Bead flowers can be very simple or extremely elaborate. Once you learn the basics, you will be able to design your own flowers based on real or imaginary species. One of the most important factors in making your bead flowers will be twisting your wire carefully and snugly the first time. Re-working the twists will weaken your wires and cause them to break.
Items you will need
- Beading wire on a spool in gauge 26 to 34.
- Pearl seed beads
- Yellow seed beads (optional)
- Green seed beads
- Stem wire (18 to 22 gauge) (optional)
- Green embroidery floss or floral tape
- Wire cutters
- Needle nosed pliers
- Wire straightening tool (optional)
Open the wire spool and trim the tip at an angle to form a point.
Smooth the wire to make it straight using the wire straightening tool or a paper towel.
Thread 15 inches of pearl beads on the wire.
Wrap a loop of wire around itself at the end to prevent beads from falling off. Your project is still attached to the spool at this time.
Measure out 1 inch of beads on the wire near the loop you made. Leave 3 inches of bare wire and begin making your petal with these beads. Twist the 1 inch of beads firmly into a snug loop with no space between beads. Bring up one bead next to the twist.
Measure out another inch of beads and twist them firmly into a loop next to the one bead. Repeat this process for five loops. Cut this section off the wire spool, leaving one floating bead and about 3 inches of wire. Make a loop on the spool wire so the remaining beads will not fall off.
Grasp the two wire ends, forming the five petals and five individual beads into a small circle. Twist the two wire ends snugly at the top to hold the petals and the last bead in place.
Make another set of five petals in the same way. Cut the second set of petals off and secure them in a circle as you did with the first set of five petals. Place the remaining pearl beads back in their container.
Thread 6 inches of green beads onto the wire. Measure 3/4 inch of beads and twist them into a loop with about 3 inches of empty wire at the open end. Slide a bead up next to this loop and then form another loop with 3/4 inch of additional beads. Continue this process until you have five green petals on the wire plus one additional bead. Cut the wire from the spool leaving a 3-inch tail.
Form the green beads into a circular configuration and twist at the top of the wires to form a small circle as you did with the petal sections.
If you want a stamen, thread six beads onto a wire and twist them into a loop with 3 inches of open wire at each end. Cut wire from spool.
Stack the two sets of pearl petals by sticking the 3-inch wires of one set through the circular opening of the second set. Thread the stamen wires through the center of these petal sets.
Holding all six wires snugly, thread them through the center of the circular ring on the green petal set. This will form the calyx for your bud.
Trim wires evenly and wrap them with either embroidery floss or floral tape to complete the flower.
Tips & Warnings
- Discard misshapen beads. If you find a misshapen bead after stringing, cover it with your hand to protect your eyes and face, and crush it with needle nosed pliers. Make sure you do not pinch your hand in this process.
- Use caution with wire as it is sharp and can injure skin and eyes.
- "Beads in Bloom"; Arlene Baker; 2002