Create a Seed Bead Flower Accent for Gift Packaging
As much as I enjoy making jewelry, I'm always looking for new ways to use seed beads. I love pretty gift packaging, so I've been playing around with ways to adorn packages with bits of beadweaving. I'm especially excited about this idea because it allows me to reuse some of those tiny seed bead samples that I mentioned in a blog post last fall. I am always making little beaded swatches to test out colors and techniques, but I never seem to get around to ripping them apart and putting the beads away.
Here are my general tips on how to make the beaded daisy shown here:
Materials and Tools
Ivory size 11 seed beads
Matte gold permanent galvanized size 11 seed beads
Dark brown 1/4" satin ribbon
Circular square stitch
Finished size: 1 1/4" (flower only)
A note about beading thread: I used FireLine to stitch the circular center and ivory nylon thread to create the petals. If you were to touch the sample, you'd find that the center is quite stiff, making it easy to attach to the ribbon, while the petals are a little more floppy. You can use whatever beading thread you like.
1. Use 2-3 rounds of circular square stitch to form the center of the circle. I've found that with this stitch it's easier to get a more rounded shape with a slightly larger circle, so I used three rounds.
2. Use looped fringe to add the petals. I used 12 ivory seed beads per petal. Skip 1-2 gold beads between each petal for the first layer. I didn't skip a consistent number because I wanted a flower that looked more organic. You may prefer a more symmetrical look.
3. Create a second layer of petals with looped fringe. Place these petals so that they use the gold beads skipped in Step 2. You'll make about 16-20 petals total (top and bottom layers combined), depending upon spacing.
4. When the daisy is complete, sew the center to the ends of the brown ribbon. You might find it easier to use cotton sewing thread for this step. The important part is that the flower is well attached, since it's likely to be handled quite a bit. This is the kind of ribbon packaging that the recipient would completely slide off the box, rather than untie.
A note about the ribbon and wrapping paper: I used 7" of ribbon to wrap around a small jewelry box (3 1/16" x 2 1/8" x 1"), the size commonly used for earrings. The ends of the ribbon will overlap slightly. I liked the narrow ribbon because the ends could be completely hidden behind the center of the flower. You could get a very different look by using a different color ribbon (maybe bright orange?) and a much wider width (try 1" or 1 1/2"). The paper is some old tissue paper I saved from a gift, so I can't give you an exact source. If you search the web for "printed tissue paper," you're sure to find some you like just as much.
Contributing Editor, Beadwork
P.S. I know it's January and I should be happily making beaded snowflakes, but after shoveling snow this week, I needed some sunshine!