How to make a brooch bouquet *

( a brooch bouquet tutorial for beginners )

 A brooch bouquet is an absolutely stunning alternative to a flower bouquet with the added added advantage that it makes a great memento. It can be expensive to make your own brooch bouquet, but still cheaper than buying one ready made and making your own brooch bouquet will also make it more personal to you. 
Remember that like any silver plated jewellery, brooches can tarnish if exposed to paper or air for too long. protect your bouquet by storing in a lidded PLASTIC box or plastic bag. adding an anti tarnish tab will help

DIY step by step instructions for how to make a brooch bouquet:- 

Materials needed for making a DIY brooch bouquet

You can buy brooch bouquet supplies or brooch bouquet kits if you look online but it's more fun and probably more cost effective to buy the brooches for your bouquet. You can choose what you like and not what someone else chooses for you.

  • Brooches: 

Obvious really a brooch bouquet needs loads of brooches, the number needed will depend factors such as on the size that you want your bouquet, your budget, the size of your chosen bouquet holder. Second hand brooches from friends and family may help keep the price down and I also sell a selection of inexpensive brooches. To fill smaller gaps clip on earrings or diamante or pearl buttons can work well, buttons are usually cheaper than brooches. Crystal and pearl beads also make great fillers for small gaps.

How many brooches do I need for a brooch bouquet. Well a good start would be 20 of the  £1.99 small brooches and 5 of the £3.99 large brooches then you can add more as you need depending on your bouquet size.

Buy brooches for a brooch bouquet  

  • Wire :

 you will need absolutely loads don't under estimate how much you will need. I am using 2 x 50 cm length PER brooch. 

I have some for sale which is anti tarnish. I used 0.5 as this is a good thickness for threading through brooches and twisting easily. but you may have to strengthen it by using extra or adding in florist wire.

Buy wire for brooch bouquet

  • Hydrangea heads ?

If you aren't confident about creating shape you can use artificial hydrangea heads to give structure that you can work through, but it's not necessary, 1 or 2 depending on bouquet size. 

  • Lace bouquet frill :

To cover the wire work you can use a lace collar on a plastic cone, choose either one larger than your bouquet to frame it, or one the same size so that it only covers the underneath. If you aren't keen on the lace you can add a ribbon frill on top of the lace.  I sell them  here

 Buy bouquet collar

9 inch white lace bouquet collar DIY

  • Bouquet handle:

You may want to get one of these to cover the wires, unless you want to wrap the handle in ribbon. I sell these too and they have more space in the handle for the stems, a lot of the others I have seen on sale have very slim handles.

Buy plastic bouquet handle

The ones that I now sell clip together with the collar and don't need gluing

 9 inch white lace collar and handle for wedding bouquet

You may want to use stem wrap, (optional I didn't ) it's called parafilm wrap in either white or green, I got mine from Ebay

  • Glue 

If you aren't using one of the collar and handles that I sell which clip together you may need to glue the handle to the lace collar's cone you could use Gorilla glue which is very strong but it is brown and expands loads so you need to be very careful with it, again I purchased it from Ebay, but it is widely available. 

You will probably damage some brooches, stones may be dislodged and pearls can easily be knocked loose so you may need some jewellery glue, ordinary glues like superglue discolour the stones so you need a specialist one ebeads sell one called dazzle-tac.

  • Tools:

 small nosed pliers, wire cutters, I bought a 5 piece mini tool set from Ebay

  • A coffee jar or vase to stand it in between stages is useful

Materials ready? Instructions on how to make a brooch bouquet 

  •  Step one

A Hydrangea flower makes a good base for your bouquet as it will give you something to help you keep your shape and will stop you seeing any gaps. I have chosen a large white one from Dunelm. Cut the stem to the length that you will need for your handle. You may want to cut it longer as you can shorten it later.

  • Step 2 

wire all your brooches and earrings. There are many ways to do this and you can work out what works best for you. I have used open work brooches and threaded the wire through and across the pin to stop it opening, then through a gap and back again. I have done this twice so that there are 4 strands of wire which can be twisted together in the centre to form the stem.

wiring brooches for brooch bouquets

 I find it easiest to grip the wire and twist the brooch this gives a nice tight twist. The brooch should stand up on the stem unsupported like a flower. If the brooch is too heavy you can add a thicker supporting wire. Cut a length of thicker florist wire. Hook the end, loop it through the wires that are twisted together and then twist it in.

strengthening the supposrt for a brooch wired for a brooch bouqueta brooch wired ready to use in a brooch wedding bouquet

  • Step 3

When your brooches are wired you may want to cover the wire with parafilm wrap (I didn't). This sticks to itself, grip the film in one hand and twist the stem stretching the film slightly as you go. it gets easier after the first attempt. If you don't want to do this you can omit this step it just gives a more professional finish. (I probably would only use this around the top 2" as it makes it difficult to position the brooches as it it sticks together)

  • Step 4

Hold the Hydrangea in one hand and insert the brooches between the petals until all the head is covered.

 brooch bouquet how to make one

You can either wire them to the stem as you go or just hold them till you have finished. A glass jar is useful as you can stand the bouquet in it when you pause. Standing it in the jar or gripping it near the top will let you see the gaps.

identify what size brooches you need to fill the gaps, large clip on earrings or rhinestone buttons are good for small gaps.

  • Step 5

When all of the brooches are in position wrap wire around the stems near the top to hold them in place,then wrap the stems in either parafilm or any kind of tape.

  • Step 6

insert the bouquet into your bouquet collar. If you want a larger collar you can top it with circles of tulle, netting or lace. You may need to trim the hole at the bottom of the cone to allow all the stems to pass through, but don't cut too much off if you are also using the plastic handle.

  • Step 7

You can either wrap the stems in ribbon to form your handle or you can use the handle from an Oasis bouquet holder. I have used this as it gives a neater more practical handle. If you are using the handle first remove the Oasis ball then trim off the open work plastic at the top, you may need to file off the rough edges.

make a handle for your brooch wedding bouquet

Insert the stems into the holder to check the fit. trim the stems so that they sit in the holder at the right height. Remove the bouquet collar and handle and glue the collar into the handle.

  • Step 8

when the handle and collar are secure and the glue has dried, pop the bouquet into the holder.Use wire threaded through the frill of the holder to secure the bouquet into place.

This finished brooch bouquet is approx 5 inches across the brooches on a 7 inch frill.

 When I made this I didn't use the Hydrangea head I just started in the middle with the first brooch and gathered the others in my hand as I would with real flowers as I added them round. I wired round the stems then added in earrings and buttons to fill the gaps. I found the lace frill a bit too lacy for my taste, it is still there but I cut a length of satin ribbon, ran a wire through it and pulled it in to sit between the brooches and the bouquet holder.

For this small bouquet materials in total cost at retail approx £125+

This example bouquet contains the following some of which you can buy here

24 brooches value £89.74,1 button and  4 earrings value £17.96 and 1 rhinestone button

1 7" lace collar ( my present stock is 9" )

1 bouquet handle

Approx 28 metres of 0.5 gauge wire & thicker florist wire 

satin ribbon

Or you could just add a few brooches into an artificial flower bouquet



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