October 18, 2009

DIY Project: Cameo Brooches

As a bride on a budget, I'm so excited to begin my DIY project series and share my first project with you!

Since my wedding is having a vintage vibe and I'm incorporating brooches (for example, I'm wearing one on my bracelet, to be featured in anther post), I knew I wanted to use one to jazz up my bouquet.  I really feel like it's the little details in a wedding that make it special, so I began scouring Etsy for affordable brooches ($10 was my maximum) that would fit with my Christmas winter wedding.  I initially found some lovely ones that were in the shapes of snowflakes and wreathes, and was strongly leaning towards one of them because I loved their combination of crystals and pearls, which I will also be wearing.


The above all fit within my budget, but then I also though it might be cool to search for pins of the letter G, as that will be the first initial of my married name.  I actually found one here and loved it, it was in immaculate condition, but over budget at $25 :-(

I was really tempted to blow the budget and just purchase the G brooch, but something inside me told me to keep looking, and I decided to change course and do a search for cameo brooches.  I've always admired cameos because they really take me back in time, as my grandmother loved them and always wore them.  I have fond memories of being a little girl and rifling through my nana's jewelry box and admiring all her lovely cameos.  

So when I came across a set of three cameos featuring mermaids, my heart literally skipped a beat. Not only did they cost a mere $1.50 for all three, but the mermaids on them are very sentimental for me.  My mom has made a tradition out of always including something with a mermaid in our Christmas stockings, and every year my sister and I look forward to her latest find.  I knew that this would be the perfect addition to my Christmas wedding, and loved the fact that I could purchase three, one for me and two for my bridesmaids, who include my sister and future sister-in-law, so we can continue our tradition.  And who knows, maybe mermaids will become a part of our family's wedding tradition too now!

I only purchased the cameo featured on the bottom, of the single mermaid, from Cathysjewels.  There was only one problem: these were not set in anything, and the vendor didn't have anything in which I could set them.  So after a lot more searching, I found a vendor who sells antique silver plated settings that fit the cameos.  The settings were only $2.75 each from Dangled, and here is a picture of them:

The great thing about these settings is that he sends you the pin backing to attach any way you'd like, which works well because my brooches are horizontal, and it was challenging to find a setting that was oriented correctly.  So basically all you have to do is superglue (or, the vendor recommends using E6000 glue, which you can buy here) the pin onto the brooch in the correct direction, and then attach the cameo to the front of it and walla! You have yourself a cheap, cute DIY cameo brooch!

I don't have a picture of my final project to show you yet (I promise to add some after my wedding), but here is a picture of a gorgeous bouquet with a cameo. I will not be adding a bow to the cameo, but it is really pretty and I'm sure it would be easy to do.



  1. And if mermaids aren't your thing, you can find tons of other designs and colors at the same shop, or elsewhere on Etsy!

  2. All of these pictures filled me with a yearning I never could have imagined a year ago. Me, coverting cameo brooches? But it is all so lovely. Really great finds. I especially love that it incorporates something from your family.

  3. Also, mermaids! I love mermaids. I swear, I watched the "The Little Mermaid" a bazillion times as a kid.

  4. LOL I totally know what you mean! I never thought I would become one of those obsessed brides, and certainly have never viewed myself as crafty or artsy by any means, but I love that this wedding is bringing out a different side of me that I hope will stick with me long after the wedding!


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