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Leaf Boutonnieres

Martha Stewart Weddings, 1999

Nowhere is it written that a boutonniere -- the traditional adornment worn on the lapels of tuxedos and suits -- has to be a flower; a few lovely leaves wrapped in ribbon can be just as dignified.

Begin with one or two sprigs of greenery. The stems should be about 2 inches long. Hold the sprigs together at the stems, and wrap floral wire from the top to the bottom of the stems; wrap the stems with floral tape (covering the wire), then cover with ribbon, wrapping from top to bottom, securing the ribbon in back with a small straight pin. (If you are working with particularly flimsy leaves, you will need to insert a piece of wire through the base of each leaf from front to back, then fold the ends of the wire against the stem for stability before wrapping with tape and ribbon.) Attach the finished boutonniere to a lapel with an antique or decorative straight pin.

The boutonnieres shown here were made using the general instructions above, then finished with the following treatments:

Euonymus: Create a bow by cinching a piece of velvet ribbon in the center with a length of wire about 6 inches long; cover the cinched portion with matching thin ribbon. Wrap the stem with a length of thin ribbon. Wrap bow wire around the top of the stem, and trim wire.

Boxwood: Wrap the stem with ribbon, then tie another piece of ribbon to the top with a simple knot.

Seeded eucalyptus: Use narrow striped ribbon to wrap the stem.

Rosemary: Wrap the stem in velvet ribbon, then tie another piece of ribbon in a bow at the top of the stem; cut loops of the bow on a diagonal to create three cut ends on either side.

Geranium leaf: Wrap the stem with silk ribbon, then take a second piece of slender ribbon, about a foot long, and, securing its center at the top of the stem in the back, crisscross the ribbon down the stem, tying a knot at the bottom in back.

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