So yup, I ended up making my own and it really wasn't very hard!
Here's the hairpiece sans my head for your viewing pleasure.
It looks like one seamless piece, but I actually made the bird cage veil separately (using this GREAT tutorial by The Dapper Bun) so I could take it off later in the night.
(Photo by Aleks Messier)
My first step was to explore Michael's and Joann's for supplies I thought were pretty. I landed on ivory beads on gold wire and fake peonies. I was shocked at how real fake flowers look these days! Pro Tip: Make sure you choose whites that match your wedding dress. For example, get ivories if your dress is ivory and bright whites if your dress is white.
For the hair piece's base, I used a plastic comb, BUT metal ones are better and I hear hairstylists like clips best - plastic is what I could find and it ended up working just fine. Note: I have thick curly hair, so I don't usually have a problem with hair clips etc. falling out.
Once I was satisfied with my general arrangement, my basic technique was to use thread and hot glue to attach the flowers and beads in any way manageable. Think lots of experimentation and gentle nudging. Really that was it, which is mostly important to know because it's not more complicated or scientific than that. You can get a really great result from not very much effort :)
I do recommend using thread instead of hot glue as much as possible. Hot glue can fall or melt in a hot car, but thread will stay where you tie it.
As a finishing touch I put a piece of ribbon across the comb so glue/thread bits wouldn't get caught in my hair.
If you decide to use fake flowers you will need to remove their green bases so your flowers can attach flush against your comb or clip. Carefully remove the base then run a needle and thread through the resulting hole to hold your flower petals together. You might also need a bead as an anchor in the middle of the flower.
The last tip: If you have a professional stylist do your wedding hair, bring your hairpiece with you to your trial hair appointment Your stylist can give you feedback or suggest improvements based on their professional experience, allowing you plenty of time to make adjustments.
Though I was hesitant at first, I'm really glad I took this project on and got exactly what I wanted. Now I just need to find another occasion to wear it!
(All wedding photos by Kaitlin Jane Photography unless noted | hairpiece photos by insideways.com)