Friday, 3 February 2012

DIY Weddings - Wired Buttonhole Tutorial

Level:                                                                                                                  Beginner

Following on from the simple tied buttonhole, here's this weeks tutorial - a wired buttonhole. These buttonholes are a good starting point to wired wedding work and once practiced a bit, will lead naturally onto corsages and hair flowers.  They can be fiddly and I've tried to show you how to tape using fame-by-frame shots, however, if you're struggling a bit have a look on YouTube, I've downloaded a couple of short clips showing you how to wire and tape.  The link is

When I first set up Campbell's Flowers, it was always my intention to use my teaching experience and post regular tutorials, at the time, I naturally thought it would be best to start with the easier designs first.  But then I thought that if you miss a couple, or if you've already had a bit of floristry experience, it might be good to 'grade' each one, so you can dip in and out as you wish.  The categories I've chosen are Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced - let me know if you think they are accurately graded (or indeed easy/difficult to follow!).

Anyway, for a simple wired Buttonhole, here's what you will need:-

.21 silver floristry wires
.46 green floristry wires
.71 green floristry wires
parafilm floristry tape

Flower material of your choice, I've used:

1 x Rosa ‘Video!’
A couple of sprigs of Waxflower ‘revelation’
2x buds of Eustoma (lisianthus) piccolo pink
A small sprig of Tree fern
1 x medium Ivy leaf

Lay out all your materials on your work area

Make several hair pins by bending .46 green floristry wires

Push the hair pins into each of the sepals to secure the rose.  Even if you are using a open 'blown' rose, this is good practice as it stops the flower from shattering and losing all its petals.

Cut the rose stem at an acute angle and gentle push a green .71 wire into the stem, until you feel resistance.  Don't push to hard or far, or the wire will pop out of the top of the rose! Next, using a silver .21 wire, push this downwards to meet your vertical green wire and stem.

Your rose should look like this

Next, taking a piece of gutter tape, stretch a tiny bit at the beginning of the tape and it will stick nicely to the back of the rose.  The taking the length of tape pull gently with one hand and twist the rose with the other hand.  Don't be tempted to 'wrap' the tape, it won't stay in place and will just unravel.  The technique is to pull and twist.  I've done a series of YouTube 'How to' videos the link is  which might help, especially if, like me, you're a visual person! 

So your fully wired and taped rose should look something like this, don't worry if its a bit tricky at first, this does take a bit of practice.  Wire and tape all the other materials in the same way, again, if you're stuck my YouTube videos break down the process.

Next you need to stitch wire an ivy leaf 2/3rds of the way up the back of the leaf

Gently pull both sides of the wires downwards to meet the natural stem of the ivy leaf

Keeping one wire parallel with the stem, wrap the other wire over two or three times.  Then open the wires out and cut off the excess stem.

Your leaf should look like this! Tape this off in the same way you did everything else.

Now you're ready to assemble everything.  The tape naturally sticks to itself, which is really helpful as it means you can move your flower and foliage material around until you like the way your design looks

I've added my tree fern to the left and the wax flower to the right to balance one another

Then I've placed two lisianthus buds behind the design to break up the textures (opposite textures work best ie smooth next to rough, velvety next to fluffy etc). Finish with the ivy leaf at the front of the design ... and you're done!

Hope that was fun and satisfying! There are lots more tips to help you on YouTube if you search Campbell's Flower School.  Leave me a comment if you need any specific help, or if you want to organise workshops or one-to-one tutorials, let me know.

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