How I Did It: Shotgun Shell Boutonnières

I have to say, I think this was one of my favorite DIY projects from the wedding! I came across this pin on Pinterest a couple years ago, and when we started actually planning our wedding I knew they would be perfect. But I wasn't really sure how to make it happen. I found some pre-made ones on Etsy, but they were super pricey. So I decided to try it myself. How hard could it be? 

DIY Shotgun Shell Boutonnieres

First, I had to find shotgun shells. Both my husband and my father made fun of me, because I ordered used shotgun shells from an Etsy seller when they could easily have given me some of theirs. But neither of them had lavender shells, and the Etsy seller did! So it was worth $15 or so to have the color I wanted. And I'm so glad I did because the color matched perfectly.


The shells sat on a shelf for several months before I did anything with them. I had to decide if I wanted to try real flowers with the shotgun shells or take the easy way out and use fake flowers. I decided to go fake. These were going on the groom and groomsmen, and Lord knows they would be rough on them. Fake flowers could be hot glued in place, wouldn't wilt, and could be reshaped if smooshed. And the fake flowers held up great in the 30 mph winds we had on our wedding day - I'm afraid real flowers would've blown out of the shells. So after a quick trip to Michael's and I had my fake white flowers and greenery.

I played with the flowers and greenery for a little while, trying to decide how the leaves should fan out around the flower. Once I decided what looked best, I wrapped the greenery and flowers together with floral tape. I totally failed to take pictures of this part - this was back in January when I was being a blogging failure. I then placed the flower/greenery combination in the shotgun shell. The flower stems were pretty pliable, so they stayed put in the shell for the most part. But again, these boutonnières are going on the groom and groomsmen, so I decided it would be best to hot glue those bad boys in place. A couple of burned fingers, a few choice words, et voila. Shotgun shell boutonnières.


I would like to add that my husband would be quick to add that I did not glue the pins on the boutonnieres when I did the project originally. He and one of our friends did that on the Thursday night before the wedding.  Here are some photos of what the boutonnières looked like on our actual wedding day.

Shotgun Shell Groom
All shotgun shells
Groomsmen & Shotgun Shell Boutonniere

Pretty perfect, right?

All in all, I think it took about 2 hours and cost about $35 to make 10 boutonnières. So that's less than $4 a boutonnière - a heck of a lot cheaper than buying regular boutonnières!

A rundown of the cost:

  • Shotgun shells - $15.50 (including S&H from etsy seller Shotgun Shelley)
  • Faux gardenias - approx. $10 (Faux flowers from Michaels, no longer available)
  • Faux greenery - approx. $7 (green leaf picks from Michaels)
  • Floral tape - $1 (Dollar Tree)
  • Safety Pins - approx. $2
  • Hot glue & glue gun - already owned

I absolutely love the way these boutonnières turned out - they matched our color scheme and theme perfectly. But I think they could be done in so many different ways. Succulents would be pretty fun to use instead of the white flowers I went with. And if you didn't like the color of the shotgun shells you had available to you, you could always wrap them in twine! I thought about adding a bit of twine to ours, but decided I liked them as they were :)

*All good photos are by Blue Elephant Photography