French beaded Summer Flower Garden: bead and wire Cosmos, California Poppies, forget-me-not, wood violet leaves, chamomile
The facebook group Learn how to Make French Beaded Flowers that I co-admin with Lauren Harpster of Bead and Blossom turned 3 years old in March! We had a 2 month celebration in February and March where I taught my beaded cosmos pattern and Lauren taught her California poppies pattern in March.
Rather than a regular bead-along, we were to bead each others’ flowers too and then come up with a project using those two flowers. My initial plan was just to use those two flowers but it morphed into the biggest project I’ve ever made. It measures 24 inches (60.9 cm) in height and 27 inches (68.5 cm) in length. I wanted a third flower and decided on beaded forget-me-nots because they’re usually in my garden. At the same time, I had the urge to work on a beaded dandelion pattern. I didn’t know if I was going to finish the dandelions, but I did!
The French beaded flowers in this project
We started with beaded cosmos and California poppies. Then I added beaded forget-me-nots and dandelions. And as the project progressed, I went through my stash of extra parts and added in beaded chamomile and beaded wood violet leaves. Wood violet flowers generally bloom in the Spring so I excluded the flowers in this beaded Summer Flower garden project.
Where to get the French beading patterns in this project:
For my patterns:
Wood Violets: PDF
Planting beaded flowers
This past summer, I had cosmos growing in my garden and my idea was to plant the beaded cosmos and California poppies just like they would be in a garden. In February, I designed a French beaded trillium pattern. I decided to try out my idea on a smaller scale with the trilliums. Read more about the process of making the Woodland Forest Floor project here with trilliums, wood violets, and snow drops – a wild Spring flowers project.
Now that I had one project under my belt, I had a better idea of what to do with this Summer Flower garden.
How to make the French beaded Summer Flower Garden project:
- Bark – let dry completely
- Clay – air dry clay and non-hardening clay. See below explanation.
- Modge Podge (glue/sealer)
- Brush for applying modge podge – I used a foam brush
- Hot Glue
What type of clay should I use?
In the Woodland forest floor project, I talked about the pros and cons of using air dry clay and non-hardening clay. I used air dry clay in that project. It’s more wet and can be easily molded. But that can be a challenge using it on its own because it’s very moldable. On the other hand, non-hardening clay can be reused but it’s very hard to mold and use.
Instructions for making the French beaded Summer Flower garden:
Make sure to use something on top of your surface as you’re working. It’s going to get messy!
First, apply the modge podge on one side and let dry. When the modge podge is dry, apply modge podge on the other side.
Next, spread a small amount of air dry clay on the bark. Smoosh it in real well so that it sticks on the bark. Put a layer of non-hardening clay on top of the air dry clay. The stem will stay on better when inserted into the non-hardening clay. Put more air dry clay on top of the non-hardening clay and around the stem.
Look at the photo below. The better way is the method on the left where there is more air dry clay. Also smooth the air dry clay on the bark so that it stays on the bark and not come off. On the right, I didn’t smooth the air dry clay onto the bark well enough and one of the clumps fell off after it dried. I glued it back on with E6000 and smooshed more air dry clay all around.
While you’re waiting for the clay to dry, put some supports behind the longer stems just in case they fall. I used an unopened shipment of beads and a plant stand. Keep checking on the stems throughout the day to make sure they haven’t fallen. It takes a few days for the air dry clay to completely dry so at that point, your stems could fall over. I moved them back in place if I see that it moved slightly. After about a week, the stems were okay. The shorter stems didn’t really need any support.
The last step is to glue on the moss with hot glue.
Challenges with this beaded Summer Flower Garden project:
Overall, this project went pretty smoothly since I learned from my mistakes from the Woodland Forest floor project. Using air dry clay in addition to non-hardening clay made the process a lot smoother. Using one or the other would have been challenging. The non-hardening clay would have a hard time staying on the bark. And the air dry clay itself would not be enough support to hold the longer stems up.
It took me over a week to install the flowers. After I installed the flowers, I realized I needed more California poppies! I was able to pull the poppies that I installed because it was not completely dry yet. The flowers were reshuffled and I made a few more buds and flowers so I had two bunches of poppies instead of one. Then there were still some bare space that could use some more fillers.
I found spare violet leaves and chamomile from when I made the tutorials so I finished the violet leaves and assembled the chamomile. Then there was still another spot that needed a filler. The beading of the forget-me-nots commenced but I promptly ran out of blue beads. That was on Wednesday…and the project deadline was Friday!
The two options were either more chamomile or wood violet leaves. I didn’t feel like making itty bitty chamomile leaves so I decided to go with more wood violet leaves.
Nature is perfect in its imperfections
The kids were home from Spring break and even had a friend over to play. I was also distracted with some other things and some of my leaves turned out just a bit wonky and not symmetrical like it should. I already spent all this time on it and was not going to take it apart. I really love this little imperfect leaf amongst the other leaves. It has personality and I love it.
I hope this has inspired you to make your very own indoor flower garden that can be enjoyed all year round.