Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Craft Diary 3 - February 2016 - How I make Beaded Butterflies

Hello and welcome to my craft diary, a break this week from papercrafts as I have some exciting news! from April I'm going to be delivering some new workshops at my local adult learning centre. I'll be taking one class in jewellery making and one class in papercraft so over the next few weeks you can expect to see some of the work that I will be using for demonstrations whilst I practice getting things down to a fine art lol!.

One of the makes will be using beads and wire to make pendants and brooches so, this weeks diary is all about using beads and wire. One of my most favourite things is butterflies (as if you didn't guess already!) so they feature quite a bit in my makes and my most popular make and best sellers by far are beaded butterfly brooches, so this week I thought I would take you through the steps of how I make my little butterflies.

It's early Sunday morning and I have my cuppa, a box of .20 gauge or 0.8mm copper, brass and silver plated wire and my pin board to hand. 

I lay out my pins in a rough butterfly shape
and then cut approx 12 inches of wire and wrap it around the pins to get an outline shape

then using my fingers (be careful of any sharp cut wires) I take the wire form off the pegs and shape, you can use plyers, if you want, but I prefer to use my fingers and sometimes a pen to shape.  Once I am happy with my shape I use a small length of wire to wrap around sections where the wires meet to help make a rigid frame, then I cut any excess wire and make loops in the cut ends to form the antenna

After another few cups of tea I ended up making 9 in different sizes ready to turn into brooches, plant pot decorations and sun catchers.

Next I picked out my beads, I used a selection of glass, lucite flowers, seed beads and pearls.

My next step is to 'weave' and fix the beads onto the frame.  I used a length of beadalon clear supplemax cord, but you can use any suitable beading wire tigertail or even thin wire to weave your beads onto the frame, threading and wrapping as you go... (note: if I am going to make a brooch I tend to weave the cord through a brooch pin at the same time as the beads, saves any need for glue or extra wrapping afterwards)

Once I am happy with my beads I go on to add some wire spirals, coils or just wire wrapping, I have done a bit of wire wrapping and spirals on this one, using my plyers to shape the wire into interesting shapes.

Next I tried a larger suncatcher, lots more beads in this one, I simply added some chain at the end to hang, but you could easily use ribbon if you wanted.

so that's two down only 7 more to go! but I need to take a break in between as it does make your fingers sore from all the weaving and wire work! so that's it from me, hope you enjoyed this little whiz through my beaded butterflies and I'll be back in two weeks, with some boxes, bags and tags! so bye for now