- 11 years ago
- Wedding: August 2010
Finally have a chance to get on here and write up my reviews of things from my wedding last month. One of my big projects was putting together a brooch bouquet. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures for each step, but I wanted to let people know how it worked out and what I did in case folks come on here that are as clueless as I was, but know this is something that they want!
So, first of all, I wanted to do the brooch bouquet thing b/c I was seeing prices for regular floral bouquets and they were crazy expensive — like $200 – $300. I thought I would be able to do a brooch bouquet for a lot less AND I would be able to keep it forever, so why WOULDN’T I do the brooch bouquet???? I was wrong about it being less expensive. In the end, the florist that I went with was very reasonable, and if I had done a bridal bouquet, I could have probably gotten it for $75ish (I’m guessing, based on the other items), so it wouldn’t have been as expensive as I was dreading. Also, ultimately, the cost of the brooch bouquet was much more than what it would have been for just a regular floral bouquet.
I started about 6-8 months out buying brooches. I started on ebay, where you can POTENTIALLY get them for pretty cheap. I got a few for under $1, and with shipping (mostly combined shipping) were about $4 each. That was my ideal price point, but these weren’t generally the types of brooches I was looking for, I was planning for them to be mostly filler. I was looking for purple flower-like brooches and mostly vintage or vintage style. While I was able to find some on ebay starting low, they tended to go up pretty quickly at the very end and end up not such great deals. I found a lot on etsy, but those were also higher than the $5 I wanted to spend on brooches including shipping. I would bid on items on ebay for low prices that were ideal, but then frequently get outbid, so I was not increasing my number of brooches very quickly. Also a number of the brooches I purchased ended up being more pink than purple when I saw them in person, so that was not helping either. Towards the end — like less than a month left, I ended up just buying brooches where I could–mostly on etsy — for more than I initially wanted. I would say I got a quite a few that ended up being around the $12-$15 point once I included shipping. WAAAAY over budget. In the end, I got lots of brooches that I was able to use, but there were LOTS that I didn’t also. I thought I needed about 60 brooches, but I probably ultimately only needed about 30-35, especially since they were mostly a pretty decent size. I also used earrings as well. I bought more than I used, but they would make good filler.
In terms of putting it together, I used two forms of floral wire. I don’t have anything in front of me now, but it was, I believe 15 and 22 gauge. I started with the higher gauge b/c that was what I read in another blog somewhere. It worked okay for the lighter brooches, but for the heavier ones I needed a stronger wire so that it wouldn’t bend. FYI: The lower the number the heavier the wire. The heavier wire was also more difficult to bend around the brooch, so if the lighter wire was sufficient to support the weight, I used that when I could.
I would open the pins, and use needle nosed pliers to wrap the wire tightly around the pin on the brooch multiple times. Once the wire was wrapped tight enough to not slide up and down the pin, I closed the pin and then for some wrapped green electrical tape around the pin closure and the wire wrapped around the pin. My thought behind that was the tape would keep the pins from coming open, and also from the wire coming loose and spinning around the pin. It was green, so I thought it wouldn’t be too conspicuous. Ultimately, I think that I wouldn’t have been necessary, since the pins I didn’t tape didn’t end up coming open. For some, I wrapped it around different parts of the pin attachment if it seemed like it would be more sturdy. I also wrapped a green pipe cleaner around the wire stems. At first, I didn’t want to do this b/c I didn’t want something else weird to be showing, but I think it helped a lot to add bulk to the stems when I was putting them together, and for the most part it was completely invisible once the brooch was completed.
After I created the ‘stems’ I just put the “flowers” together a few at a time. I tried by starting with the larger brooches & putting the ones that were my favorite in the middle. In hindsight, I think I should have started with the larger pins, but not my most favorite. I could have more easily put the favorite pins in on top. I couldn’t keep all the pins together in my hand, so I took another pipe cleaner and after I got together a bunch of “flowers” how I wanted them, I wrapped it with the pipe cleaner to keep them together. This made things MUCH easier for keeping the bouquet together as I was creating it. After I got the whole bouquet how I wanted it, I wrapped it with pipe cleaners again.
I bought a really thick ribbon, probably around 4 inches thick (from Michael’s), and I made little loops at the base of the bouquet, and pinned them with small pins. Then I wrapped it around the stems (after cutting a few inches off of the stems) and pinned it with decorative pins.
Ta-da! I have to say, I was SO relieved once I finished it b/c it actually didn’t take THAT long to make once I had the brooches. I was also nervous it wouldn’t come out looking good after all that money spent, but it looked great. My hubby was very impressed :-). Definitely put the bouquet in a vase or something to stand up so that they are not laying on their side. I just had a bud vase and that worked perfectly. If you use real metal/vintage brooches, also prepare for it to be a lot heavier than a floral brooch).
I have also LOTS of brooches left over that I didn’t use — especially the ones that ended up looking pink. I am selling the whole lot of about 30 pieces of pink vintage/ vintage-looking brooches, so contact me or check out the classified section if you are interested in them. (I also have a few more purple brooches that I didn’t use as well).
Here is my bouquet!!! My photog has some better photos, but here is a pic that my friend took: