ISSUE 6  |  Love Is a Rose

DIY: Flowers a Man Can Wear

February 11, 2014 5:00 PM

BY Cynthia Salaysay

Flowers for men? Why ever not. Boutonnií¨res, like this one designed by Farmgirl Flowers’ Rhiannon Smith, can have a rakish, unstudied appeal. Cheaper than a necktie, and more fun, this small yet sweet token of your affection would make a charming Valentine’s Day gift.

Photographs by Brian Hildebrand.

Above: Gather your supplies, all easily procured at the craft store.

Succulent Boutonnií¨re by Rhiannon Smith (see more of her work at Rhiannon Flowers).


  • 10 inches of 22 gauge floral wire
  • 14 inches of floral tape
  • 2-3 inches of ¼ inch thick ribbon (optional)
  • For your flowers and greens, go foraging. “If you’re going out and foraging materials yourself, it makes it more personal,” says Smith. “It’s fun to go in your backyard and find something you can use. Men really like unexpected materials.” 
  • You’ll need a larger, round flower as a focal point, a sprig of berries or rosehips, and a leaf. For this boutonnií¨re, Smith used a rosette from a succulent as the focal point, a bit of privet berry, which grows all around San Francisco, and a pistachio leaf. But you can also use baby pomegranate, or a round ranunculus flower as your focal point. Rosehips or tiny flowerbuds could be used in place of the berries. Any leaf that catches your eye will do.  


  1. Create a stem for your succulent rosette. Take 6 inches of floral wire, and pierce the rosette through its center, up through the base, towards its showy face, leaving about 3 inches of wire below the base. 
  2. Come back down through the rosette, close to where you originally pierced it, forming a “U” with the wire. 
  3. With 7 inches of floral tape, wrap the pair of wires from the base of the flower down towards the stem.
  4. Trim the ends so the stem is about 2 inches long, or longer, to balance out the arrangement. 
  5. Gather your foraged finds into a pleasing arrangement with the rosette in front, and wind a 4-inch length of floral wire around the stems to secure.
  6. With another length of floral tape, cover the stems and wire, and trim the excess to about 2 inches, or whatever length looks best. 
  7. If you’re using a bit of ribbon, there’s no need to tie a bow. Smith uses a simple square knot. 
  8. Finally, present your gift to the person in question, and blush. 

Above: An array of boutonnií¨res made for a Farmgirl fíªte. Sunflower was involved, as well as ranunculus, craspedia, dusty miller, privet berry, eucalyptus and olive leaf.

Feeling romantic? Browse the rest of our Valentine’s Day Ideas.

Hoping for a Valentine’s Day sans red roses? See DIY: Winter Romance in a Silver Brunia Bouquet 

Utterly stumped? See Joel Stein’s Tips for Buying Valentine’s Flowers