Just a fair warning…Brooch-bouquet making is not for the faint of heart, but it is so worth it! I started this project about 6 months before my wedding. Collecting enough brooches to fill the bouquet is the most time-consuming (and also the most fun) part.
While you are assembling your collection, decide on a general color scheme and stick to that, but think creatively about using other pieces of jewelry. I used large earrings and necklace pendants too. I was very fortunate to be able to use brooches from my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Those are my absolute favorites. The remainder I collected here and there. I bought a couple of lots from ebay (even if you throw away a few, it’s usually less expensive that way) and found most of the others from online wholesalers. I ended up using around 60 pieces total.
The first step is to attach wire to each brooch. I wrapped a piece of wire around each side of the brooch pin so each brooch looked like a flower with a stem. Cut the wire on each down to about 3 inches.
Cut 2/3 off the top of the styrofoam ball with a kitchen knife. On the bottom (flat side) make a hole in the middle slightly smaller than the wooden dowel. Put a little hot glue in the hole and insert the dowel. Make sure this is very sturdy because these bouquets weigh a ton. Slip the bouquet holder over the handle and hot glue it to the ball.
Glue the hydrangeas in one layer to cover the entire ball. I also added some feathers around the bottom edge. This serves as a filler so you can’t see the styrofoam between the brooches. Once that’s done you’re ready to start inserting brooches. I organized mine into categories…sentimental, other favorites and fillers. You’ll want to add the fillers first, as they will be mostly covered by the next layers. Save your sentimental brooches for the top and sides so they will pop out in pictures.
Once all of your brooches are in, step back and make sure the colors are balanced. Also, give it a good shake. If any brooches wobble or fall off, either rewire them or use a little hot glue to keep them in place.
Now you’re ready to put the finishing touches on the handle. Cut your ribbon into 6” strips and glue each into a loop until the base of the ball and bouquet form are covered. Glue one end of a very long piece of ribbon slightly underneath one of the loops and wrap it all the way around the handle. Glue your embellishment on the very bottom of the handle as a cap. You can then wrap some thinner ribbon around the base to conceal the end of the satin ribbon.
My bouquet ended up weighing 5 or 6 pounds and it was a ton of work, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Of all of my DIY wedding projects, this was the one I enjoyed the most. I really loved being able to incorporate special heirlooms from my family and it looks so pretty in pictures.