A corsage is a small bouquet of flowers worn typically by a woman. It differs from a boutonnière in size mainly, because it usually uses more flowers and more ribbon. Traditionally one makes a corsage by wiring together three boutonnieres, but you can approach it anyway you'd like. If nothing else, you begin making a corsage the same way you begin making a boutonniere: by wiring your flowers.
To refresh your memory on how to wire flowers, click on this link.
5-7 stems of small wired flower stems (e.g. jasmine, spray roses, carnations) (3-5 if using larger blossoms like garden roses, gardenias, anthurium, etc.)
3-4 stems of wired foliage (you can use the natural leaves from the flowers you chose or you can mix and match to create a more unique look.)
Wide ribbon, thick decorative floral wire, or a ready-made corsage band
Decorative ribbon (thickness depends on design style)
Personal or unique items (i.e. lockets, charms, feathers, lace, etc.) You can use basically anything here to add your own touch to your design. Don't feel limited by what you see others wearing or doing.
Correctly treat and process your flowers. Different flowers require different steps to ensure a long-lasting bloom once removed from a water source. Make sure you know the estimated life of your design so that it doesn't fall apart during your event. The orchids here must be wired carefully or they fall apart; the succulents are pretty easy to wire, but also must be handled with care. Finally, the white sweep triteleia is a little delicate so when you wire it, be sure to wrap the stems in a little bit of damp papertowel.
Choose your shape. Let the flowers build upon one another till you find a harmonic shape. I chose to go in one direction for this corsage because it had a more natural, wild feel.
Decide your style. Not every client knows exactly what they are looking for. Most people think of corsages as something they wore to THEIR prom 30 years ago, a basic (but beautiful) design with flowers, wire and ribbon. But nowadays there are a lot of resources to expand what you can do. Tools like floral design wire (comes in a variety of thicknesses and colors, find some here), oasis floral tape and glue, and a general expansion if thinking allows you to look beyond the traditional and come up with some beautiful non conventional techniques.
Here I've used a little bit of rustic design wire to add some drama and added a little bit of thin pale ribbon to hide the green floral tape.
Keep in mind a few things while you are designing:
Whether it is to be worn as a wrist corsage or pinned to a jacket, don't make the design too heavy. You don’t want the client to be constantly futzing with it, or worse, have it pull on their evening wear and potentially ruin the dress.
Don't over-design! Stepping away from the design for a bit and doing something else can work wonders if you find yourself at a dead-end. Constantly adding and subtracting will blur the intention of the design. You don't want a muddy palette!
Otherwise, have fun! Detail work like this can be frustrating compared to big arrangements but is just as satisfying once mastered.