Thursday, January 01, 2009

Tornado Bead Tutorial

On the first day of 2009 I thought I'd post a tutorial on making a tornado bead. This is a non-polymer posting but I needed these to go with some polymer beads I made recently.

I have been unable to find a tornado bead tutorial online so I figured this one out myself. Hopefully if you are looking for the same thing I was, this will serve as a starting point to making your own tornado beads.

For a one inch bead, you will need:

18" of 20-gauge wire
16" of 22 gauge wire
Various sized seed beads- 11, 8, 6.
A couple of 4mm beads
A mandrel

Beginning in the middle of the 20 gauge wire, wrap wire around a mandrel (I used a small wooden skewer) in both directions until the wrap is one inch long and there is 5"-6" of excess wire on each end. The wraps don't have to be perfectly lined up against each other.

Take the right end of the excess wire and working right to left, wrap it loosely around the base in a somewhat random and disorganized fashion. This isn't about perfection, it's about a tornado!

Take the left end of the excess wire and wrap it around the base from left to right, again in a loose fashion and make the bead slightly fatter in the middle.

Now you are ready to add beads with the 22 gauge wire.

Take 16" of the 22 gauge wire and start a wrap at one end, tucking the end under so it doesn't stick out. Add a few size 11 seed beads in the first revolution.

Start wrapping and adding larger beads to the 22 gauge wire in the gaps between the 20 gauge wire. They will stick out a little at first but become integrated when you continue with the 22 gauge wire.

Continue to wrap and add beads into the gaps, alternating sizes and colors. Take an occasional wire wrap without any beads.

When you reach the other end of the tornado bead, you should have the 22 gauge wire used up. Tuck the end into the bead to conceal the wire end.

Here is the finished bead!


PolymerClayTutor said...

What a great bead Tute Caren!! Very cool looking! Bet it would look great in copper wire too! ~ Cindy Lietz

Caren said...

Thanks, Cindy! This is my first attempt at posting a tute. It was fun. I've learned so much from other online tutes, I thought it was time to "give back".

Yes I love copper wire, will probably do some of those as the need arises!

Lynniemay said...

Great tute!!
I love your beads with the faces on Flickr!
Do you sell those?
Thanks, Lynn

Unknown said...

absolutely beautiful...thanks for the tutorial...i'm going to have a go right away!

Anonymous said...

Thanks much for your tornado bead tutorial. I too, wanted just a clue on how to make these beads. I am experienced enough that I don't need a whole book at $30. So I'm very grateful for your post. Love it. Just what I needed!

The Beading Gem said...

If there is a will, there is a way! Thanks for coming up with your own tornado bead tutorial! I will feature and link in a future post so others can come visit!!

aneri_masi said...

Thanks for the tutorial! It is very helpful. Love the beads :)

Dionne said...

this is one unique piece! I want to feature this on our blog. Thanks

KayzKreationz said...

Thanks so much for this. I was looking for a way to make a bead similar to this and the Creative Bead Chat on facebook came through for me and pointed me to your tutorial. This is great.

Ally said...

This is very nice! Great tutorial :-)

Unknown said...

very cool! do you just slide it off your dowel?