How to Make a Tussie Mussie

By Karen Ellis

Tussie mussies (tussy mussy) are small flower bouquets. In Victorian times the flowers contained in the tussie mussie were chosen for the message they were meant to convey. Lavender may have been chosen to tell of the sender’s devotion or roses to show love. The tradition of creating this small token is one worth bringing back into our social gift giving practices.

Decide who will receive your tussie mussie and what you want it to say. Then gather the flowers you need from a local florist. Perhaps you will use zinnias for thoughts of friendship or sweet peas for someone leaving on a trip.

Cut the stems of the flowers for your tussie mussie to four to six inches from the bottom of the flower. Remove all the leaves at the bottom. Place the flower stems in water while you work.

Start with your center flower and work around it, gathering the other complementary flowers and plant fillers as you go. Remember, this is a small bouquet.

Secure the tussie mussie with floral tape by winding it around the stems, starting at about two inches from the bottom. Secure the top of the floral tape with a straight pin. Cut the stems evenly across the bottom of the tussie mussie.

Cut an “X” in the center of a paper doily (from a craft or floral store). Insert the flower bouquet through the top and pull it to set beneath the flowers. Wrap floral tape around the cut angles of doily paper, underneath.

Finish the tussie mussie by tying ribbon, lace, beads and trinkets onto the stems. Print a message on cardstock, with your computer, telling the recipient what each flower’s meaning is and how it relates to the message you are sending them. Attach the note to the tussie mussie with ribbon or floral wire.

Tip

Tussie mussies can also be made from silk or dried flowers.

About the Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.