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Embroidered fleur de Paris centerpiece

Fashion a feminine flower with a little French flair
Flower brooches
Slide a safety pin through the Ultrasuede back to convert a flower into a brooch.

The inspiration for this design came from a clustered pearl brooch on display in the traveling museum exhibition Pearls: A natural history. My design uses a blank I.D. tag as the base for a flower embroidered with end-drilled stick pearls. Lace an Ultrasuede strap through the loops of the tag, and tie them in a knot for a versatile bracelet that calls to mind a wrist corsage. 


adjustable bracelet with embroidered flower centerpiece 1 1⁄2–1 3⁄4 in. (3.8–4.4 cm) diameter

  • 9 mm round cabochon
  • 2 g 6 mm bugle beads
  • 14-in. (36 cm) strand 5 x 15 mm flat stick pearls, end-drilled
  • 2 g 15/0 seed beads
  • 1 11⁄16 x 1 1⁄2-in. (4.3 x 3.8 cm) round brass link (Designer’s Findings,
  • nylon beading thread, size D
  • beading needles, #10 or #12
  • E6000 adhesive or double-sided tape
Fleur de paris centerpiece_photo a
Fleur de Paris centerpiece_photo b
Fleur de Paris centerpiece_photo c

1. Place the brass link, convex side down, on a piece of Lacy’s Stiff Stuff beading foundation. Trace it, not including the loops, rocking the link against the surface as you trace to get an accurate size.

2. Using a straight edge, draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner. Repeat with the remaining two corners to form an X, which marks the center (PHOTO A).

3. Glue or tape a 9 mm cabochon to the center of the X (PHOTO B). If you are using glue, let it dry for 15 minutes.

4. Tie an overhand knot at one end of 1 yd. (.9 m) of thread, and sew up through the foundation next to the cab.  

5. Pick up a bugle bead and a 15/0 seed bead, skip the 15/0, and sew back through the bugle and foundation, aligning the beads vertically (PHOTO C). Sew up through the foundation next to the bugle just added. Repeat around the cab. Make a second ring of bugles and 15/0s around the first ring.

6. Sort the stick pearls by size, from short to long.  

Fleur de Paris centerpiece_photo d
Fleur de Paris centerpiece_photo e
Fleur de Paris centerpiece_photo f

7. Using the short pearls first, pick up a pearl, sew into the foundation close to the bugle ring, and pull the thread taut to align the pearl vertically (PHOTO D). You may sew through the pearl a second time for more security. Sew up through the foundation next to the pearl just added. Repeat around the ring of bugles. 

8. Repeat step 7 to continue adding rounds of pearls, ending and adding thread as needed. Start each round closely behind the previous round of pearls added. Each new round should be close enough to the previous round to make it stand up vertically. When the rounds of pearls reach the pencil outline, measure the brass link against the beaded foundation, and add more rounds if needed to cover the whole surface of the link. Add extra pearls to fill in any spaces left at the corners or edges. End the thread.

9. Trim the excess foundation close to the beadwork. Trace the foundation onto Ultrasuede, and cut the Ultrasuede about 1⁄16 in. (2 mm) outside the outline.

10. Glue or tape the foundation to the top side of the brass link, and glue or tape the Ultrasuede backing to the underside of the brass link. If using glue, let it dry for 15 minutes. Using 24 in. (61 cm) of thread, whip stitch the raw edges together (PHOTO E), and end the thread.

11. Cut a strip of Ultrasuede 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) wide and about three times the circumference of your wrist. Thread the strip through the loops of the brass link (PHOTO F). To wear the bracelet, slip your wrist between the flower and the strip. Pull the ends of the strip until the bracelet is snug, and tie the ends with a square knot.

Designer’s note: When tightening your stitches, make sure not to pull too tightly, as this will create a cupping effect with the finished flower, and it will not sit flat on the brass link. 
  • Make a few flowers to wear with different outfits. Stick pearls come in a variety of colors, and you can cut strips of Ultrasuede in different colors, too.
  • Use satin, grosgrain, or velvet ribbon instead of Ultrasuede.
  • For an alternate closure, use a snap or Velcro.
  • To wear this design as a choker, cut a strip of Ultrasuede three times the circumference of your neck and 1⁄2-in. (1.3 cm) wide.
  • Select pearls with holes drilled close to the edge to help the petals stand up.
Large floral
FIND MORE: bracelets , cabochon , seed beads

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