Monday, June 28, 2010

Brooch Bouquet DIY: Part 1

The day finally arrived to construct Tabitha's brooch bouquet! Yay! I've been fairly itching to do this project since we decided to go this route, rather than the traditional bridal bouquet, and i'm so excited to present the first part of the DIY for y'all;)


40-45 vintage brooches per bouquet
floral wire of around 18 gauge size, wrapped or unwrapped
a bouquest holder with floral foam inside
wire cutters
pliers for bending the wire
hot glue gun

We found all of our brooches on eBay by simply searching for vintage floral brooch lots. I knew my sister's wedding colors (purple and green) and so tried to find several in that range, but I mostly focused on shiny rhinestone bling-y brooches that would compliment each other. There are over 100 brooches in that picture and three bouquet holders; we made bouquets for Tabitha, myself, and A's "woman of honor".


1. Choose your brooches. If you get lots like we did, there will be some duds in there that you simply won't use. Separate out 40-45 of the best, and try grouping them by size or color. You want to think about this like floral arranging; the better mix you have of size, shape, and color, the more balanced and visually pleasing your bouquet will be.
2. Start wiring the brooches. There's no real science to this; every brooch is a little different, and some will be easier than others to deal with. If the brooch had a lot of petals I tried to weave the wire through them for stability; if it was flat on the back, I made a spiral with my wire and used hot glue to affix the wire to the brooch back. Important note: Tabitha wanted to keep the bouquet as a keepsake bridal bouquet, and didn't care about preserving the brooches to be worn later. If you want to disassemble this, skip the hot glue and only use brooches you can wire and unwire. Some of the heavy brooches got a doubled up stem, to make sure they would be steady, but most only needed a single thickness.

3. After you have four or five wired, start placing them in your bouquet. Remember to space out your big brooches and keep mixing colors around the bouquet, so that it never feels unbalanced anywhere. I kept spinning the bouquet holder as I worked to try to keep perspective on the arrangement. I also kept the stems pretty short, because I didn't want the bouquet to shake or shift much, and I wanted a cute little ball of bling for Tabitha. The longer your stems, the more brooches you need to fill the space! And, don't be afraid to reposition and stagger them a little, like in a real bouquet. Some of the brooches naturally fell to the back while others came forward, and I liked how they looked overlapping. It felt more organic. If you're finding that the floral foam is getting very holey and unstable, consider replacing it or going with a denser foam to start with. I found the floral foam worked okay for me, but everyone's experience might be different, and floral foam is pretty soft!

4. Once you have all your brooches wired and in place, hold your bouquet and turn it, trying to look at it from every angle. No doubt it will need some fluffing at this point; one side might seem higher than another, or one brooch might be sticking out too far or in too close. Fluff and preen until it's fairly balanced and you feel satisfied with the results.

The final result was quite lovely, and Tabitha loves it (yay!). My next tutorial will go over covering the plastic bouquet holder, utilizing fabric, hot glue, ribbon, and rhinestone decorations. For now, voila! I hope this inspires y'all to go out and make lovely and charming vintage brooch bouquets!


Rebecca Jo said...

I have never seen anything like that in my life... I ADORE IT!!! Its beautiful & love the idea that you can keep it for the best keepsake EVER!

Down and Out Chic said...

oh i LOVE it! thank you so much for sharing this...i'll definitely book mark it for help. it's beautiful :)

Jenn Erickson said...

Ginger, this positively goes in my "if I had it to do over again" category. I would have loved this bouquet for my wedding. I'm practically drooling over those brooches! Wow!

Artemis88 said...

I might be really really dumb today but where do you find the vintage brooches to make these?

Ginger said...

Ebay! I spent a few weeks on ebay buying up lots of brooches; there are a lot of sellers who will sell 40-50 brooches per lot for relatively cheap. We ended up with brooches we didn't want, but we needed a LOT of brooches (I had to make three bouquets), so we were wiling to take some uds to get a lot of really cool pieces. If you're diligent, you should be able to find what you need. Haunt the vintage stores too!

Silva said...

Hi, I love your bouquet - and your tutorial is great. I just finished making my first bouquet and I am addicted. So rewarding! Here's a picture on Flickr: