4/28/2013

Bead and wire crochet flower - a little tutorial

Be gentle with me. I haven't done any kind of tutorial before, and I thought I'd try it with something small first. What I learned from this is that I need more hands (or a helper who can deal with my moods ;-)), better weather - I made this in my light tent and had a bit of a space problem - less distraction and maybe more patience. I hate to put something down to take a picture, that's something I seriously need to work on.

What you need to make this cute little flower:
Round nose pliers
Cutter
Copper wire 28 gauge of any color you like
7 beads - it doesn't really matter what kind or size you use, they can even all be the same. I like to use one large bead and 6 smaller ones, in this case it's riverstone and jasper. Not even the shape of the center bead matters much once you have some practice, it can be oval for example. If your center bead is very large, you might need more of the beads for the petals to avoid big gaps
A crochet hook - again you can use different sizes as long as the hook is not too big. My favorite one is a 1.65 mm at the moment, but I have used anything from 1.3 to 2.1 mm.

Which stitches you should know:
Slip knot, chain and single (double if you are in the UK) crochet stitch


1. First of all you need to put the beads on the wire, first the small ones, then the large one because this is the one you'll start working with.



2. Make a slip knot and tighten this knot around your crochet hook by tugging on both ends of the wire. Don't make it too tight as you'll pull one of the loops open again.
Leave a tail of wire long enough to go back and forth through your center bead a few times later on.



3. You can see that one loop is tightened, that's the little knot on the bottom. The second loop is big enough to go the whole length of the bead, it will be the foundation on which we put the "petals". Add a chain stitch as small as possible. If you don't add this, you won't be able to crochet the petal beads onto the loop, but you also don't want it to stand out too much.



4. The next step is to add the smaller beads with single crochet stitches. Slide your bead next to your last stitch, pull some wire through the loop wire. Then grab the working wire with your hook and pull it through both loops. Try to keep your wire tight on the same spot of your crochet hook to achieve regular stitches.




5. Once you got three stitches with beads on one side of the loop, turn it around and add three more on the other side. Cut your working wire, pull it all the way through the last stitch and tighten it.




6. As you can see, this flower is not looking very symmetrical yet, the bead holes look in different directions, and the petals look kind of loose. You can bend it in shape, you can add single crochet stitches to make them sit on a base or you can deal with that later ... as we will.



7. Cut your wire and leave a tail long enough to go one or two rounds through all of the petal beads.



8. Pull one of the tails through your center bead.




9. Anchor the wire in one of the stitches on the other side and go back through the center bead. You can repeat this as often as the size of the bead hole and the length of the wire allow.



10. After going through the center for the last time, anchor your wire, wrap it around the stitch once or twice, cut it and hide the end in your stitchwork.



11. If you now want to fix the symmetry issue, all you have to do is use your second wire. Just go through all the outer beads and gently pull the wire tight. Again, you can do that once or twice.



12. You see that the center bead sits slightly on top of the others now.




13. Wrap your wire around once or twice and cut.


14. Voilà!
You can do different things with these flowers. Turn them into little pins by adding a needle, put a bail on to make a pendant or add some chain and a lobster clasp to create a sweet little zipper pull. Use earwires to make them into earrings.
Use up leftover beads, go wild with colors and shapes, and most of all - have fun!

Again, if I left something important out, let me know and ask. I'll learn to make it better over time, I hope ;-)

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