As DIY brides make plans for their spring weddings, a simple hand-tied is often the bouquet of choice. One design technique to consider is a finished bouquet handle for a polished look.

Strip foliage from the flowers you will use in your bouquet so that you will be holding clean stems. Begin the design by holding the center flower (central axis or spine flower – in this photo, green hydrangea) with your left hand.  Add more flowers, one at a time, around the first flower in a spiral motion – building a rounded circle of flowers. (Here, roses and lilies are used). Visit your local florist to purchase the perfect fresh flowers for your design.

When you have completed the design, use waterproof floral tape or waxed string to tie off the bouquet at the binding point – just beneath the flower blooms. Pull the flower stems together and bind them again, with tape or cord, a little shorter than the width of your ribbon. Cut the stems straight across at a length that is comfortable for holding; at least 1 – 2 inches longer than the width of your hand. If you want the bouquet to continue to drink water, leave a couple of inches of stems uncovered below where the ribbon will be applied. This length of stem can stand in a vase of shallow water  below the ribbon’s edge without getting the ribbon wet.

Cut a width of ribbon long enough to wind around the stems and barely overlap itself. Turn under the a fold of the unfinished edge of ribbon and pin   or glue it in place for a finished look. For extra security with no mess, you can add double-faced tape or UGLU ( to the stems beneath the ribbon to keep it securely in place.

After securing the ribbon, insert into the ribbon/stems pearl-headed or accessorizing pins, glue on gemstones, or pin on a favorite brooch to personalize the handle to reflect the personality of the bride or bridesmaids. The brooch of a deceased loved one may be used in honor of their memory.

Mist the flowers with an anti-transpirant like Floralife’s Finishing Touch to provide nutrients and hydration. This ensures that the flowers will stay fresh longer. (

What questions about DIY Flowers you would like to see answered in this blog.

Need more wedding ideas? My book of wedding photos and tips, Flowers of the heart – a bride’s guide to choosing flowers for your wedding,  is available at, on, & FaceBook – Flowers of the heart page.

Celebrate life with flowers!

Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI