While many hours will be spent finding the perfect dress for a wedding, it takes only a few minutes to ensure that your bouquet is splendidly attired as well. A French twist ribbon handle leaves the stems of your flowers exposed, making it a perfect option for a more informal or modern affair. The basket weave ribbon handle is more precise and contained, suiting it more toward formal and traditional wedding ceremonies. With both designs, a few twists of ribbon and a few straight pins are all that's needed to elevate your bouquet and your day.
Gather flowers into the desired bouquet arrangement and secure them with florist's tape. For bouquets with ribbon weaves, sturdier stalks provide excellent support. Flowers with thin stalks, such as daisies, will require many more blossoms to support the desired effect. Do not use too many flowers, as the handle will then become thick and unwieldy.
Measure approximately 3 to 4 feet of the ribbon of your choice, using more for a tighter weave in the braid. Use a ribbon that is at least 1 inch thick. Find the middle of the ribbon by folding it evenly in half.
Place the middle of the ribbon a few inches from the bottom of the bouquet, on the back. Wrap the ribbon around each side of the bouquet, cross it behind the back, then cross it around the front once more.
Twist both ends in a counterclockwise motion around each other, pulling the ribbon taut. You have now completed one French twist. Cross the ribbons behind the bouquet once more, cross over the front, and twist. Repeat this process until you have twisted your way to the top of the bouquet stems.
Tie the two ends of ribbon in a firm, secure knot, then loop the ends into a decorative bow. The ends can also be trimmed off for a more streamlined effect.
Cover the stems of your flowers with florist's tape from the bottom to just underneath the blooms.
Wrap the taped bundle of stems in the ribbon of your choice (opaque ribbons are best); the ribbon should be at least 2 inches thick. Start at the bottom of the bouquet, then secure the ribbon at the top with a decorative pin (pearl-tipped corsage pins are particularly nice).
Cut three strips of thin wired ribbon (3/8-inch ribbon is preferable, but up to 1/2 inch will work). Measure the stems of your flowers and add 5 inches to determine the length of the first ribbon. Cut the other two ribbons double the length of the first ribbon.
Pin the ribbons to the top and bottom of your bouquet using small straight pins, with the longer ribbons passing under the handle to the other side. This will form the seat of your basket. You should have five strips of ribbon running vertically up the bouquet handle.
Thread a length of ribbon that is thinner than what you used for the seat of the basket through a wide-eye plastic needle. Beginning at the bottom of the bouquet, weave the threaded ribbon in and out between the basket spokes. Continue until you reach the top of the bouquet handle. Pin the ribbon at the top and trim the ends as desired.
Instead of opting for standard satin, consider coordinating your ribbon fabric to the types of flower in your bouquet. Martha Stewart recommends thick velvet ribbons for autumn and winter flowers; lightweight gingham or grosgain would be lovely for spring and summer blossoms. Provide support for more fragile stems by wiring them with 24-gauge professional florist's wire before securing flowers into a bundle.
Tips and warnings
- Instead of opting for standard satin, consider coordinating your ribbon fabric to the types of flower in your bouquet. Martha Stewart recommends thick velvet ribbons for autumn and winter flowers; lightweight gingham or grosgain would be lovely for spring and summer blossoms.
- Provide support for more fragile stems by wiring them with 24-gauge professional florist's wire before securing flowers into a bundle.