cosmo flower study: how to design French beaded flowers

In a previous post, I talked about my design process. Today, I’m going to show you exactly how I do a flower study and translate a real flower into a French beaded flower. In this cosmo flower study, I’ll walk you through my note taking process and how I then replicate the flower using beads.

Step 1. First, I look at the overall stem and draw out generally where everything is. I measure the lengths and notate how long the stems are.

Step 2.  Next, I take off the petals and leaves then trace them on the paper. I’ll take pictures at this point also so that I can refer back to it later for color matching.


Step 3: I usually have an idea of what techniques to use by looking at the petal or leaves. If I don’t know yet, it’ll sit in my sketchbook. I file it in the back of my head and it may come to me in the future as I work on different projects.

In the first stage, I don’t match colors. I use whatever beads are closest to me at the time. It doesn’t matter what color it is because in most cases, it will be taken apart to be refined. I just want to get the general shape of it first.

I was pretty happy with the shape of it after a few trials of getting the right bead counts.

Step 4. After I got the shape that I liked for this petal, I made all the petals using a continuous technique. It is a new technique that I came up with called the Continuous Split Basic. I will share this in the next post.

I have 4 petals on a piece of wire and combined the two together. You can do all 8 petals on one wire but I chose to do two.

I also did a basic center and made it green. I told you that I really don’t care about colors at this point. I wasn’t about to run downstairs to match colors for a sample.


Video of Cosmo flower study

Cosmos come in so many color variations and sizes. I won’t be sticking with just the one size. I imagine I’ll have lots of fun making the various sizes and color combinations. The smaller flowers have a more flat center. The more mature flowers that are seeding have a more domed shape with some seeds visible. I have an idea of how I’ll do those. More trial and error, of course.

So when will I finish the French beaded cosmos?

No clue! LOL.

I have quite a few projects that I need to finish right now. It’s a lot more fun to start to figure out a new pattern than to finish something. Isn’t that always the case?

Have I inspired you today to start designing your own French beaded flowers? I hope so!


If you are new to French beaded flowers, here are some of my free tutorials on the techniques.

Beginner Basic Frame Techniques

Beginner Continuous Techniques

Intermediate Basic Frame Techniques 


Happy Beading!