It is fast approaching spring here in the UK and it’s also nearly Mothers Day (or Mothering Sunday) so I am celebrating the two events in this tutorial to make a floral brooch, a perfect gift for your Mum!
This brooch uses a technique called French Beading, which despite the name, is thought to have originated in Venice in the 16th Century. The method uses fine wire strung with tiny glass seed beads to form 3d flowers. It became especially popular in Victorian England, but fell out of favour due the technique being associated with the creation of funeral wreaths! Now French beading is often used in making bouquets and favours for weddings, as well as for all year round floral arrangements. I mean, flowers you don’t need to water? Sounds good to me!
You will need:
-Size 8 seed beads (you’ll need approx. 300 for flower with 5 petals)
-0.4mm/26 gauge wire
-Chain nose pliers
1.We are going to use the continuous wrapped loop method to make a flower with five petals, each petal being made up of three loops of beads. To start, cut a length of wire approx 1.25 metres or 4ft of the wire and string on 11 seed beads. Leaving a 10cm tail at one end, gather the seed beads into a loop and twist a couple of times to secure.
2.Thread on about 20 more beads (because seed beads can vary slightly you may need to add or remove beads to make this next loop sit against the previous one) and slide right up to the twisted wire.
3.Begin to curve the beads around the previous loop, using your thumb and finger to keep the beads pushed tightly to the twisted wire.
4.To secure this row, instead of twisting, wrap the longer length of wire around the shorter, then kink the shorter tail out to help keep it tight.
6. Begin the 2nd petal in the same way as before, threading on 11 beads and twisting to secure with using the longer end of wire. Leave a small gap of bare wire before you twist so you have enough space to wrap rows 2 & 3.
7.Create the 2nd and 3rd rows as you did with the first petal.
8.Continue until you have made 5 petals
9. Bring the two ends of wire together and twist together a couple of times to tighten.
10.Bring the longer end of wire to the front of the flower and wire on the button. You only need go through each hole a couple of times.
11.Turn the flower over and wire on the brooch back in the same way as you would if using a needle and thread, using both ends of wire (you may need to use chainnose pliers if the ends are getting short). To finish, bring the wires to the front and wrap around under the button a couple of times. This way there are no spiky bits of wire on the back to catch on your clothes! Cut off any excess wire.
12. Use your fingers to gently shape and curl the petals upwards.