How to make your own sparkly crystal bouquets

February 3 | Guest post by Megan Kugler

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Hello all! This post is going to teach you how to make your own crystal bouquets. It's pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but it IS time consuming (so don't be like me and wait until the last couple of months before your wedding to make them!).

However, because we didn't want to spend the money on flowers, making crystal bouquets actually saved us a ton of money. We made seven bouquets (mine included), and thirteen bouts for just about $100, give or take, and that was with leftover crystals and wire.

Materials:

  • Crystals – They can be any kind you want. If you want a good deal, I bought mine from Fire Mountain Gems and chose the Celestial Crystals. Just as sparkly as Swarovski, but much cheaper! I used 8mm, clear AB, bi-cone and round shapes. The clear AB ones give off tints of color. Also, I believe you can return unused crystals in case you get too many!
  • Power DrillIMG_3126
  • Pliers – Needle nose will be best.
  • 24 or 26 gauge wire – 26 is a little bit easier to work with, but 24 is stiffer. I used silver wire for my bouquets, but for the photos, I used black so it would show up better.
  • Wire cutters or scissors
  • Hooks to put in the drill – I forgot what they're called, but you can find them in craft stores, you can see what they look like in the photo.
  • A ruler to measure out the wire
  • Ribbon to wrap the bouquets

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Step 1:
Measure out 15 inches of wire or however long you want them to be. For these photos, I made them shorter. Put a crystal on the wire, and hook the crystal on the power drill. Pre-twist the wire near the hook, just to help get it started. This is just a preference, because it helps keep the crystal in place, so it doesn't get tangled in the wire as it twists up.

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Step 2:
Twist the wire up using the drill, while holding the ends of the wire with your pliers to keep it straight. I couldn't find my pliers for the photos, so used little forceps, which also work really well since they're easier to hold the wire. It might be tempting to do this super fast, but be careful! If you're using thinner wire, the wire can snap. Go a little bit slower than the highest speed to make sure the wire doesn't break. Make sure to leave room to take the crystal off the hook.

Step 3:
Take the crystal off the hook.You can either leave the wire by the crystal with a little gap, or clamp it together. It just depends on your preference. Repeat as many times as you need to. (My bouquet had about 200 strands, the bridesmaids had about 100). The ends might be a bit straggly, you'll want to trim this off now, or later so you don't get poked by the wire!

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You can put about three crystals on one strand, and it kind of makes a flower shape. I did this for the bouts for the guys/moms. I even put 5 beads on one strand for the pearl bouts that I made for the grandmothers, so they would make clusters. Just experiment, and see what looks good. You can always cut the crystals off the wire to start again!

Step 4:
Once you have all of your crystal strands, put them all together and fold the strands in half, or close to in half. This shortens the bouquet, which is why you want the wire to be about 15 inches in the beginning.

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Step 5:
Take wire, and neatly wrap it around the wire to hold them in place. I used nearly a whole spool for this just to be safe it wouldn't come apart, and to tuck in all the ends. For the photo, I just did a small section to give you an idea of how to wrap it.

This is up to you, but I also wrapped the handle in black ribbon really tight. I ended up having to super glue the ribbon in place a little bit, b/c it started to unravel on some of them. It held fine after that. Then I added my ribbon. I just wanted to cover up the wire, and prevent getting jabbed by wire ends because I didn't do a very good job at trimming the ends.

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Step 6:
Separate all the strands out. Start with the outer ones, and it's easier to make those the lower strands, then build up. If it helps, turn the bouquet upside down and pull the strands out. You'll probably need some kind of vase to put it in just to hold the bouquets after this step.

Step 7:
Add your ribbon if you want it (and if you don't know how to tie a bow, find a friend to do it for you, which is what I had to do!). I used two different kinds of ribbon for mine, and the bridesmaids.

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In hindsight, I probably would have added more color to my bouquet so it would show up better (rainbow bouquet, anyone?), but it DID sparkle a lot! I used regular clear and lime green for the bridesmaids bouquets. For the bouts, I got some pearl beads, and different sized crystals (some from Hobby Lobby). It's fun to just play around with those.

Altering this process to make the boutonnieres:
Make the strands the same way you do for the bouquets, but smaller. I think I measured out 7 inches of wire, and then they're about 3 or 3.5 inches once you fold the ends up. As mentioned above, I added more crystals to some of the wires to make a more clustered effect. I also left them sans-ribbon. (This also gives you a good idea of how the bouquets are wrapped with the wire! Same thing!). Then I got some vertical pins to super glue on the back of each of the bouts, and they worked out great!

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  1. What a great idea! I would love to carry either calla lillies or birds of paradise, but I don't want a huge bouquet because I just don't like flowers enough and plan on turning ours into the decorations for the reception. The crystals would be a great addition to just a couple blooms. Thank you!!!

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    • I was just thinking, "I want birds of paradise. Wonder if anyone else picks this?" And here you are. We had a beautiful bird of paradise plant right by our front steps when I was a little girl in Los Angeles.

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      • I had birds (they are my favourite)….and my girls carried orchids. It was beautiful. Plus our entire hall was decorated with them….they are so stunning, especially with the bright colours! Go for it! :)

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        • Ps-and we took our bouquets and spread them across the head table, and that was more than enough to cover the table (and it looked beautiful AND saved us money on buying pieces specifically for the head table).

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  2. This is awesome!! I just called my fiance at work and told him he has to try to make me one so we can do it for our wedding. Did you make something similar for the groomsmen to wear?

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    • Yep! The original post of OBB Tribe has photos of the bouts I made! I think it's linked at the top! Same idea, just smaller!

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  3. Awesome!!!! I already have all these different ideas in my head of how to alter up the process for different effects! Can't wait to try making one, even if not for my wedding then at least for a centerpiece at home or a gift!

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  4. That trick with the drill for twisting wire is brilliant!! Can't wait to try it! Also, looks like the hooks you used are just regular old Cup Hooks.

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    • Yes! Cup hooks! I couldn't remember the name! Hah.

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  5. Awesome, I'm a bead person who's going for a Master's in Social Work. Offbeat Bride win! :-D

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    • Awesome! How far along are you? I can't wait to finish in May!

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  6. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I'm planning on a ribbon/fabric flower kind of bouquet and wanted some sparkly bits to add in.

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  7. These are GORGEOUS. Wish I had this before my wedding! This method would also make beautiful crystal sprays for a cake, or you could go even bigger and increase the length for centerpieces. Completely amazing idea!

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  8. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I'm planning on a ribbon/fabric flower kind of bouquet and wanted some sparkly bits to add in.

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  9. Thanks so much for posting this… I saw the picture from a couple of months ago and am definitely planning on making these as an alternative bouquet to my flower-free wedding. I'm going to use my great grandmother's old brooches to fasten the fabric, but didn't know where to begin on the wire. And now all my questions are answered!!

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  10. Whoa those are so cool! What a gorgeous keepsake. Thanks so much for the how-to, I'll be linking.

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  11. My fiance and I started this project last night! We are using red black and gold beads with gold wire to go with our colors! He of course is loving being in charge of the drill! Feeling manly!

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  12. OMG so in love with this idea. With our colors flowers (Black, deep purple and lime green) flowers were out of the question and fake ones just aren't my thing. I've been into beading for years so this fits me perfectly and it'll be so sparkly… *geeks out*

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  13. I love this idea! We are doing silver and blue wire with white, black, and different shades of blue. I also love that I can get these done early and wont have to worry about flowers the day of the wedding!

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  14. This is wonderful! I was going to order a kit online to do this for $50-150 each!!! i have 5 plus bouquets and bouts so I wasn't thrilled about that, but I'd resigned myself to spending a little more for something I really wanted. But then the internet saved the day and revealed a better way to get what I want for cheap! I'm so excited to try this out! Thanks for putting up the steps!

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  15. This would have helped my project if I had seen it earlier.
    Thank you for the info!

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  16. How many strands of beads did you end up buying? About how many come on each 16 in strand?

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  17. I just wanted to thank Megan for this awesome idea! I got married on November 10, 2010 and I made these. Amazing! I got SO many compliments on the uniqueness of the bouquets! I need to figure out how to share a picture! :)
    Thank you, thank you!

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  18. where can i buy the wire and what type and how much

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    • you can find it at a hardware store like lowes or home depot. It comes on a long spool for only about $3.00

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    • I found 16 gauge wire to work best. 14 is fairly thick for this project, and 18 gauge is really flimsy.

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    • Oh, I guess gauge was already mentioned. It seems really small, but the wire is cheap enough you could experiment to see what works best for you. I used 16, but then again my wires were going to be hidden so I suppose it didn't matter how thick they were.

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  19. I used this tutorial to make my bouquet! But what I did differently, was made a LOT of stems (200 or 300 approx), and bunched them super tightly like a normal bouquet. I don't have any pictures (my phone simply does not do it justice), but hopefully they can get posted when we get married!

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    • Did the wire ever crumple or bend? My fear is that I'm going to set it down, or it's going to get stored someplace and just end up bent out of shape.

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  20. Best. Idea. Ever. My mom loves beadwork and wanted to do my jewelery. How much better when I ask her to do my bouquet!

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  21. Hi there. When you say 15 inches of wire, do you need to double it up for twisting or do you bend the 15 inches in half??

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  22. I was just wondering approximately how many beads you needed??

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  23. I just started on this project – made two sparkly boutonnieres over the weekend and they're amazing. I'm so happy with it! I just ordered a bunch of beads on the cheap online, and can't wait for them to arrive so I can start work on the bouquets. Sparkles everywhere!!
    http://instagram.com/p/q7TNmODpOV/

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