Introduction: Beaded Crown for a Prince(ss)
Or Princess. A handmade crown fit for a Prince! Make sure to have Prince songs playing in the background to get you in the mood and to channel his purpleness. This is a fun and easy project to finish in an afternoon on a rainy day. You can even have "When Doves Cry" cued up for when you mess up and "1999" for your victory dance when you finish. Have fun!
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
Here are the list of tools and supplies you'll need to create your crown:
- Flush wire cutters
- Needle nose pliers
- Second set of pliers for holding (could be coiling or flat nosed for versatility)
- 24" of 3/8" to 3/4" lamp banding or enough to go around your head plus a little overlap. This usually comes in a brass or silver color. Banding with some holes in the pattern will be helpful to stitch things together and keep things in place. Anything larger than 3/4" wider may work, choose what width you think will look good!
- 20 gauge wire to secure your lamp banding into a circle and for the arches
- 22-26 gauge wire for the arches if you want a more ethereal look.
- Tons of beads, pearls, embellishments.
Step 2: Shaping the Crown
If you're able to get your lamp banding in one continuous piece, GREAT! You will be able to size it to your head and secure it into place using the instructions in Part 2. If you are only able to get banding in shorter pieces follow from Part 1.
Part 1: Banding is in two or more pieces
1. If your banding in is two or more pieces, overlap two ends so you make one continuous line.
2. Line up the pattern so that holes and decorative parts are lined up.
3. Thread 6" of the 20 gauge wire through the decorative holes so that the two pieces are tied together and make one continuous piece. You may have to use a second pair of pliers to pull the wire through the holes.
4. Once it's secure and you're threaded enough that the two pieces do not wiggle, on the inside of the banding, snip the ends down to 1/2" or so and curl in the ends. You may also tuck the ends under your threading. Just make sure no sharp ends are jutting out to scratch your prince(ss)'s scalp!!
Part 2: Secure into a circle
1. Cut a 6-8" piece of 20 gauge wire.
2. Take the banding, head to a mirror, and wrap it around your head to size it. You must decide now whether you want it to just sit on top of your head (usually a smaller crown) or you want it angled (which will make it slighter larger) or if you want it to sit across your forehead and down on your head (much larger). Once you've found a good position, hold the banding in place to keep it sized.
3. Take the 20 gauge wire you just cut and put it through a hole in the overlapped area of the banding and use the instructions in Part 1 to tie it down into a crown.
4. If your banding overlaps quite a bit, you may cut off the excess but make sure you have at least 1" overlap to tie down. If you choose to just tie the whole excess down, great! Just make sure you tie it down to the end or you'll have metal that may scratch you later.
Step 3: Adding the Purple Aka Embellishing
Get your embellishments out! You can decide whether you want to go in a certain order or to bead randomly. I like to just put the beads I want to use in a bowl and pick them randomly.
1. Cut a 2-3 foot strand of wire. You don't want it too long as the longer you go, the more likely it will kink. It's up to you if you want use the thicker wire or not. If you use the 20 gauge, make sure you test it on some beads to make sure your beads will fit through.
2. Loop about 1" through a hole and twist to secure it on the inside of the crown. You will bead around the twist to cover it.
3. Start beading! You can add 2-5 inches of bead at a time (whatever you find manageable) and slide them down the wire to the crown.
4. When the wire is on the outside of the crown, position your beads the way you want them to look. Then when the wire is on the inside of the crown, move the beads past so that there are none on the inside of the crown. Continue wrapping until you run out of beads and then add more beads to continue wrapping until you have about 3-4" left.
5. Thread the ending wire through a hole and secure it in the back under the wires you just wrapped. You can also cut a new length of wire and twist together to continue beading.
6. Once you've beaded all the way back to the beginning, snip the wire down to 3-4" and bring the wire to the through a hole to the front. Then tuck the wire under your beads and bring to the back again.
7. Secure the wire in the back by tucking it under your wires.
8. Safety check! Run your fingers around the inside of your band in BOTH directions to see if any wires are poking out. Snip those wires down so nothing will scratch your scalp or catch your hair.
At this point, you can stop if you just want the band. Otherwise, keep going to add some arches to your piece.
Step 4: Add Random Arches
If you've decided to continue on, you have a few choices. You can decide to add some arches to some or all of the crown and you can decide if you want to add more embellishments in your arches or keep them plain
1. Cut 2 feet of your wire. You can decide of you want thicker or thinner. Thinner wire looks more ethereal but it's also more flimsy. Thicker wire will be sturdier but will look heavy.
2. Anchor one end of the wire onto the inside of the band against the existing wires or holes.
3. Add beads if you'd like and start looping the wire around the band to create arches.
4. Double loop beads to hold them in certain positions.
5. Weave the wires in front or behind existing wires to prop wires up and create an interlocking weave.
6. You can decide if you want things to be symmetrical or random, high arches or low ones, and whatever else you'd like.
7. Once you've got it to your liking, check the inside of the band and once again, check for sharp bits and secure loose looking wires.
You're done! Wear your crown with pride!