How to Make a Hand-Tied Bouquet

Use these step-by-step instructions to create a beautiful, compact bouquet that features a rounded, or domed, head of flowers and foliage atop spiraled stems.

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Stand Alone Flower BouquetEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Arranging a hand-tied bouquet is a methodical process. If you add your groups of flowers in the same sequence and turn the bunch slightly in the same direction every time you add a flower or a foliage stem, you should ensure that you won't place the same flowers next to each other as the bunch builds up. The binding point determines the size of a bouquet: if you hold the stems lower down, the arrangement will be looser and the stems will be longer. A slightly higher binding point — holding the bunch of flowers about halfway to two-thirds of the way up their stems — will create a more compact bouquet, as demonstrated here.

Materials Needed:

  • raffia or garden string
  • florist's scissors
  • foliage
  • flowers (5 types)

Gather Your Materials

Choose and condition 3-6 stems each of five different flower varieties and 15 stems of foliage such as salal.

Sort the flowers into individual piles so you can clearly see the colors and sizes of the different flower heads.

Keep raffia or garden string and florist's scissors nearby.

(From left: mauve throatwort, pale pink single roses, pink cockscombs, dark pink calla lilies and masterwort)

Divide Flower Varieties into Individual PilesEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pick a Focal Flower

Choose a focal flower for the center of the bouquet. It should be something that is fairly big. In this case, a pink rose is a perfect choice. Add 3-4 stems of foliage in a circle around this first flower. The flower should sit just beneath the tips of the leaves. Hold the bunch at the binding point with your left hand if you are right-handed and vice-versa if you are left-handed.

Start Bouquet with Focal Flower and FoliageEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add a Second Flower

Pick another variety of flower and insert it into the bunch at the point where your thumb rests. Insert the stem at an angle so the end of the stem points toward your body and the flower head is angled away from you.

Add Next Variety of Flower in Bouquet at AngleEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011

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