Hand-tied Tutorial

With February being such a short month, it means that I am a bit out of sorts with blog posts, but luckily Caroline from Wild Rubus and I just about managed to meet up before the end of the month, for our regular floral tutorial.  This month is a beautiful loose hand-tied arrangement, which is possibly one of the hardest things to master in floristry, but it is well worth having a go, and how lovely would it be to give as a personal gift on Mother's day.

You will need:

  • 5 x roses (or similar focal flower)

  • 3 x lilac (or similar secondary flower)

  • 3 x astrantia (or similar filler flower)

  • 3 x greenbell (or similar light flower)

  • 2 x olive branches (or bushy foliage)

  • String

  • Scissors

1. Strip two thirds from the stems of each flower, and remove any dead leaves.

2. Sort your flowers, so that they are grouped by type.

3. Start with one rose upright in your left hand, if you are right handed (right hand if you are left handed), hold about half way down the stem, between your thumb and fore finger.

4. Pop in some greenbell at a 45 degree angle, and twist the whole arrangement in your hand, about the equivalent of quarter of a circle.

5. Add the next piece of greenbell, again at a 45 degree angle, and twist again, repeat with the final piece of greenbell.

6. Next add in the first piece of lilac, in exactly the same way as the greenbell.  Repeat for the other two pieces of lilac.

7. Then pop in another rose in the same method as above, repeat for the rest of the roses.

8. Repeat the process for each piece of astrantia.

9. Check the position of everything and that it hasn't strayed too much from the original positioning.

10. Finally add the olive, slightly lower, but using the same technique as before.

11. Cut a length of string, about 50 cm long.

12. Place one end with roughly 15cm of excess under your thumb against the stems.

13. Wrap the long end of the string around the stems three times, and tie the ends in a reasonably tight knot.

14. Finally, cut the stems to the same length.

The finished arrangement:

Hints & Tips:

  • When I first tried I did find it tricky to keep the stems in place, but the more stems you have the easier it gets. It also helps to not think too much about what you are doing, and try and relax.

  • As with any other arrangement, think about how you cut down the stems to get the best from each of them.

  • It might be worth cutting the string before you start.

  • Looking in the mirror is a good way to see if everything is still in position.

  • If the stems are spiralling, you've mastered it!

  • The real test of a good hand-tied arrangement is that it can stand up by itself.

And proof that an amateur can do it!  Here is my attempt:

What do you think?  I was really pleased with how it turned out, a lot to do with Caroline's brilliant choice of flowers though I'm sure!   Don't forget to pop over to her blog, to see what she has to say about today's tutorial.

Have a good weekend.

Emma x