Beaded Flowers – Use the Reverse Wrap Technique to Hide Wrap Wires

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The reverse wrap technique is a variation on the basic technique that you would use if the tops of your petals will be rolled back or curled under, and the backs of your petals will be very visible. It’s a way to hide the metal wraps at the bottom of the petal. For example, if you’re making a rose, and the sepals will not be pressed up against the bottom of your petals, the backs will show. Many times you’ll be able to use color-matched wires, but even they can show more metal than you’d ideally like.

If you’re making a white rose on gold wire, keep in mind that over time the exposed and stretched gold wire may discolor. Having a lot of visible wire that turns darker will spoil the pristine look of your rose.

We’ll start with a rose petal, round bottom and pointed top. Start your petal as usual, with the basic row on the basic wire, plus the basic wire loop at the bottom. Make Row 2, which is the first row coming from the bottom of the petal to the top, and wrap as usual, at a 45-degree angle to achieve the point. Turn the piece upside-down. Load all the beads you’ll need for Row 3. When you get to the basic loop with your spool wire, do not wrap front-to-back as usual. Bring your loaded spool wire around the back of the piece, and wrap back-to-front instead, straight across to achieve the round shape as usual.

Continue the petal, wrapping all the top rows (or even-numbered rows) front-to back, and all the bottom rows (or odd-numbered rows) back-to-front. This will give your petal a “right side” at the top and a “wrong side” at the bottom, both on the same side of the petal. On the other side you’ll have the reverse – a “wrong side” at the top and a “right side” at the bottom. Be sure to fold down the cut top basic wire to the “wrong side,” to eliminate a messy cut wire showing on the “right side” of your finished flower.

If you like, you can make all the petals for a rose in this fashion. If it’s a dense rose, which has many layers of petals and only the backs of one outer layer of the largest petals will show, you can use this technique only for that outer layer.

I suggest using this technique only on rounded ends of petals, mainly because it’s easier, and a wrap for a rounded petal end shows less wire by definition: there is no diagonal wrap, which uses more wire. If your flower has petals that are rounded on both the top and the bottom, that’s easiest of all and you can reverse wrap either the top or bottom of the petal.

When you’re assembling your flower, attach these petals with the “right side” of the bottom turned to the outside of your flower. When you curl the top of the petals down, you’ll see that the outer surface of your flower shows very little wrapped wire at all.

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