SUPPLIES & TOOLS:
• Styrofoam or paper mache dress mannequin
• Assorted Pink, Turquoise and Ivory beads
• Assorted Metal Charms and Pendants
• 26-gauge gold wire
• Pearl-head pins
• Hot Glue and Glue gun
• Iridescent tulle
• Wire Cutters
1.Remove any fabric that is covering the mannequin, stripping it down to the bare foam.
2.Create beaded flowers using one of the three techniques below:
FLOWER TECHNIQUE #1 (Small 6-petal flowers)
1.Cut a length of 24-gauge wire about a yard long. String one bead and bring to the center of the wire. This technique works best with teardrop of oval-shaped beads. Fold the bead over the wire so that the two wires meet at the small end bead. Twist the wire together about three times to “trap” the bead on the wire and hold it in place.
2.Repeat this procedure 5 more times, adding “petals” to both free ends of the wire, each time stringing a bead on, folding it over, and twisting to create a total of 6 petals.
3.To create the center, use the same wire you’ve been using and string on a contrasting bead. Using the same technique as above, slide it to the center and twist it on itself to trap it in place. Do this again twice more to create a 3-piece center.
4.To strengthen the flower and lock the petals in place, next take both free ends of wire and start wrapping them around the petals. Trim the excess wire in the back.
FLOWER TECHNIQUE #2 (Larger, more elaborate flowers)
1.Decide which beads desired to make up a petal of your flower. It helps to have a small or teardrop shaped bead at the center of your flower to create the right shape.
2.Cut a length of 24-gauge wire between a 36” – 72”, depending on how long each of your petals are – the longer the petals and the more numerous the petals, the more wire you will need for the finished flower.
3.String on the beads that make up one full petal, starting with the bead you intend to be at the center, and bring all beads to the center of the wire. Take one free end of the wire and go back through all beads except the last one you strung. For example, if you are using 3 beads per petal, string on beads 1,2 and 3, then go back through beads 2 and 1 only. This will trap bead 3.
4.String the next “petal” in the same way, trapping the last bead and bringing your wire back to what will be the center of the flower. Continue adding petals in this way, and then adding shorter petals in the middle to create a flower center. The design possibilities are endless with this one simple technique.
5.To strengthen the flower and lock the petals in place, take both free ends of wire and start wrapping them around the petals to hold everything in place. Secure the wire and trim the excess in the back.
FLOWER TECHNIQUE #3: (Hot glue)
1.Use a flat shell or acrylic pendant as your base. Hot glue beads on top of that in a flower pattern of your choice.
2. With a few hundred beaded flower created, start embellishing the mannequin form by placing a flower and securing with both hot glue and pearl-headed pins.
3. Add metal charms and pendants as you go; spacing them out evenly.
4. Take small strips of iridescent tulle and spear them onto pearl-headed pins to create a tuft of tulle.
5. Fill empty areas between the focal flowers and pendants with single beads strung on the pearl-headed pin and tufts of iridescent tulle.