Flowers & feathers add a touch of whimpsy to simple chain necklaces.
Tools and Materials
2 pair chain-nose pliers
Seed beads (sizes 6/0 to E)
Spool of 24-gauge wire
3 small feathers
Floral tape in complementary color
Small scrap of leather, cut into 1/2-inch circle
Beaded Flower Necklace How-To
Make the Flower
1. Fill the spinner bowl of the bead stringer 3/4 of the way to the top with seed beads.
2. Pull out an arm's length of 24-gauge wire from the spool.
3. Create a hook shape at the end of the wire by bending it around the metal center of the bead stringer.
4. Rotate the spinner while dipping the wire hook into the bowl to send the seed beads up the wire. Continue until you have strung about 1 yard of seed beads.
5. Twist the cut end of the wire to "knot" it.
6. Push beads toward the spool, leaving 4 inches of wire between the last bead strung and the knot.
7. Starting with the bead closest to the knot, take a length of beads twice the height of the desired petal; make a loop and twist twice at base. Repeat along the length of the beads, making petals as close together as possible. Sixteen to 20 loops will make a flower with about a 2-inch diameter.
8. Make 3 small petals at the end, which will act as connector loops between the flower and the necklace. Clip wire off spool 4 inches from the last petal.
9. Starting with the end with the large petals, coil petals around each other and twist together ends to create the flower's stem. (The metal wire is pliable enough to break if it is overworked, so don't over-twist).
10. Cut a 10-inch length of wire from the spool and string the center focal bead onto it.
11. Bend this wire into a U shape, with the focal bead at the bottom of the U, and twist the ends of the wire together. Incorporate these twisted ends into the flower's stem.
12. Manipulate petals around center bead to create a flower shape.
Add the Feathers
1. Peel fluffy down from feathers to expose about 1/2 inch of shaft.
2. Cluster together three feathers and dab a bit of glue to shafts to hold them together.
3. Wrap feather stems to flower stem with floral tape. Trim the entire stem to 1/2 inch.
4. Using chain-nose pliers, fold the stem in half, tucking the stem within the flower so it is as hidden as possible.
5. Use fabric glue to secure a 1/2-inch circle of leather or felt over the folded stem.
Add Flower to Necklace
1. Decide which direction you want flower and feathers to hang. Direct two small petals up or out according to the desired direction of the flower.
2. Bend a jump ring open using 2 chain-nose pliers (one held in each hand).
3. Thread open jump ring through one small petal and the end loop of the chain.
4. Use 2 chain-nose pliers to close the jump ring.
All supplies and completed necklaces are available at bocagenewyork.com. Special thanks to thebeadery.com for giving our studio audience a bead stringer.
Special thanks to designer and artist Stephanie Bodine, who runs the online store Bocage, for showing us this beautiful craft.