Introduction: Beaded Wedding Bouquet

About: I'm a student mental health nurse and I live with my remarkable fiancee in a house overflowing with our books, craft material and tools. It's great.

This is an entry in the DIY Wedding challenge. If you like it, please vote!

In this instructable, I will show you one method of making a beautiful bouquet for your wedding. This is a great project because not only can the technique be extended to bridesmaids' posies and boutonierres, it can be perfectly co-ordinated to your theme, will cost you a fraction of what fresh flowers will and will leave you with something to treasure long after the big day itself.

Step 1: Components

For the bouquet shown, (6 flowers, each with 6 petals) I  used the following in 2mm seed beads:
  • 20g petal colour 1 (dark blue)
  • 20g petal colour 2 (white)
  • 12g petal lining colour (antique gold)
  • flat nosed pliers (1 - 2 pairs)
  • 30 yds / 25 metres 28 guague / 0.3mm beading wire
  • wire snippers
In the picture, there are also green and pale blue seed beads which were originally intended for leaves and a third colour of flower, but which I decided against. You will also need:
  • florist tape
  • an elastic band
  • ribbon (or alternative way to wrap the stems)
  • needle, thread and if wanted any embellishments for the ribbon (not shown.)
  • two contrasting beads per flower made, approximately 4mm in diameter
I also used a bead spinner, because it saves a LOT of time. However, it is not 100% essential

Step 2: Starting the Petal

  • To make a large petal, cut a section of wire 80cm long
  • make a loop at one end, leaving a tail of approximately 4cm, and a loop of 6-8 cm when straightened out.
  • on the long wire, thread the beads. Use your bead spinner if you have one.
  • twist the ends so they don't fall off!

Step 3: Weaving the Petal 1

  • slide 2-3 beads onto the 4cm length of wire that protudes from the loop
  • push down 3-5 beads from the "feeder" line
  • wrap the "feeder" line as tightly as possible around the 4cm wire

Step 4: Weaving the Petal 2

  • Pull another 3-5 beeds from the feeder line and wrap downwards towards the twist above the loop. Keep the wires tight!
  • repeat this proces for as many turns as you wish the flower to have
NB In the second picture below, I have also placed two beads on the 4cm wire before wrapping round for the second time. You can do this, but in the end I decided against doing this for my flowers as it creates for of a gap than I prefer.
  • finish the final row in your petal edge colour.
  • wrap your wire round at the base of the petal tightly a few times, and trim the excess.

Step 5: Putting the Flower Together

  • Repeat steps 2-4 twice more, and then three times with a piece of wire 50cm long.
  • pinch the three smaller petals together, and twist their gold "stems" together to secure them in a group
  • Arrange the larger petals around the outside, and twist these around the middle stem
Don't worry about the centre stamens, we're just coming to that!

Step 6: Making the Stamen

  • Twist a length of wire into the shape shown below
  • Place a contrasting bead at each spike as shown
  • Twist the wire as shown and feed the base of the stamen through the base of the flower
  • twist the spare wires around the central stem to secure as always.
  • Wrap the stem in florist tape

Step 7: Making the Bouquet

  • Gather the flowers together into a shape that pleases you, Secure with an elastic band
  • position the ribbon in the way shown, at a diagonal angle
  • wrap diagonally down and then up again, keeping the ribbon as tight as possible and the difference between each layer of ribbon as even as possible.
  • Secure the top with a needle and thread, brooch or orther embellishment.

Step 8: Finished Bouquet

Now all you need to do is hold your bouquet and look radiant!

Some final points:
  1. Don't be tempted to skip the florist tape. It looks better, and adds an extra layer of stability.
  2. Particularly if you have a large bouquet of flowers, you will need to make the stems (loops) on your flowers longer. If you find they aren't long enough, just build up with extra wire before applying the floral tape.
  3. There are many types of seed bead on the market, but for the purposes of beading it is worth buying high quality ones. Japanes Toho beads are my preferred brand.
That's it! Thank you so much for  reading, and if you like my instructable I hope you'll consider voting!
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