DIY Mother's Day Corsage

"Our mothers give us so many gifts.  They give us the precious gift of life, of course, but they also leave treasured lessons that can guide us along our journeys even when they are not longer with us." 
-Maria Shriver 

A Little History...
In 1905, a woman named Anna Jarvis began a campaign.  Her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis had died that year, and Anna sought to honor her mother not only for who she had been to her personally, but also for the incredible work that her mother had done during and after the Civil war, caring for wounded soldiers on both sides of the battle and promoting peace.  

Five years later, the campaign gained real traction when a Philadelphia business man named John Wanamaker took up her cause and held a celebration of mother's in a local church that he had founded.  Whole states began to follow suit and, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made the holiday official.  

These days, Mother's Day has become synonymous with phone calls, greeting cards, and flowers (in fact, Anna Jarvis actually began campaigning against the day she helped to create when she felt that it had become too commercialized, a few years later).  But things are always what we make of them.  

Defining the Present - With a Little Flower Power
For me, Mother's Day is a reflection on how many amazing women - mothers or otherwise -  I am blessed to have in my life.  My own mother is a fantastic combination of beauty, grace, humor and kindness and her talent for making things beautiful is a constant source of inspiration.  Her grandmother, Grace, was the source of strength and beauty that she relied on.  So to honor some of these beautiful women, I'm taking it back to traditions: the wearing and giving of corsages to tell the world how wonderful they are.
When the holiday originally kicked off, Anna honored her mother by wearing and passing out her mother's favorite flower - the carnation.  Thus, the tradition of a Mother's Day corsage was born.  Generally, white is worn by daughters whose mother's are no longer alive; pink or red signifies mothers who are.  

*Special Note: Corsages are not worn by people who necessarily are mothers.  They are worn by women honoring their mothers.

Instead of purchasing a store bought corsage, I'm tailor making mine this year to celebrate the beautiful women who have given me - and this world - so much. 

Tools (per corsage)

1 Large Bloom Flower (A Carnation is traditional but Roses or Gerberas look great. Use what your mama likes!)
3-4 Small Accent Flowers (Baby's Breath, Asters, Hypericum Berries)
3-4 Pieces of Greenery (Fern, Dusty Miller, Boxwood)
Florist Tape
Florist Wire
Knife or Scissors
Corsage Pins

Let's Do This

 1.  The first step is to cut down your flowers and greenery to approximately six inches long.  (Don't worry - this Will Not be the final length!) Place in glass of water to keep them hydrated while you work with different sections.

2. Next, lay out 2-3 pieces of greenery, and layer 2-4 filler flowers on top.

  3.  Snip a 6 inch section of florist wire and wrap it twice around the stems, just where the base of the leaves and/or blooms start. 

4.  Layer your large bloom flower (For this one, I used a yellow rose as it's my mom's favorite color and roses hold up well) on top of the greenery packet, with the head resting below the smaller blooms (you want them to peak out the top).  Wrap the remaining ends of the florist wire tightly around the entire bundle.

5.  Briefly admire your work.  "Ahhh. I'm awesome."

6.  If you are preparing the corsage for the following day, stop at this point, but the blooms in a small glass of water and place in the fridge. If you are making the corsage for immediate use, continue to the next step.

7.  The day you plan to wear or present your corsage, remove from cool water and carefully shake out any excess water.  Cut off ends of stems, allowing only 2-3 inches below the blooms.

8. Tie off any remaining florist wire as close to the stems as possible and snip the ends.  Starting at the top of the stems/bottom of the blooms, begin wrapping florist tape tight around the stems, overlapping as you move down.  When you get to the bottom, pinch the ends of the stems and tape tightly together and begin working your way back up.  Back at the top again, secure the tape by tucking it into itself at the very top, or by tying it in a small knot around the stems.

9.  Finally, secure a small ribbon bow to the base of the flowers using florist wire, or even a dot of glue.  Add two corsage pins (if you only add one, the flower tends to turn sideways or upside down when pinned to clothing).

10. Present!  (If you're giving it as a gift, I recommend wrapping it in a cello bag with a ribbon. You can puff the bag out right before sealing it by blowing a bit of air in and then tying it off.)

Whether you're giving it as a gift, or wearing one to honor your own mother/grandmother/aunt or mom-figure, corsages are such a lovely way to show off your love and respect for the women in your life.  On a personal note, I'm thrilled and honored to join the ranks of mothers this year, and can only hope to live up to some of the amazing examples I've had in my own life!!

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!!

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1 comment:

  1. I love that you take the time to celebrate the meaning behind what you've made! And I am glad for the chance to wish you a Happy Mommies Day... hope we get to meet the wee one on here :) God Bless you all!


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