Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tutorial - Wired Beaded Spring Flowers - Part One

(This is a reprint of the article as published in Maureen's newsletter - April 2006)

The Promise of Spring

Even those of us who actually enjoy winter do find that it gets old after a while!
We start to think ahead to what spring will bring, and the first signs of spring bulbs poking their greenery up get us gardeners really excited in anticipation!
This year I simply could not decided that I’d "make some spring".
After having so much fun with the poinsettias, I turned my mind once more to beaded flowers only this time spring ones! I want to end up with a whole bouquet to share with you! So far I have three flowers....a snow drop, tulip and daffodil!
These flowers all follow the same basic construction technique, but there are a few finishing differences for this new batch; I’ll explain those as we go.
So........without further ado.......let spring begin!
Basic Technique:
(A small pair of needlenose pliers is helpful to have handy for wire manipulation.)
Cut the indicated length of 32 gauge wire for the section you are making. Fold the wire in half being careful not to make the fold too sharp (this weakens the wire and it could snap).
Load the number of beads noted for Row 1. Feed one end of wire over and through the bead(s) and pull through. Load the number of beads noted for Row 2 onto one end of wire. Fold this wire over so the beads sit over Row 1. Feed the other wire end through the beads of Row 2 entering where the first wire comes out (the wires criss-cross through the beads). Pull both wires in opposite directions to eliminate any slack. Gently bend the ends up vertical to hold beads in place, and proceed to the next row. Repeat until all bead rows have been worked, then twist the remaining length of both wires together and trim off any excess.
When you have all petals and leaves completed, proceed to the construction phase as noted for each flower.
Materials Required:
32 Gauge Wire - 2 yards
24 Gauge Wire - 6 - 8" (depending on desired finished length of stem)
Petals-White Seed Beads : 102
Leaves - Medium Green Rocaille (or Seed Beads) : 118
1 - 5mm round green bead (for top)
Green florist tape
For all patterns: 1st number at left = Row 1, & bead count for each row follows in sequence
Petals (make 3) : Cut 3 lengths of 32 Gauge wire 12" long.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2
Leaves (make 2) : Cut 2 lengths of 32 Gauge wire 14" long.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1

Flower Construction:
Cut 1 length of 32 Gauge wire 6" long. Feed it through the 2 beads of the last row of all 3 petals.
Pull the two ends of wire together to form a circle. Twist them together a few times. Twist the three petal wires together tightly and feed this single strand through the 5mm green top bead.
Cut 1 length of 24 Gauge wire 6 - 8" long. Push one end into the green bead at the bottom end (where the twisted wires exit). Wrap the twisted wires around the 24 Gauge wire. Wrap the full length of stem wire with green florist tape, spiralling downward after wrapping the top end several times to secure.
Cut 1 length of 32 Gauge wire 4" long. Feed through last bead of each leaf. Wrap around stem at desired position and twist the two ends together to secure. Cover these wires with another wrapping of florist tape.
Bend the wire below the flower head down in an arch until you get the desired droop.

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