Wednesday, August 24

Designing a Beaded Wire Cross

Dear Cindi,
A few months ago I admired your work on line, I would love for you to create a 7 inch beaded cross using shades of blue, pink, and lime green for a dear friend's daughter's confirmation.  I have never done twitter, facebook, or blogs.  I was wondering how I go about contacting you to see if this is something you would be able to do and if so how much would something like this cost.
What a sweet email.  I love getting this kind of mail.  The client and me working together to create a one of a kind gift for a very special occasion in a young life.  A gift that could last a the lifetime of the recipient and passed on to future generations. It gives me goosebumbs :)

So guess how she did get my attention?  She found my email on my blog! Another great reason to expand one's marketing horizons into the land of blogging.  Don't worry if you don't have anything to say, that will pass and if you really have nothing to say, then post photos of your designs and a short description and how to purchase.  But make sure you also have a way for someone to contact you if they wish to place an order.  Make sure your contact information is everywhere and remember, not everyone has a facebook or twitter page.  Some just find you by doing a search on the internet and if your blog has all those lovely key words attached to it, you're more likely to be found.  

We eventually got all of the business out of the way and settled on the colors, size and what she wanted her gift to reflect.  And so it begins...

Designing for someone you've never met and only going off of a description from a third party.  It's not as hard as you might imagine or maybe I've been at it for so long it becomes second nature.  

First things first...wire for the cross frame.
From the emails I gathered this young lady was not the rustic type, so that ruled out rusty wire.  In fact what I surmised was that she was active, artistic and like pretty things.  So I went with the silver wire. Sometimes I will dull the wire for a galvanized look but this time I left the finish in tact. 

Next it was time to gather some beads.  This part is my favorite part of the whole design process.  I could sit there all day playing in the beads!  Love it!

I settled on what I thought fit the colors and description given to me by my client.  Of course I have complete freedom to change my mind and I did, but only a few minor changes and I was ready to begin.

It was time to make the cross frame for the beads to be sewn onto. The dimensions to work with where simple; she wanted a 7" cross.

Any guesses as to how much wire was used to complete this handsculpted cross?  About 8 yards of wire.  I roughly measure about a yard per inch needed and add one yard, this is what I come up with.  

Everyone has a method to how they create a design, for me...I begin with the focal and work my way out.  

For this cross I chose a lovely pale pink quartz heart bead, it measures about 30mm.

I hand stitch each bead onto the wire cross frame with copper wire.  This is kind of my signature.  I've always sewn the beads on, always with copper wire and I never use plastic beads.  Okay, maybe I've used one or two in my seven years of making crosses.  As a rule, I never use plastic.  

A few days of sewing and weaving, snipping, repositioning...and the cross is complete.  I am always amazed at how lovely it turns out.  All of the beaded wire crosses go through what I call an ugly stage.  

And then it blooms into a beautiful cross.  This can only be of God as I just let my thoughts go and allow my hands to be used. 

As with all of the crosses I make, I will be a little sad to see it go.  But I know it will bless the young lady who it will be given to.  So with that I can surrender.  Kind of like letting your children go, you just gotta trust that you guided them as they grew, with the Lords help of course, and now you just have to surrender them and know they are in His hands. 



  1. Wow...what a work of heart! I love reading about your process and I never imagined what went into the design...I didn't realize there was a wire cross under all the beads!

    Thank you for sharing and I'm sure it will be treasured!

  2. wow! that is so beautiful!!! :) i love the colours and that cross, Devine.
    Hope you can check out my blog for some +vibes and inspiration! I am also hosting a cute giveaway (handmade flower ring+$20 gift certifcate). blessings.


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