Introduction: How to Make a Rainbow Flower Brooch (Poetic Bonus)

I really enjoyed using fish scales in my art. The material is simple and affordable, and the result is really fantastic. This time I wanted to make a flower brooch. I could not decide on the color of the brooch. This why I decided to make it multi-colored and use rainbow colors. Thus, this brooch will suit clothes of any color and will spice up the outfit.

This time I wanted to make a slightly unusual instructable. I added a bonus in the form of wonderful poems by famous poets. This instructable becomes a bit poetic. Enjoy :)

Basically I write pretty laconic instructables, so this time I am sure that the poetic bonus will not take much of your time. But if you hate poems, or you are in a hurry (or too lazy to read), then just skip the italicized text.

The Rainbow
by William Wordsworth

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky.
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

P.S. I'm tired of fighting with sites that steal my instructables regardless of the license (which is indicated in the upper left corner). Sorry but I decided to add attribution to my photos. I know it looks a little annoying, but it annoys me even more to see my works under someone else's authorship or for sale.


You need:

fish scales of a big fish - I used ide (orfe, Leuciscus idus),

brooch pin / safety pin,

wire 0.8 mm,

instant glue,

rainbow dyes for fibers: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet,


vinegar 9%,

a bowl,

wire cutters,

two pairs of pliers,

a metal nail file,

a ruler,

a towel,

a cup,

a spoon,

rubber gloves,


plastic wrap,

a pot for boiling water.

Step 1: Preparing of the Fish Scales

Put scales in the bowl, add water and vinegar 1/2 to remove smell of fish. Wait about 1-2 hours.

Then wash very good the scales in water until the slimy substance is removed.

Remove the scales from the water and let it dry very good on the towel.

Step 2: Dyeing the Fishing Scales in Colors of Rainbow

Select the 15 smallest scales to form the center of the flower. Dye it red.

Heat water to near boiling and pour into a cup. Shake the dye, add it to the water and stir. The more dye you use, the darker and more saturated the color will be. Be sure to read the coloring guidelines for your dye.Soak the fish scales in the dye solution (use rubber gloves). Let it sit in the solution for 10 min. Then remove the colored scales and let it dry well on a paper.

Select the 15 larger scales and dye it orange. In the same way, select and dye the scales in the remaining colors of the rainbow - yellow, green, blue, indigo, the biggest scales in the violet.

If you don't have indigo and/or violet, then mix blue and red.

Step 3: Making the Wire Base of the Flower

Bend the piece of wire in half (see photo).

Place the non-moving part of the pin where the wire was bent. While holding the bent end of the wire with pliers, twist the ends of the wire with the second pair of pliers. Be careful not to damage the pin.

Trim the ends of the wire with the wire cutters.

Round off the edges of the wire using the file (see photo).

Step 4: Gluing the Red Scales

Bend the smallest red scale in a semicircle. Apply some instant glue to the bottom of the scale and glue it to the wire base (see photo).

Bend and glue in the same way one by one small red scales, then the larger scales (see photo). Do not confuse the top and bottom of the scales. Try that the top of the scales does not adhere tightly to the previous scales.

I glued 15 red scales.

A Red, Red Rose (My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose)
Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

Step 5: Gluing the Orange Scales

Glue in the same way one by one the orange scales.

I glued 15 orange scales.

by Christina Rossetti

What is pink? a rose is pink
By a fountain's brink.
What is red? a poppy's red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro'.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!

Step 6: Gluing the Yellow Scales

Now you have to glue in the same way one by one the yellow scales.

I glued 11 yellow scales.

Nature Rarely Uses Yellow
Emily Dickinson

Nature rarer uses yellow
Than another hue;
Saves she all of that for sunsets,—
Prodigal of blue,

Spending scarlet like a woman,
Yellow she affords
Only scantly and selectly,
Like a lover's words.

Step 7: Gluing the Green Scales

Then glue in the same way the green scales.

I glued 14 green scales.

David Herbert Lawrence

The sky was apple-green,
The sky was green wine held up in the sun,
The moon was a golden petal between.

She opened her eyes, and green
They shone, clear like flowers undone,
For the first time, now for the first time seen.

Step 8: Gluing the Blue Scales

Glue the blue scales.

I glued 10 blue scales.

Blue Roses
Rudyard Kipling

Roses red and roses white
Plucked I for my love’s delight.
She would none of all my posies –
Bade me gather her blue roses.

Half the world I wandered through,
Seeking where such flowers grew.
Half the world unto my quest
Answered me with laugh and jest.

Step 9: Gluing the Indigo Scales

Then glue the indigo scales.

I glued 8 indigo scales.

The Indigo Bird
Ethelwyn Wetherald

When I see,
High on the tip-top twig of a tree,
Something blue by the breezes stirred,
But so far up that the blue is blurred,
So far up no green leaf flies
'Twixt its blue and the blue of the skies,
Then I know, ere a note be heard,
That is naught but the Indigo bird.
Blue on the branch and blue in the sky,
And naught between but the breezes high,
And naught so blue by the breezes stirred
As the deep, deep blue of the Indigo bird.
When I hear
A song like a bird laugh, blithe and clear,
As though of some airy jest he had heard
The last and the most delightful word;
A laugh as fresh in the August haze
As it was in the full-voiced April days;
Then I know that my heart is stirred
By the laugh-like song of the Indigo bird.
Joy on the branch and joy in the sky,
And naught between but the breezes high;
And naught so glad on the breezes heard
As the gay, gay note of the Indigo bird.

Step 10: Gluing the Violet Scales and Enjoying the Work Done

Glue the remaining (the biggest) violet scales.

I glued 6 violet scales.

The Violet
by Jane Taylor

Down in a green and shady bed
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head,
As if to hide from view.

And yet it was a lovely flower,
No colours bright and fair;
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.

The size of the flower depends on the size of the fish scales. The diameter of my flower brooch is 4 cm.

Pin the brooch to your clothes. You can even jazz up a simple T-shirt with this brooch.


Colors of the Rainbow Contest

Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest