- 4mm bicones
- 1mm thick wire (approx. 15cm)
- 0.315mm colored wire (approx. 3m)
- Larger bead for the head
- Round nose pliers
- Wire cutters
Create a loop on the end of your thicker 1mm wire. This will act as a stopper for your beads. Thread on the bicones for the body to the required length. I’ve used 17 bicones. Add your ‘head’ bead and bend the beaded length of wire to achieve a slightly raised end of the tail.
If you secure your beads first, you wouldn’t have space for the wire to bend in this way. Fold the wire under the head bead; you may loop the wire around the body to secure, but it should be strong enough just tucked under. Trim any excess at the point.
Take 1m of wire and thread enough beads to create the full wing size. Try to keep in proportion with the body! The largest wings (your top two) should be about 3/4 the length of the body; I have used 20 for each of these, and 18 for each of the smaller wings.
Secure to the body by wrapping the wire 3 – 4 times. Do not trim the excess, but use it to reinforce the wings. Take the strands back up the wings, wrapping around the top row, then add new beads and wrap around the bottom row. Be careful not to pull too tightly or you will distort the shape of the bead. This process should reinforce and strengthen the shape.
Wrap any loose ends to secure before trimming. Repeat this for all other wings. The really nice thing about working with wire is that so long as you can neatly secure your ends, you can free-form, add as much or as little as you want for detail, and use it to strengthen the shape.