Last summer I was honoured to be bridesmaid at my friend Claire’s wedding. It was a gorgeous setting in Somerset with lots of lovely food and fun activities planned for the guests over the whole weekend. After a fairly disastrous journey down thanks to a plumbing emergency and awful traffic, we finally made it down with Claire’s precious tiara in hand! It was inspired by her gorgeous gold floral engagement ring.
‘I can probably make most things but I would find a tiara quite difficult’ I said to my bride-to-be friend when I offered to make her a wedding hairpiece. A tiara is what she wanted though, so the challenge was set!
beautiful bride – Christian Ward photography
So I googled countless tiara tutorials, cut out photos from bridal magazines, experimented with wire of several different gauges, twisted beads and pearls into the wire, rejected them, cut them out and started again (to save the nice beads!) and then I finally got there.
Like everything I make, I was rather sad to let it go but delighted when I saw how wonderful she looked on her wedding day!
I personally don’t like the pre-made tiara bases as I find them un-malleable so you can’t shape them to the desired shape and often the metal looks quite cheap and sharp-edged. I recommend 8mm gauge silver-plated wire for the tiara base, formed into not-quite-a semicirle (depending on how far round you want the tiara to go). I then used a combination of 4mm and 2mm gauge silver-plated wire to make the ‘stems’ on which the beads are twisted. When I had positioned all the stems on, I twisted 2mm wire round the whole base to cover up the stem ends and neaten it off. Depending on how the bride wants to wear it, the stems can be gently pushed up straight, flattened back, twisted and so on.
Photos of the bride by the talented Christian Ward
Continuing the wedding theme (there might be a few of these as I spent most of my engagement making things for my wedding!) this is the hair vine that I made for my wedding day. It is made of freshwater pearls, silver-plated thin-gauge wire and swarovski crystals, including one blue one for my ‘something blue’. I made several attempts before I got it just right!
photo – Victoria at Whiteleaf