Shell and Driftwood Wedding Bouquet

If the thought of spending hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars on flowers for your wedding has you frantically searching out alternatives on Pinterest, then have I got a project for you. For all you beach brides, today I am going to show you how I made the beautiful shell and driftwood bride and bridesmaids bouquets for our wedding. These were so simple to make and very cheap - a win-win in my book!

In the pictures above, you can see how mine differs a little from the bridesmaids. We used more pure white shells with mine and then added pops of color throughout. The bridesmaids' bouquets had more muted color shells. They also had turquoise ribbon and rope wrapped around their driftwood handles to tie into the pops of turquoise from their necklaces and flower pins. Mine had cascading twine with shells woven into it that my mom had picked up on one of her many seashell shopping trips for wedding decor. TO MAKE YOUR OWN SHELL AND DRIFTWOOD BOUQUET:

What You'll Need:

- 1 Styrofoam ball per bouquet, size depends on size you want your bouquet

- Various shells

- 1 piece of driftwood per bouquet, approximately 10 inches long

- Floral pins

- Ribbon

- Rope

- Glue gun

- Vase

1) Start with a Styrofoam ball. We purchased ours from Michael's, which come in a few sizes at varying prices. We purchased 10 inch balls. Using Styrofoam helps make the bouquets a bit lighter as the shells add quite a bit of heft. Carrying mine definitely showed off all those arm workouts I did leading up to the big day!

2) Punch a small hole in the Styrofoam ball either with a pencil or a knife.

3) Insert the driftwood into the hole at least several inches deep.

4) Pull out the driftwood and coat the end that will go into the Styrofoam ball with glue from your glue gun. Be sure to use a lot of glue for reinforcement. Don't worry, you'll cover it up with shells or ribbon.

5) Immediately reinsert the glued end of the driftwood into the Styrofoam ball and hold it in place until the glue has dried and the driftwood feels securely in place.

6) Then, add some more glue to the outside of the hole. It can never be too secure! I had nightmares about the shell balls falling off the driftwood handles and rolling down the aisle! Thankfully, they held up well! The silly things us brides worry about!

7) Once the glue is dried, find a vessel to hold your Styrofoam ball. We used either tall, plastic cups or vases to rest the ball in driftwood side down as we glued on the shells. Just be sure to use something that you don't mind getting hot glue on!

8) Start on one side of the ball and start hot gluing the largest shells as you make your way around the ball. This forms your base. Don't worry if you still see Styrofoam peeking through the shells. You'll fill in those spaces next.

9) Continue to work your way around the ball, but this time use smaller shells and start to overlap and fill in the gaps left by the larger shells.

Option: For my bouquet, we also hot glued some unique looking shells to floral pins and stuck those in tiny crevices throughout to give it an even more layered look. You could even add some old costume jewelry pieces for more bling.

10) Once you've overlapped and layered on enough shells so that no Styrofoam is showing, let your ball dry for about 10 minutes to ensure all the glue is set. If any pieces feel lose after this time, add some more glue and reset.

11) The final step, if you so choose, is adding the ribbon, rope, tulle, twine, or whatever it is you'd like to have cascade off the bouquet. Simply tie the ribbon/rope/tulle/twine around the base of the bouquet and driftwood. I used a few floral pins to secure the ribbon in place.

Here's my mom and me working on the shell bouquets!

I absolutely love the way the shell and driftwood bouquets turned out. We received so many compliments on them. And the best part is, we each have a wonderful keepsake to remember the day since these can now easily be displayed in our homes, either on their own or perched in a vase.

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Between Palms + Pines