Goin’ to the chapel – crafting my brooch bouquet.

I love brooch bouquets.  I love the history of the brooches when family pieces are used.  I love that the bouquet is not going to wilt and die.  I love the idea that someday a daughter could walk down the aisle with her mother’s brooch bouquet as her “something old” or “something borrowed”. 

I knew I wanted to have a brooch bouquet.  I also knew that I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for one on Etsy.  My thrifty ways trumped my questionable crafting ability and I decided to attempt to make my own.  Lacking the time (and patience) to dig through jewelry at antique stores and any willing relative’s house, I went the easy route – www.fabulousbrooch.com.  They specialize in wholesale brooches, were prompt with delivery, and the brooches were all in excellent condition (I’m not being paid to say that, FYI). 

Many of the DIY things I read online said to use 50-80 brooches.  My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I read that.  Was I walking down the aisle with this thing or starting a body building career?  Hea-vy!  I ordered about twenty-two brooches and wound up using around 18.  My bouquet is on the small side – just how I wanted it.  Also, I wanted the flowers (yeah, they’re fake, but whatev) to show through a bit and add some texture to the overall look.  Total personal preferences. 

I gathered up a few things at Hobby Lobby:

  • two small bundles of fake flowers
  • needlenose pliers
  • floral tape
  • 22 gauge wire
  • black satin ribbon

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With those supplies and my fabulous new brooches, I set to work. 

Snipping the 22 gauge wire off in 10-12 inch pieces, I used the wire to wind through the back of the brooch and twist down like a stem.  Each brooch was different, so I basically just made it up as I went along.  Sometimes the needlenose pliers were commissioned to twist the wire nice and tight at the top near the brooch. 

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Once those were all stemmed (technical term), I wrapped the floral tape around the wire.  It was hard to get it started on each “stem”, but once the top was done the tape moved pretty quickly.  And my fingers got pretty sticky. 

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Then it was time to form the bouquet.  I held the two fake flower bundles in my left hand and added the brooches one by one.  The shape of the completed bouquet wasn’t entirely satisfying the first time around so I separated them and did it again.  It still wasn’t perfect like the ones I drooled over on Etsy, but I’m not perfect so why should my bouquet be held to some higher standard?  I told myself it had character and decided I was done for the day. 

I had my handsome groom hold the stems while I used floral tape to bind all the pieces together.  I then took the satin ribbon and wrapped that around the entire bunch.  Too lazy to get out the glue gun, I got creative and used a rubber band to secure the ribbon.  I then tied a smaller piece of ribbon around the rubber band.  I’m classy like that. 

The entire project took approximately two episodes of Gossip Girl and one episode of 24.  So just under three hours?  At some point I may wrap one more layer of floral tape around the bundle and re-do the ribbon before the wedding.  We’ll see.

Final result from various angles:

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What do you think of brooch bouquets?  Would you carry one or do you prefer the more classic (and fragrant) elegance of real flowers?

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16 thoughts on “Goin’ to the chapel – crafting my brooch bouquet.

  1. I`ve never seen a brooch bouquet before, but I love it! Such a great way of personalizing your bouquet!! and the not having to worry about the flowers dying too soon, is great! If I was to make something like that I think I`d add some light blue flowers..

  2. How beautiful! I think this is an awesome idea. I went for the traditional just because I didn’t have any brooches passed down to me in my family (though, I wore one in my hair on the day-of, so maybe if I ever have a granddaughter [what?!], she’ll use it).

  3. Coming from someone who was trained as a florists’ apprentice – this looks awesome! And I love the idea of brooch bouquets, for all of the same reasons that you do. What are you planning to do with the remaining brooches? If you don’t have a plan, might I suggest using the same technique to create corsages for the mothers of bride/groom, or your maid of honor? It would be easy and you are already skilled with wire and tape. You’ll just basically do the same thing you did here on a smaller scale. If you weren’t already planning something, of course!

    • That’s a really good idea to use the extra brooches for mother corsages or bridesmaids. Unfortunately, the reason I didn’t use them was because they didn’t have a back that allowed me to attach the wire. (Just smooth, flat backs.) However, if I happen to come across some brooches between now and the wedding, I’ll definitely try my hand at a corsage or something!

  4. Oh – I wanted to add a real flower shop tip regarding the glue gun/rubber band: double sided tape. Florists use that all the time for adhering ribbon because the glue gun can leave those bubbles underneath (and can be totally painful too!) But I think your rubber band method was genius – good job!

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  6. I love brooch bouquets…so vintage…so you! You did a great job creating this one, I like the size. I am having trouble envisioning one with 80 brooches yeesh. Lol I love how you tell time using episodes, that’s how I do laundry.

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