What is a Hand-Tied Bouquet and Why Does It Matter?

When we hear words like handcrafted and hand-wrought, they bring an artisan vibe to an otherwise seemingly ordinary thing. If a restaurant hand-presses their lemonade or hand-forms their burgers, it immediately elevates our desire to order those items. The same feeling goes for hand-tied bouquets, which is why all of our bouquets are hand-tied by our in-house artisans. 

The knowledge that we are supporting something handmade by an individual is good for our psyche, and these feelings can be brought about by receiving—or making—a hand-tied bouquet. Here’s a guide to what hand-tied bouquets are and what makes them so incredibly unique. 

hand-tied mardi gras bouquet

What is a hand-tied bouquet?

When talking about hand-tied bouquets, it’s essential to realize that—as the name somewhat indicates—the phrase ‘hand-tied’ refers to the technique of how the bouquet is made, not the overall shape of the finished product. It all comes down to the craft of tying a bouquet by hand.

You can place hand-tied arrangements into a vase or carry them as a ceremonial bouquet, which is common at weddings and quinceaneras. The art of loosely organizing flowers and tying them together gives a more of an organic feel rather than plunging stems into floral foam for a more fixed arrangement.

hand-tied bouquet in vase

Some bouquet shapes are more popular than others, and you may spot a few familiar ones below. 

  • In a round bouquet, blooms take on a spherical shape. These are usually very symmetrical and balanced and are mostly composed of flowers versus greenery or filler. A smaller version of the round bouquet is the posy, which follows the same principles on a lesser scale. An even tinier adaptation is the nosegay, which consists of just a handful of blooms.
  • A presentation bouquet, designed to lay along the arm, is popular in pageantry. If you’ve ever seen the Miss America pageant, you know that the night ends with the newly crowned pageant winner waving, with her bouquet in hand, as the song “Here she comes, Miss America” rings throughout the auditorium. 
  • Cascading hand-tied bouquets have a very organic feel, and they often have lots of greenery, which causes the cascade. Flowers are loosely arranged and placed with longer foliage, such as ferns and eucalyptus, to create a stunning, freshly-picked look. 
  • For a truly unique bouquet, consider the Biedermeier, where individual flowers are placed in a specific arrangement. For example, roses may fill the center of the bouquet and have a circle of baby’s breath around the outside. This method results in rings of color and can be truly striking.

hand-tied rose bouquet

What makes a hand-tied bouquet special?

Just like anything handmade, the artisan nature of hand-tied bouquets elevates your arrangement. Often, they are tied with flowing ribbon or with tightly wound twine, depending on the occasion. Because the blooms are bound together, they can have a range of applications from carrying during a ceremony to placing in a vase to enjoy on a kitchen counter. 

Hand-tied bouquets are easy to make—even for a DIY bride—because of their blooms’ casual arrangement. Of course, any bouquet of flowers is special, but adding the element of tying the flowers together by hand is more personal. 

hand-tied bouquet

What is the technique for creating a hand-tied bouquet? 

First, the instructions for making a hand-tied bouquet aren’t complicated, which is a relief! In fact, the process should be quite enjoyable because the final look is supposed to be casual, carefree, and feel freshly picked.

Overall, a hand bouquet has the appearance that someone walked through a flower garden, picked flowers, and tied them up to give to someone else. Hand-tying is one of the simplest DIY bouquets, and the supply list is small—garden snips, flowers, fillers, and something to secure your stems, such as twine or ribbon. Here’s our in-house artisans’ easy, 5-step process for crafting hand-tied bouquets.

Choose your flowers. 

Flowers with thinner stems work best for creating a hand-tied bouquet, but don’t that limit you as you can combine different thicknesses. Select flowers that go together beautifully so that your final result blends well in both color and texture. Our artisans see this frequently with mixed bouquets, like our best-selling Celebrate Good Times.

Flowers with round heads work well, and you can also add greenery as filler or for a cascading bouquet. Our floral experts also recommend keeping the shape and final result in mind when picking your flowers. 

Prep your blooms. 

Trim any unsavory parts off of your flowers. These components include fading petals, ripped leaves, thorns, excess foliage, and parts of the flower stem where the arrangement is tied.

Don’t trim stems quite yet as you want to ensure they are long enough for your hand bouquet. After prepping, organize your blooms by putting like flowers together so that they are easy to grab for arranging. 

prepping hand-tied bouquet

Make your arrangement. 

This is where the fun begins! Our experts suggest using your non-dominant hand for collecting flowers, and let your dominant hand place the blooms. Start with your focal flowers, like roses, sunflowers and daisies, then slowly add greenery, like Ruscus and eucalyptus to your arrangement.

Work from the inside of the bouquet to the outside. Save your sturdiest foliage for the outside to protect the lovely blooms within. Rotate the arrangement and add flowers as you wish. Also, try not to make the flower heads all the same height—lower them as you work outward to create a rounded shape. 

Place the stems precisely as you wish, and feel free to move them around until they are tied. Be sure the flower head tops are at the height that is pleasing to your eye, and ensure that your stems are a bit longer than where you would like to tie your bouquet.

Secure your bouquet. 

Securing is where the hand-tying technique comes in. You can simplify the technique and use an elastic band to secure the stems, and cover it with your finishing ribbon or twine. You can add a cascade of fabric, or use a simple twist of string to create a lovely bouquet. 

Trim your stems. 

Lastly, you need to trim your stems. Try to cut them all at the same length so that your bouquet looks neatly arranged. You can carry your bouquet or place the blooms in water. Clear glass is ideal so that you can see that it’s hand-tied. So lovely! 

hand-tied bouquet

Have—or give—your own hand-tied bouquet. 

If you adore things with a personal touch, then using our flower delivery service is the perfect solution. Each of our bouquets is hand-tied and wrapped in kraft paper and personalized gift wrap for a beautiful presentation, either for yourself or to send to someone else.

Our arrangements also include a hydration pack to ensure that the stems stay hydrated and are fresh upon arrival. Consider sending a friend or loved a bouquet from our Cocktail Collection, such as our cheery Sunday Brunch or the sweet Strawberry Smoothie

If you have a lovely flower garden or a patch of wildflowers nearby, knowing how to make a hand-tied bouquet can come in handy. Also, several of our bouquets are perfect for dividing to make mini hand-tied bouquets. Turn one of our larger arrangements into several posies to give to others—our Just Because Collection has selections perfect for dividing, such as the Peaches and Cream or Central Park