make a vintage broach bridal bouquet
Vintage weddings...they're all the craze right now. I myself wanted vintage touches at my wedding, and here's a tutorial on my favorite...
a vintage broach bouquet
get ready because this one is a PROJECT. But if you're committed, you can pull it off with some blood, sweat, and tears (and yes, I'm for real...I actually did shed some blood from the strenuous wire work). BUT, don't get discouraged! You can do it at a fraction of the cost to buy one with the help of this tutorial, and I promise...it will be worth it!
- silk flowers (6-12 depending on the size of the flowers and the desired size of the bouquet)
- vintage broaches, earrings, buttons, hair clips, etc.
- wire (16 gauge floral "stems" and 30-40 gauge jewelry wire)
- floral tape
- straight pins
- rubber bands or velcro cord strips
- hot glue gun
- 1.5-2 in thick satin ribbon (2-4 yds)
- lace and accent ribbon
1. Collect your bling. This is a step in itself. Compiling all the rhinestone pieces was the hardest part. I am fortunate to have wonderful women in my life that gave me many of the broaches. That is the best part about this kind of bouquet. My mother, grandmother, mother- and grandmother-in-law, friends, and even pieces I picked up at special places the year before we were married, are all a part of the bouquet...and I still keep it displayed as a reminder of the best day of my life and all the people in it. You can have this too! Just get started! I used about 30 pieces ranging from actual broaches to buttons I found at a local antique store. Just look for anything sparkly that catches your eye! Here are some of the pieces I used. My favorite was a pair of dangling earrings because I loved how they swayed when I walked.
2. Pick out your flowers. Make sure you hold them up to your dress and take pictures to figure out which colors/textures look the best. I bought 3 different kinds and tested them all until I chose the final one. here, I went with a mix of 11 ivory peonies and open ivory roses with pinkish tones. I got them at 50% off for about $3 each - a whopping total of $33 - compare that to a $200 real flower bridal bouquet...that dies. :)
3. Wire all of your pieces. First bend the 16 gauge floral wire around the pin or backing of the piece. Then wrap the thin jewelry or floral wire around the thick stem wire and the piece to hold them together. It just has to be tight enough to not jiggle. Optional: wrap the wire stems with floral tape - I originally thought this would be important, but later decided it made no difference (and was a ton of work - thanks mom!!!!) and just made everything sticky. I'd only recommend it IF there's a chance your stems might show. Otherwise, don't waste your time.
4. Wire your flowers. This part is optional, but I found it useful. The flowers will most likely have some flexibility (they're probably made with wire), but I wanted a little more control over how they bent and more stability at the flower center, so I added a twist of wire around the top of the stem as shown. I again used the 16 gauge floral "stem" wire. I then wrapped the stem and wire in floral tape to hold the wire in place and to hide the silver wire (although you won't see the stem in the end anyway).
5. Work everything together. This part takes some patience. First, arrange your silk flowers into a bouquet and affix the stems together either with rubber bands or velcro strips (you can get these at a hardware store - they're usually used to hold wrapped cords together, but they are mighty useful for craft projects too!). When you're sure on the flower arrangement, trim all the stems to the same length (my handle was about 6 in long total). Then stick your "stemmed" broaches one-by-one into the bouquet until you are happy with the placement and spacing. You can use straight pins to affix individual petals and hold them in place.
6. Trim, tape, and glue. When you have all the flowers and broaches perfect...then (and ONLY then :), trim all the excess stems and wires, and TAPE and GLUE the heck out of it! I used the velcro strips to fully wrap the base (not permanent but VERY strong and easy to work with!). I then squirted hot glue all in the top of the stems, at the base of the flowers to MAKE SURE nothing was going to move! Let cool before the next step.
7. Wrap the base with satin ribbon. First cover the bottom of the stems with a few pieces of ribbon to hide the wirey stems. Then start at the top and glue the ribbon on a slant to hide the stems just below the flowers. Using straight pins pushed into the flowers will help keep the ribbon in place. Continue to wrap the ribbon around the stem base until fully covered. Affix to the base with straight pins when finished.
8. Accent your bouquet with lace, colored ribbon, or framed pictures of loved ones. Here's where you really make it your own. Accent with your wedding colors, or go even more sentimental...wrap your grandmother's rosary around it, attach a locket of picture of a loved one you want close to your heart on your day, or tie your mom's/grandmother's wedding ring to a ribbon. The great thing about this bouquet is you have it before your wedding day...and for the rest of your life.