Just tell your husband to get you a dozen roses (whoops, there goes the savings!) and choose just one bloom for your corsage. The rest you can enjoy on your table for the rest of the week.
You will need one rose, some foliage, florist tape, and some florist wire, cut into 6 inch. lengths.
You need to individually wire each blossom or leaf that you want in the corsage. For a leaf, bend the wire in half and poke into the back of the leaf and out again, about 1/3 the way up the spine. For the rose, trip the stem to one inch, strip off leaves, and poke the wire through the stem right at the base of the rose. Bend both ends down straight.
Now you use the florist tape to secure the stems and wire together. Start at the base of the leaf or flower and wrap, letting the warmth of your fingers activate the stickiness of the tape.
Here are the components for a Christmas-themed corsage I made for a wedding. You can use baby’s breath, any kind of fern, or smaller rose buds to fill out your corsage. You can even skip the rose and use whatever flowers you have blooming in your garden, though they may be more fragile and not last as long as a rose.
To form the corsage, grab your rose, a petal, and a piece of other greenery (I’m using ceder here) and gather them together at the base of their collective stems, arranging the greenery to the back of the blossom. Pinch together and begin wrapping florist tape around the stems. Add more flowers or greenery until corsage reaches the desired fullness. Make a small bow out of light weight ribbon and wire it. Add the bow and wrap the florist tape all the way down to the end of all the wires.
Bend the wire ends back up towards the bulk of stems and wrap the florist wire around a few more times before tearing it to finish it off.
A few corsage pins to attach it to your Sunday Best and you’re done!
You can make your corsage several days in advance if you spritz it with water and store it in a ziploc bag in the fridge (blow the bag up with air before you seal it so the bag doesn’t bruise the rose petals).
Ok, fine, I’ll reveal a florist secret – if you start with a fresh rose (petals tight and bud feels firm like an apple) a corsage can keep for a week in the fridge! (so, maybe you could manage to make the corsages and boutonnieres for your own wedding? I would have if I’d known this!)
May 3, 2013 update: If you’re looking for a great Mother’s Day gift idea, check out The Ultimate Homemakers eBook Collection. Hurry, sale ends midnight Saturday (5/4/2013 11:59 P.M. EST)!