How to make a beaded bouquet and boutonnière
I got this idea when searching online for something different and lasting to use instead of flowers that will just die. Online these will retail from $150-$500 depending on the size for the bouquet and $20-$40 for the boutonnieres. You can make them yourself for a fraction of the cost!
To get your supplies you can buy them at your local craft store or online, I did a combination of both. I found that Firemountaingems.com has the best price for beads and a huge selection of colors and styles. I used the Bicones 6mm and 8mm swarovski crystal beads and Celestial Crystal beads (I just mixed them up). The wire I found on amazon.com.
To get an idea of what you will need for each item I have made a list:
- Power drill
- Wire cutters
- A cup hook (you can get these at any hardware store)
- 26 or 28 gauge craft wire – I used 1 arm length for each strand which is about 24inches
- 8mm or 10mm beads (personal preference) I used 8mm – for the grooms boutonniere I Made 15 strands, and will use 10-12 in the others, so however many strands you Decide will work well for your taste is how many beads you will need.
- Bread tie or tape
- 26 or 28 gauge craft wire – I used 2 arm lengths for each strand which is about 48 inches
- 6mm or 8mm beads (personal preference) I used 6mm. For the bride bouquet I made 50 Strands, and will use 300 for each of the bridesmaid’s bouquets and will make pins for the mothers and grandmothers using 30 strands (similar to the boutonnieres)
- Cable Zip Ties (you can find these at home improvement stores or walmart) you will need one per bouquet you are making. I used the clear ones.
Now for the How To:
1. Here is the cup hook that I used; it was $0.83 at Lowes! Insert the screw end of the hook into the drill, where the drill bit goes.
2. Next cut your wire to the desired length (24 inches (1 arm length) for boutonnieres and 48 inches (2 arm lengths) for bouquets)
3. Fold the piece of wire in half
4. String a bead onto the wire so that it is sitting at the half way point
5. Twist the wire a few times around the bead to secure it into place
6. Then take the wire and put the end you just twisted over the hook on the drill
7. Hold the other end of the wire securely with pliers, and then pull the trigger on the drill and the wire will twist. You will want it to be a tight twist so that the wire will stand on its own. I would do mine until it looked as if it wouldn’t hold any more twists.
8. Take the wire off of the hook
9. You will now need to tighten the bead where the hook was. Hold the bead with one hand and the wire with a pair of pliers and twist it a few times to make twist the area where the hook was.
10. Congratulations you have just made your first strand! Now you just need to repeat the process for however many strands you need for the piece you are making.
To Finish the Bouquet:
1. Group the stems that you want to use together and hold them as they were a bunch of flowers. Figure out how long you want your bouquet to be (I made mine about a foot long)
2. Take a zip tie and secure the bunch at your desired length mark (12 inches), don’t worry this will get covered up. Once secure cut off the extra cord as close as you can to the bouquet.
3. Then flip the bunch around so that you are holding the bouquet upside down.
4. Starting with the strands on the outside of the bunch start to bed the stems up, the unfinished ends will be in the middle of the bouquet to make a clean smooth bottom. If you need to cut the unfinished ends to be shorter (they should be the length of the handle of the bouquet)
5. Once all of the stems are folded up you should not see the zip tie anymore!
6. Then wrap some wire around the bouquet to hold it in place and if you like you can add ribbon to dress it up!
7. On the day of the wedding (or night before) gently pull on the stems to separate them and make them a rounded bouquet. Start from the outside when doing this and work your way in.
8. (I have not yet finished my bouquet so I do not have a final project picture to show you of mine but here are some inspiration pics, I will update this with my finished bouquets once I get them all finished)
For the Boutonnières:
1. You will need to repeat the process described above for making the strands, however use 24 inches (1 arm length) of wire and the larger size bead.
2. Hold all of the stems in one hand and arrange them to be different heights, measure down from the tallest stem 4 ½ inches (or your desired height for the boutonniere) and mark that with a bread twist tie or piece of tape (this needs to be something you can remove!
3. Hold the stems at that mark with your ring finger and middle finger (the ring finger on the mark) and thumb
4. Having the front of the boutonniere facing you twist the ends of the wire around your fingers so that they form an oval. I did a few at a time holding them in place by placing my pointer finger on the top of the strands (making it so they can’t spring back down)
5. Once all of the strands have been bent around, twist the ends of the wire around the top of the loop to secure them. After they have gone all the way around once you can trim the extra wire.
6. Take the ends of the wire and continue to twist them around so that you can hide the ends in the top. I used my pliers and squeezed them into place. Just work at it until you can’t see the ends anymore.
7. You can then leave it as is or tie a ribbon around it.
Here is the finished product!
Please let me know if you are confused or stuck at any step in the process and I will help you out. I will be adding step by step pictures as well as I go along with making the rest of mine!