Tiara Techniques

A free extract from Tiaras and Bridal Jewellery by Jema Hewitt.

Tiaras and Bridal Jewellery shows you how to make a special tiara for your wedding, prom or party. And how to create earrings, bracelets or a necklace to match.

Professional costume designer Jema Hewitt shows how to make spectacular tiaras – funky or classic – all using beads and wire. And if you want to start designing your own tiaras, here are all the techniques you need.

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Here, Jema explains how to make a Branch Component. It’s one of the essential techniques for creating a cluster of beads and wire to incorporate into a tiara.

She also describes Robin’s Wrap: ‘one of the nicest ways of neatening a tiara band, taught to me by Robin of the Bead Shop, Nottingham’.

Branch Component

This is one of the essential techniques for creating a cluster of beads and wire to incorporate into a tiara. We use it in the Eleanor style.

1. Thread a bead onto a wire and push to halfway down. Hold the bead in one hand and bend the wire in half with the other. Continuing to hold the bead in one hand, place thumb and finger of the other hand on the wires, close to the bead. Start turning the bead gently but firmly so the wires below it twist together. Twist for 25mm (½in).

2. Separate the wires. Thread a bead onto one wire to within 25mm (½in) of the main stem.

3. Fold the wire around the bead and twist till the wire reaches the main stem

4. Repeat steps 2-3 with the second wire.

 

Making a branch component for a tiara.

Robin’s Wrap

This is one of the nicest ways of neatening a tiara band, taught to me by Robin of the Bead Shop, Nottingham!

1. Take a long piece of 0.4mm wire and wrap a few times to secure at one end of the band.

2. Thread on a 4mm bead and hold in position on the front of the band. Wrap the wire tightly three times and thread on another bead,

3. Wrap again and continue all the way around the tiara base. Add more wire as necessary and finish off by trimming close to the base.

Tiara making technique