Overhead photograph of flowers arranged on table
Hand-tied flower bouquet

How to Make a Hand-Tied Flower Bouquet

How to Make a Hand-Tied Flower Bouquet

Flower arranging is a gift that keeps on growing. In a few easy steps, you can learn the basics of flowering arranging at home to start making gorgeous designs.

Here’s how to make a hand-tied bouquet, popular for weddings and gifts. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to create your personalized arrangement.

You will need:

Focal flowers:
• 1 Peruvian lily stem (Alstroemeria aurea 'Friendship')
• 5 roses of different varieties (Rosa 'Duchess of Cornwall', R. 'Moody Blue', R. 'Proper Job')
• 3 nigella stems (Nigella hispanica 'African Bride')

• 3 hornbeam branches (Carpinus betulus)
• 3 Chinese forget-me-not stems (Cynoglossum amabile)
• 5 apple mint stems (Mentha suaveolens)

Flowering stems:
• 3 astrantia stems (Astrantia major)
• 2 milky bellflower stems (Campanula lactiflora)
• 3 rosebay willowherb stems (Epilobium angustifolium 'Stahl Rose')

Raffia or twine


1. Before starting to build your hand tie, remove any leaves, side shoots, or thorns from the bottom half to two-thirds of the stems. Lay out all of the prepared material on a surface, grouping flowers of the same type so that they are easy to select.

Flower arranging a hand-tied bouquet step one

2. Take a focal flower and hold it in your nondominant hand. Add foliage and flowering stems alternately, thinking about how their colors and shapes interact. Hold the flowers in place in your palm using your thumb and forefinger. Do not use the woody hornbeam branches until step 4.

Flower arranging a hand-tied bouquet step two

3. Adjust your grip by sliding your thumb up and down your forefinger. Loosen your grip to insert new stems into the bouquet at an angle. Place each new stem beneath the existing flowers so that a dome shape to the bouquet forms. Turn the bouquet counterclockwise after every third stem to create the spiral twist to the stems.

Flower arranging a hand-tied bouquet step three

4. Use your final stems to fill any gaps in the center, inserting them from the top and nestling them between flowers that are already in place. Ensure that the stems are being worked in the same direction. Finish with the woodiest stems (in this case, the hornbeam), which will support any softer stems, protecting them when the bouquet is tied off.

Flower arranging a hand-tied bouquet step four

5. To tie the bouquet, loop the piece of raffia or twine around your forefinger. Then wrap it around the bouquet above your holding hand and pull the ends through the original loop. Separate the two ends, rest the bouquet on the edge of a table, and tie in a double knot.

Flower arranging a hand-tied bouquet step five

6. Finish off the bouquet by cutting the stems so that they are uniform and neat. The bouquet should balance if placed upright on a table or work surface.

Flower arranging a hand-tied bouquet step six


The Flower Book explores 60 flowers, bloom-by-bloom in stunning portraiture. Lush macrophotography allows readers to see the details of each featured flower up close, from the amaryllis in spring, snapdragon in summer, and dahlia in fall to tropical wonders such as orchids and more.

Buy the book

Buy the book

The Flower Book The Flower Book

Explore 60 flowers, bloom by bloom, in stunning portraiture with lush macrophotography that showcases the Read more

Explore 60 flowers, bloom by Read more


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