Sunday, February 8, 2009

DIY Crystal Bouquet

While Lauren wasn't into all the details of a wedding one thing she did really want was a crystal bouquet. After searching out people who sold them and finding out how much they cost she decided to take the plunge and do it herself. The end result was gorgeous, better than I imagined!


Lauren followed directions she found that are very similar to the ones that you can download off of DIY Bride online. She did however make her stems a bit different than the online directions. Instead of placing the beads in the drill she attached a hook in the drill bit because not all the beads would fit in. Instead she placed the hook at the base of the bead around the wire and then spun away.

In the beginning it takes some practice to get down how fast you have to spin the drill and where to hold the wire in order to get it to twist properly. I attempted to help make these straight stems but I was crap at it. Lauren had played around enough that she was a pro.

Lauren did not make stems that looked exactly the same. She used may different sizes and shapes of crystal beads. She also varied the amount and types of beads she put together. Some stems had only one bead and others had varying combinations. For some of the very large beads she had to string multiple strand of wire to support their weight.

Instead I helped out by using some of my jewelery making experience to make tear drop stems that she placed along the outside edges of her bouquet. To make these I took one of the pieces of wire and strung on a tear drop bead leaving it about an inch from the end of the wire and then folding the wire up.

I then strung another bead on from the other end making sure that it went over the folded piece of wire. Next I strung on a crimp bead the same way making sure it was flush with the last bead and using flat nose pliers flatten the crimp bead to secure the two beads and wire in place.

Then I strung another crimp bead on but secured it a little bit higher on the wire leaving a bit of room followed by another crystal bead and crimp bead. This process secures another bead a bit higher on the wire so that it looks like it's floating. I repeated this process one more time. On each stem I varied how many beads and the position of the beads, sometimes putting a couple beads together. I finished the stem by bending the end with the beads to make a candy cane shape.

Once all the stems were made Lauren used a vase to arrange them the way she wanted. At the top of the vase she used scotch tape to make a grid to place the stems in so that they would stay and not fall to the side. When all the stems had been placed she used floral and duct tape to hold them all together. Finished off by satin ribbon, rhinestones, and a brooch. Here is the finished product:

Lauren bought some pre-made stems for floral arrangements and made a few extra stems to make a similar but different bouquet for me.

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