How to Create Beaded Wire Flower Petals . . . or Books

Working on Your Beaded Books?

Michelle Mach reminded me this week that the deadline for Beadwork VI: The Beaded Book is coming up December 18. Always ripe for a challenge, but woefully short on time and, quite frankly, a bit lazy, I got to thinking about the quickest way I could make beaded “pages.”

I pulled out Arlene Baker’s Beads in Bloom, a great book that outlines French-style beaded wire flower techniques. Arlene is a true expert on the subject—a real aficionado who collects and studies antique beaded flowers so she can make them in the true traditional style. I also happen to know that Arlene is a very meticulous and lovely person, and that’s why her instructions are so good! Even a time-challenged, impatient, lazy person like me can learn. You can buy this book and many others at 25% off during our Beader Appreciation Sale running through Novemeber 14th.

Anyway, back to my little challenge . . . I decided my “pages” would be round basic beaded wire petals. This is a quick technique that produces “big” beadwork pretty quickly. Here, I’ll show you how to do it:

Round Basic Petal

1.  String 7" of size 11° beads on 28-gauge wire without cutting the wire from the spool. If you have a bead spinner this goes even faster. Make a tight loop at the wire end to keep the beads from sliding off.

2.  Pull 3 beads toward the end and slide the rest of the beads toward the spool, giving yourself about 7" of bare wire in between. These are your core beads.

3.  Twist the wire on itself about 3" from the end so the set-up looks like this:








4.  Slide 4 or 5 beads toward the core and keep the rest toward the spool; lay them alongside the core beads. Wrap the bare wire once around the wire neck above the core beads.  


5.  Slide 5 or 6 beads toward the wrap you just made. Lay them alongside the other side of the core beads. Wrap the bare wire once around the twist under the core beads.

6.  Repeat step 4, increasing the number of beads so the wrap stays flat along the core.  

7.  Repeat until you reach your desired width, ending by wrapping twice around the twist under the core. (Try to keep your core wire straighter than mine!)

8.  Trim the top wire to 1/8" and tuck it flat against the back of the petal. Trim the bottom stem. 

My Beaded "Book"

I had fun playing around with my little “pages.” I can see adding many of them to the center post to make a book that produces random poems. We’ll see, we’ll see . . .   

Have you started working on a book yet for the Beaded Book contest? Tell us about it on the website.  

Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website. Thanks! 

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