Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Dagger flower drops tutorial

*Instruktioner på svenska finns HÄR*

After I published the photos of my flower charm last week, I felt an urge to write instructions for this simple dagger flower project. So here it is, how to make my four-petal "space flowers". They are really simple to make and you only need a few beads and a bead cap to make one. It's important that you use a bead cap with four long "prongs" and that the cap can be manipulated -- i.e. no cast caps. Do feel free to experiment with different styles of caps as the shape of it will alter the whole look of the finished flower.


Supplies for one charm:
4 daggers, 11 mm
1 square bicone, 6 mm
1 bead cap, approx. 9 mm
1 soft headpin
1 small bead, max 2 mm (e.g. round metal bead or seed bead)
beading thread, e.g. Fireline, K.O., C-Lon

Tools: round nose pliers, (bent) chain nose pliers, wire cutter, scissors, needle (optional)

1. Begin by choosing a thread you like to work with. For the charms in these photos, I've used K.O (size D) and C-Lon size D. String the daggers on the thread and go through the beads a second time, as indicated by the picture.

2. Pull the thread tight and tie a so called surgeon's knot (instructions can be found here). If the beads want to lay flats as in the pic on the left, before tying the knot, gently squeeze them together so they "stand up" as in the picture on the right. After you've done this, pull the thread again before tying as the movement can loosen the thread somewhat.

3. String the ends of the thread through one or two beads on each side and secure the knot with a drop of glue. When the glue is thoroughly dry, cut the ecess thead using a pair of small, sharp scissors.

4. Take the bead cap and test if it fits well over the "petals". Most likely you will need to bend out the "prongs" on the cap. Do this by gently pulling each prong using your fingers. Make sure you bend each prong just as much as you did with the previous one or the bead cap will look lopsided. Don't pull too much at once, just ease it bit by bit. Keep going unlike you are pleased with the fit.

5. Optional step: you can bend the tip of each prong a tad inwards. Do this by holding the cap in your hand and grip the tip using round-nose pliers. Gently curve the tip inwards, taking care not destorting the prongs.

6. Assemble all parts on a headpin as in the photo above: square bicone, dagger petals, small bead, bead cap. The tiny metal bead is just for covering the small gap between the daggers and the centre of the bead cap. Use a bead in the same colour as the cap or the daggers.

7. Finish by making a wrapped loop. To make a wrapped loop, you begin by grabing the headpin using your chain-nose pliers and then bend the pin 90 degrees. Press the pliers slightly against the bead cap when you do this to avoid getting a too big gap between bead cap and the bend.

8. Grip the pin at the base of the bend using round-nose pliers. Bend the pin around the pliers so it forms a c. Reposition the pliers so you grip close to the upper parts of the C and keep bending the pin into a full cicle. You may have to move the pliers seceral times in order to shape a nice, round loop.

9. Grip the loop using your chain-nose pliers in your non-dominant hand so it will be still while you wrap the pin around the centre, from the loop and down towards the cap, using your dominant hand. Keep wrapping until the coil is tight up against the cap; you don't want it to be loose as it will make the cap and beads wobbly.

10. Cut the excess wire close to the coil using a narrow pair of cutters. The end of the pin will protrude a few millimetres so squeeze it against the coils using your chain-nose pliers for a professional result. The loop can become crooked when you wrap it so finish by straightening it up if needed.

Your charm is now ready.


  • If you can't find the czech square bicone beads, you can use regular 6 mm bicones too. Compare the charms above where a Preciosa crystal bead has been used in the purple iris charm.

  • You can substitute the 11 mm daggers for smaller or larger ones. Choose a bead cap that fits the beads. If you use the same bead caps for 16 mm daggers as for 11 mm beads, you will get a flower similar to the one in the pic above.

If you make anything using my tutorials, I'd love to see it!


  1. wow neatly explained nice tutorial

  2. Thank you -- I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D

  3. Can you share where you get your bead caps?

  4. I got them from Fru Pärla (fruparla.se), a Swedish bead shop, where it's called pärlkåpa 'spindel'. I've also seen similar/same caps in e.g. US online shop Ornamentea.com.

  5. Your tutorial is an awesome inspiration! Many thanks for sharing. I would like to feature your designs at http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/

    Contact me here if you have a concern.



  7. Thank you! I'm glad you all like it!

  8. Beautiful flowers! Thank you! I used your tutorial in a jewelry making challenge with a wonderful group of artists from Finland. The Czech daggers made the perfect, bittersweet flowers I was hoping to create. Strong, but ethereal. Here is a link to both my main blog (I also posted it on my jewelry blog; link is on my main blog). I used opalite in place of the Czech drops.

    Thank you again! :)


    1. I'm so glad you found the tutes inspirational. Just visited you blog and the necklace looks fab -- the colours you chose really suits the pattern.

      I urge everyone who reads this comments and like my dagger flowers to check it out. Very pretty!

  9. Lovely use of daggers! The flowers resemble fuschias! I will feature and link to more of your tutorials on my blog in the future! Many thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you like and want to blog about them. I really enjoy sharing the tutorials to beaders all over the world.

  10. Thank you for your generosity. A wonderful flower tutorial.


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