Make a Handtie Bouquet of Flowers- like a Florist Pro | Alex Barton | Skillshare

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Make a Handtie Bouquet of Flowers- like a Florist Pro

teacher avatar Alex Barton, Florist and Flower Workshop Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro and What You'll Learn


    • 2.

      Class Project - A Handtie with Spiralled Stems


    • 3.

      Choosing Flowers and a Colour Palette


    • 4.

      Preparing and Conditioning Flowers


    • 5.

      Arranging your Handtie Bouquet


    • 6.

      Final Finishing Touches


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About This Class

Learn how to create a wild-look handtie bouquet using professional florist techniques.

In this beginner to intermediate workshop I’ll guide you through all the steps including:

  • choosing fresh flowers and colours to work with
  • preparing flowers to last as long as possible
  • removing any leaves or thorns that will be going below the tie-point of the bouquet
  • arranging all the stems together to form the handtie bouquet
  • tying off the bouquet with rustic twine

A handtie bouquet is an arrangement of flowers where the stems are placed in your hand and gradually built up to create a bouquet. The stems are tied together in one place once all the stems have been arranged.

You’ll also learn the spiral technique. This is when you place one stem next to the other, when you’re assembling the handtie, creating a spiral look with the stems and making it so much easier to adjust your flowers once their in the bouquet.

In this workshop I'll show you each stage of this handtie bouquet technique. I use this method when I make wedding bouquets. This is also a great florist skill to learn for making gift bouquets, arranging flowers to place in a vase to enjoy at home or as table centres and for any wedding bouquets you’re making.

Learning all these skills will help you create a handtie bouquet in a wild and natural look.

I’m Alex, and I’m the founder of Webb and Farrer, I’m a florist and I teach flower workshops.

Every year I create handtie bouquets for weddings, events and to deliver as gifts, in this workshop I’ll show you how to make your very own handtie bouquet.

Come and say Hi over on Instagram @WebbandFarrer where I share mini flower tutorials, wedding stories, flower tips and what’s going on behind the scenes.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Alex Barton

Florist and Flower Workshop Teacher


Hello, I’m Alex and I’m a florist in Brighton, England.

I’ve been working with flowers since 2014 but my passion for flowers started when I was small and made rose petal ‘perfume' in my family garden. My clients laugh when I can name all the flowers they show me pictures of, but knowing what they're all called is my version of knowing everyone's name in the office. Having worked in flower shops in London and Bristol, I’ve made floral arrangements for BBC TV and Wimbledon Tennis players.

The name Webb and Farrer came about because Webb is my Grandma Jean’s maiden name and Farrer is my Grandma Olive’s maiden name. I wanted to use their names so I’d have them with me all the time and to remind me... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro and What You'll Learn: Hello. My name's Alex and I'm the founder of Webb and Farrer. I've been a florist for seven years and in that time, I've made wedding flowers, and I've also taught flower workshops. In this workshop, I'm going to show you how to make a wild and natural look handtie bouquet A handtie bouquet is an arrangement of stems tied together at the base of the flowers, and I'm gonna show you how to make a handite bouquet with a spiral effect. This means that the stems are controlled at the base, and then the flowers are wild and loose, with lots of space at the top. You can use these skills. I'm going to show you, to make a handtie bouquet to go in a vase at home, to make a gift bouquet and also to make bouquets for a wedding. The spiral shape we're going to be using for this handtie bouquet is also really handy to use if you're making any other style of flower arrangement bouquet. It also means that you can slide the stems up and down in the design and it gives you a bit more manoeuvrability once you put all those stems together. So this flower workshop is beginner to intermediate level and I'm going to take you through each stage step by step. We're going to start by looking at what kind of size and shaped flowers to go for to really create that wild and natural look. We're going to think about the kind of colour palettes we might want to try out and I'll also show you how to condition your flowers so they look their ultimate best and last for as long as possible. I'll then show you how you can arrange those flowers in that spiral shape I talked about so you can adjust them if you want to. And then we're going be tying the bouquet off with some twine to give everything a natural look. All these skills will help you make a beautiful handtie bouquet in a wild look. 2. Class Project - A Handtie with Spiralled Stems: The class project in this workshop is to create a handtie bouquet with a spiral effect. The reason I've chosen to show you how to create that spiral effect is because it means that all the flowers are really controlled at the base. but at the top they're wild and loose and really natural looking. And it gives those flowers lots of space to move around. This arrangement is great for putting into a vase at home. And it's also the way that I create wedding bouquets. Having a handtie bouquet tied with twine also means it's really easy to refresh the water when you want to keep those flowers lasting as long as possible. You just pop your bouquet out, change the water in your vase and pop the flowers back in again. I'd love to see your work, so please share it with me in the Class Project Gallery. So in the next section, I'm going to show you what you'll need for your project and we're also going to be choosing the colours we're going to go for. 3. Choosing Flowers and a Colour Palette: in this section I'm gonna show you what you'll need to create your handtie. bouquet, In that natural and wild look. I'll also show you how you could choose the kind of colours you want to go for. We're also gonna be going through what kind of size and shape flowers look best in a natural and wild design. You'll need some twine, some sharp scissors or secateurs and then a clean vase of water. You could also go for a large jam jar or any kind of vessel you have around the house. You'll also need flowers and foliage to add interest into the design and give it a real natural and wild look. Go for lots of different shapes and sized flowers. I'll start by showing you the largest flowers we're gonna go for in the design, and those are called the focal flowers. And I've gone for these beautiful, ranunculus. Also these anenomes with the lovely centre, and then some scented garden roses. And then we're gonna go onto secondary flowers, which are downsized. They're usually kind of small to medium size flowers, and they add a scattering of colour and interest through the design. I've got these really lovely cute daisies you can see here. Next up we're gonna go for pointed flowers and these are perfect for the wild look because they give a spiky and really interesting feel with lots of lines and direction in the arrangement. And I've got this lovely nepeta. We're also gonna be going for some beautifully pointed snapdragons. Now on to the filler flowers and these fill in the gaps between all the flowers and they add jiggling movement. And this is especially great if they're going into a wedding bouquet and it's carried down the aisle with lots of movement. And here we've got, orlaya which is a white lace flower and we've got some grass, which is incredible. It's called quaking grass, and I absolutely love it. Last but not least, we're onto the foliage and I've got this sarcococca, which has beautiful, small, dark green glossy leaves. With the wild look design, I didn't want to go for foliage that was too big and dominant. You could use something like olive leaves or even a small leaved eucalyptus in your design And now we're onto talking about colour. So to mimic that really wild look and that countryside feeling I've gone for the majority of whites and greens in this handtie arrangement just because that's typically what you'd find in the countryside outdoors. And then I also wanted to include splashes and dashes of colour. To do that, I've included things like daisy with its yellow centre. I'm also gonna be using these pink ranunculus, and then this links through with this red little anemone. The darkness of the centre of the anemone works really well alongside the darker burgundy in this quaking grass. It'ss really lovely to have a splash of white and light and then we've also got the contrast of beautiful, deep and dark colors in there, too. Choosing your colours, why not start with a base of white and green to really help you with that natural wild look and then you can add a few splashes and dashes of colour of your own. Maybe choose 3, 4 or 5 colours that you want to go for, and these colors can contrast together. They can create real interest throughout the design. and you could also link some together like I've linked the pink with red and then the lilac with the lilac of the white flowers. Then the yellow really adds contrast against those other flowers. So now we've looked at all the ways we can choose the sizes and shapes and colours of flowers. In the next section, I'm gonna be shown you how to prepare and condition your flowers, so they're looking their best. 4. Preparing and Conditioning Flowers: In this section, we're going to be talking about conditioning flowers, and conditioning is when we prepare flowers so they look their ultimate best and last for as long as possible. We do things like take the leaves off the stems just below the water line so the water doesn't go brown and murky. We cut off any thorns from things like roses, and we also cut the stems at an angle, so they're drinking up as much water as they possibly can. Let's start by conditioning this nepeta, which has lots of leaves and stems that go all the way down to the base off the main stem. What I want to do is take off anything that's going to be sitting below the water line. And by doing this, I just allow the water to stay clear because these leaves would make it go mushy if they're submerged. I'm just gently plucking off any small stems and leaves that I don't want. Just gently pulling downwards like so and then when I know this stem is lovely and clear, I'm then gonna cut that stem at an angle a couple of centimetres up and then put it straight into that clean water so it can drink. And then when I'm conditioning roses, I like to make sure that I take off all the thorns because you really don't wanna hurt yourself. Whilst your arranging the flowers. And if it's a wedding bouquet you definitely want to take the thorns off so no one gets spiked whilst they're holding their bouquet. So I cut off the thorns against the stem then the stem becomes smooth. And I'm also gonna pluck off some of these leaves and cut anything that I want to neaten up the stem. And then when the stem is nice and smooth, I'm then gonna cut off the bottom of the stem at an angle right here, and it's gonna go straight into the clean water to drink. Then I'll just show you how to condition these daisies, and they've also got leaves all the way down the stem. So with this kind of flower, just pluck off all the things that you don't want have in that bouquet. Make lovely and clear. And then cut the stem at the angle, we're gonna go straight into the clean vase of cold water I'm gonna do the same with all these stems. I've already conditioned all the other flowers in a similar way. It's best to condition your flowers as soon as they're brought home, especially if they've been out of water from the shop to your front door. To help you along with your class projects, have a go at preparing your flowers as soon you've brought them home from the shop and put them in that lovely fresh water. So they drinking up as much as possible. If this handtie bouquet is for your home, you can condition your flowers and then arrange them straight away and enjoy watching them open up on your kitchen table. If this handtie bouquet is for a wedding, it's best to condition the flowers two or three days before the wedding day and then assemble and make the handtie bouquet for the wedding, the day before the wedding or if you have time on the morning of the wedding. So in this section we've talked about conditioning and preparing our flowers so they look their best and they last as long as possible. We've taken off any unwanted leaves below the water line. We've cut away sharp thorns, and we've also cut the stems at an angle, so they're drinking up as much water as they possibly can. In the next chapter, we're gonna be arranging the bouquet itself. 5. Arranging your Handtie Bouquet: So now we've decided on the flowers and colour theme, we've conditioned our flowers, so they've drunk loads of water up. I've now waited a while so those flowers have had a good old drink and now I'm going to be building the bouquet. So what I've done is I've got my twine and my scissors and my vase of water pre-prepared and ready with me. Some of these ranunculus also had other little buds coming off the main flower stem so I'm gonna cut these down so I can use those in the handtie as well. Then we're gonna split this in two just like that. I've also made sure that any of my lower leaves on the foliage have been taken off too and these have been conditioned and they've had a chance to drink up lots of water as well. So now all the flowers and foliage have been laid out on the table, I'm going to try not to pick up and put things down too many times because the table can damage the edge of the really fragile petals. Gonna start building the wild-look handtie bouquet in that spiral shape. So to begin the spiral, I'll start with my most central and sturdy piece of foliage, and then I'm also gonna choose the flower that I want to put in the middle. I'm gonna nestle that in there like so and that's now already interlocked. And can you see that the two stems are crossing over. Hold your handtie bouquet between your thumb and your forefinger, just gently squeeze them together so you could hold your stems in place and as the arrangement gets bigger and bigger, you just open up your grip. really, ever so slightly. Because we're going for a wild-look handtie bouquet, we can just pick and choose whatever we want to put in there. There's no set structure of how things have to be laid out. There's no perfect order or number, we'll go for kind of gathered look so you can just pluck things up from where you want. Pop them in and then just keep moving around the bouquet and add slowly. Add something like a filler flower in, and they maybe add a secondary flower in and then add a pointed flower. And I'm just gonna show you how I slowly assemble the handtie bouquet. So I think next up I want to put in a really cute little daisy. I'm just gonna lay that onto my spiral shape, like so. And if you find that some of the stems are a bit too long to work with, you could just cut them down as you're going along, I'm gonna add a rose in here. To create this spiral effect in the handtie, I just add one stem to the side of the last stem I put down. So this was the last stem I put down and this next stem is going to be nestled in next door to it just like that. And then I turn my bouquet so I've got access to this side where I'm gonna be placing the next flower. and now you can see our wild look bouquet is just starting to take shape and the way that I spread things through the design is by kind of alternating what I'm choosing. I'll choose a filler flower, then maybe a bit of foliage, and then I'll choose a focal flower and then I'll choose a secondary flower. And that just begins to scatter to the flowers naturally through the design and it does look more like a gathered look that we want to go for. The spiral effect, which you can see here, which is starting to build up, means that all those flowers are very open at the top, controlled at the base and then also open right at the bottom. If these were tied up together in a lollipop design, it would really bring those flowers in together. But we want to keep them loose and wild, so we're just gonna be tying off here right at the end. But as we go, we're still building up that spiral. I'll add a ranunculus in, next to the flower I just placed in. And it's nice when things naturally come next to each other. It gives us a kind of grouped effect, and then adds even more impact from that colour. I'm gonna add a bit of foliage. Foliage is a really great support for the flowers. If you can just put it in every now and again, particularly next to a stem that seems a little bit weaker, . It really protects that stem from when we're tying everything up. And here I'm really gently gripping. I'm not squeezing too tightly. I'm just letting all those flowers kind of balance and rest in my hand. And this does come with time and practice. Honestly, The first time I did it, I was holding everything too high and everything kind of bunched up. But that's totally fine. The more you practice, the more relaxed you become. As you can see, we've created the spiral shape. So if you do want to move stems up and down and in and out, it's really simple. So if everything does start to just fall down a little bit because you felt you're gripping it too tight, you can always gently relax your hand, and then feed up those flowers that you want to be nice and tall. I think it's about time to add some quaking grass. What I've done just to strengthen this because the steps are very thin and weak, is I grabbed about maybe six all together, and I'm holding them together as one stem almost. I'm gonna feed those in as a little group, and it actually does look quite nice and natural, as a kind of condensed assortment of stems. And just keep placing and twisting and have fun with this. It's honestly, just like a little pick and mix shop. Because you've laid everything out, and we've prepared every single stem, that just makes life a lot easier when we want to pick something up and place it into the design. And as you can see, the bouquet is getting bigger. My grip is opening up slightly and my thumb is resting on my forefinger because it would take too much for me to just kind of hold on for dear life like that. So I'm resting my thumb, on my forefinger like so. That means that gives me a lot more maneuverability. I can then hold the bouquet, twist it round and then grip on again like that. You might find that your spiral goes in the other direction. One of my friends who I used to work with in Bristol, her spiral went in totally the opposite direction to mine. But as long as you find your flow and you know what's right for you, just be consistent with where you place your stems, choose the side you want to place them on and keep that the same the whole way around when you're making. your bouquet, and your spiral will begin to take shape. You might also find it handy to just keep looking design and thinking 'ooh where should something go in next?' So I can see here, I've got grasses up in the top, right and I think it would look really lovely if I could get some grasses down at this bottom left. So I'm gonna nestle those in now, whilst I've got the chance and I'll continue building from there. Gonna add a bit of foliage just a break up the flower design. And then I really wanted to add this red anemone next to a pink ranunculus to bring out the colour of both of them as a very nice clash. I love pink and red together, So I'm gonna put this in here, and that does feel like quite a soft stem. So I'm gonna make sure a bit more foliage goes in there just to secure it. So as you can see a lot less flowers on the table, now I'm holding most of them in my hand. So I'm just going to start working near the base of the bouquet because it's nice to start with your eyes coming across the top with all those lovely lines and texture And then it's also great to look in here and see all those hidden flowers in the depths of the bouquet. I've chosen some orlaya and I'm gonna nestle that in really low into the design like that. And I love the way this last little bit of orlaya's drawing the eye right out in the design. I want the bouquet to be evenly distributed with flowers all the way around and I've found a bit of a gap here, so I'm just gonna add in quite a few flowers at this moment into this gap. Nestling them low I'll put in a bit of this grass because I love it. In there. A bit more foliage like that. We want to make sure that there aren't any leaves, below where we're holding with our hand and everything is happening above. I'm gonna put this snapdragon in to point out along with that lovely, orlaya I had earlier and this rose but is also pointing in that direction. So I'm gonna go in round the back here. And put that one in. I've just added that into the spiral design, everything is pointing in the right direction, and it just makes life so much easier when you're holding it. I'm going to save these last bits of foliage right to the very end because I'd like to have a collar of the darker foliage, which is nice and strong supporting all the stems. So now I'm just gonna feed in all the rest of my little bits of flowers I've got left and I'm just placing them around kind of sporadically. Just twist the bouquet around. See where you might have a gap. This orlaya's definitely nice and tangled. I'm gonna put that one in quite low down in here. Just twist as you go. So place your flower and then twist. I've got some really nice little buds of ranunculus here left over. I'm gonna pop those in around the edge because they've got nice line, and they point here and there. Then they add some real interest into the bouquet, we need a few more bits to go, and I'm just still gripping on gently. I'm holding firmly but gently because we don't want to crush the stems, but we do want keep them in the in place and in the spiral shape that we want to stay in putting in the final pieces, twisting as a good thing we're gonna add in everything I laid up because everything's working well on I love the combination of my feel of flowers knowledge of flowers, fluffy flowers You can see it adds so much for interest into the design on whilst you're coming to the end Just have a look what you've done You can even start in front of a mirror if you find that easier Did you see it with a fresh pair of eyes? So these are my last two little bits going in I'm literally nestling this rose, but right down inside twisting my final one Mine They're coming in I love the way I'm holding now and even the old layer And then a pizza on the grass is just Google three pretty And as you can see I've got my flowers are at different heights within Okay? And I think that adds a really lovely silhouette on when you finished putting everything in I've still got the footage to go. I'm just gonna have a little assessment of wild flowers are now. You can draw things in and out of Okay. If you think something is a little bit too high up, you can push that angry too gently. And the spiral means everything kind of glides alongside each other, and it's so handy and helpful. So I like to have some flowers hidden a little bit behind another flower. I think that gives it so much more kind of depth on interest. Just a Zaken. See some of the Stebbins air clashing on top of the table of it. It's a bit of a pain to hold up really hard, so what you can do now is we're not deciding on the height of the stems right now, but we're just gonna cut some of those longer ones. That's a week fit, more control, looking in the mirror, reflection of it. Or if you just want to turn it and have a look. Now, that's so much easier than before when I was having to, like, wrestle with height. So I think I'm really happy that design. I'm gonna add the phone agent now just around the edges, just to get a bit more strength. So I'm adding in my final bits, foliage around the base on the edge of the okay, twisting ever so slightly years ago because that gives us extra strength around this part. Express into the ties. And if it's a wedding, Okay, this is the part where it's gonna be gripped onto This is the final bit going in. It's quite a nice long going to use that to support with flour. And there's a flower. This story there's a leaf just where it's gonna be tied. So I'm gonna take these off because we don't want anything crushed where we're going to be tying it. Everything is happening just above. And here we go. It's your world. Look hand tied. Okay, I'm gonna tie off now with my twine. It's really helpful if you can get your twine pre prepared because it's quite difficult to hold onto of. Okay, try and cut. Something gets a bit complicated. So if you can do yourself a favor and just have everything ready and prepared for you before you start saves a lot of hassle, so go might wines quite long. Is that a meat also in length, but you don't need it this long. I just wanted to use it as a kind of a decorative time. You find the middle off your twine, but that against your grip line where you've just been holding onto so holding it up against where I've been holding of okay with my forefinger, and then you can see each side it off. The twine is leased by the side of my finger on. I'm gonna take one side at a time and just wrap it around the bouquet once and then take the other side wrap that okay around the okay, the other side, Like so And I'll both. So I defacing. May I make being wrapped around A couple of times, I'm just gonna gently lay this down on the table. So go both my hands available to give myself No, I'm gently pulling. I don't want Oh, yank it together because all these terms are quite precious. Gently pulling it. I'm going to do a double. No, there we go. And if you want to get decorative with your twine, you could just twist this around a few more times. We go rustic and we're going wild so the twine could be rustic and wild, too. There we go. I've already tied in place. This is more of a decorative, Not double. Not that one. We're just gonna come out. So is even. You can even jiggle your flowers out a little bit to expand the top off the okay. Even more on depending on the height of your boss. It depends on how much you cut off that. What I want to do is I'm gonna go quite short with my stems because my father's is really short and squat. So a trick that I do to make this a lot easier if I put the vials at the end off the table and then I sit the flowers is if they would be sitting in that class and I think, Oh, yeah, that would look nice against the rim of the Falls. So remember, I want cuts it about here, So I'm gonna cut along here in a straight line. And if you're a bit nervous about cutting too much off, maybe go a couple of centimetres longer, but it got a bit of leeway way cut straight along like you're doing. A messy British cop is gonna have a quick look at anything that might be a bit shorter missed out on that stem cup. But I'm just gonna top upwards. Make sure no stem is left uncut. I try and do this a little bit quickly because I know that these other stems we're going to be drawing out once I do that, I want some happy that these little fly away stems of being cut. I just put the okay straight into the water. And that's all natural love. The can't I broke a in its spiral shape happily sitting and drinking water. So in this section, I show you how you assemble your hand type. Okay, in a spiral and hat makes life so much easier when that is in that shape, you can guide flowers in and out and give them more height or bring them right into the design. I've also showing you how to lay everything out and just pick and choose the different textured and shaped flowers. They should go in the next section. We're gonna be finishing up our project on. I'm also gonna show you how you can make your flowers last even longer. Remember to keep sharing your work on the project gallery. I love seeing your progress, and it will be great to see your hand. Taibo case 6. Final Finishing Touches: Hello. Welcome to the final chapter or creating a handtie bouquet, in a wild look. In this workshop, we've learned how to choose our flowers and the sizes and textures you want to go forward to create that wild countryside look. We've also looked at the colour palette that's mainly white and green, with splashes of colours that work well together and contrast. We also conditioned and prepared our flowers before we started arranging them, so they had the chance to drink loads of water and look their best. And it also meant it was much easier to assemble everything because all the leaves and the little flyway bits of stems had been taken off before we started working with them. And then we learned how to create our handtie in a spirla look, which was so helpful because it meant we could guide flowers in and out. To help your bouquet last as long as possible. re-cut the stems every two days and when you're doing that, change the water so it's nice and fresh and clean. You can share your work in the portrait gallery, and I'll answer any questions if you have them. Thanks for following along with me whilst we make this wild-look handtie bouquet.