Intro: Sword Bouquet How-To
Hey! So, I'm getting married in the nearish future, and while my fiance and I love steampunk and plan to have elements of it in our wedding, my heart will always lie with good ol' Lord of the Rings and Renaissance faries.
I'm DIYing a lot of things for the wedding, including fabric flowers for bridesmaids bouquets. I had bought a plastic flower holder thing at Hobby Lobby and I thought, "what shall I do with the plastic handle the girls hold? Should I wrap it in fabric, or ribbon, or paint it?" Then, I put wedding stuff aside and took up Sting, my replica LOTR sword my friend just got me. I was like "Look at me, I'm so freaking cool with my awesome orc slaying sword. I'm just going to carry Sting on my wedding da-…"
Oh. Snap. Thus, my sword bouquet was born.
This was a relatively easy and quick project, minus making all of the flowers. This tutorial is only for how to make the actual sword hilt handle and attach it to your bouquet, not how to make the flowers.
So, what do you need to make this?
A Dremel with a metal cutting tool or a metal cutting saw. I originally started to use my jewelers saw, but this was taking way too long, so I moved to a Dremel.
Flowers/leaves. These can be fabric, like I used, silk, or even real ones, whatever you prefer. Brooches might also work, with some tweeking. Basically anything you can shove into a styrofoam ball will work.
A sword or dagger with a hilt you like. The hilt is the only thing we'll be using, so don't worry about the scabbard or blade. I plan to use smaller daggers for my bridesmaids, but feel free to use any sort. (Perhaps Machone's katana for a zombie themed wedding, or Link's sword for your geeky love? I personally plan to use a small version of Sting I think)
Styrofoam ball. I used one out of a plastic bouquet holder I got at Hobby Lobby, but ended up taking it apart to just use the ball. I will probably get a bigger diameter ball in the future, for a more fuller bouquet. I'd also recommend it be a whole ball or oval, as oppose to a half circle.
Metal files/ a sander tool for the dremel.
Step 1: Cutting Your Sword
Ok! Now, this is not my first choice of sword. I would have much more preferred a T-hilted sword, rather than this one which has a finger guard. However, this was the only sword I was ok with cutting up.
We will only be using the hilt, so find one with a hilt you like. Take into consideration extra designs on the hilt that may interfere with your bouquet. This sword's hilt extended up into the blade past the hand guard at a weird angle, so that was kind of a hindrance, but once I added the leaves, you couldn't see it.
Now, we must cut the blade off, unless you'd prefer 8-30 inches of steel sticking out of your bouquet, which is totally fine if that's how you want to roll. On most swords, the sharpened blade is not the full length of the steel, like mine. You can see here how there are about 4 inches from the hilt to the sharpened edge. I chose to cut the blade off right before the sharpened part starts.
Start your cutting! Like I said, I originally started using my jewelers saw, but after 20 solid minutes of cutting, I was only 1/4th of the way in. I was like, this isn't working. So, I got out my dremel and while my cut ended up being very icky looking, it only took about 10 minutes to cut the whole way through. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves. You're holding a blade in one hand, a dremel/saw in the other, sparks will be flying flying, be careful. Do not attempt this step if you do not feel comfortable with it. Seriously.
After you get your hilt off, you'll want to go back with either files or a sander tool on a Dremel, as the cut edge will be sharp. Please be careful here as well.
Step 2: Adding Your Styrofoam
Good job! Now, we have a weird super short and useless sword hilt. Let us add Styrofoam.
I originally had a plastic bouquet holder from Hobby Lobby. I ended up taking it apart to get the Styrofoam ball out. My ball was fairly small, maybe the same size as my fist. I feel this is too small in the end for my hilt, but in the future I'll be using smaller dagger hilts, so it would be the right size for those. Keep in mind how full you want your bouquet and how big your hilt will be. I'd also suggest using a full round ball, not a half circle shape.
Now, we just stick the blade into the Styrofoam! Even when the blade has been sanded down, it was fairly easy to work the blade into the ball. Depending on the type and size of Styrofoam, this may be messy, and you may even break the ball in half. Once again, made sure your blade isn't too big for the ball. I didn't have either of these problems, but I was worried it'd actually split the ball in 2, so be careful. I don't have a picture, but I pushed the ball all the way to the hilt, so there is about 2 inches of blade sticking up from the ball, which in the end is hidden by flowers. Consider your blade height when cutting the blade, and compare it with diameter of your ball and how high your flowers will be sticking up.
Step 3: Adding Your Flowers
The best part! Now, like I said, I made my own leaves and flowers out of fabric with a wire in the back that stuck into the styrofoam. You can substitute anything though; feathers, silk flowers, even real ones if you get that special water holding styrofoam.
So, just start sticking them in! I started at the bottom, by the hilt, and worked my way to the top. I personally put leaves on the very bottom, which draped and help hide the styrofoam where the hilt meets it, then added flowers, then used smaller flowers as I went higher. Like I said, the blade was sticking up about 2 inches from the ball, but once my flowers were added, that was hidden and I don't plan to cut it shorter, though you may.
One more note, this is not terribly stable. If I shook my finished bouquet, I think the flowers would fly out. Try making your wire into a cork screw shape and screwing them into the styrofoam, or once you are happy with your positioning, glue the flowers in.
Step 4: Wield Your Sword Bouquet
You're done! Once I got my Dremel out, this took me about an hour from cutting the blade to finish. However, making the flowers has been weeks worth of work, but I'm making 7 of these for my bridesmaids. This is just a test piece, and most likely will require a bit more tweeking and changing to get it just right. I'm also pretty sure I need to add some Lord of the Rings paper flowers from book pages as well, because...come on, it needs it.
So, there you go. For your special day, when a normal bouquet just doesn't have that element of danger and adventure. Happy wielding!