingly endless supply of fabric buttons off of Etsy, picked up some green fabric from the fabric store and set to work. If you’re interested; check out the steps below.
What you need:
• Buttons (ideally fabric covered buttons)
• Fabric (we used a heavy textured silk, but other heavy fabrics like linen could work too)
• Fusible webbing (this is sold at fabric stores)
• Floral wire
• Floral tape
• An iron
• Cardboard or cardstock (to use as a stencil for your leaves)
• Clear nail polish
• Glue gun (not essential, but makes life easier)
The Fabric Leaves
To begin, draw and cut out a leaf template from your piece of cardstock. This can theoretically be any shape you want, but I’d recommend sticking to fairly simple leaf shapes. The size is up to you, but keep it proportionate with the overall size you’re hoping to make the boutonnieres. You may want to make your stencil slightly larger than you intend to make your leaves, to allow space to trim the leaves if they fray.
Next, cut two long strips of fabric (they should both be the same length and width). These strips should be wide enough to fit your leaf stencil (with a bit of extra room) and long enough to fit the number of leaves you want to make with a bit of space in between each one. If you’re making lots (we made 10) you can do this in two batches instead.
Take your fusible webbing, and follow the instructions provided on the webbing package to secure it to one strip of your fabric (cut your webbing to fit first). Note: Use an ironing board, we tried doing this on a rug and were not successful…
Remove the paper backing, and then cut some of the floral wire to make the stems for your leaves. Each piece of floral wire should be roughly double the length of your leaf. With the fusible webbing side up, place your cut wires in even intervals along the fabric, using your stencil to make sure you’re leaving enough space between each wire to fit the leaves in. Half of each wire should be on the fabric, with the other half sticking out the bottom as the ‘stem’.
Take the other strip of fabric and place it gently over the fabric and the floral wire and use the iron to seal everything together (again, following the instructions on your fusible webbing for timing and heat settings).
Now, take your template and your chalk and draw leaf shapes on the fabric, with each leaf centred over each piece of wire.
Use sharp scissors to cut out the leaves (cut with the grain on the fabric). We used chalk so we could see the markings and because it wipes off really easily. You should now have fabric leaves with a bendable wire stem that runs the full length of the leaf, with a few extra inches sticking out the bottom as a ‘stem’.
Once you have cut out your leaves, take the clear nail polish and lightly dab the polish onto the edges of each leaf to prevent the fabric from fraying. Let the polish dry.
Take the floral tape and wrap it around the stem from top to bottom— the trick with floral tape is you have to stretch it a bit to make it stick to itself, so pull it tight as you wrap it. You’ve now completed your leaf! (and that was definitely the hardest part!)
The Button ‘Flowers’
You can use any number of buttons per boutonniere, in our case, we used three. We used assorted sizes in each boutonniere, and one button in each boutonniere is specific to that groomsmen’s personality (for example, one groomsmen who is a pilot has a button with a plane on it).
For each button, cut a length of floral wire about three times the length of your leaf ‘stem’. Feed the wire through the back of the button (there should be a loop for this purpose) and fold it in half. Wrap the wire a few times around the button backing so it’s secure and doesn’t wobble, and then twist the two halves together all the way down to make the flower ‘stem’.
Like you did with the leaf, use floral tape to go around the wire stems on each button.
Lay the buttons and a leaf together, in whichever fashion you desire, and use more floral tape to tape all the stems together.
If you know a fancy way to tie a bow, feel free to do that – we tried a few and failed so we opted to use a glue gun to attach ribbon on the reverse of the boutonniere stem and twist it to the top, where we glued it in place on the reverse side so the ribbon can’t move.
If you like, you can also glue safety pins onto the back of the boutonnieres, we did with one or two of them but haven’t decided if we are going to go with that method or use straight pins to attach them.
The Finished Product:
As DIY projects go, this was pretty time-consuming, but we’re really happy with the end-result!