Glass bead flowers are a great DIY way of adding color to a table or shelf when fresh flowers are not available.
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Step 1: Supplies
- Jewelry wire (22, 24 and 26 gauge german style wire shown)
- Assorted glass beads
- wire crimping/cutting tool.
Wire choice- The thickness of the wire used will depend on the flower design and size of the holes in the glass beads. Different gauge wire can be use for different parts of the flower. Thicker wire may be needed for bigger, heavier designs. Some parts of the design may require threading more than one wire thought a set of beads, so wire choice needs to account for the number of wires involved.
Bead choice - It is helpful to have a variety of bead available when planning the flower design. The designs shown in this tutorial use 6/0 and 11/0 seed beads for most of the flower parts.
Step 2: Flower Center
Thread 20 to 25 11/0 beads onto the wire.
Wrap the beaded length of wire into a ball leaving a length of wire sticking out from the ball. The extra wire will be used to thread the piece into the rest of the flower.
Set aside until the rest of the flower is beaded and formed.
Step 3: Flower Petals and Stem (part a - Threading)
Add enough beads for each petal. Include one bead of a different color between each petal. This helps break up the pattern and makes it easier to keep track of the number of beads added/needed.
In the photos above, the pattern is 20 white beads followed by 1 clear bead. Repeating this pattern 5 times makes 5 petals.
Finish the main structure by adding green beads for the stem.
Step 4: Flower Petals and Stem (part B - Forming the Shape)
Form the first petal by creating a loop from the end of the wire to the first clear bead. Twist the loop to hold the shape.
Form petals 2 through 5 by adding a loop between each of clear beads
The 5th loop (5th petal) should end at the transition to green beads.
When finishing the last loop inspect the center of the flower to make sure the wire loop and the start of the stem end up on the same side. this will be the back of the flower
Step 5: Add the Flower Center
Add the flower center by threading the end of the wire through the center of the petal loops and down into the stem beads.
Step 6: Add a Leaf
Begin with a new length of wire and add enough beads to make a leaf of the desired size. The leaf shown is made from 11/0 beads.
As with the flower center, leave a length of wire sticking out from the end of the loop to allow the leaf to be threaded down into the stem.
Thread the extra wire into the stem beads where the leaf is going to end up.
In the photo series above the length of twisted wire in first image was too thick to fit into the stem. The second image shows the loop reformed with a much shorter length of twisted wire.
Step 7: Finished
The final step is to finalize the length of the stem and add/remove green beads to achieve the desired length.
Extra wire can be cut away or threaded back up into the stem to provide additional support
Step 8: Variations
Make an assorted bouquet of flowers by varying the flower design.
The top image shows the beading pattern for a 4 petal, blue and white flower. The pattern is 3 clear plus 9 blue repeated 8 times with 3 more clear beads added to the end.
Making 4 loops at every other set of 3 clear beads results in 4 blue petals with white tips. The white beads in the center form the flower center without the need to add additional beads.
The sprig flower was made by using separate lengths of wire for each petal, twisting them together and threading them down into the stem.