Hi! I am so happy to be guest blogging for Kelly. I am Judy with Fancy Pants Weddings. I have a blog focused on Northern California Weddings. But there is a lot of general advice you can use for any and all weddings. So trip the light fantastic on over and take a look (but read my guest blog first).
I love brooch bridal bouquets. If I were getting married now I would so carry one of these beauties down the aisle. Brooch bouquets are amazing for so many reasons. Let me count the ways: they are sparkly, they make meaningful keepsakes after the wedding, they are sparkly, you can use jewelry from family members and carry a bit of them with you down the aisle, you make your brooch bouquet well in advance of the wedding, you never have to worry about it not holding up throughout the day and they are sparkly.
How to make a Brooch Bridal Bouquet:
- 50-85 brooches, large earrings or necklaces (I used 55 pieces. ½ were jewelry pieces from my grandmother and great-grandmother and the other ½ I purchased on clearance at Michael’s)
- 2 yards 5 inch wide Midori taffeta ribbon in gold
- 3 yards 3/8 inch wide Midori velvet ribbon in almond
- 3 yards of clear and gold seed beads strung on wire
- Wire cutters
- Needle nose pliers
- Hot glue gun with glue
- 22-gauge green florist wire
- Light green corsage tape
- Clear gem topped pins
- 2 stems of inexpensive artificial hydrangea-light green
Choosing your brooches:
You should consider a few things when choosing the jewelry pieces you are going to include into your brooch bouquet.
- Colors- Choose at least three but not more than five color families and stick to them. I used shades of green, purple, turquoise and gold pieces with antique gold as my metal accent.
- Finish- Choose one metal type. I prefer to use either all shades of gold metals or all shades of silver. I think it gives your finished brooch bouquet a more polished look.
- Size- Pick jewelry pieces in a variety of sizes. It will give your bouquet depth and dimension.
- Sentimentality- You may want to include a few pieces of jewelry that have special meaning to you. A brooch your grandma always wore, you and your fiancée’s initials or the earrings your mother wore on her wedding day would all be sweet additions.
- Value- I would not use any jewelry pieces that are worth too much money. The bouquet will be tossed around and set down all day long. It would be terrible to loose a particularly valuable piece of jewelry.
- Inspiration- If you have a brooch that you love use it to inspire to colors of the entire bouquet.
Step One: Wire and taping
Attach wire to your jewelry pieces. Since each brooch will be different you will need to alter your wiring technique for each piece. For heavier pieces you will want to use a couple of pieces of wire. The wired brooch should not droop when you hold it between two fingers otherwise it will not hold up in the finished bouquet.
Twirl the corsage tape down the wire pulling as you go. The tape sticks best when gently pulled and is overlapping itself. This will take some practice. Be patient and take your time.
The wired and taped brooch should be sturdy. The tape finishes the wire, holding multiple wires together and adding some strength
Repeat until all your jewelry pieces are wired and taped.
Step Two: Assemble the brooch bouquet
Hold the hydrangeas in your left hand. Insert your wired and taped jewelry pieces one at a time. The hydrangea acts as a spacer and it fills in any gaps between the jewelry pieces so you cannot see the wires. The hydrangea will be completely covered when you are done with your bouquet.
Rotate the bouquet as you insert the brooches while maintaining a pleasing domed shape.
After you have added all the wired brooches and have the bouquet in a shape you like, gather all the wire ends tightly together and wrap with the corsage tape to form the handle of the bouquet.
Step 3: Seed bead loops
Make 3-inch loops out of wired seed beads. Continue looping until you are holding four loops.
Attach a long wire and tape the length. Make a total of four seed bead clusters.
Collar the bottom of the bouquet with the seed bead loops. Tape the wires in place down the handle of the bouquet.
Step Four: Ribbon collar and handle
Cut eight inches of the ribbon and set aside. Grasp the remaining ribbon in two fingers on the end at the edge. Hold the copper wire that runs the length of the ribbon and start pulling the wire, pleating the ribbon as you go. Continue until the entire ribbon is ruffled.
Grasp the wire you used to pleat the ribbon at both cut ends. Twist the wire together.
Run a bead of hot glue down the rough edges of both ends of the ribbon. Press the glued ends together to form a seam.
Wrap the stem of the bouquet with the eight inches of ribbon you placed to the side.
Place the bouquet handle through the ribbon collar. And glue in place.
Wrap the seam of where the bouquet collar meets the handle in velvet ribbon. Finish with a small bow and the gem headed pins.
The finished aisle worthy bouquet!
Another version of the brooch bouquet with fresh flowers included throughout the arrangement.
Brooch bouquet collared with fresh flowers.