Friday, 2 December 2011

Been busy these past two evenings! The first evening I attached, twisted and floral taped about 40 faux pearls it took soo long but I found it quite theraputic (I wonder how long that will last!)

I'm finding it far easier to pre-stretch the floral tape

Finished :-)

Then the next evening I took a while attaching some heavier brooches with about 3 pieces of folded wire and did some easy clip on earrings too. It was harder to do the straight earrings becaust there's nothing to thread through so you have to twist around as best you can and use lots of floral tape to keep it secure - clip on's are your friend!

Some more pictures:

The unbeliavably heavy brooch!

Passing the droop test :p

My evenings work

That's all for now :-)

Monday, 28 November 2011

Well.......I have stopped for cups of tea and a beautiful Fish Finger sandwich, I have watched 4 episodes of Friends - however I started my crafty work this evening at 5pm and stopped at 10pm. It was actually quite theraputic - oh except when I'd have my eyes on the TV for that long that in a lapse of concentration I've started twisting in the opposite direction and I've undone the whole stem *hits self on head with craft pliers* :-)

What took so long were the dismantled pearls which I used my silvery white wire for. It's a bit too fine, it doesn't bend or twist very well and it kind of unravels if you don't keep the pressure but it'll do for now until the 24 gauge in that colour arrives.

Some pictures of tonights progress:

I can definitely use a thicker wire here

They're short stems for now because no doubt I'll want them clustered around so I can make longer stems with two or three shorter stems on each when I'm arranging the bouquet in it's final stages.
My sister gave me this ring, it is beautiful and quite heavy! So the way I have wrapped the wire around here, I did once again because the stem failed the droop check :-P
My nights work! I did the other clip on "crown" earring, the two shell heart buttons, a couple of buttons from the 300 I got on Ebay, the faux pearls and the big heavy ring - I'm exhausted but happy.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

So.. this is the kind of thing I'm after. Having properly explored these genius designers there is only one thing that puzzles me - how on earth do they source their gorgeous brooches? I've been charity shopping for months! Not to mention the kind friends and family who have given me pieces.

That aside, these people are so talented so if you would like to buy one ready made, these are your people!

Debbie Carlisle bouquets

Vintage Magpie

Love Bouquets

Debbie Carlisle once again!

Mine will have alot more pearls and buttons included and luckily, thanks to a contribution by Gerri and a Cancer Research shop bargain the other day I (hopefully) don't have to buy anymore faux pearl buttons because I have faux pearl necklaces to dismantle and a bracelet.

And while I was in in town I stopped off at a charity shop called Ty Hafan which my cousin manages and got this lovely bracelet for £1.99 and I think it'll be perfect to put at the top of the handle of my finished bouquet.

I've also bought a tool which looks like pliers but is for gripping wire with from Knitters and Sewers in Swansea to save my poor fingers! While I was there I got some white-silvery fine wire for use with the buttons and pearls, which I will then twist onto the stronger green wire - problems solved!

Hoping to start again on my bouquet tomorrow after a busy weekend. Thank you for reading!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

So what I need to end up with are stems with brooches at the end and then I can arrange as I like. I'm not entirely sure how to go about attaching the lovely things that fill out the bouquet like the buttons and pearls - perhaps I could make batches attached to fabric and make stems for those I'm not too sure.

With the coiled wire I need it to be about 23-24 inches long dependant on how much wire I anticipate using for securing the brooch because the stem, all finished needs to be about 11 inches to make a decent bouquet that I can hold I think. I hold the two ends of the cut wire together and fold it exactly in half - thread it through until the middle is sitting on the brooch and then wind around and thread and twist as necessary.

Because all brooches have different backs it's difficult to describe what I do to secure them so here are some pictures:

This is the first of two shirt clips, the pattern of the clip was very useful for threading wire through for stability

One of the Accessorise brooches, a bit heavier so I used more wire for winding around

This one was perfect! Trust me you do become greatful for pieces that are easy to attach to stems!

Next I twist by holding the two pieces of wire and twisting the brooch. For the first one I used the tips of my thumb and index finger to roll and twist but the cramps the next day were not good haha
Someone who knows what they are doing said you can get plier type tools so that you don't get some sort of Craft RSI so I will have a look out for those. For now, the hand will do.

How the stem looks with Florist tape wrapped around

Best to start perhaps too long and trim once I'm happy with how big I need the "handle"

With the florist tape you need to stretch it slightly so that it clings to itself. It's very easy, alot like clingfilm.

Best to hold the stem to see if it will support the brooch without drooping, which thankfully this does!

 So this is what I've managed so far in two evenings, I really take my hat off to the people who do this for brides all through the year, I can't imagine how much energy and time goes into it.

I just need to figure out how to use the buttons and pearls - I did see some 24 gauge coiled wire in various colour so perhaps the answer is a neutral coloured wire?

Thank you for reading, I would like to credit for the instructions I'm following.

Next time I will be finding examples of bouquets with full credit to the creators so that you all can see what I'm trying to make.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Hello everyone,

My name's Sian and I'm getting married in June 2012! Ever since I've been seeing brooch bouquets on the internet I've wanted one of my own but they were a bit out of my budget unfortunately. Therefore, I have started this blog to detail how I intend to make my own for a fraction of the price. I just hope it doesn't look like a small child made it :-)

For the last few months I've been buying buttons and charity-shopping for dress jewellery, I've even used high street shops such as Accessorise. I'm bound to find more pieces as I go along and I still haven't bought what I plan to be the centre which is a Cath Kidston Stanley brooch - I have two Mini Schnauzers and Stanley is a Wire Fox Terrier so the similar shape really appealed to me.

Here is what equipment I have:

Coiled florist wire (24 Gauge)
Florist Tape
Large Scissors (They cut through the wire just fine)
Pearl effect half buttons
Various dress jewellery

I intend to get, when I'm finished some ribbon or even lace to complete it and cover up the wire.

Here are the pieces I have so far:

I got these shirt collar clip-ons from an Antiques shop in Laycock, Wiltshire. for her blog and further info on the shop

Charity shop pieces unless otherwise stated :-)

A broken bracelet of my mothers, I'm hoping to attach this to the top of the handle.

A brooch of my mothers which is slightly bent, this won't be on my bouquet but on a smaller version I hope to make for my sister and maid of honour, it'll have lots of purple buttons on it  too which I am sourcing.

I want a little hint of light blues/turqoise in my bouquet here and there and I couldn't resist this in the charity shop!

A fellow schnauzery and crafty person, Diane Price very kindly donated these earrings. She is very talented and makes some stunning things, see and to see what I mean.

Diane also donated this stunning brooch, it reminds me of a dickie bow!

These are my mothers

I got these from Knitters and Sewers of Swansea

300+ Buttons: Won on Ebay by a lovely woman who has been collecting lovely cream and ivory buttons for decades