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Create A Victorian Tussie Mussie

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What is a tussie-mussie? According to the dictionary, it’s a small flower bouquet usually given as a gift. Another name for a tussie-mussie is a nosegay which is a combination of nose and “gay” which means something that appeals to the sense of smell. Nosegays have been in vogue since the 15th century when they were either carried or worn.

The actual term tussie-mussie dates from the reign of Queen Victorian of England (1837-1901) when a small scented bouquet was used as a fashion accessory.

With a bit of lace, odds and ends of silk and dried flowers, a reel of green florists tape, and thin wire, you can create charming Victorian tussie-mussies to grace a table or tray or to give as favors and small remembrances. Tussie-mussies can also be made with real flowers for a special occasion such as a wedding. This project is inexpensive, fast, and a great way to use up silk flowers that you might otherwise discard.

For each tussie-mussy you will need:

  • 1 yard of 4 inch wide (or wider depending upon the look you want) lace in a color that coordinates with the flowers you plan to use. Choose a fairly stiff lace. Inexpensive polyester lace usually works well.
  • Small silk and dried flowers in your choice of colors. Since you are creating a miniature bouquet, it is important to keep the flowers small in scale.
  • Optional but highly recommended: Fresh herbs such as rosemary that dry well to add scent.
  • A spool of thin flexible florists wire.
  • Florists tape (the type that sticks to itself).
  • Assorted small silk and dried flowers and herbs (optional).
  • 18 inches of coordinating ½ inch ribbon.

Select the flowers and and herbs that you want to use (being sure to keep them small and in scale with each other) and, holding them in one hand, create your bouquet. I always include rosemary in my tussie-mussies since rosemary is the herb of remembrance. I keep my bouquet between 4 and 6 inches across and cut longer stems to no more than 8 or 9 inches. When you are satisfied with your bouquet, tightly wrap a short length of wire directly below the flower heads to hold your arrangement in place.

Using another length of wire, run it through the bottom of your lace and pull to gather. Arrange the lace around beneath the flower heads and twist the wire ends tightly to hold in place. Cut off the excess wire.

Beginning at the top portion of the stems directly beneath the lace, securely wrap the stems with floral tape, making certain that all wires and stems are hidden from view. (See the photo below)

Finally, add a bow beneath the lace ruff to complete your tussie-mussie. See photos below for ideas and for finishing your tussie-mussie.

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ENJOY!

By Florence Dove Google

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