How to Make a French Hand-tied Bouquet

Since I was young, I’ve loved making hand-tied bouquets as gifts for friends.  The French love tightly packed bouquets with lots of greenery and created the spiral stem technique. The cute little water pack, makes for easy transportation. This is my version for Mother’s Day. Enjoy!

Bouquet mothers day

flower clippers

parchment paper (14″ by 14″ piece)

scalloped edge ruler or circle template

scissors or x-acto knife

Pre-cut flags (from Martha Stewart Crafts)

waxed twine

Flower recipe:

10 stems of sweet pea

10 stems of ranunculus

2 stems of viburnum

5 stems of anemone

8 stems of alchimilla or strawberry greens

5 stems of sweet woodruff

Tips: Extra greens always come in handy to help fill the bouquet. Also, make sure some of the flowers are budded and some are fully open. This will help the bouquet come together seamlessly.

Step 1: Create a scallop edge around the parchment paper. This is easily done by using a scallop edge ruler. We used a circle template and created a cardboard template and then cut the edges with an x-acto knife. It took around 15 minutes.

Flower recipe

Step 2: Layout all the flowers you need and remove most of the leaves. Separate into piles according to color and type.


Step 3: In your left hand (or right hand if you are left-handed), gather a few stems of flowers like a mini bouquet. 

Spiral stems how to

Step 4: Add 3-4 stems of flowers at a 45 degree angle and turn the bouquet.  Repeat until the bouquet is full. The stems should automatically spiral and the bouquet should be able to stand up by itself.  Tips: Add strawberry greens around the edge to help support the stems. 

Step 5: Tie the bouquet and cut the stems.

Wrapping how to

6: Lay the bouquet in a corner of the paper. Bring the diagonal edges together and then the sides and tie together at the base of the bouquet with waxed twine.

Tying 4Tying 3

7. Fill with water by putting the bouquet under the faucet and turning on a slow stream of water until the bottom section feels full.

8. Write a message on the flag, tape to a skewer stick, cut to the proper length for your bouquet and stick it in the flowers.

The recipient can unclip the string and drop the bouquet into a vase of clean water. It should last around 5 days.


Text and photos by Chelsea Fuss. Assistant and model: Lauren Willhite.