I made these boutonnieres for our Pirate Crew, AKA all our friends and family who are stepping up to help staff our wedding. They will help identify the helpers to any guests or vendors who may need assistance with something.
They were super-fast, and super-fun. I got 50 of them done in two days of working on them. Understand, these are clearly home/hand-made. As such they're a little… eccentric. Inconsistent. Lopsided. Just be prepared. If you want them perfect, it's going to take a lot of measuring and ironing that I wasn't willing to do, even though my OCD says I should have.
(CAVEAT: The angles described are not quite the angles in the picture, because I took all the pictures before I had the tutorial perfected.)
Things you need:
- Beer or beverage of choice (because my mom taught me that step zero of any crafting project is “grab a beer”)
- Ribbon: 5/8″ used here, about 12 inches per boutonniere
- Buttons: 1 per, flat backs. You will want these to be about twice the size of your ribbon width
- Safety pins: 1 per
- Hot glue and glue gun
- Pendants: Optional (Our keys indicate that someone is a driver in case we need more ice or what have you.)
- Twist ties or additional ribbon: for optional pendants
STEP 1: Cut one length of ribbon to make a test subject. Plug in the hot glue. Gather a set of materials. Put medical tape on the first three fingers of your left hand.
STEP 2: Start with the left leg. If your ribbon has a clear “top” and “bottom,” make sure the front is facing you with the top to your left. Measure about two inches up (I know this says about 1.5 inches, but two worked out better). You won't need to measure after the first couple — it's okay if it's not perfect (this was the mantra I kept telling myself). Hold that end at a 45 degree angle or so — just as it would be if you were looking at it when it's done.
STEP 3: Place a dot of hot glue at that two inch point.
STEP 4: Loop the long tail around the back, and bring it across the hot glue dot to the right. This is the middle loop, so try to angle the tail so it comes across not as a 45 to the first leg, but a bit more flat to the right. Squeeze to flatten the glue (hence the medical tape: it protects you from some of the burning sensation).
STEP 5: Place another dot of glue right on top of the other one in a stack.
STEP 6: Loop the ribbon around the back and back over the glue, angling the tail almost on top of the left leg. Squeeze.
STEP 7: One more dot of glue in the stack.
STEP 8: Loop the ribbon back again and angle the final leg at a 45 to the whole thing, so it mirrors the first leg with the first loop in the middle — making an infinity symbol with the second loop. Squeeze.
STEP 9: Glue the back of the button and place it into the center of the shamrock. Squeeze.
STEP 10: Repeat the above for as many boutonnieres as you're making in a batch. I did them in batches of 10, to keep count, and also because that's when my fingers started to feel too burn-y to keep going. The next section is less burn-y and gives your fingers a break from the heat.
STEP 11: Flip the boutonniere over and place a dot of glue in the middle.
STEP 12: Unclasp a safety pin and place it at a perpendicular angle to the ribbon surface. Try not to let the safety pin show from the front. If you are doing pendants at the bottom, try to get the bottom loop of the safety pin angled somewhat toward the point where the two dangly legs of ribbon meet.
STEP 13: Hold the point of the pin on one finger to keep it perpendicular to the ribbon, and place another dot of glue on top of the first one, sandwiching/enveloping the section of pin into a glue dot. Hold that for about 10 seconds while the glue cools enough to hold, then you can move onto the next one.
STEP 14: If you have pendants, take the ribbon or twist ties and attach them through the loop at the bottom of the safety pin, after the glue has cooled completely.
STEP 15: If the ends are uneven or at the wrong angle, snip them.