Peacocks are often adored, gorgeous creatures because they have the most beautiful fans of butt feathers. You may know what this has to do with a beading tutorial, and the fact is it doesn’t but I’m still going to tell my story… I wanted to see a peacock up close so badly as a child. There was this huge house where the people had a peacock roaming in their front yard. Mimmie being Mimmie just pulled up, knocked on the door and said “Hey- can she go have a look at your peacock?” I was so excited. I really was going to get to see a peacock up close!
Have you ever been chased by a peacock? It turns out they’re jerks (totally not the word I want to use but it’ll do). And they’re a lot bigger than they look from a distance. But when you’re 3 feet tall I guess everything is pretty dang big, isn’t it? During the whole thing Mimmie grabbed a gorgeous peacock feather for me to have. I have no idea if she picked it up off the ground or yanked it out of that awful bird in the melee, but I didn’t want the stupid thing as pretty as it might be.
The whole situation is kind of like when I had the flu and had eaten Chicken McNuggets with barbecue sauce the night before. I was done with chicken nuggets and I was done with peacocks. It only took almost 20 years before I was willing to try chicken nuggets again and only about 30 before I decided to drop my grudge with an entire species of bird.
And when I had moved on I saw these gorgeous beads for sale online. It was rare, natural peacock stone beads. I’d only been beading a few weeks but I got in touch with the seller, paid an exorbitant price and waited for them to arrive in the mail. When my package arrived I realized that these weren’t natural anything. They were peacock feather printed plastic beads. I felt like such an idiot. It was time for peacock grudge #2 and I threw those &^*%* beads into my bead bin and only decided to start using them up this past weekend. Oh, well. At least this grudge only lasted a little over a year :)
For this beading tutorial you will need:
- beads (any kind)
- 24 gauge jewelry wire
- jewelry clasp (I prefer toggle clasps for this kind of project)
- jewelry wire cutters (can be jewelry specific or a pair of smallish wire cutters from the tool box)
Measure and cut off about 2 feet of wire.
Run your bead to the center of the wire.
The wire will go in one hole and out of the other. Take the wire as it comes out and loop it back through that first hole again. This is going to loop the bead in place without having any scratchy crimp beads on either side.
And just so you know, I spent 3 hours making an animated gif to explain how to run the wire through the bead. When finished it was kind of confusing so I mad a simple graphic to explain it. I quickly realized that I made my hours of effort totally redundant with the much easier to understand image you see to the left here.
And this is how it looks in real life. The pic shows the loop successfully fed through and the wire being pulled taut to finish the wrap.
And this is what the underside of the bead looks like. It’s far more prominent on this type of bead than, say, the gold beads also on the bracelet. However, the beading lies well enough that you don’t have to worry about them flipping and showing the “ugly” side.
Figure out how much space you want between each bead. Since this is a bracelet, I went about 1/4 of an inch between beads. On necklaces you can go 1-2 inches if you prefer.
Feed the wire through the next bead, looping just like we did the first one. You’ll need to hold the bead steadily in place as you pull taut to keep it where you want it. Sometimes mine aren’t perfectly spaced but I’m okay with that…
Continue beading until you get the length you want/need. Here you can see the underside of the bracelet. Up close the gold wires are kind of hard to see on the gold beads.
Run your clasp end onto the wire and loop it just like we did the beads.
Loop a good 3-4 times.
Wrap the wire just below the clasp a few turns. You want it to be tight enough it stays, but not too tight. If you make it too tight it might snap when you’re bending the bracelet to put it on.
Trim the wire very closely to keep from scratching your skin. Add the closure for the other side (or if using a lobster clasp a jump ring).
And there she is! Since I hate, hate, hate having crimp beads visible 99% of the time this is a much better alternative for me. Plus, there are times I want to bead and I don’t have the appropriate color or size of crimps and this is the perfect solution!
When worn, from a distance it looks as though the beads are floating!
You may not have some magic beans, I mean, genuine and very rare stone peacock beads to work with, but lots and lots of beads are gorgeous this way. I hope you enjoyed this beading tutorial and I’ll be sharing another project using this technique with you soon!
And say hello to Liddy. She was staring at my project hard. Interestingly enough when I left for a minute and came back, she and the bracelet were gone. Still haven’t found it so I got to start all over :) Happy Friday!