Friday, 21 September 2012

Icicle Tiara

It may surprise you, but in my day to day life I have no need for a tiara.  For reasons unknown they are generally frowned upon at the fruit and veg markets, the school run and the social outings I attend.  I really do need to start getting invited to more formal events!  Thankfully, I have a daughter who dances so I can get my fill of bling through her.

This is the first style of tiara I ever made, so I  consider it to be at the easier end of the beadwork spectrum, however be warned it did take its toll on my fingers, which seemed to be devoid of skin by the time I'd finished.  For this piece I used glass beads in an assortment of shapes and sizes with silver non-tarnish artistic wire, but  you can equally use plastic or crystals in different colours and wire that you find at your local discount store - the choice is entirely yours.


Assorted beads (all up this project used approx 55 beads, including various sizes and shapes of glass beads, pearls and silver beads)
Metal headband
Artistic Wire (I used gauge 22 for the beads and gauge 24, which is thinner, to wrap the entire headband at the end, but you can use one size wire for the entire project)
Beadwork pliers and crimper (optional)


Choose 20 assorted beads, I generally choose the 20 largest beads to be upright on the tiara, and leave  smaller beads to be wrapped and attached to the base.  Cut approx 20 lengths of 22 Gauge artistic wire (or whichever wire you have to hand). These lengths need to vary from between approx 10cm to 13cm (approx 4-6 inches) in length.  I then place these horizontally in a row with the longest length in the centre and the shortest lengths to the outside edges.  This is so the tiara has a small peak in the centre.

 Wrapping the wire through the bead

I've photographed the process of wrapping the wire through the bead, but there is a fabulous video tutorial from Threadbanger which takes you through the wrapping process.  For this tiara, I did one bead per wire and didn't worry about how many twists I made, but left enough wire at the end to wrap onto the metal headband.  As you can see from the video, there's many ways of designing a gorgeous headpiece.  Once you have wrapped 20 beads on individual wires, it's time to attach them to the wire headband base.

 Attaching the beads and wrapping wire and beads around the base

To attach the beads to the headband, wrap the wire that you left at the base of the bead around the headband.  This needs to be done quite tightly and I do one side clockwise and one side counter-clockwise.  Once all of the beads are attached, the final process is to cut one long length of artistic wire (approx 1 metre) and wrap the end tightly a few times where your last bead is attached to the headband.  Now wrap the wire tightly around the base overlapping the already attached wire from the beads.  Add beads as you go and continue to wrap until you reach the end.  Wrap tightly to finish


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