Custom Garden Cuff Links
Give your groom a pair of stunning, customized cuff links for a handmade twist on the traditional wedding day gift.
Garden Cuff Links
Cuff links are a traditional wedding gift from bride to groom, and also make great gifts for groomsmen and fathers. This gallery will guide you through creating your own personalized garden cuff links and give you a few outside-the- box ideas for incorporating nature into your design.
To make your cuff links you will need some blank cuff links, liquid resin and dried or pressed flowers. Blank cuff links are inexpensive, but when choosing yours be careful not to pick the cheapest option as they are likely to be poor quality. You can find liquid resin at your local craft store, it usually comes in 2 bottles that must be mixed together before use. You will need a disposable cup for mixing, gloves, a disposable brush or eyedropper, and newspaper to cover your work surface.
Follow the instructions that come with your liquid resin precisely. Most resins require mixing 2 equal parts together, be sure the parts are exactly equal. If the ratio is off your resin will never dry. Be sure to cover your workspace. Although resin wipes up easily right away, if it dries it will not come off. Use gloves and consider using a mask, especially if your work space is not very well-ventilated. Resin can be harmful to skin and to breathe when it is in its liquid form. Stir the resin consistently but slowly so you don't add air bubbles.
Trim your Flowers
Begin by trimming your plants down to fit your cuff links. We used rose petals and a few small leaves for this pair. Turn the link upside down on the petal and trim gently using a sharp X-Acto blade. You can also try using scissors if you feel more comfortable using them than a blade.
Place your Petals
If you don't want your petals to float in the resin, you will need to glue them to the cuff link with a quick hold contact adhesive. If you don't mind a little bit of floating place a small drop of resin on the cuff link and cover with the petal. Be sure to wear gloves while working with resin and work in a well ventilated area.
Add more petals, leaves or other objects on top of your initial layer. Glue them down if you don't want them to float, or just layer them and let them move around a bit once your put the resin on top.
Use your brush or eyedropper to apply a large drop of resin to the top of each cuff link. The drop should reach to all sides and completely cover the petals, leaves or other items. Place your cuff links in a place where they will not be disturbed while the resin dries, usually about a day.
You can add all kinds of plant objects to your cuff links. If the bright colors of petals are too bold for your wedding, try using seeds. Create a pile of seeds on the top of your cuff link before adding the drop of resin. The seeds will float beautifully inside.
Attaching Larger Objects
You can also attach large items to your cuff links, such as this bud. Place a drop of resin on the cuff link and set the bud in it. Add more resin on top. Be sure the entire object is coated, but don't put the resin on so thick that it drips.
You can use dried flower buds or seedpods that are too small to use alone by stacking them together in little arrangements. Secure with a little bit of glue before placing a large drop of resin in the center over the head of the cuff link. Coat anything that hangs over the edge with a thinner layer of resin.
For a fall or winter wedding, try creating pinecone cuff links. Cut a miniature pinecone in half and attach the flat side to the cuff link with a drop of resin. Coat the entire pinecone in resin, paying close attention to the area where the pinecone attaches to the cuff link.
Enjoy creating your own unique garden cuff links, and try experimenting with different colors, textures and plants. Your finished cuff links are sure to be beautiful wedding accents that will be treasured for years to come.