Corsages are beautiful accessories made from flowers. Worn by men and women on special occasions, corsages can add elegance and color to formal events, such as weddings or special dances. Making a corsage may seem difficult, but with a little practice and the correct tools, you can easily learn to create artistic and beautiful pieces for your friends, family, or just for you.
Typically, corsages come in two styles: wrist corsages, which are worn by women like a bracelet, and upright corsages which are worn either in the lapels of a man's suit or pinned to the front of a dress. Both require the same basic materials, which are easy to find at a florist or craft store. A basic corsage will require fresh or silk flowers, stem wrap tape, and either a pin, ribbon or elastic to fasten.
Choosing flowers to make corsages begins with the decision between real or fake flowers. Real flowers can add fragrance and elegance to any corsage, but silk flowers are more durable and may be more practical for long events. In terms of price, if you can find a good wholesale flower market nearby, fresh flowers may even be less expensive than silk, although you will be at the mercy of the availability. Silk corsages can be made days in advance, while fresh ones should be made within 24 hours.
Be sure to make corsages that coordinate with either the wearer's outfit or the overall color scheme of the event. If you make red rose corsages for a wedding that turns out to have an blue and white color design, prepare for a very displeased bride or wedding planner. Also, if the event is a wedding, be certain to check what flowers are being used in the centerpieces and bouquets, so you can match or make a complementary corsage.
To make corsages for gentlemen, take one large flower or two smaller ones and trim the ends, using a wire cutter for silk flowers. Add filler flowers such as leaves, tiny flowers, or baby's breath and wrap stem tape around the whole arrangement. These can be tucked into a lapel or secured with a safety pin clipped through the stem tape.
For women, corsages pinned to the front of a dress are typically larger than those worn by men. Using three or five artfully arranged large flowers, combine with filler flowers and tape together. Because the stem tape will be visible, consider wrapping the stems in a beautiful ribbon and tying in a bow. Attach at least one safety pin to secure the corsage, although two may be necessary for larger arrangements.
Wrist corsages are popular for young women attending prom or homecoming, and make a nice alternative to bouquets for bridesmaids. Many florists recommend using a floral glue or adhesive to attach the heads of flowers to one another, making them more durable than other corsages. Often, flowers are arranged in a diamond shape, but take care to keep the size modest. Hold the corsage to your own wrist to help get an idea of how large to make the arrangement.
When the main flowers, fillers and leaves are secured, use floral tape or wire to attach a ribbon or elastic to the corsage. Be sure to cut the ribbon or elastic a little larger than necessary, to ensure a snug fit but allow healthy circulation. You can either glue the ends of the bracelet together, or leave slightly longer to allow the wearer to adjust the fit by tying them together.
Being able to make corsages is a wonderful skill, and is likely to get taken advantage of by anyone with a special event coming up. Creating corsages for a wedding party can be a wonderful and unique gift to the bride and groom, and can take one thing off a long and stressful list of preparations. If you want to make corsages for teenagers to wear to school dances, consider asking for their help in making them. Not only will you be passing on an artistic tradition, you may be taking some of the burden off yourself.