Busy florists who have several weddings on the same day have found that pre-fabricated bouquets can save valuable time. Make the frames for these bouquets in advance with wires wound with Floratape® stem wrap. Assemble them so that the flower heads can be added at the last minute. This is easily done by making a clamp or clutch on the end of each wire stem to receive a flower.
- The first step is to make a clutch for each flower to be used. Wrap the center of a No. 18 wire with Floratape® stem wrap. Bend the wire in the center to make a hairpin shape. Next, bend the curved end back nearly an inch, and shape it into a socket into which the base of a flower or a thick, stubby stem may be placed.
- Wrap the wire stem of the clutch with Floratape® stem wrap or Parafilm® florist stem wrap, which will give a whiter, smoother into the desired bouquet shape. Extend the stems or make into garlands as required. Cover the tapered handle with Floratape® stem wrap.
- Fill-in material may be added to the frame as it is assembled. With certain flowers such as Gardenias, a ruffle of lace can be added under each clutch. A circle of rugged leaves such as Camellia, Salal or Ivy can be used below other heavy flowers. Whether or not a ribbon bow is used on the bouquet, a few short loops of ribbon as a shield at the top of the handle adds a better finish. Most designers also ribbon-wrap the handles of their better wedding bouquets.
- To complete the bouquet, perhaps days after the frame is assembled, simply insert a single large flower or a group of small flowers in each clutch and clamp the wire together very securely, perhaps using pliers. Carnations, Gardenias and debudded Pompons fit into clutches very easily. Roses, Camellias and clusters of small flowers are held more firmly if they have thick, stubby stems. This is easy to achieve with a short wire and Floratape® stem wrap. The sticking quality of the Floratape® stem wrap helps hold the flowers more tightly.
These clutches may be used in most styles of bouquets: round, cascade, crescent or arm-cascade, and with many kinds of flowers. The clutch is also excellent for fastening a removable corsage in the center of a bridal bouquet, on a floral fan or on top of a prayer book.