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How to Hand Bead a Swarovski Austrian Crystal Bridal Veil

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Here's the thing about hand beaded veils: It takes precision, patience, some intuitive layout skills and time but this is a project that many people can master if they don't mind putting in some practice BEFORE attempting to hand bead their bridal veil. I say before because the nylon tulle used to make veils is delicate, fragile and not forgiving in nature (it will stretch and tear) so you need to know exactly how to do this before you attempt to on your finished veil.
Swarovski Bicone Crystals
 
With that said, what you will need are crystal beads. (You can also use pearls or glass beads.) These are my favorite Swarovksi Austrian Crystals to use for hand beading veils. The shape is called a bicone and the Swarovski style number is #5301. It's faceted like a diamond which helps to create nice, bright, sparkles when light reflects off of them.

Pictured here in three sizes 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm. I almost always used the 4mm exclusively on short veils, meaning from the fingertip up. Floor length veils I would sometimes use 5mm beads at the bottom of the veil where it drags on the ground and blend them into the 4mm to bead up to the top where the veil attaches to the comb.

Most popular colors for bridal veils are the clear crystals or the AB (which stands for aurora borealis) which have a rainbow shimmer to them that will cast off colored sparkles when the light hits them.

You can purchase Swarovski Crystal beads online or at some local bead shops.

Tip: Authentic freshwater pearls are more tedious because their holes are drilled very, very small so it's hard to find a needle that will fit through them.


You can also use round crystals or beads. The round Swarovski crystals (style number #5000) are more expensive than the bicone shape and since I preferred the other bicone shape, I seldom used the round for hand beading onto veils.


To sew the crystals to the tulle I used this nylon transparent thread size .005 by Coats. The thread is similar to fishing line and is an "invisible" monofilament.


Here is a close up of the thread.


For sewing I would use small needles. "Sharps" or "Quilting Betweens" were usually the perfect size. Their short length makes them just the right size and shape for hand beading.


And this is the nylon tulle close up. I will repeat again, do NOT practice doing this on your actual veil. Most fabric stores sell nylon tulle. It usually runs around $3 per yard. Buy a yard and use it to practice your technique until you can do this perfectly. Only then should you move on to your actual bridal veil.

The strands create a small diamond pattern. Your goal will be to sew each crystal to a single strand of tulle.


To begin, thread the needle.


Now double knot the thread directly to the head of the needle making sure to tie one knot and the second knot directly over the first one, not to the needle itself.

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Idea submitted by: Stacie Tamaki


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