This workshop tutorial is in response to a request for advice on making wire decorations for a snowflake wedding cake, however, these delicate wire decorations can be adapted for so many uses. They enhance your floral decorations tree decorations or even add them to the gift tag for an extra special Christmas blingy pazzaz!
Once you get the hang of working with the bullion crinkle wire you can then go on to more elaborate designs. For this tutorial I have kept it simple so you can practise the technique. Once you master the basics and the dexterity needed by trying simple shapes you can go on to more of your own designs. the great thing is that every design will be unique. Clicking on pictures will lead to my store if you need to buy the wire or other products.
Ok, so here is a picture of a very simple snowflake made from silver bullion wire and using thin silver wire (floristry stub wire 38g width) (the type for stitching leaves).
To start, you need scissors, the floristry kind are best with the little serated wire cutting part in the blades. Some floristry bullion wire in your chosen colours, for the snowflake or more structured designs you need the thin silver stub wires. Oh, and your imagination of course
First you take a wire and bend into a hairpin shape, start to bind the crinkle wire round it pinching it so it lies flat and stays in place, press flat between your fingers to flatten it to the stub wire which is like your framework for each arm of the snowflake. Dont worry about the ends as these will later be bent too to make the little arms of the snowflake so for now just concentrate on making 5 arms woven with the silver crinkle wire. As you add each arm keep winding around and across the place they meet to secure them. Dont panic at this point as it may seem fiddly but it is no rush, just get used to the feel of it and the tension you need to keep the hairpin from closing up but keeping the wire in place, dont forget, this is wire so can be bent about later to finalise where the little and big arms are to be. Dont worry about neatness it can all be tidied up at the end if need be.
At this point, depending on what you made it for, you can add more arms, more detail, add a hanging ribbon or make several of different sies for a pretty group. The whole process need you to KEEP the wire on the reel, dont try and do it using the wire cut it wont work out well. This is so pretty added to a christmas cake or wedding cake with icing. Mine will go onto floristry arrangement, or added onto the vase of flowers made for gifts or on the tree. They can be made in advance of course and used even to add to home made cards. Something so rewarding to make and play around with.
First unwind a whole messy bundle of the wire, keep reel attached. Begin to fold and knead the wire into a flat gathered together kind of fabric. Fold it and pull it apart again then fold it like making puff pastry i guess. Then start to make a shape, dont worry about straggly bits they can be folded over on itself to make the edges tidy. Folded onto itself and moulded like this makes it surprisingly strong and firm. Tidy edges as you go, use the reel with some tension to wind around the shape to add strength and define the shape. Just persevere if it seems difficult, make sure you have enough wire unwound, add more if it seems too thin a filigree. This is what it is really, a filigree of wire. Once you are happy with your shape you can cut the reel off but LEAVE a good few cm or inches to weave the end through the shape further re-enforcing any straggly bits. Bend it, mould it and dont be afraid of it. Pinch the end so the heart tail is nice and defined, add your own flair to the heart shape.
Have fun and hope you found this interesting. I will have to find someone to film for me as this would be so much easier in video mode.
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