Our mystery is solved! Thanks to Ruth from PA who messaged me that the mystery brooch/pins are actually vintage curtain tie backs from the 1940's! We are so excited to finally identify the beautiful centerpieces of our bouquet. Now that I know what they are, I might start another collection! Thank you so much, Ruth, for helping us solve this question.When my youngest daughter announced her engagement, she also announced she would like to carry a Brooch Bouquet in her wedding. Since this was our fourth child to get married, as well as the third wedding since 2010, and since her young brother had gotten married only nine months before, you would think that I would be "in the know" on all these new fangled wedding things. But I had not heard of a Brooch Bouquet. I did think it might just be a big undertaking since she was hoping to schedule the ceremony in three months (thank goodness she stretched it to five months) and browsed the internet and Etsy to see if we could just purchase one. After finding out the cost of purchasing a ready-made Brooch Bouquet, I agreed to help with the project.
It turned out to be about a thousand times harder, took about a thousand times longer than I had planned and was a thousand times worth it. My grandfather was a jeweler and I may have mentioned in past posts that I am both family curator and family dumpster. I have inherited the remnants of a jewelry store that closed in 1968 as well as the jewelry collections of 3 generations. I don't want anyone to think this is an organized collection. A few weeks after we began the project, we were cleaning out a shed. There was an old metal potato chip can from my parent's garage with a garden tool, some old tupperware, other odds and ends and two brooches. It is that kind of collection. However this did save us a small fortune in the cost of even dimestore brooches.
|Miscellaneous collection of brooches from my stash|
|More Brooches collected from my house.|
We purchased large styrofoam balls to use as a base (see further for better recommendation) and began to layout patterns. I preferred a symmetric pattern, the bride preferred more random. It was her bouquet and she was totally right. Her design was perfect! We also practiced layouts on an aluminum pizza pan (seen on right). We were still struggling with how exactly we were going to anchor them in this ball.
Meanwhile, the only "brooches" we could actually attach were the pin backs and that was just for looks, not stability. I did a little youtube research and they suggested attaching wires and hollowing out the styrofoam. Fortunately, before I attempted the styrofoam butchering, we took a little road trip to Hobby Lobby for paper to make the invitations and I found a large styrofoam 1/2 circle that is hollowed out! I can't remember the cost - maybe $15? It is worth every penny. And in case you were thinking this would be a money saving bouquet project, I will advise you at this point that it will NOT.
Also note; this project will go faster if you have a place that you can leave it undisturbed. We worked on my dining room table and had to completely back up after each session due to visiting grandchildren.
We purchased thin jewelry wire in gold and silver (it is on spools like thread). We either twisted it to the ends of the stick pins on back, or wove it through the brooch or tied it or whatever we had to do to make a loop. We used long strands and did not trim them.
|Here you can see both the styrofoam ball we started with and the half circle we went with.|
After hours of wiring, rewiring, taping and poking, the bouquet was arranged! The next question was - how was she going to carry it. At this point we began to realize the weight of the bouquet. All those brooches and wires made the styrofoam quite "weighty" and our plans of using plastic bouquet holders of some kind was out of the question. We also had to do something with all those wires extending from underneath which are needed to keep the brooches in place. We had wrapped them in more wire and twisted to make sure that no one was moving. I again turned to youtube where I found a young lady with a great mind who suggested using a pool noodle. GENIOUS!!!!
|We pinned lace on the underside of the foam to give it a nice edge using metal floral picks. They are "u" shaped and sold next to all that floral wire.|
And now we are just getting silly with the completion of the gift card birdcage and the bouquet.
And a family friend designed and created the birdcage veil to feature another brooch.
The bouquet did its job, they are pronounced husband and wife (isn't he handsome!)
And to further prove that she is my daughter and prone to wild and crazy thinking, she included all of their nieces and nephews in the bridal party as their "little loves". Yep, all of them.
Linking to Metamorphis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch:
and Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
and Wow Us Wednesdays at Savy Southern Style