Thursday, November 29, 2012

DIY Brooch Bouquet

I knew for my Nov 3rd wedding that I didn't want to carry a bouquet of flowers. This was my second go around in the wedding scene and I was all about doing things differently! I thought a brooch bouquet would go perfectly with my short shabby chic dress and cow girl boots. But yikes! The prices of them on Etsy!! I quickly went on a quest to find as many beautiful brooches as I could so I could make my own. My mom passed down a handful of family brooches and my soon to be mom #2 did the same. We also had a girls day out and visited the local antique shop to stock up on more. Once I was well equipped with enough pretties, I started making the bouquet. I referenced several DIY brooch bouquet posts but like normal, ended up making it my own way. 
And now I understand why they cost a small fortune....

Shabby Sweet Tea's Brooch Bouquet Tutorial: 

50-100 Brooches 
(50=small, 75=medium, 100+=large)
*floral wire
needle nose pliers 
artificial hydrangea, pastel color
green floral tape
wire ribbon, 4 to 6 inches wide. Spool of 2+yards
hot glue gun and glue sticks
current tetanus shot 
(you will stick yourself multiple times with ancient brooches)

*Floral wire: I started off using 22 gauge green florist wire that was wound on a spool. Later I discovered light green fabric covered wire in 22 gauge. These came in pre-cut strips and were much stronger than the wire strips I was cutting. I highly recommend them!

Choosing Brooches:
Look for brooches, earrings, rings, that will be easy to wire up. By this I mean, they need a place for two wires to attach.

As you can see in the picture, I twisted two wires, one on each side, through the ring base. I then wound them together. You can do this easily on the back of brooches by twisting wire around the clasp. 

Choose a variety of sizes, which will help shape the bouquet, create a base and fill in gaps. 

Getting Started

Step 1: 
Wire up all brooches, rings, earrings, or any other little pretties that you may want to add. Hair pins work great too.
As described above, attach two wires to the underside of each piece. Finish by twisting the two wires together. 

Step 2: 
Wrap each strand of twisted wire in green floral tape. 

Step 3:
Cut the hydrangea stem to the desired length of your bouquet. 
Hold the hydrangea in one hand and started adding brooch stems with the other. 

Continue adding brooch stems and creating a domed shaped. Don't worry about the hydrangea showing. It will be completely covered when you are finished. 

Step 4:
Once you have your brooches arranged the way you like, trim the wires to the length of your hydrangea stem. Next, wrap the bundle of stems in floral tape. 

Step 5:
Cut a long piece of wired ribbon to create a cuff. I used about 18 inches. Slowly pull one of the wires out of the ribbon, causing the ribbon to pucker. Pleat the ribbon as you go. 
Using hot glue, attach the puckered side of the ribbon to the top part of your handle. Glue the two cut sides of the ribbon together. 

Step 6:
Glue ribbon around handle of bouquet. Every few inches or so, add a drop of hot glue to help secure the ribbon. 

And that is how you make a brooch bouquet! Not easy but sure worth it.

The website I found to be most helpful while making my bouquet was:
 Fancy Pants Weddings

Linking up to: French Country Cottage , My Romantic Home , Savvy Southern Style

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hello Monday

 Hello weekend. 
Hello to readjusting to US time.
Hello to my new Nespresso maker. Just like in Paris. 

Hello to a four mile husband and wife walk with the dogs. 
Hello to a big Saturday breakfast. 
Hello freshly squeezed orange juice, home made home fries and French omelettes. 

Hello to my favorite cook book. 
Hello to working on a French Thanksgiving menu!

Hello cold, gray Monday. 
Goodbye weekend.....but hello short work week!

Linking up to: Lisa Leonard's Blog

Friday, November 16, 2012

Life is too good....

 My poor and neglected you even still read it??
I've been soaking up all the happiness in my life right now and not dedicating a lot of time to projects and Shabby Sweet Tea.
So, here's a quick recap of what's been happening...
In October I got engaged and in November we tied the knot!
We decided why wait?! 
Love is great and time is precious. 
We then headed off to Paris for nine days of honeymoon bliss, or what we called "moon'in" 
Now we are back and I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week, followed by both of our birthdays and then Christmas! 

I will hopefully get a few wedding specific posts up soon and a few about Paris. Until then, here is  a sneak peak....

Au revoir et heureux vendredi!

(Goodbye and happy Friday!)

Linking up to: Isabelle ThortonMy Romantic HomeThe Wiegand's

Thursday, November 15, 2012


 This year, not only am I using Shutterfly for my Christmas cards but also for wedding announcements, thank you cards and photo books! They have so many great coupon codes right now. Check them out!
3x5 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Laboratory Halloween Theme

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween!
This year I wanted to get creepy, really creepy. 
I turned the front porch into a laboratory...

I started saving jars a couple months ago and printed my own labels. To age them, I soaked them in tea (sweet tea) and used Rubber Cement to adhere them to the jars. 
A few of the "specimens" include: cauliflower, udon noodles, hearts of palm, tomato soup, beets, and many more. 

I think I scared more adults than children!