Sunday, June 26, 2011

Brooch Wreath Tutorial/DIY Project Parade

I shared this two weeks ago at the DIY Club but wanted to post the tutorial here too.  :)
It's the time of year for shopping flea markets and estate sales this summer and you'll likely see lots of costume jewelry, brooches, charms, earrings, etc.  - CHEAP!  Vintage brooches are so pretty but they're not something I'd wear on a regular basis.  Although if you do this project, you'll be tempted. and develop a new appreciation for these beautiful pins.  Inspired by the recent trend of brooch bouquets, I loved the look of clustered jewelry.  

I have no need for a bridal bouquet, but a wreath - now that would add a pretty touch to home decor.  I could see this in my future vintage inspired dressing room:

My wreath has a 10" diameter and took over 100 pieces to get to the point pictured.  Keep your eyes open at your thrift-hunting adventures and start collecting brooches, earrings, charms, costume jewelry, buttons, any small ornament.  You might even have a few pieces lying around that you'd like to include for display rather than hiding away in a jewelry box.  Brooches can get expensive.  We set a limit of $1.  Sometimes we'd go just a bit higher (no more than $3) if there was a pretty one we just had to have but for the most part, yard and estate sales proved to be .25 or 3 for $1. We also scoured the craft section in the thrift stores, scoring large baggies full of jewelry surprises. The local pawn shop/jewelry store gave us a good deal on costume jewelry too.  
My daughter, Bri, and I both made wreaths.  Mine is done in golds, silvers with a touch of white/blue/green. (Note:  Choosing certain colors makes finding pieces a little more difficult.) Bri wanted lots of color and created a beautiful wreath using a variety of pretty mix of costume jewelry baubles. 
Assortment of brooches, earrings, charms, buttons, decorative pieces, etc. 
Straight pins
Hot glue
Styrofoam wreath
Deco Art MagiKote - a mandatory step (see reasons below)
Krylon spray paint or Deco Art craft paints

Brooch Wreath Tutorial:

Apply Deco Art MagiKote to the Styrofoam wreath.
MagiKote has the texture of white paint. I love using foam brushes for craft projects.
Have a larger assortment on hand for crafts like the ones sold in bulk by Rockler.

MagiKote aids in making Styrofoam a paintable surface by sealing the texture, otherwise paint hits the top edges but not the Styrofoam craters. MagiKote also makes for a better pin-able and glue-able surface.  Brooches etc. get moved around a lot during placement.  If it wasn't for the MagiKote, there'd be a lot of Styrofoam crumbs and chunks falling out. 

Let dry.

2.  Paint the Styrofoam wreath form (a Styrofoam square would be cute too!).  I used Krylon's Brushed Metallic.  Color:  Champagne Nouveau. The MagiKote also creates a protective barrier so that my spray paint didn't 'melt' the Styrofoam form. 

I like that Krylon is quick, easy and fast drying. This sets a background for the pins.  I painted my to blend...

Bri painted hers using Deco Art Gloss Enamels (Citron Green) to pop and coordinate with other colors in her room...

3.  Layout a template to get an idea for placement, favorite pieces front and center. Side pieces can be smaller and aren't viewed from every angle.

4.  Start placement of biggest brooches and pieces including favorites. 

5.  Once you have the big pieces in place, fill in with smaller pieces.  Open pins stick into the Styrofoam.

Earring posts make placement easy.Clip-ons are just as easy but use wire cutters if necessary to cut backings for easier "pinning".

Use wire cutters to help when needed.  Barrets, pins, earrings all have backing that can be used to secure to the styrofoam.  Hot glue and straight pins will help too.

My wreath doesn't use glue but occasionally I used colorful pins, so it can be disassembled if needed...a fun way to display jewelry that is worn or prevent keepsakes from being ruined.

6. Optional:  Use a ribbon for hanging.

Here is my finished (almost - a few more brooches needed for the inside of the wreath)...

Bri's wreath:

All finished!  Well, almost.  We still have some extra spaces to fill in as summer progresses and I'd like to fill in the inside as'll take some time. Fun for a game of "I Spy" too! What do you think?

What have you been doing this weekend?  

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See my project linked and more DIY tutorials at 

Persia Lou

The Lettered Cottage
A Little Knick Knack

Meet Virginia Design


Mimi said...

These are gorgeous! I will be keeping an eye out for old jewelry
And I have to get some of that MagiKote ASAP!

Katie said...

I still think these brooch wreaths are so cute! Everytime I see vintage jewelry now I think of these! Thanks for hosting!

Pudel-design said...

Wow that looks really amazing!
Thank you for sharing;)
Lovely greetings...

Mel said...

Stunning! Thanks for the tutorial.

jandjhome said...

I love it. Last week I actually tried to find some brooches while out thrifting. No luck, but I will find them. Beautifully done.

Brandi said...

How brilliant is that?! So beautiful and creative!

hometown girl said...

really terrific! i have tons of stuff i could use to do this! thanks for hosting!! susan

Hollie - said...

Thank you for hostessing, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Kendra said...

Now that's what I should do with all my grandmother's brooches.What a great way to show them off!

Leanne said...

That is gorgeous! Such a show stopping piece. Thank you for hosting a great party again.

Jamie said...

These are gorgeous! I love color, so I will definitely be trying this with multicolored pieces. :)

Blue Velvet Chair said...

Still love them. But still can't get them cheap in Sweden! Going to be using the ones that I have collected as part of a wall hanging above our bed as we remodel our bedroom. Photos coming soon.
I'm linked up this week at #34 with a fun little vintage souvenir scarf dress for my little Divine Miss M.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Love the brooch wreaths. You must show them where you've hung them. I know I have a wreath covered in vintage ornaments and it's amazing how many it takes.

Coley said...

thank you for posting the tutorial. these wreaths are gorgeous


At The Picket Fence said...

Oh my goodness! Those are so fabulous! I will be trying my hand at one of these. Thank you for sharing them with us and for hosting the party!


Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

that is such a great idea for a wreath, love it! thanks for hosting.

HammBone said...

OMG! Dying over those wreaths...gorgeous!

wonder forest said...

wow i love these wreaths! i need to make one asap!


Amanda Dale said...

You know I love that wreath! Thanks so much for hosting!
-Amanda @ The Ivy Cottage Blog

The Creative Muslimah said...

Thanks for sharing! This tutorial would be a great one to share in my 100th post summer inspired competition, to get your blog featured for free! :)

-the creative muslimah

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I absolutely love the broach wreath! While I do wear broaches, I have several where a few stones have fallen out, etc. and this project would be perfect. Thank you for sharing.

Erin said...

Wow! I never would have thought to make a wreath out of brooches in a million years. They look gorgeous. And so perfect for a game of I Spy, definitely!

Holly said...

I do want to come and steal that wreath...I guess I am inviting myself over! GORGEOUS!

Alexis @ persia lou said...

I love your beautiful wreaths! I can't decide which I like better. They are both great! Thanks for the tips on painting styrofoam too. I had no idea!

The Craft-Arty Kid said...

Beautiful! Very chic.
And thanks for the tips for painting on styrofoam.

Catherine Knowles, Hop Stitch Jump said...

Oh. My. Word! These are fabulous - if only I'd started collecting bits and bobs earlier in the year. I'm definitely putting it on my list of Christmas to-do projects for next year! Thanks for sharing :)

The DIY Show Off