After a month of beading and spinning wire and then beading and spinning some more, we (my mom & I) have finally finished off my wedding 'flowers'.
After seeing crystal bouquets online for a ridiculous sum of money I, craftster that I am, decided to try and make them myself. I used the tutorial from this site: http://www.geocities.com/chris_breecher/beadbouquets.html
With 300 "stems" of Swarovski beads (crystal, amethyst, topaz & peridot - the colours in my dress) spun onto 28-gauge wire, we created this:
In natural light, the crystals are like a tiny explosion of colour and sparkling light. And HEAVY! Holy crap! I won't be tossing this bouquet (unless I want to give some unsuspecting guest a massive head trauma)!
We also made bouquets for the bridesmaids which are smaller (140 stems each) and corsages/boutonnieres for groomsmen, parents, etc. If anyone has any questions about the tutorial (not mine!), let me know!EDIT
: Here are some pictures from the 'big day'!
Close up of my maid of honour's bouquet:
Close up of a boutonniere:edit
: My mom & I worked on this project on and off over the summer so it took a few months to get everything done. However, I would guess that if you had a few more people helping out, you could set up a sort of 'assembly line' and get this done over a long weekend. To get an idea of time, we would set up in front of the t.v. at my mom's house - we could each get about 20-25 stems done during a 1-hour program. It probably took me an hour to assemble each of the bridesmaids' bouquets (longer for my own because it was bigger and I was a lot more particular about getting it 'just right'). My mother, mother-in-law, bridesmaid & I put all of the boutonnieres together in an evening (maybe 2 or 3 hours to make all 12 bouts).edit
: It probably cost us about $300 (CAD) in supplies to do 3 bouquets and 12 boutonniers - about what it would have cost us if we had gone with fresh flowers from one of the florists in town. The cost estimate isn't totally accurate, as we have quite a few beads and a couple spools of wire, ribbon, etc left over (but all the packages are opened, so unreturnable). We ordered the crystals from Astral Beads (http://www.astralbeads.com/
). Good prices and customer service, so I recommend them.