How to Make a Brooch Bouquet

Recently, I stood by their side as one of my besties and one of my husband’s besties tied the knot. There’s nothing sweeter than having two of your best friends get married to each other! The bride had a vision of a rustic wedding themed with burlap, gold, lace and TOMS, and asked me to make her brooch bouquet. It went perfect with her theme, and would be a keepsake from the wedding – plus something the bride could pass down to other brides she loved, or maybe a future daughter! Of course I was honored to help her and wanted to share how I made this easy DIY bridal brooch bouquet!

how to make a brooch bouquetHere’s the main materials you need:

  • 1 bushel of faux hydrangeas (this can be found really inexpensive at your local craft store)
  • Approximately 40-60 brooches/pieces of jewelry/faux or real flowers to add-in (i.e. burlap flowers like this one). The more you put, the less of the faux hydrangea you will see. I used about 40 pieces.
  • 22-gauge florist wire (I used about 2 rolls and chose silver because it would blend in when looping through my brooches)
  • Green Corsage Tape (I used 1 1/2 rolls)
  • Scissors/Wire Cutters
  • Whatever you want to wrap around the handle – In this case, burlap, twine, and lace ribbon
  • Pearlized Ball Head Straight Pins
  • Hot glue gun

DIY Brooch Bouquet tutorial

The brooches are really the expensive part of the bouquet, but you can typically find sparkly items like jewelry on clearance to help fill in the space. And if you want to take a sentimental approach, I really loved how my friend Katie collected her brooches and would recommend it to anyone.

Katie asked the special women in her life to bring one brooch to her bridal shower to add to the bouquet, that way she would have a memory of each person as she walked down the aisle.

brooches at a bridal shower style trials

She received brooches with history such as her Grandmother’s brooch, and others that people thought reminded them of her or vice-versa. She put a piece of tape with that person’s name under each brooch so she would always remember who gave her what. Katie’s bouquet ended up being an eclectic mix of jewels, which I think turned out beautiful – I personally love mixing metals. However, if you’re wanting to stick to one color or metal, you could plan that out to best fit your style and theme.

Step 1: Creating Stems for Each Brooch

You’ll need to cut the wire into 24″ long pieces, which you’ll loop in half through the brooch (giving you about a 12″ stem). For each brooch, I used at least 2 wires, then you twist them all together. Don’t worry if the stems end up being slightly different lengths after this is done, you’ll fix that later.

How to make a brooch bouquet for a wedding

Next, you’ll wrap the green corsage tape around the metal stem, which helps hold all of the pieces together and camouflages the wire. It’s a little tricky to work with, but I found that the tighter I wound it while making sure to overlap the tape, the better it stuck. I kept it on the spool and simply twisted the stem around to quickly get this done.

DIY Brooch Bouquet tutorial 1

Step 2: Making the Stems a Bouquet

This next part was actually not as easy as I had imagined. You’ll now want to take the hydrangea to use as your base, then place each stem strategically  in the hydrangea making sure to keep it’s round shape. You’ll want to be extra careful as to where you place the brooches, because once they’re in the bushel it’s hard to rearrange because the wires may get tangled….especially towards the end when you have already placed a bunch of wire stems.

DIY Brooch Bouquet tutorial 2

It’s up to you whether you want to show any part of the hydrangea, because if you have enough brooches you can literally cover the entire thing. You’ll see we added burlap flowers to the bouquet as well to tie into Katie’s theme, so you really can customize it. It’s also up to you whether you want to remove the green leaves from the faux hydrangea all together, but I left a few to tie into our green bridesmaid dresses.

Next, cut the stems at the bottom to your desired length, which also makes sure the bouquet is one length.

Step 3: Wrapping the handle

This next part was pretty easy, and I just followed what a real florist typically does to wrap the handle. Here you can take ribbon, or burlap from a spool as I did here, and tightly wind it around the handle.

DIY Brooch Bouquet tutorial 3 burlap

With a brooch bouquet, it looks best if you wrap the entire handle rather than leaving exposed “stems” since they are really a bunch of wires. You could use a hot glue gun to hold together, but I used decorative push pins to lock everything into place. That way I could easily adjust things if needed, it added an extra design touch, and again this mimicked what florists do with real bouquets.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

I wanted to add a little something to finish the top of the handle, and the bride also had a personal touch to add as well. For the top handle part, I took a piece of lace ribbon, sewed across the top to create a stitch line, then cut a stitch at the end to pull. When the thread was “pulled,” it created a natural ruffle to the ribbon. This step isn’t necessary though, and I think the results would have looked just as good if I didn’t “ruffle” the ribbon. I just pay way too much attention to detail!

DIY Brooch Bouquet tutorial 4 lace

Next, I personalized the handle by taking a spool of twine, winding the twine around itself and hot-gluing into place. I glued a “W” charm on top of the twine background because this would be the bride’s new last initial.

Brooch Bouquet with family member picturesThe bride added these adorable picture charms to the handle, and printed pictures of family members who were no longer with us as a type of memorial. These were simply pinned in place as well. Doesn’t she and the bouquet look gorgeous?!

Bride with Brooch Bouquet

What do you think of the results? Will you be making a brooch bouquet?

Please let me know what you think of this tutorial in the blog comments! 🙂


OOTD 6: Polka Dots and Pleats

In fashion, I love the juxtaposition of sweet versus edgy. That’s why I pulled together this look, mixing sweet, girly classics like preppy collars, polka dots, and pink frills with edgy components.polka dots and pleats outfit of the day style trialsThe shirt is also a little sheer, and I played that up by pairing a black tank under the nude top to add to the edgy factor.

outfit of the day style trials polka dots and pleats  The pleated schoolgirl skirt breaks the rules because of the high hemline and “leatherette” material.

outfit of the day pleather skirt style trialsI’ve also been obsessed with mixing prints lately, and love pairing these pointy-toe snakeskin printed shoes from C. Wonder in unexpected ways. I think they add a style statement to the look making it less “safe” by mixing it with the polka dots and pleats, and the neutral color definitely helps. Together, it all works!

outfit of the day wiw c wonder snakeskin ballet flats

Polka dot blouse: Marshalls (old), similar 1, similar 2, similar 3 | Pleatherette or Vegan Leather Skirt: Forever 21 (old), similar 1, similar 2|  Shoes – Snakeskin Ballet Flats: C. Wonder (now only available with a heel) or ballet flats similar 1, similar 2, Headband: Candies from Kohl’s, similar 1similar 2, similar 3

What style combos or prints do you like to pair together?


Tips for Taking the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo

I had planned on doing this post back when I got married and found I had to take another passport and license photo. I completely forgot about it until my recently married friend mentioned that she too just got her new license, and sans makeup or brushed hair found herself frantically taking her photo. She laughed about making the lady take her picture multiple times, but I can definitely relate as I did that too! Hey, it’s something you’ll have to live with for awhile, so why not treat it as a photoshoot? Here are a few quick tips on how to take the best license photo, school photo, or passport photo….or at least avoid looking like this.

Worst License Photo

Photo Source: mnbikingvikings.blogspot.com

Cstophecklist DONT’S for the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo:

  1. Don’t wear crazy large patterns or stripes. They don’t tend to photograph well.
  2. Don’t wear something too trendy, meaning clothes, makeup, and hairstyle. You can have a passport for up to 10 years, and as we learned from the past, you may get sick of crimped hair and blue eyeshadow!
  3. Don’t wear anything too low cut or too high neck. Sometimes the photos are really close up and if you’re wearing something with a high neck (let’s just stay away from turtlenecks in general, k?), you’ll look like you literally have no neck. You also don’t want the “ladies” popping out….unless that’s your plan on getting out of a traffic ticket! Ha!
  4. Don’t wear statement jewelry. Sure, that ginormous chunky rhinestone necklace may be “adorbs,” but when thinking about these photos classy and understated is best. Simple stud earrings are usually my choice.
  5. Don’t wear something without sleeves. Trust me, even the tiniest of girls may not photograph as well if wearing spaghetti straps, sleeveless, and definitely not a tube top (you’ll look naked!). This mainly goes back to how the photo is cropped, so it’s more flattering if you have sleeves…even short sleeves.
Style Trials how to take a good license photo

Example of my license photo following the tips below!

checkmarkChecklist DO’S for the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo:

  1.  Do think about what kind of top you’re wearing. Some photos you won’t see it, others you will (I’ve had license photos where you can and can’t see it, and my passport and school photos you can see it). I usually go with a solid color, either bright but not neon bright (think cherry red) or neutral. I think a color like navy or cherry red makes the picture less boring, but you can’t go wrong with neutral.
  2. Do put on makeup. And when you put it on, make sure you actually put more makeup on than you normally would in real life. From my days of professional dance teams and modeling, I learned that eyeliner, lots of mascara (or false eyelashes if you’re going to the extreme with stage makeup – not necessary for this), more blush than you normally would, and some kind of color on your lips is best. The lighting on these pics will not be great, and this will prevent you from looking washed out.
  3. Do wear your hair like you normally would. Don’t do some crazy style or go to the extra effort for beauty pageant hair, you still want to look like your everyday self. Remember, people will be looking at your i.d. to identify YOU. I usually just wear mine straight and down and pull it in front on both sides. If you pull it back or wear it up, you may end up looking like you have no hair.
  4. Do ask to retake the picture if you see it and really just can’t live with it. Of course do this at your digression as it may not make sense if you have a line behind you, but I purposely get these pictures done at times that I know it will not be as busy. It’s not a weird request, just don’t ask them to do it more than 2 or 3 times max.
  5. Do SMILE! Now is not the time to throw the camera your best pouty face. Keep your eyes open and bright, and smile big. 🙂

Do you have any other Do’s or Dont’s to add to this list, or a funny experience you had when taking one of these photos? Let me know in a comment below!


Outfit of the Day 4: Aztec, Arrows and Booties

The Aztec print is still going strong, especially during this cold season. I like it best when mixed in heavy knits, and fell in love with this aztec and arrow knitted long cardigan from my new favorite shopping site, Tobi. Aztec Print Cardigan Tobi and beyond the rack aztec bauble necklace

I love the mix of neon in the sweater, and it paired perfect with one of my favorite necklaces from Beyond the Rack. The triangle stones follow the same lines you find in aztec or arrow prints.

Style Trials Outift of the Day - Aztec Print Cardigan Tobi and CWonder Booties OOTD

Beauty blogger 101 – put makeup on BEFORE the pic! (oops)

I paired the look with a high top knot bun hairstyle, wrapped a cute gold hair tie around the base, and simple makeup (when I eventually put it on, lol). I kept the jewelry and rest of the outfit simple since the necklace is a statement piece, the cardigan has a bold print, and there are gold buckles on the shoes.

Style Trials OOTD CWonder Black Booties Shoes with WedgeSpeaking of shoes, these are my new favorite booties for Winter! And they are SOOO comfortable! They come in black and brown from C. Wonder.

*Style Trials Quick Tip* Signup for emails from Tobi and get a promo code emailed to you for 50% off sitewide! Their prices are really great when you use the discount (comparable to Forever 21), new styles are always 30% off for a period of time, and sometimes they have free shipping. Plus, they ALWAYS have free returns, so it makes shopping online really easy!

Have you embraced the aztec and arrow prints this season?


Meet Your New, Fashionable BFF from ANN INC.

This post brought to you by ANN INC. CAREERS. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love when the brands you love come up with useful tools for consumers. Today’s cool deal is a fashionable FREE app, brought to you by ANN INC. (the team behind Ann Taylor and LOFT). ANN INC. just released its first mobile app called BFF, which will literally become your BFF by helping put your Best Foot Forward!

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The BFF app includes a lot of fun features such as daily inspirational quotes from fashion icons, significant dates in fashion’s history, and helps you keep up with the latest fashion news. I had a lot of fun reading through the mantras from celebrities, such as:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” – Oscar Wilde

“If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not in the light.” – Lady Gaga

“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is PASSION.” – Yves Saint Laurent

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The BFF app is designed to help women move forward in their career and life, and even has a feature where you can search for a job in your area of interest. Man, they thought of everything!

One of the app’s coolest features is the Trendspotter. You can take Instagram pictures of yourself putting your best self forward, use the hashtag #bfftrends and you will be featured on the app! You can also view real-time trends from others directly on the app, so it can be a tool for daily fashion inspiration.

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You can also mark the things you like best throughout the app, so it’s really easy to keep track of your favorite news, inspiration, videos and jobs that help you put your best foot forward every day. 🙂

The BFF app is available for free download on iTunes and Google Play stores.

Download the app and let me know what your favorite feature is!

Visit Sponsor's Site


Win a Set of Midi Rings!

“Midi rings. What the heck is that?” Followed by deer-in-the-headlights look. That’s the response I got from several salespeople on my quest for midi rings. It’s pretty simple actually. It’s basically a knuckle ring, or one that you wear on the upper part of your finger. Keeping reading to learn more, and for a chance to win your own set!

Style Trials Midi Rings Stacked

Midi rings have been popping up everywhere, and I especially love when they are stacked with a regular ring on the same finger. I also really love just a basic thin, metal band, although there’s a lot with cool designs such as a cross or chevron.

I was on the hunt for midi rings, and after going into several boutiques and finding they were $10+ a pop, or the salesperson had no idea what a midi ring was, I decided to look online. I found a TON of inexpensive options at Forever 21, which is awesome because I didn’t want to spend a ton on this trend, and wanted to stack a LOT of rings for either a boho chic or cool edgy look. I liked how they had cage rings and double banded midi rings to mix up the look. If you want something a little more high quality, Baublebar also has some GREAT midi ring options.

Vanessa Hudgens midi rings

Celebrity Vanessa Hudgens wearing midi rings.
Photo Credit: http://thestyle.ie/?p=1238

Kristen Stewart midi rings

Celebrity Kristen Stewart wearing midi rings.
Photo Credit: http://thestyle.ie/?p=1238

*ST Quick Tip* If you have a really small ring like a pinky ring or toe ring, you may be able to repurpose it as a midi ring on your finger.

Style Trials Giveaway Logo Title

Want to win your own set of midi rings? I’m giving away this set of spiked midi rings, gold and silver, from Forever 21 to one lucky StyleTrials follower. There are multiple ways to enter the giveaway below, so enter as much as you can and spread the word!

Forever 21 Spiked Midi Rings Style Trials Giveaway

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Fall Favorites: Emi-Jay Hair Ties and Butter LONDON Nails

It’s October, and these are a few of my new Fall favorites. Emi-Jay Hair Ties and butter LONDON nail polish! Never heard of them? Here’s the deets…

Style Trials Emi Jay Hair Ties and Butter London Nail PolishEmi-Jay was founded by two teenage girls, Emily and Julianne, who also give back 20% of their profits to charities. Love that. You’ve probably seen these cool hair products everywhere by now (celebrities also LOVE them), but maybe didn’t quite catch what they were. These girls came up with new, fun hair ties and headbands that don’t pull hair and won’t crease it either. Why didn’t I think of that?!? GENIUS! They come in a variety of colors/prints, and can even be worn as bracelets! Each band is hand-dyed and unique, and you can even get accessories such as crystal beads or bows to add to your bands. Checkout a few examples:

promo-celebsdec2012

Celebs such as Reese Witherspoon, Kourtney Kardashian, Jennifer Anistan, and Sarah Jessica Parker love their Emi-Jays!
Photo Credit: stephanie-nguyen.blogspot.com

I like the Emi Jay holiday ornament gift sets which would be a great gift for someone, or maybe Santa could add it to your stocking. 🙂 That would be a great starter for basic solids, and you get 8 for $19.99.

cart-ORNBRIGHT-lg

I especially think the layered look is really cool, especially if you have one that’s printed and a coordinating solid or glitter tie to go along.

Emi-Jay® Solid Color Hair Ties Online Store | Emi-Jay.com® layering emi jay hair ties

Example of Emi Jay layered hair ties. Emi-Jay.com

My next favorite find is butter LONDON nail polish. I found this in a boutique store in Florida on Anna Maria Island, but they also sell it at places like Sephora. It’s a heavily pigmented, high-fashion nail lacquer that was created backstage at fashion week for top designers. It’s also formulated without Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOs, Triclosans, and is a “three-free” company. Meaning their products are free of formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP – basically not as bad for your nails as others. 🙂

I was really needing a good base coat, and although this one was pricey ($18), it seems to work well. It prevents my nails from yellowing, smooths and makes for a good nail polish base that last long. It also dries quickly, and the nude color is pretty that it could even be worn alone for really natural looking nails.

I was also on the prowl for a Fall color that could transition into Winter. Checkout all the nail lacquer colors…so many to choose from! Bronze nails are definitely in right now, so I landed on the Scuppered Nail Lacquer ($15).

Scuppered_0002

I liked the pretty glitter that was more of a shimmery glitter (not chunky), and that it’s an opaque color. I hate when I buy glittery nail polish and it’s so transparent that I have to put on 5 coats to get an actual color! That was not the case with this, which took a normal 2 coats. I also like how it has faint pink and gold flecks, so it kind of changes color in different light angles. It’s great for holiday as well, and I’ve been wearing it straight for 3 weeks and still not sick of it.

Here’s a collaboration of my October Fall favorites.

style trials butter london Glitter Nail Lacquer Scuppered

Have you tried these products or will you? What cool new things have you found for Fall?


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