Sunday, June 3, 2012

The long awaited... DIY Brooch Bouquet How-To!



So here it is, the DIY How-To for making your own Wedding Brooch Bouquet. This is not a DIY project you will want to take on if you are a Bride planning a wedding in a few months, this one takes time but it is well worth it. I was planning my wedding for a year and a half and this DIY was on the go throughout, it starts with getting together the materials you will be using and you will want to take some time searching for your brooches. You could search for brooches based on colour, theme, flowers, or a compilation of brooches that mean something to you and your future hubby. Mine was a little of it all and I included brooches matching my green and brown colour scheme, flowers, and some meaningful brooches such as brooches from our grandmothers, a trinket with Greg's first baby picture from the hospital, a whale, and vintage pieces. The cost of materials for my brooch bouquet was around $85 (the majority of this was for the brooches that I bought). If you check out Etsy, sellers are selling brooch bouquets for between $65-1,850... with a common price being around $500. So needless to say, you can save yourself a lot of money by making it yourself. Below is your DIY How-To, if you have been considering making your own I would highly recommend it, I am so glad I have such a meaningful piece of my wedding that will be long lasting and cherish... unlike a dried, brittle version of a flower bouquet that will eventually get trashed. Happy DIYing, send me your pictures of your DIY Brooch Bouquet to and I will display them on this blog to inspire other brides-to-be!

Save Your Money and DIY - Brooch Bouquet

List of Materials:
- 50-75 New and Vintage Brooches, Earrings and Buttons (amount depends on sizes of each) Search on for bulk listings, for Vintage and Homemade, Yard Sales, Flea Markets and Antique Stores, you can even find some in Dollar Stores.
-  Floral Wire
- Wooden Skewers
- Floral Tape
- Pipe Cleaners
- 3 inch and 2 inch Fabric Ribbon (colour of your choice)
- Corsage Pearl Head Push Pins (pack of at least 30)
-  3 or 4 inch Styrofoam Ball (depending on how big you want the bouquet)
- Strong Thick Tape (duct tape, masking tape, packing tape)
- 26 Gage Crafting Wire (brown or green) Michaels
- Floral Filler - such as wire with gems attached
- Metal snips (cutters)

This DIY was inspired by the gorgeous Vintage Brooch Bouquets displayed on the Internet, such as these ones featured on Ruffled It was difficult finding detailed instructions and like many others it was a DIY you just had to try to figure out on your own. Well worry no more because here it is, there may be others out there but this one has results that show it works. This DIY will cost you between $100 and $200 depending on how many brooches you purchase and how much you spend on each brooch. If you are lucky you might be able to have all of your brooches given to you by family and friends, spread the word and let them know you are looking for brooches. You could even incorporate it as part of your Bridal Shower and as everyone to bring a brooch to pass on :)

Here are some tips on keeping the costs down and searching for the brooches because this will be your starting point. This is one of the most fun parts because you will get to choose the brooches you like and some that might have meaning for you. It is very easy so spend hours searching through the variety of brooches you can find online. Before you get started set a budget on how much you are willing to pay for each brooch, remember you will be purchasing 50-75 of them depending on size so look for deals, bulk listings, and combined shipping. This will probably be the most time consuming part so give yourself several months to search for the perfect brooches.

ETSY ( Click on all items in a search and type in "brooch" or specific brooches you are looking for, such as "silver brooch", "brown brooch", and "green brooch", “flower brooch”, “pearl brooch” etc. Type in $0-$6 price range to keep the cost down, also look for sellers who will do combined shipping.

EBAY ( or Very similar to ETSY, make sure you set a price limit per brooch so you don't go crazy with the cost. Also a little trick, type in "Brooch Lot" you will find sellers putting together up to 100 or more random brooches in one listing and selling them all together as a lot.

Dollar Stores: Believe it or not in some dollar stores you can find brooches. They are back in style these days and you can find them in the jewelry section of your local dollar store.

Wal-Mart: Look in the jewelry section at Wal-Mart, you can find some really cute brooches there too; most of them are from the GEORGE collection.

Kijiji ( or : As with the other online searches type in what you are looking for in a search and voila. Just make sure you are looking in the area closest to you because it is likely you will have to go pick up the items.

Garage Sales: If you are planning for a wedding next year get out early in the season and start hitting up local garage sales. The early bird gets the worm!

Flea Markets, Retro Store, Second Hand Stores and Antique Stores: Spend some of your Saturdays on the hunt for cheap finds.

Family and Friands: Put the word out to family and friends about what your next DIY project is and ask your female family members and friends to look in their drawers to see what they can find. It also helps to have extra eyes to spot out some good finds. Having pieces that used to be cherished by your family also adds a special touch to your bouquet.

Michael's Craft Store ( You can find all kinds of inspirational things in this store to add as much bling and pizzazz to this project as you want.

Once you have all of your brooches collected start picking up the other materials required. For one stop shopping you can get all of the items at Michael’s (or a local craft store, you might also want to try some dollar stores). Putting the bouquet together will take you quite a bit of time, so you will probably want to spend it over several evenings and take breaks in between so you don’t loose the enjoyment. After making the bouquet you will appreciate others who have made them and it is no wonder why those selling them pre-made are charging so much. Here we go:
Outside brooches that will be the stems you see sticking out at the bottom

1. Take each individual brooch and secure a medium gage craft wire (floral wire) around the pin latch wrapping it through several times and extending the wire down 10-12 inches.

2. Take pipe cleaners (from the dollar store for $1 bag of 20 or more) and wrap 1 pipe cleaner down around the secured wire (this will give some extra thickness to the wire and you will see why in the next step).

3. Take green floral tape (from Michael’s or a floral store) and wrap this from the top of your attached wire all the way to the bottom of your 10-12 inch piece. This will make it look like a flower stem and the pipe cleaner will add dimension making it more realistic. If you want to take the extra time and effort, cut leaf shapes out of the left over florist tape and attach it to the underside of the brooch covering up the pin and wire attached.

Repeat these steps for approximately 10 – 12 brooches and set them aside.

Brooch Bouquet Foundation:
1. Take your Styrofoam ball and wrap the floral wire around it randomly creating what looks like a cage. Make sure to occasionally trim the wire and twist the end around another loop of wire to secure it because once you give a little slack to the tightly wrapped wire the whole thing will unravel. You may want a friend or your fiancé to help you with this part to keep the wire in place until you have enough that it will stay in place because of the over lapping. Wrap the ball enough so you are seeing spaces between the wires, no bigger than 2 inches. This will be the foundation to what everything else will be attached to.

2.  Take your 2-inch fabric and cut it into pieces long enough to loop it (fold it) together to make pieces with two and three folds. Twist a piece of floral wire around the base securing the fabric to remain folded, leave the ends of the wire sticking out so you can use them to attach to the wire wrapped Styrofoam ball. Repeat this enough times to make approximately 20 gathered pieces of fabric.

3. Take the individual gathered pieces of fabric and start randomly attaching them all over the top two thirds of the ball. This will be filler and a means of attaching some brooches so you won’t see the Styrofoam ball underneath.

Adding the Brooches:
1. This takes some planning and an eye for how the different sizes and shapes of brooches fit together.  Start by taking your larger brooches to cover some space and begin by attaching them to the fabric pieces as well as the wire wrapped around the Styrofoam ball, as you would to your coat jacket using the pin clasp attached. For the larger brooches try to put the pin through two pieces of fabric to secure pieces together. Lightly pull the fabric pieces out so some sticks out through the brooches. Continue attaching brooches in a layering affect over the space until you can no longer see large uncovered spaces, it is okay if you see the fabric underneath. The more brooches you fill in the more you can adjust the brooches with one another and this secures everything in its spot so they won’t move around. You may have to move pieces around and do some adjusting to get it just right.

2. Take your 10-12 brooches that you created stems for. Now start attaching these brooches around the outside of the brooch ball. You can use other brooches to also secure the stem in place around the ball. Bend the stems around the ball and down to the bottom. Put all the stems together and secure them at the base of the ball by wrapping some floral wire around them. Pull the remaining stems straight down.

3. Take your smaller brooches, buttons and earring and set them aside. Cut a 7-10 inch piece of the 26 - gage crafting wire and double or triple it up and twist it together to make a thicker twisted wire. Attach these pieces of wire around the smaller brooches, and then stick them in amongst the brooches on the Styrofoam ball to give dimension to the bouquet adding height. Do the same with any buttons, and clip on earrings you may have. You can add other hook earrings by sticking them through the pieces of fabric and putting the backing on them and letting them dangle down.

4. You can also add any floral filler at this stage to add some extra detail or fill in gaps. Keep repeating these steps until you get the fullness and shape you want.

Adding Ribbon:
1. Take your 3-inch wide ribbon and attach one end with a corsage pin to the base of the ball just under where your brooches stop. Begin making loops and attaching them with pins all the way around the ball to the other side.

Making the Handle:
1. Take wooden skewers and begin sticking them into the base of the ball about half way in. As you add them in you can move the stems around to fit in amongst the skewers. Keep adding them at slight angles and different directs than one another so you don’t create one spot where there is a gaping hole in the ball you want them evenly dispersed to give it stability when you hold it. Once the brooches are on you will realize how heavy this can be so you will want a sturdy handle. Do this until you have about 12-15 skewers in place. Push some of the skewers in so they are higher then the stems you created.

2. Decide how far down you want the ribbon to go that will cover the handle. Allowing for two to 3 inches of the stems to show works well. Of the skewers that fall in that range that will be showing at the bottom you will want to cover them in floral take by wrapping it around the skewer as you did for the stems.

3. Once that is all finished have your friend or fiancé hold the bouquet sturdy for you and start taping the skewers together to make a secure solid handle. You will want to start about 2 inches from the top and wrap the tape around to the spot where the ribbon will cover.

4. Take the 3 inch ribbon you have chosen for the handle and pin one end with a corsage pin up into the Styrofoam base. Begin wrapping the ribbon around the handle diagonally until you get to the bottom without covering the stems. Secure that end in place with another corsage pin. To tidy up the end you can choose to wrap the 26 –gage wire around the bottom to finish off the look.  Then add any additional decoration to it as you wish (exp. a bow, crystals, shells, feathers, pearls, or a leftover brooch).

5. To make the base of the Styrofoam ball fuller and to fill in any gaps repeat step 1 from the Adding the ribbon section. You can also use the pearl head corsage pins to hold down any loose fabric or to fin brooches in tighter. They add to the whole look by adding a vintage feel with the pearls.

6. Add any other final touches to it as you see fit. Voila! 

This is a DIY project that you will never forget (both for it's frustrations along the way and joys!) and the great thing about it is you can use it as decoration in your home after the wedding by placing it in a vase or use it as a heirloom piece and pass it down to your little sister or daughter when she gets married!

Some more links to help you in the process:
Weddingbee <------------------------- (I posted my DIY tips on this blog)
Ruffled <------------------------------- (Where I first got my inspiration!) 
Fancy Pants Weddings <----------- (Just found this one...)
Brooch Bouquets TM <------------- (Original creator of the brooch bouquet)
Brooch Bouquets Etsy Shop

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