When I was little I remember women wearing fancy corsages at Christmas time. They often included bells, berries and little ornaments. The most spectacular ones I ever saw belonged to the wife of our elementary school principal. In her faux leopard coat and patent leather pumps Mrs. M. was the talk of the playground. She would tuck a flamboyant corsage into her beehive hairdo and become the fascination of little girls everywhere. Glass ornaments, bells, holly berries, mistletoe and sometimes a plastic elf fitted into her teased bun like citron candies in fruitcake. We wondered how it stayed put during choir practice. Did she rely on Aqua-net or was it wired to her head?
Setting aside the beehive hair "nest" I say let's bring holiday corsages back into circulation! How about setting out a platter of them for guests to wear at your holiday cocktail party this year? Or make a matching set for the ladies in your family and wear them to a parade, Christmas Eve church service or skiing! Like the "ugly sweater" parties that are popular this year, a twinkly corsage says "I'm ready to have fun!"
Supplies for corsages are inexpensive and found easily at craft stores like Michaels. The ones you see above cost about $1 each. Vintage parts can be found at thrift stores. There are also lots of vintage picks and flowers on Ebay (type "Christmas corsage" in the search line) but they will cost you more. I found vintage "velvette" florist ribbon at a thrift store but Michaels has loads of pretty holiday ribbons on sale now. Including real flowers, evergreens or a sprig of mistletoe in your handmade corsage wins you bonus points!
To create the corsage gather together a holiday pick (my glitter encrusted ones are from Michaels; Walmart sells them too) some fake leaves and berries, a couple of bells or a tiny ornament (thrift stores are terrific sources of these) and tie them all together with ribbon, pipe cleaners or jewelry wire. Snip off excess pick stems with a wire cutter. Tie on a fluffy bow, add a straight pin to the back and your corsage is ready to wear :)
If wearing a corsage is too retro for you then use your glittery bunches as gift toppers or place card holders. A pretty corsage (or gift topper) will make you stand out from the crowd and becomes a memorable holiday souvenir.
One caveat: the glitter picks shed so shake off your corsage before pinning it to your coat or package.
Thanks to Susie for teaching me the "corsage bow" technique! You can learn how to make them too: click here.
Holiday Market News
If you're interested in tasteful holiday bling or gift ideas visit the Firefly Handmade Market this weekend in Boulder, CO, December 10 - 12. This market features art and jewelry by 60+ local indie artists including artist Kristin FitzGerrell who I mentioned in this post about Boulder's Open Studios.