Friday, 25 November 2011

Ribbon & Button Beady Angels

I made some homely little angels - some with heart button wings and others with organza ribbon wings - I hope you like them! The instructions are below. These are quick and easy to make and are a nice Christmas project for children (you'll need to do the crimping and gluing with younger children)

I'm going to use mine to decorate special gifts,  but they're also great for a 'table tree' or hung in windows, or even on cards.

Flatnose or Chain nose Pliers
Scissors or Snippers


  • Cut approx 20cm thread and thread on 1 crimp, 2 3mm beads and another crimp
  • Get the crimps as close as possible to each end of your thread and squash them flat
  • Trim any excess thread
  • Push 1 3mm bead against each crimp (these are the angel's feet)
  • Fold the thread in half - make sure the angel's feet are level, a wonky angel just won't do!
  • Thread a 1 crimp, 1 3mm bead and a floral cone over both threads (see pic)

  • The crimp and 3mm bead hold the angel's body (the cone!) at the right distance above the feet. Measure around 3cm from the top of the feet, depending on how tall you'd like your angel and then squash the crimp flat
  • Push the cone and bead down into position. 
  • Thread a daisy spacer, 8mm bead and another daisy spacer.
  • Thread on the final crimp and squash flat
  • Either tie on a scrap of ribbon and snip the 'wings' into shape, or glue on a heart button
  • Your homespun angel is finished!
Other Ideas
  • Make Snowmen with a similar method - an 8mm white pearl for the body and a 6mm pearl for the head! These also look great in Crystal AB Czech firepolish, but do make sure your thread is clear or they look a bit odd!
  • Fairies are another variation - an acrylic flower makes a fairylike 'skirt' 
  • Pretty up the button wings with a bit of glitter
  • Stitch your homespun figures to a wide ribbon and drape along the top of a mirror or window.
  • Use silver thread for easy extra sparkle
  • Loop the figures onto bookmarks for stocking fillers and thankyou gifts.
Hints and Tips

  • It's tempting to try and make these from the halo down - don't do it! It's much easier to start with, but then it is impossible to get the 'body' crimp in the right place. Always start with the feet :-)
  • If you have too much hanging loop left, thread on a crimp to make the loop the right size, squash it and cut off the excess - no one will know :-D

Friday, 11 November 2011

A beaded bridal bangle for Rosie

I made my friend Rosie a beaded tiara for her wedding a couple of weeks ago (photos of that soon - she's on her honeymoon and I didn't get a pic of it DOH!) and she requested a bracelet.. 'something plain, maybe a stretchy pearly elastic bracelet'. I blinged  a stretchy bracelet up as best as I could, but I realised that a wedding dress REALLY needs far more beady bling than you would imagine(!)

So, without telling her - I beaded up a looped bangle, in a very similar design to the tiara, and gave her the elasticated bracelet she'd requested (which was nice - but a bit plain!) and the sparkly blinged bangle  below - and said she could decide, and I wouldn't mind which she chose. (I was prepared to *really* try not to mind that she prefered the plain one!)

I didn't need to pretend - because the bangle won her over and she looked gorgeous. It *looks* quite complex, and I'll admit, does require a bit of 'wiggling' when you start up, but once you have the hang of the twisty groups of 3 beads, it's ok :-)

A beginner can manage it,  but it's probably better for a 2nd or 3rd go at a wired project. 

If you'd like to have a go - here's the materials list and instructions. I'd love to see your versions too!

Materials - these are the absolute most you need, for a 6" bangle - exact quantities depend slightly on your spacing, and preference:

30 6mm Czech fire polish beads (we used aqua) 
30 6mm Jolie Vache pearls (we used white)
20 6mm silver stardust beads
24 ga non tarnish silver craft wire 
1 looped bangle

Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers
Flat nose pliers (not essential, but handy)


  • Start off - hold the wire against the bangle between 2 beading loops. Ideally, you use the beading loops to secure most of the 'triple groups' of beads (see pic) as this stops the beads twisting on the bangle - so bear this in mind when you position the first wire and bead.
  • Wrap the wire tightly around the bangle 2 or 3 times and squash it flat with your flat nose pliers to secure against the band
  • Slide on one stardust bead and position it on the band.
  • Pull the wire tight and then wrap the wire around the band twice - as tightly as you can
  • You should be close to a beading loop. Thread on 3 firepolish beads and curve them into the triple group pattern (see pic) bringing them into a tight loop as close to the band as possible and then twist the wire together at the base of the group to hold.
  • Position the triple group flat against the band and if you are on top of a loop, wiggle into position covering the loop and then thread the wire through the loop before winding round the band twice. (if you're not near a loop, then lie the group flat and then wrap the wire round the band twice
  • Slide on one stardust bead as above method
  • Slide on 3 pearls and repeat the triple group.
  • Continue this pattern - stardust - triple group czech - triple group pearl  around the bangle
  • As you get nearer to the end, adjust your spacing so that the pattern is correct. It fits on almost exactly, but this will depend slightly on how you space the beads.
  • Once the bangle is beaded, wrap the wire around the band 3 or 4 times and squash the wire flat with pliers to secure. Check there are no sharp ends to snag dresses(!) If there are, squash the wire again. 

Enjoy :-)