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.

Stand Alone Flower Bouquet

Stand Alone Flower Bouquet

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

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 Piles

Divide Flower Varieties into Individual Piles

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

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 Foliage

Start Bouquet with Focal Flower and Foliage

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

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 Angle

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Continue to Add Flowers

Place one of each of the other flowers around the foliage, turning the bunch slightly in the same direction after you have added each bloom. The flowers should, like the first rose, sit slightly lower than the tips of the foliage leaves.

Continue Placing Blooms in Bouquet One At a Time

Continue Placing Blooms in Bouquet One At a Time

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Trim the Stems

Roughly trim the longer stems if the bunch becomes top-heavy. Don't cut the stems too short; you will need to trim all the stems properly later on. Add another circle of foliage at an angle, turning the bunch slightly as you work. The spiral of stems should now be apparent.

Add Additional Foliage to Bouquet and Trim Stems

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

View the Bouquet From the Top

Look at the top of the bunch to check the position of the flowers and the balance of colors. Arrange the next sequence of flowers slightly lower around the sides to begin forming the domed shape. Use up the remaining flowers and foliage, angling these stems so they sit even lower around the edges of the bunch.

Look at Bouquet from Top to Check Balance

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Secure the Bouquet With Raffia or String

Wrap a length of raffia or garden string a few times around the top of the binding point — immediately above your hand — and tie the ends firmly in a knot to secure the bunch. Trim off any excess raffia.

Wrap Bouquet with Raffia or String to Secure

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Trim the Ends

Trim the ends of the stems straight across so that the bunch can stand upright in a vase and all the stems will be in water. Re-split any woody stems.

A well-arranged, securely tied bouquet like this should be able to stand upright unaided, as the spiral stems give it stability. Place the bouquet in a vase or, if it is a gift for someone, keep it in fresh, cool water until you are ready to wrap it and tie it with a ribbon, and then present it.

Trimming Bouquet Stems

Trimming Bouquet Stems

© 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Fresh Flower Arranging

DK - Fresh Flower Arranging, © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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