DIY Hostess Gift: a hand-tied bouquet

by The Ladies of Foret

We couldn’t be more excited to be sharing with you weekly inspiration and tutorials that focus on craft, flowers and the season! When Grace asked if we would be interested in joining the Design*Sponge team, our jaws nearly hit the floor. Thank you, Grace! And readers, please tell us what you like and what you would like to hear more about! We can’t wait to hear what you have to say. — The Ladies of Forêt

Photo by Christine Willis
We felt there was no better way to start than with a post on the art of giving and sharing by bringing you a DIY hostess gift idea. As we start entering the crisp autumnal months, parties, gatherings and festivities begin filling up our calendars. Here, you’ll learn how to create a simple, seasonal hand-tied bouquet using collected foliage and flowers from your yard, garden or nearby nature trail paired with a few blooms from your local florist. Turning that bouquet into the perfect gift (for less than $20), we’ll show you how to use a tea towel (because who doesn’t need more tea towels?!) as a creative wrap.

The full how-to continues after the jump . . .

1. First, we clipped some crab apple branches and sedums from our backyard. You may use anything you like that you have growing out back — for example, maple leaf branches, hydrangea, rose hips, hosta leaves, etc.

2. Be sure to clip any low foliage, off-shoots and leaves that are toward the bottom of your branches or stems, leaving mostly the greens and flowers at the top of your stems.

3. Start gathering the stems with the leafiest, fullest foliage first to create your mass. Then add in your large floral pops. We chose local dahlias because we love their variety of shapes and colors. Because of their scale, we only needed three big blooms! You can buy three of the same flower or two of one variety and one of another; it’s really up to you! Be sure to choose a palette of flowers that works well with what you already have growing. Give the flowers a nice clean trim, cutting all the stems to the same length.

4. Tying the bouquet with a craft wire, start toward the top of the bouquet just below the blooms and wrap in a downward spiral covering about 5 inches in length and then switch and wind the wire back up the stems to create X’s over the initial wrap. Twist the ends together to complete.

5. We love this simple printed tea towel from West Elm ($9) for its subtle pattern and slight starchiness. Feel free to starch the cloth you use to give it some structure around the bouquet.

To wrap: Fold one edge of the tea towel to make a square and then place the bouquet at the top of one corner with the stems pointed toward the opposite corner. Flip the opposite corner up to cover the bottom of the stems, then pulling the right side corner in, wrap over the bouquet. Do the same with the left corner.

6. Using a ribbon (we chose this neutral burlap ribbon), secure the tea towel and tie in a wooden spoon ($1 at the Dollar Store) with your final knot. Add any personalized message to the end of the spoon with a Sharpie to thank your host for having you. Merci bou-quet!

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  • I second that first comment! However, I would be concerned about drips from sap and other types of leakage from flowers and stems. I would use some saran wrap or platic bag around the stems after it has been tied together. Then I would wrap it in the tea towel.

  • This is great – such lovely colours. What I love though, is that it’s a super-personal gift: a little bit of your own garden as a present :)

  • What a creative idea. Beautiful, original and inexpensive as well as easy. Brava ladies of Foret!

  • Love it! The garden is a great inspiration for creating your own flower bouquets. Together with the tea towel and spoon it makes a great little gift. Thank you for this tip!

  • Please don’t encourage readers to take blossoms from a “nearby nature trail”. Colonies of native wildflowers and plants need protecting so the nature trail is there for all to enjoy into the future, for people and creatures.

    The blossom removed from a natural area may be the very one needed to die in place, spread its seeds and keep the variety going at that location, part of a larger inter-dependent ecosystem.

  • Very nicely done and a great suggestion. Maybe even use a Christmas tea towel during the holidays–hopefully something will still be growing in the backyard then! Maybe holly?

  • What a fun, creative and thoughtful hostess gift! And your instructions were so well done, I could probably make something like this! Way to go, Erin and Rose!!!

  • i live in lima, peru
    what a lovely gift idea
    thanks and let the inspiration and creativity to come
    un beso

  • Great ideas and great execution, ladies. I think I’ll make one for myself! Very nice Rose and Erin. Susan

  • For a wedding shower, one of the gifts had a wooden spoon with the names of the bride, groom, and wedding date wood burned onto it. Beautiful.