Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tutorial: Bead-embellished fans

For a tropical spring wedding, we added sea-inspired beads to these wholesale bought sandalwood fans to create a memorable, useful and inexpensive wedding favor.
The first step is to decide on a length for your bead attachments, and lay out the beads you will use. We were making more than 50 and wanted to use up leftover beads from old projects, so we went with a sea-inspired palette and mixed up the bead order. Together, they looked coordinated but not matchy-matchy.
Our sandalwood fans came packaged in individual boxes, but these were for a wedding ceremony and were going to be displayed in a vase. We took the fans out of the boxes and took them to the recycling bin.
To facilitate an assembly-line, we cut all the pieces of beading wire first. Your wires will measure double what you want your final length to be, and then a little extra (I like an inch extra on both sides).
The fans have a metal loop through which we'll thread the beading wire.
Thread the beading wire.

Pull together both ends of the wire and thread the beads. We assembled first, crimped later. Make sure not to knock over the table and send all your work onto the floor...
Once the wire is threaded through the fan's metal link and the beads are on the wire, place a crimp bead onto both wires. Notice the seed bead finishing the assembly (before the crimp). Some beads, like that big green one have holes large enough for a crimp bead to slide through. Use a smaller bead between one with a large hole and the crimp, so you don't lose the crimp inside a bead.
Crimp the crimp. These I just flattened (instead of folded), because I was going to cut off the extra wire and didn't mind the 'rectangular' crimp. Trim the excess wire.

Congratulate the bride and groom!

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