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Brass wire flower necklace - part one

On my last trip to visit my cousin in New Jersey, I found this set of celluloid buttons that I fell in love with.  This style is known as French Ivory: you can identify them by the closely set stripes in the plastic on the backs, which you may just be able to make out in my photo.

I knew that I wanted to use the buttons as cabochons, but it took awhile to come up with the exact plan.  My first thought was to use some of them as the centers of lace fabric flowers, and to use others as the centerpieces for seed beads and pearls.  You might remember the lace flowers that I made a few years ago: they are very simple and served well for the background of the mixed media flowers I had in mind.   

It wasn't until I started fooling around with putting them together that I figured out something was missing: wire!  Having just finished Wire Month at Beading Arts, I still had wire on the brain, and I remembered a wonderful copper wire flower pendant that Janice Berkebile showed in her book, Making Wire & Bead Jewelry.  I ended up making mine in a different fashion from Janice's, but I still want to credit her with putting the idea in my head to use wire.

I used 20 gauge brass wire, wrapped and beat it into shape with my ball peen hammer, adding lots of texture to the "petals".

To assemble the flowers, I stitched the lace part to a small circle of ultra-suede.  Using a needle tool, I poked 4 holes through the ultra-suede in the middle of the fabric flower, and added two bent wire pieces like you see here up from the back.

Each wire went up through the wire flower and a hole in the button centerpiece.

I added a bead, and then flattened and textured each of the 4 center wires.  Each was finished off by curling it with round nosed pliers.

Next week, I'll show you how everything came together!

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.