Are you planning a beach wedding? If so a shell bouquet could be an amazing choice for you. The great thing about non-floral bouquets is that you don’t have to worry about your bouquet dying or looking limp on your wedding day. It is always so sad to me how much money we spend on wedding flowers and bouquets to just have them die! This bouquet will defiantly bring the wow factor to a beautiful beach wedding.
Things you will need:
- Shells!!!! - $1.00 a Bag!!!
- So I totally lucked out and found a mixed bag of shells at Christmas Tree Shop for a $1.00 a bag! I almost screamed in the store when I found them…..LOVE Christmas Tree Shop!
- 4 ½ “ Diameter Foam Ball - $1.50
- Scraps of Felt - $2 a Yard
- Tip: I always save my felt and fabric scraps from all of my project because you never know when you will need them!
- Fabric (I used Organza) $5.00 a Yard
- For this project you will need less than a ¼ yard….about a 6-8” strip of fabric to wrap the base of your bouquet.
- Sewing Pins with Pearl Heads- $3.00 a Box
- Thumb tacks - $3.00 a Box
- If you can find thumb tacks with a flat head and a long tack you are in business.
- Dowels - $2.00 for a pack of 10 @ 12” long
- Lace Trim - $0.40 a Yard
- Buttons - $3.00 for a “lot” on EBay
- EBay is a great place to find cheap pretty buttons. If you search for “lot” of buttons many bags or 100+ button lots will appear. I use buttons for different project so it is nice to have extra cute ones around the house.
- Gorilla Glue - $5.00
- I love Gorilla Glue and there is now a new formula that dries 2X faster and white! But always be super careful using it because it expands when it dries and can end up places you wouldn’t expect.
- Optional – Spray Paint
- Any color of your choosing…use the texture of the shells and spray it one color.
Things from Home:
- Hot Glue Gun
- As you may know using generic hot glue is not a very durable hold. If you find hot glue for foam, wood, and ceramic it is more durable.
- Good Old Elmer’s Glue!
- I like to put a dab of Elmer’s glue along with the hot glue just to know it is going to get a good hold.
- Personal Touch
- I had a pin/pendent that has a family photo from when I was 5 years old. I love this personal touch and it makes the bouquet extra special.
Make your handle. I took three 12” dowels that I cut into 6” lengths. You then glue each dowel together one by one with the hot glue gun. Before you glue the last dowel down glue down your lace trim. I cut my lace trim to be about 8” long to wrap around the handle. After gluing the last dowel down take an additional piece of lace and glue it to the ends of the dowels to cover the base of the handle. Now roll your handle so the lace is tight to the dowels and glue down the loose edges. On that seam of glue I glued down a few more shells and buttons from my random button collection.
Now figure out where the bottom of your foam ball will be and push the dowel handle making a hole in the foam. You can use Gorilla Glue to glue the handle down now or wait till after the bouquet is done. I waited because I wanted to sit the ball flat while I worked.
In my case the bags of shells I got were all different sizes and types, so I had to go through and collect all of one type which happened to be the Conckle shells. After doing so I cut strips of felt from scraps I had from other projects to about 2” lengths. I then glued the felt to the inside of each shell I wanted to use for the body of the bouquet. I also glued a thumb tack to the inside base of the shells so that there would be more surface for the shells to get glued into the foam ball. The more surface area you have on each shell that you can glue to the foam ball the more secure the shells will be. (NOTE: Only glue thumb tacks to the shells that will be the base shells – meaning the shells that will be glued directly to the foam. Other shells will be needed that have tabs only.)
Now that all your shells have felt tabs and some have tabs and thumb tacks….start pinning. Decide where you want your shells to start by the handle. Drawing a rough circle around where you want your shells to start will help you layer you shells evenly. Take your shells with thumb tacks and lay them out along the pencil line you drew. Using your sewing pins pin each of the felt tabs down and for extra durability put a small drop of Gorilla Glue where you pin and then push the pin into the foam ball. Then take your glue gun and place a drop of hot glue on to the thumb tack and then also push that down into the foam ball. Follow this step for the first row of shells.
Following step 2 pin down your second row of shells to alternate in-between the first row of shells but only pin them down. After doing so flip over row 2’s shells on their felt tabs and pin down intermediate shells which will fill in the two rows while row 2’s shells will cover the intermediate shells tabs.
Glue down row 2’s shells and then the intermediate shells on top of rows 1 & 2’s shells. When gluing the intermediate shells use the hot glue only where the shell will meet the shells in rows 1&2. You don’t want to have glue showing so be careful. I also used Elmer’s glue to fill in spots where I thought the shells could come apart. Doing this will also make the bouquet more stable.
Follow this method of alternating rows to you get to the top of your bouquet. This layers effect will create a denser more dynamic bouquet.
Making shell flowers. Take a scrap piece of felt and start laying out small shells to create a flower. In my case I used smaller Conckle shells and glued them top down onto the felt creating a flower. On top of the flower I glued another shell facing top up. Then I trimmed off the excess felt and had a little shell flower for the top of my bouquet. After I had 7 shell flowers I glued them on to the top of the bouquet.
Glue your handle into the hole you already made in the base of the foam ball if you have not already done so. Take your fabric of any color and cut a strip 6-8” in width. Depending on how full you want your fabric to be cut your strip wider or narrower. Don’t worry about how long the fabric is you can always fold another piece in to make it look like one continuous piece. Fold the fabric strip in half to hid any frayed edges and start pinning the fabric down and folding it at the base of the shells. Then do the same at the base of the handle. The fabric will cover the base of the foam ball and give a soft look to the bouquet.
Personal Touch! I happen to have a pendent pin with a family photo from when I was 5 years old. It just so happens to be the perfect touch for the bouquet and I just pinned it to the fabric at the base of my bouquet. I love this idea so much I am going to do a tutorial on how to make an easy one so everyone can have a family photo on their bouquet! Tutorial to come!
Step 8: Optional
Using a spray paint can give you a smooth look to your bouquet. If natural shells are a little too natural try spraying it!
Your done! You not only have a unique beautiful bouquet…..you have a bouquet with a personal touch to it. You can’t ask for much more!