by Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Evoke the glory of nature with this ethereal, captivating necklace. Translucent flower petals combine with glittering crystal to make a choker-style necklace with one foot in the elegant Victorian past and the other firmly in the modern era of fashion. With a nearly infinite number of color and material combinations available, this design can be varied to suit any mood or ensemble.
Cut an 18-inch piece of 26-gauge wire. String on 5 top-drilled beads and center them on the wire. Cross the wires close to the last beads, shaping the beads into a flower-like design. Twist the wires together keeping the twist as close to the beads as possible. Twist two to three times only; the wire will break if twisted or bent too many times.
Bring both wires through the center hole of the wire base. Bring one wire up through an outside loop, up and over the wire between two briolettes, then down the center hole. Bring the other wire up the center hole, up and over the wire between the same two briolettes, then down the loop the other wire was passed up through.
Repeat this pattern all the way around the wire base, passing between each pair of briolettes, securing the beads to the base.
Pass one wire up the center hole then over the wire between two briolettes. String on one leaf bead, then pass the wire around the base then back up the center hole. Working around the circle, continue adding leaves as they'll fit.
If the wire you're working with is getting short, anchor it to the wire base by wrapping it around one of the loops, then begin adding leaves with the other piece of wire.
After you've added your last leaf, pass the wire back up the center hole. Bring it through one of the loops on the back then across and around the loop of the next hole over--keep some slack in the wire at the back of the base. The wire should still be on the back side of the base. Pass it around the loops again, repeating the path, adding some weight to the loop you're creating--this will be the loop you attach your bale to. After two or three passes, anchor the wire by wrapping it around one of the loops then trim any excess wire with wire cutters.
Thread a 4mm bicone crystal onto one head pin. Pass the head pin down the center of the flower then anchor the wire to the wire base; trim any excess wire. Repeat to add 3 - 5 head pins.
Cut a length of ribbon so it just fits around your neck. Thread a needle with 1 yard of Nymo D. Stitch the wire base to the center of the ribbon.
Place a drop of glue on the back of a flat-back crystal and place on the ribbon. Repeat until you create a pleasing pattern.
Press a ribbon finding onto each end of the ribbon using flat-nose pliers. Add a jump ring to each loop on the ribbon findings and before closing one jump ring, add a lobster clasp.
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