When I told my in-laws-to-be that I didn't want flowers at my wedding, they kind of scoffed at me.
“But you have to have flowers at your wedding!”
So I folded… in my own way.
I agreed to have flowers for myself and the bridesmaids, and possibly as centerpieces, but only if I made them myself.
No killing plants and spending butt-tons of money for something that would look pretty for a few hours then ultimately wither away.
So I'm making this beaded floral bouquet.
- 26 gauge wire
- Seed beads or bugle beads
- Wire cutters or scissors
- Needle-nose or round-tipped pliers
- Pipe cleaners
- Floral tape
To make petals about 1 1/2 inches long, start by cutting about 20 inches of wire. Keep in mind, it is better to err on the side of too much wire than not enough, so if you're guestimating, go longer.
Use the pliers to make a small loop in one end of the wire. It needs to be tight enough so that beads cannot get around the loop.
String on ten beads. This is your base, and these beads will be the very center of your petal. Make a bend in the wire at about the 2″ mark (beyond the beads) and twist the wire to make a small loop. This is your base loop and will be the inside point of your petal (where it will join the other petals). There should be about an inch of space between the last bead and the loop you just created.
Now begin stringing beads. You will string beads about halfway up the wire. There's not an exact number of beads to string, as each time you create a petal it will be slightly different. Not to worry, you can always add more beads or remove extra ones.
Once you have strung all the beads you think you need, loosely wrap a loop in the other end of the wire. Keep it loose, as it will need to be untied later and tying it too tightly can cause kinks that are difficult to maneuver beads around.
Hold the wire so that the base beads are at the base loop. Take the long piece of wire parallel to the base wire and line up the strung beads until they are even with the base beads. Wrap the long wire just over the top of the base beads so that you now have two rows of beads side-by-side.
Continue down the other side of the base wire, this time wrapping around the base loop. Continue going up one side and down the other until you have nine rows (up and down 4x). You should at the base loop side of the petal. Then wrap the long wire tightly several times around the base loop.
Use the wire cutters or scissors to trim the wire at the end of the petal where you made your initial loop, then fold the shortened tip under the petal. It should not be easily visible.
Make the desired number of petals (typically four, five, or eight, but whatever makes you happy!). Put their base loops together and grab the excess wire near the base with your pliers and twist tightly to hold the petals together. Adjust the petals to be positioned in a way that is appealing to you.
Next, choose how you want to make your pistil (the center of your flower). I typically choose one larger bead in either a complimentary or contrasting color and use an excess piece of wire to attach it to the rest of the flower. Just string the chosen bead to the center of the wire, twist once under the center of the bead, then string both ends of the wire through the center of the petals and twist to join the wires underneath.
You may also choose to string several sead beads to form loops and attach them in a similar way to the single larger bead.
For the stem, take a standard pipe cleaner, fold it in half, and twist it around itself tightly. Then wrap the long wires from the petals around the pipe cleaner.
Begin wrapping floral tape at the base of the petals. Wrap it tightly wround itself two to three times before moving further down the stem. Floral tape tends to stick only to itself, so be sure to wrap at an angle that allows overlap. Also, floral tape becomes stickier if stretched slightly, so hold it tight while wrapping.
Once you get to the bottom, double up and rewrap the entire stem.
Now you have a beaded flower! Get creative and try different colors, sizes, and patterns.
The same method can be used to create rose buds. You just start with two smaller petals (bases of four to six beads), and make two to three petals at a time slightly larger than the ones before. Wrap each layer around the previous layer and fold the tips either in towards the center (closed bud) or slightly outward, as if the bud is opening.
Bugle beads can also be used in place of seed beads, and have a much different visual effect. You can also alternate rows of colors to create different looks.
Comments on Beaded flower tutorial for your beaded floral bouquet!
Thank you for posting this. I felt the same way about flowers and will be using a combination of paper and fabric flowers for my bouquet. It is nice to see so many brides getting creative and putting more of themselves in the wedding. Keep it up!
I thought the initial flowers were cute, but the beaded rose was super-cute. Thank you for this wonderful how-to!
These beaded flowers are super cute! And these flowers can be made to match your colour sceme perfectly. 🙂
How do I print this? I think it’s a fantastic idea and I want to try it out but I don’t have a printer at home.
Super cute, I would love it though if there was a video to go along with it. Did you find one that inspired you to make these or would you be willing to film one yourself if enough people suggested it?
What is with people wanting real flowers at weddings? My husband and I made gobs of paper flowers and they look great and are still beautiful! It seemed that both my mother and mother-in-law were miffed that we weren’t doing live flowers.
I used to make these beaded flowers and it is a great idea for wedding bouquets! I have a book laying around that gives even more ideas and the technique is French Beaded Wire flowers for those of you who would like to get more into it. You can utilize the flower tape and sew through it to attach these to elastic for corsages too.
My 6th grade teacher got me into these beaded flowers, and there are a couple books (rather older at this point) out there but it’s not a common craft. And as another commenter asked – one flower can take QUITE a while to make, let alone an entire bouquet! At one point I had thought myself about creating a bouquet of roses… but ideas changed. Also note that seed needs are actually a bit too big for this style and unless you buy a bead stringer – you want to buy the beads already on strings!
Awesome! My fiance and I are planning to use living, potted flowers for our table centerpieces.
This would be a great bouquet alternative!
Great idea! They are gorgeous. I am having an outdoor ceremony, so I was worried that using paper flowers wouldn’t be a great option in case of any rain, but these will survive through anything 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Do you know approximately how much it costs to make one bouquet out of these beaded flowers? Say 10-12 flowers?
Saw this, and since the post is about beaded flowers… may this give you alternative model.
These are beautiful!! On average how long does it take to make a flower?
it actually takes kind of a long time… about an hour or so. but you get into the zone with it, so I made most of them while watching tv.
Oh… I KNEW there was a better way than what I’ve been doing! Thanks for this easy and clear instructional. Very kind of you.
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