Saturday, December 10, 2016

Skull Wreath Ornament

Supplies needed: 

24 gauge green coated copper wire
size 11 seed beads in red and green*
15mm skull bead
poinsettia lampwork bead (optional)
wire cutters
round nose pliers

*The red beads I used are a true size11. The green ones, which are really a mix of different shades of blue and green, are from a hank I bought over twenty years ago. They are very irregular in size, so if you noticed they look smaller, that's because a lot of them are. 

Cut a length of wire about 5 1/2 feet long.  This isn't rocket science, so it doesn't have to be exact. I measure by arm length.  Then load on seven green seed beads about a 1.5 inches from the end of the wire pinch the beads into a loop, twist and you have a little branch.  This also doesn't have to be exact, in fact I try to mix in a few that are shorter or longer.  Keep twisting along, spacing the branches about one centimeter apart until you run out of wire.

Loop your wire into a circle, weave over and under a few times so it stays in place, albeit loosely.  This circle is about 1.25 inches (3cm) in diameter. 

Then twist the branches around every which way.  Make sure some of them twist around the main circle from the front to the back and vice versa.  The wreath should feel pretty secure at this point, but it won't withstand Gremlins playing tug of war with it, so don't get crazy.

Next make a loop so you'll have something to hang it from.  Cut a 30 inch piece of wire, string 21 green beads and make a loop.  Wrap one side of the wire around the other two times to secure it. 

This picture shows green beads and wire wrapped around the other green beads and wire. So now that we have that extremely helpful bit out of the way, I'll try to explain instead with words.  

After you make the loop run one wire down the front of the wreath, the other down the back and cross them as snug as you can against the inner circle of wire that forms the wreath. Give them a good twist to secure.  With one wire make two more branches like we did before, but with as little gap between them as possible.  Thread three red beads (berries) and make a twist.  Then make one more green branch. Twist the branches closer together if there are any gaps, so you have a nice little cluster.

String the skull bead onto both wires.  With the longer wire make one green bead branch, one berry branch, two more green branches and twist them together.  Lay one wire in front of the wreath, one behind and twist them together underneath the wreath.  If you are adding a flower at the bottom loop the wires through and wrap them around. 

With the leftover wire add some berries.  Twisting the wire just like we did with the branches, except for these you will want to space them out a little farther.

Weave the berries up and around the wreath and tuck the wires behind using the round nose pliers.

This is my first wreath creation that was the inspiration for this project. 
Naughty or nice you can use any bead or charm in the center. 

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