Monday, September 14, 2015

How to Make a Vintage Enamel Floral Brooch Bouquet


Sometime right after I got engaged in July of 2014, I fell in love with these colorful vintage enamel floral brooches.  I started collecting them.  I would one them almost daily.  While searching one day, I found a few pictures of bouquets made out of them.  I told myself I could do that.  There are several tutorials out there, but they all are pretty long and detailed.  So, I just decided to wing it.  I wanted to share an easy tutorial that you can follow to make your own!

Materials needed:
  • Vintage enamel floral brooches (or you could use rhinestone brooches for a blingy bouquet).  How many you need really depends on how big (and how heavy!) you want your bouquet to be.  I think I used about 40-45 for mine.  You need all different sizes from the larger ones that are 4-5" across to tiny ones that are only 1" across.
  • 20 gauge floral wire.  I bought mine in packs of 30 pre-cut lengths of 20 inches each.  It seemed MUCH easier than buying a roll, measuring out 20 inches, cutting, and then straightening it out.  Seriously, you want them straight at first, so buy the pre-cut stuff!  THIS is exactly what I bought (except mine was green).
  • lots of floral tape.  I bought 3 rolls and used almost all of them to put together about 70 flowers. 
  • a roll of ribbon, burlap, fabric,or whatever you want to use to cover your "stems"
  • straight pins.  I used ones WITHOUT the big pearl heads that are commonly used to put boutonnieres on.
  • LOTS of patience.
How to:
Take one length of wire and starting at one end, roll floral tape down and around until you reach the other end.  You want to get the tape tight and not bulky.  Don't worry you can stretch it out a little as you go to help ease some of bulkiness.  This will take some practice. I messed up like 5 of these before I got it right.

Now this is where I wish I'd done it a little differently.  I later found out you can buy pre-cut lengths of floral wire with green cloth around them.  These would have been PERFECT and you could've skipped this really super annoying first step.  And this would've gone a lot quicker.  Like, A LOT quicker.  The idea of wrapping the floral tape is to kind of "bulk up" the wire, so it can support the weight of the brooch.  Now, these cloth wrapped stems are a little pricier ($1.99 for 12 vs. $1.99 for 30), but after the amount of time I spent wrapping the wire, I'd totally go this route.

Anyways, after you have your wire wrapped, you will fold it in half and it should look like this:


Next you will place the middle where it's folded on the backside under the end of the pin without the latch.  It's very important that you place it on that end.  It should look like this:


Next you will take each end cross them over each other and pull it under the end that latches.  Make sure your pin is latched shut!  It should look like this:


Next you will pull the wires straight up towards you and you will start twisting them around each other.  Make sure it is really tight at first.  This is what locks the pin and place and keeps it closed.  You don't want it to open and poke you!  It should start looking like this:


A different view of the above step:


Your finished flower pin with "stem" should look like this:


Wasn't that easy?  Now just make a ton of them!  Make sure to make enough of different sized pins!

Okay, so when you start "arranging" the flowers, it's going to look like this:


I had to call my mom in to help.  She used to arrange flowers for fun.  I was never any good at it.  I don't have any pictures of the arranging process, but I will explain what we did.

Mom started with the largest flower (which happened to be in ugly colors).  She held the whole thing in her left hand as she arranged.  If you try to do it any other way, such as in a vase, or something it's not going to turn out.  You need them to be gripped and held tightly.  This is important as you continue to add flowers.  You need to be able to see where the "holes" are.  Mom just kept adding flowers to each side to kind of "round out" the bouquet.  We bent the stems of some to help achieve  this look, which is where you have the advantage over real flowers. We saved the smallest flowers for the end to fill in any "holes" at the end. 

We pulled some out as we went if it didn't look right.  We tried to keep like colors away from each other.  Once you think you're nearly finished, sort of push in the top flowers to make it "tight" and so that none are sticking out.  Make sure to figure out what side will be held towards you.  Rotate the bouquet around to see which angle it looks the best from. 

Once you've got the final look done, cut off the few longer stems at the bottom, to try to get it even.  This should only be about 1/4" or so.  You will have some stems that don't come into the bouquet until several inches up, since each stem is only about 8-9" long (20" wire, folded in half, and twisted).

Start wrapping floral tape around the bottom first.  We found it easiest to work in small strips of about 12" of tape.  Wrap up until you get to the point where your stems start "fanning" out. 

Next is the tricky part.  We started by pinning the satin ribbon kind of folded over the bottom.  We did this to cover the bottom so I don't stick myself with floral wire.  Probably another good reason to use the cloth wrapped wire.  Next we did a few more folds and pins to get it back in line to start wrapping up the bouquet towards the top.  Remember to wrap tightly, or the folds will fall.  Once you get to the point where you stopped your floral tape, cut the ribbon, fold under the cut part about 1/8" and the start pinning it in place.  This is why I used straight pins with the very small heads, so you can barely see them.  Be careful when pinning, as you might go through to another side of the bouquet.  You don't want that sticking out or the bride will poke herself.

Anyways, when it's all done, it should look something like this:


I had to hold it up for the picture because the mason jar wasn't holding it.  It's very top heavy!  I also made one for my maid of honor.  Her's looks like this:


Smaller and way more manageable.  I told her she had to start doing arm work outs because she has to hold both of these during our ceremony!

Email me if you have any questions during your bouquet making process (click the little envelope off to the right side).

Wedding count down - about 1 month away!  :)

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9 comments:

  1. These are so adorable! You are going to look so cool carrying that.

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  3. Oh Melissa , I lovvvve your bouquet. You will be one stunning bride !! I made a vintage bouquet out of brooche's (1920-30's) for a friend's Great Gatsby wedding a few year's back. I know how much time you had to put in the two of them, even more special your mom helped. This is a bouquet you can keep and cherish forever. Wonderful job !!!! TT

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  4. Stunning Melissa!! You and your mom did such a wonderful job and your tutorial is excellent--very clear and easy to follow. I can't believe it's only a month away :)

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  5. Your bouquet is gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial at Vintage Inspiration Party. I'm going to share on my FB page this morning.

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  6. So gorgeous and unique Melissa. It's totally you!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  7. I loved this!!! CFan't wait to see all the vintage goodies you are using for the wedding.

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  8. Gorgeous! I love all the different colors. You did a fabulous job.

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  9. Great job, Melissa! Love how you've kept it vintage! Wishing you the very best!

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