When someone refers to beaded flowers, images of intricately beaded daisies, roses, and even small Christmas trees usually come to mind. Some people call these hand made posies French beaded flowers, however, that term isn’t always correct. Often people will call something a French beaded flower when in reality it is a Victorian style beaded flower. While each of these kinds of styles results in a beautiful beaded flower or foliage, they are very different in composition.
The difference comes in how the flower is made. Both use beads and wire, yes, but a French beaded flower typically adds quite a few beads to the wire and the runs them up and down the wire in a more circular type of motion. There are less bends to the wire in a French beaded flower than in a Victorian flower which results in a more fluid appearance. A Victorian style beaded flower adds only a few beads at a time, and then the wire is bent so that the beads travel back and forth on the wire in a manner similar to how an increasing and then decreasing ladder stitch is done. This results in a sturdier flower which can take a bit more wear and tear than a French beaded flower.
Which is better? Neither – it I entirely a matter of preference, both in the making and in the using. I personally prefer to make French beaded flowers but believe Victorian flowers to be more useful for something that might get abuse such as a beaded wrist corsage. Anything worn by a child might do better to be made in the Victorian style. However, I have a hat that I made for myself which is decorated with French beaded flowers, and those flowers have stood up well.
Both French beaded and Victorian style beaded flowers are finished in the same way. If you want to make stems for these flowers, simply attach addition wire and wrap with green florist tape. You can then display the flowers in a vase or in a flower pot. Beaded flowers make an excellent gift once arranged.
There are many excellent books on how to make these flowers. However, first try some of the web sites offering free patterns and instructions to be sure you’re interested before you make the investment. This way you’ll know which style, French or Victorian, is the style best suited to you.
As with any craft, don’t expect great results immediately. It may take you a little while to get the hang of it. On the other hand, making beaded flowers isn’t a difficult craft and you’ll find you’ve soon achieved an entire beaded garden.