Photo Shoot: DIY Bouquet

On Friday, we had our day-after wedding shoot because we felt that our wedding photographer didn’t deliver. I went all out – I went to the hairdresser and I got my makeup done like we were getting married all over again.

I realized I needed a bouquet for the shoot, but didn’t feel like spending an arm and a leg for a fake wedding bouquet. Since I wanted to DIY my flowers for our wedding but didn’t have time, I decided to attempt my first DIY bouquet, and I was really happy with the results.

We had peonies for our wedding blooms, but that was out of the question for this DIY bouquet since they are no longer in season in July, so I opted for inexpensive off-white miniature carnations. They are full-bodied flowers so they look similar to peonies when you cluster them together.

Here are the steps to making your own bouquet:


  • Flowers of your choice (miniature carnations – $10)
  • Floral tape ($1)
  • Corsage pins ($1)
  • Wide satin ribbon ($2.79)
  • Scissors or Cutters

If you buy your flowers several days in advance, I would suggest putting them in a cool place. Since Mr. Flamingo LOVES the AC, our apartment was as cold as a freezer which was perfect for the flowers. If your fiance isn’t an AC fanatic, it’s best that you put the blooms in a fridge (preferably food free, otherwise your flowers will grab the smell of yesterday’s meal). I prepared my flowers the day before the shoot; that way, it was less work on the day of the shoot.

Step 1: Remove all thorns, leaves or bruised petals on each stem. If you have more than one bloom per stem, you can separate them (but make sure you have a long enough stem with a minimum of 5 inches).

Step 2: Make clusters of about 5 blooms and wrap the stems with the floral tape. Make sure you stretch the floral tape so that it sticks well. Leave at least 1.5 inches of the stems at the bottom floral tape free. That way you can put them back in water and your flowers won’t wilt.

Step 3: Once you’ve completed all of your clusters, start bunching them together to make one big cluster. Use floral tape to secure the clusters into one big handle. Again, leave a 1.5″-2″ free at the bottom.

Step 4: Cut all the stems to the same length, so the bottom is clean cut.

Step 5: Starting at the top, wrap your handle with satin ribbon, overlapping each turn. Once you’ve covered all the floral tape, take your corsage pins and poke them in at an angle (towards the floor). You can make any pattern you like, I simply went all the way down in a straight line.

Voila, your bouquet is done. Place it in water until the very last moment. You have a professional looking bouquet for the fraction of the cost. My bouquet cost me only $14.00 to make. Beats what a florist would charge, don’t you think?


Mrs. Flamingo

Montreal, Canada
Wedding Date:
June 2008
Orbit White Gum Giveaway
The Next Generation

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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Madelyn @ Southern Weddings, Guest @ 8:53 am

    That picture of you is gorgeous! These carnations really do look like peonies when they are clustered together!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenny, Guest @ 9:11 am

    Your bouquet looks great!!

    I was thinking about getting pictures done again but the cost of getting hair and make up done and getting the tux rented again is a bit much!

  3. Member
    Krista 157 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:24 am

    Stunning bouquet!

  4. Member
    hwong14 239 posts, Helper bee @ 9:47 am

    gorgeous (you and the flowers!). the other reason not to put flowers in a refrigerator with food is that some fruits will give off gases that react with the flowers — apples are notorious for this, and will make the flowers wilt and rot. just in case anyone wanted to know…

  5. flamingo Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:57 am

    @Jenny: I just got my hair done, (which in the end could of done it myself) I did my own makeup and Mr.F had an old suit. Hes not dressed the same, but it doesnt really matter… cuz we have some great pics!

  6. Member
    GetMarried4Less 911 posts, Busy bee @ 10:05 am

    Great! this is an awesome tip for those who are trying to find a way to cut costs!

    your bouquet came out beautifully!

  7. margarita Member
    margarita 369 posts, Helper bee @ 10:23 am

    the bouquet looks great and that picture of you is stunning! :)

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Rachel, Guest @ 10:28 am

    oh man – day after shoots are fun though! a lot more of my clients have been choosing to do a post-wedding session even if they liked their wedding photos…. less stress, more time, and the ability to go to unique locations. in fact, I am doing this entire book project on bridals in strange locations :)

  9. avocado Member
    avocado 1538 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:32 am

    You are tempting me with your carnation bouquet, it looks gorgeous, as do you in that photo!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Emilie, Guest @ 10:40 am

    you look gorgeous in the first photo!!!! =) and great job on the bouquet!

  11. flamingo Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:56 am

    Thanks everyone for the compliments, you should see our pictures they are awesome!!! And to think my friend is just starting in the business.

    Cant wait to show you more.

    @Rachel: We took pictures in a corn field, rail road track, brick wall, in a fields and another place… all 5 mintues away from another. Cant wait to see the list you come up with

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Guilty Secret, Guest @ 11:03 am

    The flowers look great and you look amazing! Yay :)

  13. frenchbulldog Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:09 pm

    WOW excellent job! and you look GORG!

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Tea, Guest @ 2:03 pm

    wow your bouquet looks amazing! thanks for the step by step…i never thought of bunching the flowers together and then the bunches. how many flowers did you end up using?

  15. flamingo Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:08 pm

    @Tea: I bought the flowers at Loblaws. They were miniature carnations so I had about 12 stems of 5 blooms. If I were to use normal sized carnations I think a total of 8 bunches of 3 flowers is plently.

    Hope this helps

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Tea, Guest @ 6:14 pm

    thanks mrs. flamingo! that helps a lot.

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Macaroon, Guest @ 4:38 pm

    I love the bouquet you made. I am getting married in September 6th 2008 and contemplating on making my own bouquet with Loblaws flowers.

    Do you find Loblaws to have fresh flowers if you order from them?

    How long does it take to make a simple bouquet like yours?

  18. flamingo Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:56 pm

    @Macaroon: I bought my flowers 2 days before the shoot. Loblaws has a 10 day freshness guarantee so if you buy them on the wednesday before the wedding, im pretty sure they will be in great condition.

    I didnt order my flowers, just took what was available (though they had lots of choice) They even sell greenery. It took about an 1 hour to make my bouquet, start to finish. But if have help 20 mins each bouquet max.

    Hope this info helps 😉

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    The Pissed Off Bride, Guest @ 8:02 pm

    I love your flowers. . .and the price!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    The totally cheapest bridal bouquets ever « Creditcrunchbride’s Blog, Guest @ 8:45 pm

    […] Find out how to make it here. […]

  21. Member
    lizzyh113 76 posts, Worker bee @ 8:53 am

    That blog is super cute!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    MissMichelle, Guest @ 7:01 pm

    Hi flamingo! I have been stressed out lately at the cost of wedding flowers, I was SO excited to see your little tutorial! I gave it a shot myself and it’s amazing how easy it is. I was inspired to add my own little touch and I thought the other ladies might be interested too.
    I bought one of those little shower floofies and cut the string that holds the whole thing together. What I got was a beautiful 5ft-long tube of scrunched up netting. I just wrapped some around the base of my flowers and taped it to the floral tape before adding the ribbon. It started to fall down a little bit, so I used bobby pins (stuck into the stems) to hold it up.
    I’m sorry that I don’t have pictures of the process, but I didn’t think it would turn out this well. I hope it helps!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    MissMichelle, Guest @ 7:02 pm

    Oops, it seems that WeddingBee didn’t like that link too much…

  24. flamingo Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:14 pm

    @MissMichelle: OH MY!!! Beautiful bouquet MissMichelle…. It looks like you paid a sh*t load for that… congratz.

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Olivia, Guest @ 9:39 pm

    You inspired me to DIY my own flowers! I’m just curious though, about how many flowers did it take to make that bouquet?

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Jessica, Guest @ 12:58 pm

    How do you make the bouquet round. And how can you prevent the stems from breaking. I just tried to make a bouquet and was having a problem getting them together tightly and making it look round.

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Carnation Inspiration « BarBride, Guest @ 1:13 am

    […] carnations into my bouquet. I think I’m going to just make my own carnation bouquet using a tutorial I found online. It seems pretty easy to do and it’ll save a lot of money! Here are some […]

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    DIY Wedding Flowers With Carnations - Celebrity Bride Guide, Guest @ 1:41 pm

    […] grouped together. The best part about Carnations is that they are easy to work with. If you want to DIY your bouquet, Carnations will give you great […]

  29. Member
    mrsgarcia 2 posts, Wannabee @ 11:42 am

    OMG. It looks so great. I love it. I was shopping around for prices for carnations bouquets and other stuff for my wedding and I floored when I got the quotes back.

    Thanks for sharing I am now going to make my own bouquets and center pieces for my March 2011 wedding!

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    DIY Carnation Bouquet « BarBride, Guest @ 12:36 pm

    […] run to see if I could make a carnation bouquet, and the results were great! Proper credit goes to Mrs. Flamingo from WeddingBee, who wrote an awesome tutorial that I followed to a Tee. Click on the link above to […]

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Lauren, Guest @ 11:07 am

    I love it! I think I’m going to do this for my wedding in December! Thanks for the great post :)

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Carnation Inspiration | Weddingbee, Guest @ 3:02 pm

    […] looking for carnation bouquet inspiration, I came across this amazing tutorial by Mrs. Flamingo. I decided to follow her steps and create a trial bouquet. Here are some pictures of my finished […]

  33. Member
    katyden085 7 posts, Newbee @ 10:35 am

    love this! how many carnations did you end up using?

  34. flamingo Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:03 am

    @katyden085: I used 2 packs of miniature carnations so i don’t know exactly what it comes out to if you went with regular carnations.

    I would say use at least 25 for a full bouquet.

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    Allison, Guest @ 2:14 pm

    I have done a lot of research on Carnation bouquets and found that anywhere from 25 to 40 is good for a bride depending on how big you want it.

    and anywhere from 15-30 is plenty for Bridesmaid/maid of honor.

    ( i have gotten this info from florists).

    Hope this helps someone!

  36. Member
    katyden085 7 posts, Newbee @ 2:19 pm

    thank you so much for the great info….i really appreciate the responses!

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    Carnation Carnage « Ashes and Wine, Guest @ 8:20 am

    […] carnations sound good to you? Well they did for bloggers: Mrs. Jellyfish; Mrs. Flamingo (disclaimer: photo may make you swoon!); Mrs. Lime and again Mrs. […]

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    Wedding Research: For the Love of Peonies « Ribbon Box Events Blog, Guest @ 8:35 am

    […] a budget wedding, you might actually consider carnations.  Mrs. Flamingo on WeddingBee posted a DIY tutorial on creating a bouquet entirely of carnations. Grouped together, they look surprisingly like the […]

  39. Guest Icon Guest
    wedding photography omaha, Guest @ 7:19 am

    Wow, it is definitely a great looking bouquet. It’s nice to make your own bouquet to make it more special and it’s cheaper too.

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    Chelsea, Guest @ 1:17 pm

    How many flowers are in that bouquet? After seeing this, I’m convinced to DIY my bouquet with carnations in my color!

    I’m 5’1 and don’t want a very big bouquet, though I do want it to look full.

    I see you used minis, do you think standard sized ones would have the same effect?

  41. flamingo Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:10 pm

    Yup standard would do the same effect, you will need less though. I would say to test it out first. To get the perfect size.
    I would maybe say 24 big… or 36 small.
    But it’s been over 2 years… so i don’t remember. Sorry.

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