Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ornamental Bead Sticks! Part Five: Leafy Wire Stems

Oh jeepers, creepers, I am having so much fun with this series of Stuff On Sticks!  Seems like you guys are really enjoying it, too.

Today, in Part Five, a fabulous variation on Part Two (Bead On A Wire).  It's a great little shortcut to make leafy wirework flower stems.





This is a great beginning wirework project.  Use as home decor or a cute handmade gift!  You can even make one into a sweet wirework pendant:



Ready to try it?  Let's begin.

Start with a length of wire and a pretty bead.  Tools needed: a wire snipper and roundnose pliers.




What size wire?  I recommend 20, 22 or 24 gauge.  (Anything thicker is too stiff for my special trick; anything skinnier isn't strong enough to support a bead perched up top.)

Cut the wire about 8" longer than you want your finished flower stem to be.  An inch or two from the top, grab the wire with roundnose pliers.  Use your fingers to twirl the wire around the pliers to make a small loop.





Add your big focal bead.  Trim any excess wire, and twist the wire down to capture the bead.






Now use your finger (or anything shaped like a finger) to make a series of larger loops along the wire.




Give a twist to each loop.  Twist 'em all the way around at least once, which locks them in place.





And - drum rolling - here comes my bestest, simple little trick for turning loops into leaves.  You will love this!!!  Ready?

Imagine each loop as a clock, with the wire stem at 6 o'clock.



With the tippy-tip ends of your pliers, grab the loop right about 1 o'clock.  Like so:

 
Give a sharp, tight twist clockwise.



It's a leaf!  And the crowd goes wild!



I should note that I came up with this on my own - but it's such an easy thing, I'm sure gadzillions of wireworkers have done it before me.

Repeat with the rest of your loops.



Yay!




Then make ten million more, because you will be addicted and won't be able to help yourself.




For the pendant, make a super short flower stem, then simply add a loop to the bottom end.



Hang upside down, using two jump rings as shown:



Alrighty, my friends - hope you enjoyed this addition to the series!



To see the rest of the Stuff On Sticks:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six 

Part Seven 



10 comments:

  1. These are adorable, Michelle! I'd like to know where you found those really large beads?

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    1. Hi, Gail! Thanks so much! Here's a link to the beads, got them online at fire Mountain. (These exact ones are about 1/4 of the way down the page, but there are a whole bunch of beautiful ones that are just as cool.

      http://www.firemountaingems.com/search/?Keywords=bead+magnesite+flower

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  2. Awesome! I really am enjoying this series and I love that you can do an easy to follow tutorial. Thank you for that! I was thinking the same thing as Gail, you have the most awesome beads. Glad you posted a source. I'm particularly loving that pendant by the way!

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  3. Wackao!! totally cool..Someone could decorate an entire hotel or lounge using all the beads on wire ideas you have posted in this series and make a hell a lot of money...genius!!

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  4. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it! You clever gal. I can see how these could be totally addicting. Those sweet beads remind me of pansies minus the color.

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  5. The way you made the wire leaves is so smart! I would have never thought of altering the loop into a leaf shape afterwards.

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  6. That's lovely, and I like how you made the leaves, especially the way how you described doing it!

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  7. Oh I am loving these to pieces. So glad you decided to make this series - the beads and wire of course being my favorites! Popped right into my bookmarks for the new year!

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