Friday, January 23, 2009

DIY - Swarovski Crystal Bead Bouquets


How to Make a Bead Bouquet

This bouquet is available from Exclusively Weddings for $500.

I decided that I could make it much more cheaply. Here's how I did it.

This is a cup hook. You can get them at any hardware store.
Insert the cup hook into the drill where the bit would go.

I went to a whole bunch of places for beads. I went to AC More, Michaels, and Walmart as well as some specialty bead shops near me. I found ones I like at each place at a variety of prices. The beads I really like are about $2 for 6, so I got some of those and mixed them in with others. Some people have had good luck finding crystals on the internet for cheap prices. For the wires I found that 24 and 26 gauge are the best. I started with wires about 30" long.

I put a bead (or more if they're small) on the wire.
Then take your wire with the bead, and with the bead centered, put that end over the hook.
Holding the ends securely (I used pliers) “drill” them and you’ll twist the wire.
You'll then probably need to tighten the bead in with a couple of twists by hand or with pliers just to hold it securely, where the hook was taking up space.
It took me 1-2 hours to make 50 stems. The bouquets for sale are about 150 stems.
To group them into a pretty bouquet, hold them as a bunch and wrap a piece of wire around them near the bottom of the stems.
Then flip the stems around. (If you hold the bouquet upside down and then slowly bend the stems up to form the bouquet with a nice clean bottom.)
Here’s another shot of folding the stems over.
Wrap some wire around the bouquet to hold it in place and then cover with some pretty ribbon.
Gently pull on the stems to separate and make a rounded bouquet.

Here are some additional pictures.

Here is a picture of one of my bridesmaid bouquets.

This is a picture of a bridesmaid bouquet next to my bouquet.

Here are a few boutonnaires. Essentially it's the same procedure as for a bouquet, just use 28 guage wire.

And now for a couple of comments, pointers, suggestions, etc.

1. The colored bouquet is about 150 pieces of wire. The clear bouquet is around 300 (I think).

2. I really like how the clear bouquet is so thick at the bottom. There are two contributing factors to this.

a. It had around 300 stems. Obviously the more stems it has the thicker it will be.

b. Before folding the stems over I wrapped it many times with some string to build up the size. I then folded over the
stems which covered the string. If the bouquet had fewer stems they may not have adequately covered the string.
Just something to consider.

If you need more clarification, let me know. Not sure how well I explained it. E-mail me

Pictures and Pointers from Other Knotties

BrandyLaineCox is still in the process of making her bouquets.

She is finding it very easy and convenient to just twist the wire by hand.

Hopefully when she is done she will provide me with some photos to share.

Meeeshellmybell suggests using lint free cotton gloves when handling the beads

so they keep their shine. Also, if the thought of a using a drill is scary, Michael's has

a hand held wire twister for $12.99 that works great. She just put the ends of the

wire in a vice and used the twister. Below are some pictures of her handiwork.

CAtoIL04 provided me with these pictures of her finished bouquets.

Excellant work! She ended up making a little over 3000 stems –

her bouquet was about 650, each of the bridesmaids were about

350, the Jr. bridesmaids

were about 250, & the guys’ bouts were 12-15. She was also kind

enough to provide me with these tips to share with you.

Soon2bhuston (Andrea Lea) made the following bouquet.Valérie Roy made this bouquet. She plans to make smaller all pink bouquets for her bridesmaids.


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