It seems that Spring has already arrived at long last. Last year, inspired by a group of celandines growing at the bottom of my garden, I made a pressed flower necklace. This article first appeared in Beads and Beyond magazine (November 2012) but in case you missed it, details are below.
If you are short of pressed flowers then paper or fabric flower embellishments such as are used in card making do just as well. The earrings pictured in this article have been made using little paper flowers.
Pendant:One pressed flower/flower embellishment,20 cm patinated copper wire (2cm guage),Thick paper, Modpodge glue, Glossy Accents (this is resin in a bottle which you can buy at any good craft outlet), A piece of scrap fabric, Embroidery silk or thicker 20lb hemp cord,One patinated copper bail (preferably with a jump ring attached)
Necklace: 144 cm hemp cord ((fine – 10lb),10 yellow 6 mm oblong wooden beads, 20 green 6 mm oblong wooden beads, 10 red glass 5 mm cube beads, 8 green flower beads,2 blue glass bellflower beads, 2 glass leaves, 2 antique copper 6 mm headpins, 2 small copper spacer beads, 4 patinated 5 mm copper necklace crimp ends, 42 cm patinated copper chain, 1 patinated copper clasp and jump ring
Hobby brush, square nosed pliers, crimping pliers, chain nosed pliers, cocktail stick, sharp scissors
Step by Step Instructions
The necklace looks more complicated than it actually is. Please refer to the photographs below.
The Pendant …..
1 Glue the pressed flower/flower embellishment on to a piece of thick paper using a hobby brush to apply ModPodge and leave to dry. Paint a layer of ModPodge over the top to provide a seal.
2 Cut a piece of patinated copper wire to a length of 20 cm and form an oval around the flower, ensuring that the flower is centred within the oval. Make a wrapped loop in the wire.
3 Adhere the wire oval to the paper using ModPodge – extra glue may need to be added as there must be no gaps between the wire and the paper. Leave for 24 hours to dry thoroughly. Cut carefully around the wire oval.
4 Put a layer of Glossy Accents within the wire oval and leave to dry for 24 hours. It will dry clear. Be careful not to shake the bottle as this encourages bubbles to form which will then appear on the pendant … that is unless you want a bubbled effect!
5 Cut a piece of scrap fabric in a matching colour and cut to the shape of the wire oval. Glue it to the back.
6 Take three strands of embroidery silk and tape them to the work surface. Plait them and secure the ends with a little glue. If you intend to use hemp cord as an edging around the pendant omit this step.
7 Glue the plaited embroidery silk/thick hemp cord around the edge of the pendant so that the two ends finish at the top. A cocktail stick is perfect for edging the plaited silk/cord into place.
Now for the necklace … if you wish you can suspend the pendant upon a piece of simple ribbon or chain but if you want to go the whole hog here’s the rest of the article!
8 Cut 4 lengths of fine hemp cord 36 cm long. Take two lengths of cord and make an overhand knot leaving a tail at the end. Thread 3 wooden beads on to the right strand. Take the left strand and make a knot a little way along opposite the 2nd oblong bead, thread on a cube bead and make another knot. Then bring the two threads together and make a double knot.
9.Then bring the two threads together and make a double knot. Thread on a flower bead and make another double knot.
Now take the left strand of the cord and thread on three oblong wooden beads. Take the right strand and knot the cube bead on to the cord a little way along as before. Double knot the two cords and thread on a flower bead, double knotting again to hold it in place. Continue with this alternating pattern until all 4 flower beads have been threaded finishing with three oblong beads and one cube bead. Make up the second side of the necklace in the same way. Attach the copper crimps to all 4 ends using crimp pliers. Trim off any projecting cord with sharp scissors.
10. Attach pendant to the jump ring on the copper bail. Cut 42 cm of copper chain (I have used 5 mm link) and thread it through the bail. Spread the chain out on a flat surface centering the pendant and attach one of the crimped ends of the beaded cord to the chain with a jump ring, one link away from the bail. Do the same on the other side.
Using a jump ring, attach the other two free ends of the beaded cord to the opposite ends of the chain using a jump ring. Both chain and beaded cord should be the same length. Attach necklace clasp to one side and a jump ring to the other side.
11. Make two bead dangles by threading a small copper bead, a bellflower bead and a glass leaf on to a copper headpin. Make a loop in the top and attach to the bail jump ring.
Below is a pair of earrings which I made on similar lines this time using paper flowers (see above) This time I used patterned paper as the background which provides an interesting variation.
This jewellery takes quite a long time to make but is well worth it as the results are something individual and quite unique. After all, what could be more unique than a flower?
A few tips about pressed flowers … which I picked up from a craft book somewhere..
Choose a dry day … damp flowers don’t press well, neither do flowers covered in early morning dew .. beautiful and romantic as they may seem.
When picking wild flowers, be responsible. If there is only one flower growing by the wayside, leave it. I only pick when there are lots of flowers there, and then only one or two. Put the picked flower in plastic bag immediately and press it between sheets of blotting paper as soon as you get home. A word of warning don’t use paper towels/kitchen roll as it will mark the flowers with little indentations which spoils the look of them.
That’s all for now folks! I will write again when I have something worthwhile to say!