How to Make Boutonnieres & Buttonholes

Updated February 21, 2017

You can make your own boutonnières, otherwise known as buttonholes, for a wedding, prom or other formal event. Boutonnières are the equivalent of a corsage for men, and are worn on the left lapel of their suit or tuxedo jacket over the heart. A groom's boutonnière should coordinate with the bridal bouquet. The best man, groomsmen, ushers, fathers and any other men involved in the wedding should have smaller but complementary boutonnières to the groom. Boutonnières for prom or other formal events can match a tie or the dress or corsage of a man's date.

Determine how many flowers to include in your arrangement. Most boutonnières consist of one or two flowers, or possibly three smaller flowers for a more elaborate arrangement.

Cut the stems on each flower between two and four inches long, depending on how long you want the boutonnière to be. Lay out your leaves and greenery and place the flower in the front centre. For two flowers, offset them by placing one slightly higher than the other.

Hold the stems of the flowers and greenery together once you're satisfied with the way the boutonnière looks. Wrap the stems with florist tape, beginning at the top of the stems just under the flower head. Wind the tape around the stems while pulling the tape tight, which will cause it to stick to itself.

Tie a small bow under the flower head if you desire. Add a boutonnière pin by sticking it into the bulk of the stems. This will allow the recipient to pin it to his lapel, securing it for the event.


Wrap the florist tape around the very bottom of the stems so they are completely covered for a cleaner, more finished look. Use silk flowers if you'd like to assemble multiple boutonnières in advance or wish to easily preserve it as a keepsake after the event. Store a fresh flower boutonnière in a sealed plastic bag in a refrigerator prior to the event to keep it fresh. Keep it away from fruit, however as the natural gases emitted by fruit will shorten the flower's lifespan.


Avoid tying large bows on a boutonnière as it makes the arrangement seem more feminine. In fact, you can skip the ribbon or bow entirely if you prefer.

Things You'll Need

  • Flower(s)
  • Leaves or greenery
  • Scissors or sharp cutting device
  • Floral tape
  • Ribbon or embellishment (optional)
  • Boutonnière pins
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About the Author

Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.