Now this is probably one for the ladies, but gentlemen please do share the link on to your other halves/friends if you think they would like to know how to make one of these!
As I have now finished my own bouquet, I figure why not tell the world how I went about it! Now, I did some research about just buying one of these for my wedding, but I couldn’t afford them. They usually come in over £150. The beads, wire and ribbon for my project came to £38.79 ($59.44) altogether. All of which was sourced on Amazon. I’ve added the best ones to a ‘Recommended Products’ Page – here. That should be enough to get the inspiration flowing!
The beauty with doing this yourself, is that you can let your imagination run wild. The are limitless colours of beads on offer, so fitting in with your dream theme couldn’t be easier. There are so many shapes, cuts and sizes of beads out there as well. If you are a bit more handy than I am (which isn’t difficult!), you can add brooches and cannibalize beads from necklaces and earrings.
1. Choose Your Beads
Now, there are A LOT of beads out there to choose from. I went mainly for glass rondelle (I think that’s what they’re called…) beads, some faux pearls and some silver flower beads I’ve had since I was a kid. My favourite colour, and theme, will be purple so that turned my attention to the selection of purple beads that Amazon had to offer!
I also wanted to balance this out so that the purple would not be so imposing, so I also found some clear, silver and AB beads of varying sizes to go with these. These would also match the little embellishments on my veil and dress. Then I added some pearl beads to the mix to add a bit of elegance.
2. Wiring Job
Now the wire to hold it altogether. For flexibility with length and size, I would recommend a reel of silver crafting wire. You can then cut these to your own lengths to create different effects. To cut the wire some strong scissors you aren’t bothered about blunting will do the trick, or better still some small wire cutters.
Tip: I chose one that was 30 gauge, so that it was pliable to twist into strands, but firm enough not to wobble about once the whole thing was constructed. Remember: The higher the gauge, the thinner the wire.
3. Lets Twist Again!
So we have the beads and the wires – exciting!
For my bouquet, I cut 14″ lengths, which once bent to shape, work out as 7″ strands. This will form a small bouquet, so for anything more extravagant, aim for 16″+. Have a play with wire lengths to get a feel for how you want your final bouquet to look.
When you have your length of wire, thread a bead across to the middle and bend the wire so that you have a bead at the top, and the two side of the wire parallel to each other. Then twist the wire to secure the bead.
I twisted the wire by hand, which is possible but time-consuming and can incur quite a few cuts! The other way is to use a cordless drill and attach a small hook just below the bead, holding the two loose ends with pliers. Fire up the drill and allow the wire to twist, and this will neatly twist the wire for you. Then cut off the sharp ends.
Idea: If you are after even more sparkle, you can add more than one bead to the same wire. After threading the bead, twist the wire to a shorter length (holding the wires with the pliers a third of the way down, for example). Thread another bead onto one of the lengths then twist the rest of the way down.
4. And Repeat…
Once You have had a play with this, keep going until you are happy with the amount of stems, beads per stem etc. It’s quite a slow process, but be patient and be imaginative with it and the result will be worth it!
Keep going until you are happy with the amount of stems to make your final bouquet. In the picture above, these are all my stems about a third of the way through.
5. Pasta Sauce Jar
No that wasn’t a typo or one of my random moments!
Once you are happy with the amount of beads, lengths and so on, it is now time to start putting it all together. To help with this and keep your hands free-er, grab a jar that is deep enough to contain the stems length (for the most part). In my case, a pasta sauce jar :D. Start adding your beads and arranging them as you wish, flower-arrangment-style!
Tip: Once more strands are added I found the jar got top-heavy, so it might be worth sticking the jar to the table with a lump of Blu-Tack (or equivalent).
6. Tying up Loose Ends
Literally! The best way I found was using cable ties, which can be bought in PC stores, eBay or Amazon.
Gather up (carefully!) your bouquet – if you able, in one hand and if not tie up securely with a some string or twine above the mouth of the jar. This will hold all your hard work in place for the moment. Do any tweaking needed and then pull a cable tie to the highest reasonable point, to ensure the head of the bouquet is secured first. Working your way down the stem, add two or three more ties and pull as tightly as you wish to secure all the strands together.
8. Finishing Touches
At this point the finishing is really up to you.
I wrapped my stem in an ivory ribbon, using small stiches to secure it on both sides. I may also add some pearls to the base, or maybe as buttons down the front. May be a long flowing ribbon tied in a volumptuous bow.
Whatever you feel would finish off your stunning bouquet, go for it.