Mix 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 quart hot water in a pot. Stir with a spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a 5-gallon bucket. Add 3 quarts of cool water and one-half teaspoon of chlorine. This is a floral preservative mixture that works well for most flowers. Zinnias do better with plain water.
Cut the stems on your flowers at an angle using a floral knife and floral cutters. This allows the flower stems to draw in more water. Remove the leaves that you do not want to be used in the bouquet. Place the flowers into the preservative mixture in the pot. Allow the flowers to soak for two to three hours
Build your floral arrangement by holding the stems of your flowers in one hand and adding new flowers, baby's breath and leaves, keeping the stems tight and turning the bouquet to make sure the arrangement looks good all the way around. Once you achieve the desired fullness in your bouquet, wrap floral wire firmly around the top of the stems. Twist the wire so that it is secure but not slicing into any stems.
Wrap the floral wire around the stems from the top to the bottom. The wire should have a spiral appearance with each wrap of wire about one-half inch apart. Cut the wire 1 foot longer than your stems. Before finishing your wire or cutting the stems, pre-fit your bouquet collar over the wire and stems, pressing the collar against the bottom of the bouquet. It should fit so that it holds the bouquet and there are enough flowers and fillers to make the bouquet look lush. Loosen your wire and add more flowers if necessary. Remove the flowers from the bouquet collar.
Cut your stems 2 inches longer than the grip area you desire. Some bouquets have longer grips for two hands. Finish wrapping the wire to the bottom of the stems, twisting the wire around the bottom of the stems several times and tucking the end inside the stems.
Wrap the wire wrapped stems with floral tape starting at the top of the gathered stems. Wrap the tape around the top of the wire twice and then spiral and overlap itself, stretching it slightly as you work. The entire wired stem should be covered evenly with no gaps. Wrap the bottom of the stems twice.
Insert the bouquet into the bouquet collar. Press six pearl-head corsage pins into the base of the collar at an angle. Each pin should pierce the collar and press tightly into the collected stems. The pins should be evenly spaced around the collar.
Cut a 6-inch piece of ribbon. Apply hot glue to the ends of the stems and center the ribbon, pressing the ribbon into the glue. Apply glue up each side of the stems and press the 3 inches of ribbon into the stems on either side. This will cover the stem ends.
Measure the length of any trailing ribbon. A trailing ribbon hangs down from the bottom of the bouquet handle. Multiply this length by two, and cut two pieces of ribbon this length. Fold these ribbons in half and tie them around the base of the bouquet collar close to the pins. Tie each ribbon separately and tight.
Apply a bead of hot glue over the ribbon knots. Take the end of the ribbon that remains on the spool and wrap the ribbon around and over the ribbon knots. Apply another bead of glue over the just glued ribbon and wrap it a second time. This should completely hide the ribbon knots. Wind the ribbon down the bouquet grip being careful to keep the ribbon tight, to overlap the edges and make each spiral even. At the bottom, apply another bead of glue around the stems to attach the ribbon to the stems. Trim with scissors.