Creative Corsages

By Simone Slykhous

April 7, 2014 5 min read

The photo is ubiquitous and timeless for a reason: A nervous boy slides a corsage onto the wrist of his prom date as she shakily attempts to pin on his boutonniere without stabbing him too many times. The cameras flash, and nearby parents feel overwhelmed by how quickly their children are growing up.

Yet not all prom couples want to follow the norm. It seems that as the years pass, the energy put into prom continues to rise. No longer can you ask someone to prom by just walking up to the person between periods and securing a date. Now people involve puns, celebrities, farm animals, skywriting and even mariachi bands. For these innovative couples, a standard corsage and boutonniere combo might not make the cut.

Luckily, there are many alternatives for the Pinterest-loving, Etsy-exploring DIYers out there.

*Coffee Filters and Cupcake Liners

The crafting masters at Craftster.org have found a way to transform household items into handmade masterpieces. The materials needed are coffee filters, cupcake liners, food coloring, buttons, scissors, felt, glue, pins, a bowl and some water.

Start by filling the bowl with water, dyeing it with the food coloring and then submerging the coffee filters into it. After letting them sit for 10 to 20 minutes -- depending on the desired hue -- dry the coffee filters by air-drying them outside, putting them in the dryer for about 10 minutes or even placing them in the oven for five minutes.

To make a boutonniere, take the dried coffee filters and fold them in fourths, and then scallop the edges. Next, unfold the filter, and then glue a flattened cupcake liner to the filter. Finally, glue a button to the middle of the liner. By adding a small piece of felt and a safety pin or jewelry pin to the back of the "flower," it can easily be fixed to a lapel.

Voila! A bold boutonniere for a dashing date.

*Origami Flowers

The word "origami" originated from the two Japanese words "ori," meaning "folding," and "kami," meaning "paper." This paper-folding technique has remained popular for over 1,000 years for a reason. With solely a sheet of paper, intricate and beautiful creations emerge. According to the origami experts at FoldSomething, "origami has many different meanings to traditionalists, artists, hobbyists and more recently mathematicians; however, fundamentally all these groups that deal with origami realize one thing: It's fun to create!"

To help you create your own, the Internet is flooded with tutorials and video instructions, such as those found on Origami-Instructions.com for origami lilies or cherry blossoms for beginners.

*Soda Pop Bottles

After you fuel up on caffeine for finals, empty soda bottles abound. The writer of the blog "Mod Mischief" has found a way to make sturdy, gorgeous flowers that can withstand any amount of dancing. Materials needed: scissors, soda pop bottles, spray paint, a glue gun, a knife and ribbon and tinsel or other decorative goods for the middle of the flower.

Using strong scissors, cut the bottom off a bottle. The petals can be either rounded or pointed, but smooth out any rough edges with a knife. Next, spray paint the flowers the desired color. Once the paint dries, you can add tinsel or other fabric to the center of the flower with the glue gun. Make numerous flowers, and pin them to a ribbon for a corsage or to a jacket lapel for a boutonniere.

*Silk Flowers

For promgoers who still wish to stand out from the crowd but might not be so creatively inclined, buying unusual corsages and boutonnieres is another option. Afloral.com has a collection of boutonnieres and corsages from silk flowers that range from $3 to $20, much cheaper than your local florist.

All of these options are great alternatives to expensive and uninspired flowers. Each of the corsages and boutonnieres can be stored and saved for scrapbooks or repeat appearances. They are also great alternatives for people who are allergic to natural flowers. Reusing bottles, pins, buttons and other materials is good for the environment. And best of all, they will give friends, family and fellow prom participants something fun to talk about!

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