Saturday, July 16, 2011

How To Make Your Beaded Flowers Look Lifelike

It's a shame to see beaded flowers that are very well-made but still look stiff or too artificial. There are a few things an artist can do to help make their beaded flowers look more lifelike. As with everything else, it's in the details.

You don't necessarily have to use exactly the same shade of beads in every flower on a spray. Take a look at some roses from the same bush. They can be different shades. The flowers that are just blooming can be lighter; the ones that are dying can be a "dustier" shade; and the ones in their prime can be a more robust color. Also, sometimes a flower can pick up stripes, spots or colored edges as it ages. Take some time and explore this idea.

Of course, living flowers don't have any wire in them. Beaded flowers should show as little wire as possible. For dense flowers with a lot of layers, this means covering each layer of stemwires with a row or two of tape. This way, the inner rows of petal wires won't show through the finished wire.

Also consider using wire that's colormatched to the beads. There are many colors of wire available now, so matching should be easy. If you're using transparent beads, you can even create slightly different shades of flowers by using different wire colors. This color will show through the beads.

Here's a fun idea: Don't cut your top basic wires short. Leave them long. Add beads to them, fold them down the back of the petal, and twist the wire in with the other stemwires. Voila! No visible top stemwire at all. This is especially useful if you are making a pin or hair decoration. The wearer's hair or clothing will not get caught in a top wire that's been cut off, because there won't be any end there.

Lastly, be sure to keep your finished flower stems slim. You can do this by reducing the bottom wires to 2 instead of 3 when you're making petals that require a bottom loop during construction. It may not sound like a lot, but you'd be surprised how much wire you can delete if you use this technique with a dense flower. If you're just learning how to make beaded flowers, be sure you learn this technique.

For all the materials you'll need, including lots of colormatched wires, please visit my new Amazon store at

Happy beading!

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