You may dream of a bridal bouquet that is arranged with gorgeous cotton candy-like peonies. Floral bridal bouquets can be quite pricey however, and to make matters worse, they are thrown out at the end of the evening. While most of us probably don't have access to fields of homegrown flowers, there is a DIY option. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create your own beautiful bouquet full of handmade silk flowers, vintage crystal brooches, and a token vintage key that you can keep as a lasting memory from your special day. Let's get started!
- Solid satin - Ivory, Lilac, and Light Pink.
- Gutermann thread - Ivory, Lilac, and Light Pink.
- Ribbon - Ivory.
- Bead Smith craft wire, tarnish resistant - Silver and Gold, 20 gauge.
- Duct tape or masking tape.
- Jewellery wire cutters.
- Vintage crystal brooches - We found ours around local jewellery stores in NYC. Check around your local jewellery stores, flea markets, or even in your grandmother's jewellery box. Here is a link to help you find your own, if you would like to order online.
- Vintage key charm - We found ours in a local bead store in NYC. Check around your local craft store, jewellery store or flea market to find your own. If you would like to order online, you can check out the link we have provided. Etsy.com has some great options.
- Pearl beads.
Step 1: Create the Flower Petals
Cut fabric into a circle. You will need two to three circles for each flower. These circles do not need to be perfect or even, since real flowers do not have perfect petals. You can improvize.
Step 2: Fold the Petals
Once you have two (or three) circles, lay them on top of each other. The larger circle should be on the bottom.
Now fold the circles in half as shown.
Fold in half once more. You will see your flower has formed.
Step 3: Thread and Knot the Needle
Now cut a decent amount of thread since you will be doubling it as you thread your needle.
Put the end of the thread through the eye of the needle, and pull until the thread is folding in half.
Now take the end of your thread, and wrap it around your finger.
Roll the thread back and forth between your thumb and pointer finger.
Pull the rolled thread together, tightly with your fingertips.
This creates your sewing knot.
Step 4: Stitch the Flower
Hold the ends of the petals together tightly with your fingers.
Put the needle first through the pointed, small end of your flower as shown.
Now weave your needle in and out of the fabric, along the edge of the flower to create your stitches.
You should have about ten stitches.
In order to knot the stitches when you finish, slide your needle under one stitch to create a loop with the thread.
Now poke the end of the needle through the loop and pull the thread to tighten your knot. Repeat the same step once more. This will secure your knot.
Cut the excess thread.
Step 5: Add a Bead with Wire
Cut a generous portion of the wire, approximately 30cm. Poke one end of the wire through the hole in the center of the flower. Pull the wire half way through the hole.
Now add your pearl bead. The bead helps to add weight to the flower, so this is an important step.
Bend the other end of the wire through the hole as well, and pull through the bottom of the flower. The two ends of your wire should match in length. The pearl bead should be in the center of your flower.
Now take your needle and add a few more stitches at the base point of the flower. Make sure it's tightly stitched together, so the petals do not slide down the wire.
Step 6: Create the Stem for the Fabric Flowers
Twist the two wire strands together, all the way down, in order to create a sturdy stem. It doesn't matter if each of your flowers have stems of different lengths. We will cut them at the end to make sure they are all the same length. Create all of your flowers this way, using different colours of fabric. The amount of flowers you create is up to you. The more flowers you make, the larger your bouquet will be. Please note, the fabric is delicate and frayed edges are OK. They add a wispy, organic look to the bouquet.
Step 7: Wrap Wire Through Medium Crystal Flowers
We found beautiful gold and silver crystal hair pins, which will create our medium sized metal flowers. You can use brooches or buttons as well - whatever treasures you happen to find! You might even like to use a special heirloom brooch or piece of jewellery that belonged to your mother or grandmother. It's all about creating layers of meaning and memories.
Cut a long piece of wire.
Begin weaving the wire in and out of each petal. Once again the wire should be folded in half, so you have two strands for the flower.
Step 8: Create the Stem for the Medium Crystal Flowers
Once wrapped around several petals, continue to twist the two strands of wire around the rest of the hair pin, as well as the remainder of the wire, as you see below.
Now cut the end of the wire, and your medium flower is finished.
Step 9: Create the Small Crystal Flowers
Using your silver wire, weave the wire in and out of the holes in the small crystal flower, in the same manner outlined in the previous steps.
Twist the wire all the way down to create the stem.
Step 10: Add the Crystal Flowers
As you can see, we have started adding our crystal flowers to the handmade silk flowers. Don't worry about the arrangement of the flowers right now. We will arrange the flowers later on.
Step 11: Weave Wire Through the Gold Brooch
Since this floral brooch is much heavier than the others, we'll use two strands of wire to secure it. Remember that this is actually four strands, since each strand is folded in half. Using the same procedure as above, weave one piece of wire through the spaces in the brooch. Do the same with the second piece of wire.
Step 12: Create the Stem for the Gold Brooch
Now twist all four strands of wire together, creating your stem.
Step 13: Create your Silver Brooch
Create the silver brooch, using the same steps as above. Weave your wire through the holes of the brooch.
Do this with two strands of wire. Now twist all strands together for the stem.
Step 14: Add the Brooches to the Bouquet
As you can see, we have started adding the large crystal brooches to our bouquet. Make sure to add them towards the centre, as they are heavy and must be supported by the other flowers.
Step 15: Trim the Wire Stems
Take your wire cutter or scissors, and begin to carefully trim all of the ends of the stems to be the same length. We recommend wearing safety glasses in this step, as the metal ends may fly. The trimming doesn't need to be exact, as we will cut them once more before we add our ribbon to the base of the bouquet. We are trying to get the bouquet to be less bulky, so we can arrange the flowers more easily. Be careful - you may need to cup your hand over the wire to keep the metal from flying.
Step 16: Arrange the Bouquet
Now that all the stems are the same length, shift the flowers around to get them in the exact position that you want them. Try to spread the crystal flowers around your bouquet evenly, and kept the crystal brooches in the centre, as they are heavier and need the support. Evenly spread your flowers as well, making sure to vary the colours around the bouquet.
Step 17: Bind the Stems
Next, bind the stems together with duct tape. Hold your wire stems very sturdily at the top, and tightly wrap the tape around the stems.
The tape may wrinkle slightly, but try to keep it as flat as possible. You won't see the wrinkling once it's covered with the satin ribbon.
Continue all the way around to the base of the stems. Once you get to the bottom, cut the tape.
Step 18: Trim the Stems
As you can see, we still have bits of the stems which need trimmed.* Carefully go in with your wire cutters and trim the stems. This will be more challenging this time, since the stems are close together, but just be patient. *Again, we recommend wearing safety glasses in this step.
Make sure to cover the wire with your hand to protect it from flying.
Once you finish, your wire should be even. Don't worry if you can still see the metal. We will cover it with ribbon.
Step 19: Add Ribbon to Cover Wire Ends
Next, cut a small piece of ribbon to cover the ends of your wire. You can estimate how much you need, since we will cover this part of the ribbon shortly.
Now add glue on both sides of the bottom of the bouquet, as well as on top of the metal stems. Remember to properly ventilate your room, since the glue has strong fumes.
Take your small piece of ribbon, and cover the ends of the metal stems, as well as bottom portion of the tape.
Step 20: Attach the Ribbon to the Stems
Add glue in a straight line, all the way down your bouquet. If you like, you can just add a small strip of glue, and once you add some of the ribbon, you can work your way down the stem, adding more glue as you go.
Add the ribbon to the top of the stem, on top of your glue.
Step 21: Wrap the Ribbon Around the Stems
Now wrap the ribbon around the stem.
Continue to wrap, until you reach the bottom.
Be careful at the bottom, as your glue may still be wet from the small piece of ribbon you previously attached.
Step 22: Cut and Glue the End of Your Ribbon
Once you reach the bottom, cut the ribbon, with a few centimetres left over.
Glue the end of the ribbon to the bottom of the stem. With a small piece of leftover wire, add an even amount of glue to the end of your ribbon. Make sure you do not add too much glue. You don't want the glue to squeeze out and look messy.
Carefully wrap the last part of the ribbon to finish it.
Step 23: Thread your Needle
The same way as previously explained, thread your needle, double the thread, and add your sewing knot to the end of the thread. Now poke your needle through the centre part of the ribbon-wrapped stems.
Step 24: Add the Vintage Key Charm
Once your needle has gone through the ribbon, you can put the tip of the needle through the small hole in the key, to attach it to the stems.
Slide the needle and thread all the way through the hole, so the key rests on the ribbon.
Now attach the key to the ribbon, by stitching through the ribbon, and then through the key hole. Do this several times, until the key is secure.
Step 25: Knot the Thread
As you learned previously, poke the needle back through one of your stitches to create a loop. Now poke the tip of the needle through and pull tight, to create a knot. Do this once more, to create a secure knot. Now, cut the thread.
You have now finished your beautiful bridal bouquet!
Are you getting married soon? Tell us about your DIY wedding plans in the comments section below. We'd love to hear all about your plans!