Choose your flowers. If you're making your first bouquet, it's best to start with just one or two colors, textures, and flower types because simple bouquets look well-designed even when assembled by an inexperienced hand. After you've had some experience with bouquet-making, you'll be more comfortable incorporating surprising colors and shapes.
Use long-stemmed flowers like roses, irises, gerbera daisies, or freesia so there is plenty of room to comfortably hold the completed bouquet.
Select some foliage. Most bouquets look better with some greenery. Choose leaves that have a similar shape to the flowers you will be using.
Remove all of the leaves from the lower parts of the stems, and carefully remove any thorns so you and the person holding the bouquet do not get pricked. If you can't remove the thorns by hand, use a set of thorn strippers. These can be found at a florist's.
Mix some flower food or a few drops of bleach with a teaspoon of sugar into a vase full of water. Snip an inch or two off the bottoms of all the flower stems and foliage stems. Use very sharp clippers and make the cuts at an angle. Do this while holding the stems under running water, and place them in the vase immediately.
Soak the flowers in water for several hours before making the bouquet. This will help keep the flowers fresh-looking even when they're out of water for a long time.
Get your equipment together. Your clippers, string, floral wire, floral tape, ribbon, and hot glue gun should all be on hand.
Start with the largest or showiest flowers. Place a few stems of foliage around them, and wrap them with string to hold them in place. Tuck the ends of the string in instead of tying them. If you get half way through and don't like the bouquet, it will be easy to take it apart and start over.
Continue adding flowers and foliage by turning the bouquet at ¼ turns and placing the new flowers. After each turn, wrap the flowers with the string to hold them in place. Make sure the bouquet doesn't get larger than can be comfortably held in your hand.
Wrap the flowers with floral wire when they are all in place. Spiral the wire down the stems starting from the top, leaving a couple inches unwrapped at the bottom.
Cover the wire with floral tape. Start at the top and secure the end of the tape by wrapping more tape around it. Wrap the tape tightly around the wire and glue it at the bottom with a drop or two of hot glue.
Cover the floral wire with ribbon. Start at the top and glue the ribbon in place with a couple drops of hot glue. Neatly wind the ribbon down to the bottom and glue the end with more hot glue.
Cut the ends of the stems so that they are all even and straight.
Add a bow, if desired, and glue or tie it onto the bouquet. Store the bouquet in the refrigerator until it's time to use it.