Corsage Bows

The right ribbon can add beauty to a corsage, but ribbon is not always necessary, especially for corsages that highlight pattern, color and the choice of foliage.

Follow these simple rules to get the most from ribbon: use the best possible quality ribbon for the price of the corsage because inexpensive ribbon cheapens your work; harmonize ribbon color, texture and quality with the flowers and foliages; and consider using velvet ribbons and ribbons of other textures.

Make the bow in a pleasing proportion that is neither too large nor too small for the corsage and feature the flowers at all times, keeping the ribbon secondary. Elaborate and fussy bows of showy ribbon detract attention from the flowers. Most corsages benefit from the addition of a simple, irregular bow with a few loops of various sizes. Bows may be made in advance for busy times such as holidays and proms, but the most choice corsages include unique bows.

Grasp the ribbon two or three inches from the end and form loops back and forth in a figure eight fashion, always crushing the ribbon together under the thumb and forefinger. Either side of double-faced ribbons may be shown by twisting the ribbon as it is gathered in the fingers. Remember to form loops of different sizes for a natural effect. The bow should never be larger or wider than the rest of the corsage. Fasten the bow together with a short piece of ribbon with green enameled or milliner’s wire or by stemming the bow.

Assembly Instructions

  1. Cover the center two inches of a nine-inch length of No. 24, 26 or 28 wire with green Floratape ® stem wrap and bend it in the center.
  2. Pass this hairpin shape over the center of the bow that has been formed in the fingers.
  3. Twist the wire ends very tightly a couple of times against the ribbon so that the bow is firm and secure with the loops fluffed out softly. Never wrap the wire around the bow more than once.

    Use Floratape ® stem wrap to connect the two wire ends together to create a stem on the bow. When assembling the corsage add this stemmed bow last and bind with all the other stems. Be sure the bow nestles up under the flowers as if it were actually tying the stems together. It should not be stuck in among the blooms.

This method is a great timesaver in assembling corsages.

FDP-21 | Written by William Kistler, American Floral Art School, Chicago