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Friday, June 18, 2010

Flirty Idea: DIY How to Hand Bead a Crystal Bridal Veil

Back in the day, when I was a full time couture bridal accessory designer, I invented ways of doing things that weren't typical of how things are usually done mostly because I didn't know any better. One of those things was how to hand bead a bridal veil with Swarovski Austrian Crystals or small pearl beads. As it turns out my motto became "ignorance is bliss." Because I didn't know the right way, I found what many in the industry considered to be better methods to achieve my desired results.

Almost all brides want to sparkle, and of those that did Swarovski was the only crystal bead I was ever asked to use by name. People would look at the beads on the tulle and oooh and ahhh unable to figure out how I had suspended the beads in place with no visible thread or knots and not using any glue.

Bicone crystals in 3 sizes: 4mm, 5mm and 6mm

The reason I think I "invented" this method is because everyone who saw my beading, including some very experienced seamstresses and tailors, could not figure out my method by simply looking at the beads on fabric. They were ultimately convinced that I had somehow glued the beads to the tulle. That is something I would never do. Glue is a huge no-no when you're creating heirloom fashion items as the glue will oxidize over time, dry out, crack, turn yellow and then brown... It's fine for a one time use garment but not for an item you want to save, cherish and hand down to future generations.

So today, I'm sharing my secret with the world. This method also works for sewing beads onto fabric. It is tedious and time consuming but the reason I did it this way is that normally beads are sewn, multiple beads at a time, using a single strand of thread. It's faster but if a thread breaks while you are wearing the garment, you can lose many beads all at once. Individually hand knotting each bead means if one falls off, only one falls off.

Be sure to buy some tulle at your local fabric store and practice a lot before you attempt to bead a finished veil. Tulle is a very delicate and unforgiving medium to work on. It both stretches and tears easily but this is a project I think most people can master with enough practice. If you have plenty of time to learn, I say go for it!

CLICK HERE to view the full tutorial now republished on this blog as I've since removed the original website I had shared it on.

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed that is so much work. But it will look fabulous.


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