What is French Beading?

The Art of making French Beaded Flowers involves stringing thousands of tiny glass beads – called seed beads – onto wire and wrapping them in rows to form leaves, petals, and other flower parts, then combining them together to make a full flower. Each flower can take hours or days to complete, while full arrangements can take months. 

French Beading is a very old art. How old? Well, we don’t really know, since there are not many historical accounts detailing the art. However, it is believed that it originated in the 1500′s in France, though similar flowers were created around the same time in Italy and Germany. No one knows exactly how the art began, but one popular story claims that French Beading was born when maids gathered glass beads leftover from gown embellishing and strung them on wire. 

Traditionally, these timeless flowers were used in mourning wreaths, altar decorations, and lavish floral arrangements. In modern times these flowers have been made into home decorations, wedding displays and bouquets, and fashioned into accessories and jewelry. If they are treated properly, these flowers can last for generations. Antique beaded flowers from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s can still be found in antique markets today. This addictive art form has gone through many revivals, and is now experiencing a new rush of popularity – a modern day Renaissance for French Beaded Flowers! 

French Beaded Roses by Lauren Harpster
French Beaded Peony by Lauren Harpster

Meet the Designer

French Beaded Rainbow wreath by Lauren Harpster

Hello! My name is Lauren Harpster and I am the owner and designer here at Bead & Blossom. Making French Beaded Flowers is more than just a hobby for me – it’s a calling. I discovered French Beading by chance years ago, as I was trying to learn new bead weaving techniques. It was a fascinating art that combined my love of flowers with my love of beads. I needed to learn how to make them! I quickly fell in love with the craft, and have been beading flowers like a maniac ever since. I decided to open my own business and start this website to spread the word about these unique and beautiful flowers. I am proud to be one of those keeping this old art alive!

One of my favorite things about French Beading is the meticulous nature of the craft. I research each flower extensively before making the flower out of beads. Finding just the right combination of techniques and sizes can be difficult, but I absolutely love it! My work tends to test the limits of French Beading and push a bit beyond traditional techniques. I love to experiment with combining techniques in new ways to make my flowers as accurate as possible. I’ve even developed a few new techniques along the way. Take a peek at my Portfolio to see some of my French Beaded Flowers. 

I’ve been making these beautiful flowers for almost seven years, and teaching the art for four years through my website. You may know me from my previous website – Lauren’s Creations. In 2017 I published my first book, “Christmas Collection”, which is the first volume in my “French Beading Patterns” series. I will be publishing the second volume “Spring Collection” in Fall 2019. 

If you want to learn how to make French Beaded Flowers, I have developed a Beginner Course to help you on your way. The course is completely free and you can find it in the Learn French Beading section of my website. 

Welcome aboard! A world of beading adventures awaits! 

French Beaded Paperwhites by Lauren Harpster
French Beaded Paperwhites
Custom French Beaded Miniature Rose wreath with vines
French Beaded Irises by Lauren Harpster
French Beaded Bearded Irises
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