Making a Wedding Centerpiece by Hand

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 39,133
    Florist Rebecca Henry demonstrates how to make a wedding centerpiece by hand.

    Rebecca Henry: Hi, I am Rebecca, co-owner of Petal's Edge Floral Design in Alexandria, Virginia. Today, we are showing you how to make wedding centerpieces. In this clip, we will be showing you how to make a simple arrangement that you can make in your hand. It is a little bit of a tricky technique, but you will get a really beautiful product out of it. The reason you would use this technique over the last one or some of the other ones we will show you is that is if you are trying to make an arrangement out of one kind of flower alone, particularly, a flower like a rose or a tulip which has a big heavy bloom on the end of a long stem, if you were to just put this into a wide vase, a wide mouth vase like this cylinder here and try and arrange it with other roses, you wouldn't get a nice, tight dome shape. It will be really, really difficult. So this way you can get a nice, tight dome. It will give you a really modern, crisp, elegant look.

    So let me begin by first you are going to want to strip your roses. You can do this by hand or with your clippers. Usually it just pulls off nice and easily and if there is any thorns on them, you will want to take those off too. Also, some roses come with what we called packing petals. There are these young, ugly looking outer petals that are a little green and brown. That's normal, just pull them off, it's fine and also, if you see any other ugly petals in there you can pull those off too. Now that we have stripped all the roses here is how we want to start. You need to take three of the roses. It doesn't matter which of the colors and what you are going to need to do is create a tripod. You take the three roses, the first two cross like this and you hold them between your thumb and forefinger and the third one fits in that space right there so that you have a little bit of a tripod where the stems are all flaring out like this and that's the start of your hand tie. This is that the technique we call hand tie.

    So then you are going to take the rest of your roses and you are going to continue to add them to this arrangement, pinching them between your thumb and forefinger. One of the most important things to remember in this technique is that your stems always need to go in the same direction. So and what that means is if we put a flower here and put it in and hold it in place and the stem is pointing in this direction, it's going like this which is counterclockwise, if you imagine it goes in a spiral, the next one we put in, we turn it a little bit and put one here will be also going in that direction and you can turn it whichever way to add flowers, but you just keep adding them and you keep adding them in that spiral in that same direction and what you will start to see happening is as the flowers come together in that spiral you will see that you can collapse the stems on themselves.

    That's why we want to do it in the same direction every single time because if we were say to put a flower in the opposite direction, say going this way, against the spiral and you can see it's crisscrossing now against, if I try and collapse this, this is going to wind up wrapping around and snapping the flowers. So we want to make sure that we continue going in the same direction. The great thing being able to collapse it is that you can then collapse it and if your hand gets tired or you need to turn it around, you can collapse it, it will stay in place and then you just turn it so that you can see a different side of the bouquet and keep going. Just keep adding flowers. Now to finish this arrangement now we have got it all done and you will need like I said, probably about 25 roses to fill the space and not make it look, to make it look proportional.

    What we will need to do is get that floral tape out, pull a piece off, about this long and then right at the point where your hands are holding it, you will put the tape and it's a little tricky, but just hold it tightly and wrap it and stick it down really nicely. You can also use instead of tape, if it's easier a rubber band at that same point. We will take our vase, put some water in it and about maybe three quarters of the way and then here is where we get to make a decision. There are two ways we can finish this.

    First, we need to cut these stems nice and short so that they fit in the vase. Obviously, this is going to stand up above the vase and our goal is to try and have the flowers rest naturally on the top of the vase. So we will cut them down and this may take a couple tries to see exactly how short to cut them. You can set them in there, if you have to squeeze them shut a little bit and that's just a little too high. So I will cut it down just a little bit more. I think that will be perfect. We will set it in there. Now that could be finished. If you would like that to be your final arrangement, that can be it or if we want because you know, I don't know that little green tape down there, it's not so pretty. So maybe what we could do if you don't want to see that green tape is to take some of that ribbon that we have talked about in the beginning in the supplies that you need and you will take the arrangement and you will tie the ribbon. We can just take our ribbon and lay down on the table, just wrap it around there, tie it, put in a little bow and the ribbon will very neatly hide that tape, neat little tailored bow. You want to trim the ends so they look cute, just like that and then you see the bow in the arrangement rather than that green tape.

    If you don't want to see the stems at all, we have another trick to hide that. Take this out again, put it down, we will take our vase and we will get some big, broad leaf tropical greens. These ones are called Aspidistra. You want to cut the stem off, take the leaf, the outside facing away from you and start to bend it and put it inside the vase filled with water and you are just going to tuck it down in the vase and let it line the inside of the vase. You might need two because on the side -- on the back side here you will see that as it gets thinner you are missing some. So you might want a second one. Do the same thing again, just on the inside of the first leaf and just tuck it down in there and press it out so that it fills the vase, really simple and now you can't see anything that's going on inside the vase. That would be a second way to hide the stems or a second way to decorate it and there you go, all finished and there is our rose dome.

    Next, we are going to show you how to hydrange an arrangement for a wedding centerpiece.