Once you’ve got a decent handful of brooches collected, you can begin the assembly process. I definitely recommend starting assembly early. And don’t try to assemble everything all at once. I’m assembling as I get broaches in, that way, I’m not stuck with a huge pile all at once, because this is not an entirely frustration-free process.
You’ll need floral wire, your brooches, and a hot glue gun with extra glue sticks. I’m using hot glue because I don’t want to affix these stems to the brooch permanently. Hot glue peels off relatively easily, but tends to hold fairly well, too. If you want a more permanent (and reliable) adhesive, there’s apparently a glue out there for metals: Aleene’s Jewelry & Metal Glue, which I’ve never used, but you can find it in craft stores. If you want to make sure your brooches won’t jiggle like I do when putting on Spanx, I’d go with Aleene’s. If you’re okay with a little jiggle, hot glue should be fine.
Your first step will be to take a length of floral wire, and wrap it around the hinge-pin.
Now, you’ve got a couple of options: 1) you can skip the wrapping, and just get to glueing. This will be okay for most broaches, but you might find that the glue begins to peel away, taking the floral wire with it. 2) You can spiral and glue, leaving no tag-length of wire behind. If you don’t leave a tag length, you’ll find that some of your brooches begin to “spin” on the wire before you glue it in place. 3) You can spiral and glue, leaving a tag of wire. I like to leave a tag (an extra length of wire near the hinge-pin), so that before I glue, I can see how the pin will rest once I glue it. This also prevents the pin from slipping around the spiraled wire before the glue sets.
then close the hinge pin as if you were fastening it. If you’re hinge pins don’t want to stay fastened, just put a little hot glue in there. NOTE: I am NOT using hot glue in these shots, just because I’m not ready for that kind of commitment.
Then, you can shape the tag line to fit the shape of your broach (shown above). You won’t have to shape it in all cases, but you want to try to hide the tag line as much as possible, while still keeping it long enough to be a stabilizer. This is what it looks like from above (I haven’t hidden the wire here very well, only because I’m lazy and don’t care too much.):
Once you’ve got 3-5 broaches firmly to wire, group them together in way that tickles your fancy.
Then, holding them firmly so that they don’t shift too much, wrap the ‘stems’ tightly with floral tape.
Once you have several small bunches bundled, you can group them together to make a larger bundle.
Keep going until your bouquet is the size you want, being sure to watch for holes and uneven spaces. Fill in with single stems or small bunches as needed.
Once you’ve got the size and shape you want, you can then take your stems and wrap in ribbon like you would a traditional bouquet, or you can put them in a vintage bouquet holder. This step isn’t shown because I have so many miles to go before I sleep. So many, many miles.