Whilst researching the wonderful heirloom brooch bouquet I came across this fabulous ‘how to’ by Fancy Pants Weddings. If you adore all treasures pre-loved like me, with a little patience and creativity you can create your own heirloom bouquet and carry it with pride on your special day
50-85 brooches, large earrings or necklaces (Definitely worth asking family members, especially grandparents, if they have any genuine vintage pieces to add a wonderfully sentimental touch to your bouquet. The rest you can find in junk shops, boot fairs, antique fairs, charity shops etc. Do check out my Treasure Hunt page for suggestions).
2 yards 5 inch wide gold taffeta ribbon
3 yards 3/8 inch wide almond velvet ribbon
3 yards of clear and gold seed beads strung on wire
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:
When choosing your treasures to include in your bouquet there are few things you should consider;
Colour palette- Stick to between three and five colour families. Here Judy used shades of green, purple, turquoise and gold with antique gold as her accent metal. If you have a particular treasure that you love, use it as inspiration for the colours of the entire bouquet.
Finish- Choose one type of metal. Sticking to either gold or silver gives your finished bouquet a more polished look.
Size- Pick jewelry pieces of varying sizes to give your bouquet depth and dimension.
Sentimentality- You may wish to include a few pieces of jewelry that have special meaning to you- a brooch your grandma always wore, you and your fiancé’s initials or the earrings your mother wore on her wedding day.
Value- It’s best not use any jewelry pieces that are worth too much. The bouquet will be tossed around and set down all day and it would be awful to loose a particularly valuable piece of jewelry.
Step One: Wire and taping
Attach wire to your jewelry pieces. As 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 length of wire. Check that the wired brooch does not droop when you hold it between two fingers otherwise it will not hold up in the finished bouquet.
Wrap the corsage tape down the wire gently pulling as you go. The tape sticks best when held taught and overlaps itself. This will take some practice- be patient and take your time.
Ensure the wired and taped brooch is sturdy. The corsage tape finishes the wire, holds multiple wires together and adds strength.
Repeat until all your jewelry pieces are wired and taped.
Step Two: Assemble the brooch bouquet
Hold the hydrangeas in your left hand. One at a time, insert your wired and taped jewelry pieces . The hydrangea acts as a spacer and fills in any gaps between the jewelry pieces, masking 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 domed shape.
Once you have added all the wired brooches and have the bouquet in a shape you are happy with, 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 until you have four loops.
Attach a long wire and tape the length.
Make a total of four seed bead clusters.
Collar the base of your 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 put it to one side for the moment. Hold the remaining ribbon in two fingers on the end at the edge. Take the copper wire that runs the length of the ribbon and pull the wire, pleating the ribbon as you go. Continue until the entire ribbon is ruffled.
Take the wire you used to pleat the ribbon and and cut at both ends. Twist the wire together.
Glue down the rough edges of both ends of the ribbon to form a seam.
Wrap the handle of the bouquet with the eight inches of ribbon you put aside.
Place the bouquet handle through the ribbon collar and glue in place.
Wrap the seam where the bouquet collar meets the handle in velvet ribbon. Finish with a small bow and gem headed pins.
The finished aisle worthy heirloom brooch bouquet! A stunning piece to treasure!
A massive thanks to the wonderfully talented Judy, for sharing this fabulous tutorial with us! I very much hope we have inspired you to give it a go! If you’re not convinced that you have what it takes, there are a few fabulous peeps out there who can create one of these for you. Check out my Heirloom Bouquet post for a few suggestions. xXx