Ethereal hair vines are a big thing in bridal accessories and really come into their own for summer weddings. The pretty combination of wire and beads creates a delicate headdress that can be worn with or without a veil. The twisting technique used to make the vine has three levels of difficulty so if you are a beginner, then just add beads and pearls as single strands or learn the more advanced, three-leaf motif to create the fabulous design you see here. To make adding the beads as easy as possible buy your seed beads by the hank and ivory pearls in strings. Here’s a top tip: over-twisting the stems will create an attractive crinkly effect making the overall effect softer
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You will need
- 90 x 3mm and 30 x 4mm round ivory pearls
- 810 x size 11 clear AB seed beads from one hank
- 8m (8¾yd) of 0.4mm gold-plated wire
- 2m (2yd 6in) of 8mm ivory silk ribbon
- 44cm (17in) long and 3.5cm (1½in) wide
How to make a bridal hair vine
Cut two 2m (2¼yd) lengths of 0.4mm gold-plated wire. Pick up 216 seed beads onto one length of wire. It is easier to string beads straight from a hank, feeding the wire through the beads alongside the carrier thread. Alternatively, you can pick up by hand or use a bead spinner.
On the second length of gold-plated wire pick up alternate 4mm and 3mm pearls, adding a single large pearl and then three small pearls. Repeat eight times. Twist the ends of each wire into a small loop to prevent the beads falling off.
Hold the two wires together with all beads on the right-hand side and with the 4mm pearls to the left of the smaller pearls. *Twist both wires together for about 1cm (½in). You will make neater twists if you hold the wires as a ‘v’ shape while twisting.
Drop the first 4mm pearl down towards the twisted wire. Fold the wire down each side of the pearl to make a 1cm (½in) stem. Hold the pearl and twist until the stem is twisted all the way down to the main vine. Twist the two wires together again for 1cm (½in).
This time bring three 3mm pearls down towards the main vine. Fold the wire to make a group of three pearls and a 1cm (½in) stem. Twist, holding the pearls to make the stem. Twist both wires together for 1cm (½in) again, finishing with the seed bead wire on top.
Drop nine seed beads down towards the main vine. Fold the wire over so the seed beads are evenly around the bend and the untwisted stem is 1cm (½in). Cross the wire tail over about 0.5cm (¼in) from the main vine. Twist to make a leaf shape, only twisting the wire together for 0.5cm (¼in) below the leaf.
Drop another nine seed beads down towards the first leaf. Fold the wire over so that the seed beads are evenly around the bend and the untwisted stem is about 0.5cm (¼in). Twist to make a leaf shape and short stem. Make a second leaf shape.
Repeat step 7 to make a third leaf with a short stem and then hold all three leaves and twist to twist the short main stem down to the vine. Repeat from * until you have eight groups of leaves with pearl stems in between. Turn the wires around and pick up 189 seed beads on one wire.
Pick up the pearls on the other wire, beginning with three 3mm pearls and a 4mm pearl. Repeat six times. Make a second length of vine in the same way. Hold the vines together so that the groups of leaves are staggered and twist together.
Arrange the leaves so that they are flat out at each side and the pearls are standing up randomly down the middle. Fold the tails over at each end and twist leaving a loop for the ribbon. Trim all wire ends and add a 1m (1yd) length of ribbon to each loop with a lark’s head knot, to finish.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our bridal hair vine tutorial. If you’re on the hunt for more jewellery projects, head to our jewellery making page for your next creative project.