1. Start by wrapping the entire straw wreath in ivory satin ribbon. Secure the ribbon to the back by using hot glue.
2. Create beaded flower to cover the entire surface of the wreath, using the Flower
Technique #1 below. For our 18" wreath we needed about 120 flowers.
3. Attach those flowers to the wreath by using jeweler's U-pins and hot glue to hold each flower in place.
4. Next, create three bows using sheer ivory ribbon. These will be the "nests" that the larger decorative flower will sit on.
5. Attach bows to the wreath using hot glue.
6. Create three or more really large and special beaded flowers to be showcased on the ribbon, using Flower Technique #2 below.
7. Secure these flowers to wreath with hot glue. Cut lengths of 1/4" ivory ribbon and tie them into place to further secure them.
FLOWER TECHNIQUE #1 (Small 6-petal flowers)
1. Cut a length of 24-gauge silver wire about a yard long. String one teardrop-shaped pearl bead and bring to the center of the wire. Fold the bead over the wire so that the two wires meet at the small end of the teardrop. 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 end 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 silver rondelle. 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 will make up a petal of the flower. It helps to have a small or teardrop shaped bead at the center of the flower to create the right shape.
2. Cut a length of 24-gauge wire between a 36"-72", depending on how long each of the petals are -the longer the petals and the more numerous the petals, the more wire needed for the finished flower.
3. String on the beads that make up one full petal, starting with the bead intended 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 strung. For example, if 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. The first petal is finished!
4. String the next "petal" in the same way, trapping the last bead and bringing the 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.
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