Thrifty Giving: DIY Corsage Tutorial

When I purchased flowers to make my fascinator for Angela’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday, I ended up with a bunch of fake flowers left over. I didn’t want those flowers to go to waste and so I thought of making corsages for my mom and mother in law for Mother’s Day. Fake flower corsages have the advantage of being thrifty both in their construction and in the fact that they can be worn over and over again for many years to come. My mom made one and gave it to my grandma and she proudly wears it on her birthday, on Mother’s Day, or the rare occasion she can make it to church. Making a corsage is only slightly more labor-intensive than making one of these flower clips, but they are just as easy.

My habit of making corsages actually goes back to my Junior year when I decided to make my own wrist corsage for the prom. Using the wrist base from a corsage I’d saved from a previous dance, I filled it in miniature pink roses that had grown over my neighbor’s fence and what remained of the baby’s breath. I hot glued everything in place and it was gorgeous. I lost of few of the rose buds while dancing, but it held up well throughout the night.

The first thing to know to make a corsage like these is to create a secure, stable base. Depending on the greenery at hand you might have to construct it out of more than one leaf. Glue the base together then wait ten minutes before the next step. Arrange your flower on top and play around with any extra flowers or greenery until you’re satisfied with the way it looks before gluing it down. Wait ten more minutes.

At this point you will have gaps in the arrangement where blobs of glue are visible. You’re going to want to cover those with either accent flowers or an embellishment such a rhinestone or ribbon. Put the finishing decorative touches on your corsage and let it rest another ten minutes.

At this point you can either add a pin backing to create a corsage or you can turn it into a large flower clip. These pins came with a sticky backing, but they still needed to be glued down. If you are using a metal base for your clip or pin, it will absorb the heat from the hot glue and become extremely hot to the touch, so be careful!

Here’s how mine turned out. I made the yellow daffodil corsage for my mother and the iris one I gave to Olivia. Since I knew my mom had been looking for linen napkins I found her a set of embroidered ones while thrifting and I gave those to her, too.

Graduation is coming up, and this is a thrifty alternative to buying a cut flower corsage for your grad, and they last longer, too.


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  1. Liz says

    Say, do you recommend a specific brand of hot glue. My mother and I recently glued together a bunch of flower hair clips, but leaves, etc. keep snapping off, even when I swear they were attached securely. Can I blame the glue? Or am I just terrible at gluing things?

    • Carrie Anne says

      Oh man, it does sound like you are having a problem with the glue, or maybe even the gun. I wonder if it’s not getting the glue quite hot enough? I use whatever generic brand that Micheal’s gets. It’s not even labeled. Sorry, I’m afraid this isn’t much help.

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