Continuing our boutonniere instructions, you will need to use florist tape to cover and support the hairpin wire you just inserted up into the mum flower head.
This tape stretches and adheres to itself and is easy to work with. It comes in a variety of colors, including dark green, light green, white, pink, and black. I like to consider what the finished stems are going to look like when choosing my florist tape color.
If I plan to ribbon wrap, then I may use white or a color that blends with the ribbon. If I want natural looking stems, I choose a green that blends with the other flower and greenery stems.
Begin at the top of the flower, right under the base of the head.
Pull the tape as you wind it around the flower stem. Keep the tape taut and pull down smoothly so there are no lumps or clumps of tape.
Please keep in mind that fresh tape is best. Sometimes (as I've sadly found out in a pinch at an out of town wedding) the tape found at discount and dollar stores is old stock. It may be dry and refuse to stick to itself or (worse!) be so sticky that it's a gummy sticky mess before you get done. Florist tape isn't that expensive! Invest in a few rolls for a good sized wedding, especially if you are doing a lot of corsage or boutonniere work.
The finished look should be smooth and slender. Now with a wire taped to the flower stem, you have the advantage of being able to gently manipulate the stem, bending the flower head at the angle you want without snapping it off accidentally.
Snip off the excess wire, allowing yourself plenty of stem to coil up as a finishing touch. Keep in mind to always keep the stems on your boutonniere and corsage work as slender as you can. Reducing the bulk makes for a nicer look when pinned to the lapel.